Israel

So how much aid was the Maori TV crew delivering to Gaza?

Look at us, we tricked the world and got a free cruise on the Med as well!

Look at us, we tricked the world and got a free cruise on the Med as well!

We were all told by Maori Television that their journalist was part of the Kia Ora Gaza flotilla and they were delivering “aid” to Gaza.

We were also told by the media, acting as useful mouthpieces for Kia Ora Gaza that the aid that was being delivered were “medical equipment and solar panels“.

Marianne’s cargo includes donated medical equipment and solar panels: “The sun cannot be blockaded.”

Sounds admirable doesn’t it?

Well…uhmm..no…it was a lie.

The Washington Post explains:

Pro-Palestinian activists aboard a Swedish vessel tried and failed to punch through Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza this week. Israeli commandos boarded the vessel, searched the ship and brought it to an Israeli port.

The Israeli military called the operation “uneventful.” According to a report, Israel’s Channel 2, one of the activists was zapped with a taser. The foreign activists were detained and are being deported.

In the scope of Middle East confrontations, it was a minor, though publicized, affair.

Afterwards, Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon said, “there was no aid on board” the activist ship.    Read more »

A good question but the answer is no

Richard Harman asks if a deal between Israel and Palestine will save McCully’s political reputation.

Beleaguered Foreign Minister Murray McCully, under fire in Wellington over the Saudi sheep deal, could yet emerge as a hero of the Israel/Palestine peace process.

His attempts to bring Israel and Palestine back to talks about recognising each other’s state are being widely reported in Israel.

And the Prime Minister, John Key, told his weekly post Cabinet Press Conference that New Zealand over recent months had been constantly looking for a way in which the Security Council could jump-start negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

New Zealand’s role depends on it assuming the Presidency of the Security Council on Wednesday and the fate of a French resolution on Israel/Palestine which is expected to be discussed by the Council.

There is also a question of timing with some argument that the peace process could not begin until talks with Iran over its nuclear capabilities and sanctions have been completed which is not expected till the end of the month.

Mr McCully, speaking last week, at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said there was a general acceptance in New York that it would be unhelpful to have a new initiative come forward before the Security Council before the Iran talks were completed and that was scheduled to be the end of June.   Read more »

Maori Television reporter deported from Israel

One of the two reporters from Maori Television on board the terror-supporting protest flotilla has been deported from Israel.

Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera has been deported from Israel after she and cameraman Jacob Bryant were filming a story onboard a flotilla of ships detained by the Israeli military.

Perera contacted relatives on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time) via satellite phone to say she was being deported, her partner Tim Werry said.

Werry said she was safe and that she would be flying back into Auckland on July 1.

It was only a brief message, he said, and he did not hear what had happened to Perera’s colleague Bryant.

“It’s all happening so quickly,” he said.

Werry said he was initially relieved to hear the news that she had been released by the Israeli military.   Read more »

Face of the day

Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, on June 28, 2015.

Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, on June 28, 2015.

Todays’s face of the day is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He wrote the below letter to the Maori TV journalists activists (and others) aboard the so-called Freedom Flotilla after they were deterred from seeking to circumvent international law. I love how he manages to have a sense of humour while simultaneously making some very serious points.

Welcome to Israel!

It seems you got lost. Perhaps you meant to sail to a place not far from here – Syria. There the Assad regime slaughters his people every day with the support of the murderous Iranian regime.

Read more »

Maori TV journalists detained by IDF as they take control of ships

The Maori TV journalists who were aboard the “Marianne av Göteborg” have been detained after the ships were intercepted by Israeli Navy Commandos.

The Times of Israel reports:

Israeli Navy commandos boarded a ship that was headed for the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday-Monday and took control of the vessel.

The interception occurred without incident and there were no injuries, the IDF said.

The Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg will now be taken to Ashdod port, after which the activists on board will likely be deported, as Israeli officials have warned.

“In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel several times to change course,” the IDF said in a statement.

“Following their refusal, forces visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent the intended breach of the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. The forces have reported that use of force was unnecessary, and that the process was uneventful. The vessel is currently being escorted to Ashdod Port and is expected to arrive within 12-24 hours,” it went on.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the commandos on “their determined and efficient action in detaining the passengers on the ship that tried to reach the Gaza coast in contravention of the law.”

“This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region. Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General,” Netanyahu said in a statement released to the press.

Read more »

UN report on Gaza is flawed and dangerous

Richard Kemp, a retired British Army colonel and the former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, writes in the New York Times about how deeply flawed and dangerous the UN report on Gaza is.

AS a British officer who had more than his share of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans, it pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer’s conflict in Gaza, prepared by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, and published on Monday, will do just that.

The report starts by attributing responsibility for the conflict to Israel’s “protracted occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” as well as the blockade of Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza 10 years ago. In 2007 it imposed a selective blockade only in response to attacks by Hamas and the import of munitions and military matériel from Iran. The conflict last summer, which began with a dramatic escalation in rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, was a continuation of Hamas’s war of aggression.

In an unusual concession, the report suggests that Hamas may have been guilty of war crimes, but it still legitimizes Hamas’s rocket and tunnel attacks and even sympathizes with the geographical challenges in launching rockets at Israeli civilians: “Gaza’s small size and its population density make it particularly difficult for armed groups always to comply” with the requirement not to launch attacks from civilian areas.

There is no such sympathy for Israel. Judge Davis accuses the Israel Defense Forces of “serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.” Yet no evidence is put forward to substantiate these accusations. It is as though the drafters of the report believe that any civilian death in war must be illegal.

Read more »

Has Maori Television disavowed its reporters?

There are two Maori television reporters aboard the boats planning on risking life and limb to run the blockade of Gaza.

Ruwani Perera (Ngati Sri Lanka) and her cameraman are in grave danger and it appears that the Maori Television management and board have not completed the appropriate risk assessments to protect them and the organisation from legal action if either of them are injured or killed.

The media are all over this because, as is usual, they are taking sides. But what they are not telling you is the following:

  1. The blockade of Gaza is legal.

    The blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt was put in place in 2007 after Hamas came to power and started to attack Israel. 

    The UN-commissioned ‘[Sir Geoffrey] Palmer Report‘ regarding the Gaza Flotilla Incident of 2010 deemed the naval blockade by Israel to be a legitimate security measure to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and to protect the Israeli population: “Israel has faced and continues to face a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. Rockets, missiles and mortar bombs have been launched from Gaza towards Israel since 2001. More than 5,000 were fired between 2005 and January 2009, when the naval blockade was imposed. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians live in the range of these attacks … The purpose of these acts of violence, which have been repeatedly condemned by the international community, has been to do damage to the population of Israel. It seems obvious enough that stopping these violent acts was a necessary step for Israel to take in order to protect its people and to defend itself.”

  2. Breaching the blockade is illegal.

    Violation of a lawful blockade constitutes unlawful activity, as reflected in paragraphs 10, 67, and 146 of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994.

  1. The UN recommends governments should dissuade activists from these activities.

    The Palmer Report clearly states: “Attempts to breach a lawfully imposed naval blockade place the vessel and those on board at risk. Where a State becomes aware that its citizens or flag vessels intend to breach a naval blockade, it has a responsibility to take pro-active steps compatible with democratic rights and freedoms to warn them of the risks involved and to endeavour to dissuade them from doing so.”

  1. Aid is being delivered to Gaza on a daily basis via Israel.

    According to the Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), there were 1,252 crossings from Israel into Gaza, including 14,533 tonnes of goods, on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 alone, consistent with previous days.

Read more »

These stupid people are going to get hurt…or worse

IMG_0455

Super Dvora class fast patrol boat leaving dock in Haifa. Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Two Maori Television staff are going to try and break Israel’s blockade.

They’re foolish and in grave danger.

Two Māori TV staff are aboard the “Freedom Flotilla III” currently steaming to break an Israel-controlled naval blockade.

The flotilla set sail from Messina, Italy this week on a humanitarian mission to take an undisclosed tranche of supplies through the Israel Defence Force (IDF) blockade to the Palestinian territory in Gaza.

Journalist Ruwani Perera and camera operator Jacob Bryant, facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza Trust, are on the Swedish former trawler Marianne av Göteborg, which will meet up with other boats shortly.   Read more »

Legal Standards in a war?

Call me old-fashioned but, apart from following the Geneva convention, I though war was about winning at all costs, preferably through superior firepower. That seems to be the case if you are a country like America but for some strange reason Israel is held to standards that no other country under ongoing attack from hostile forces is held to.

Any other country under ongoing attack  (let alone from forces that have promised to wipe it and its people off the face of the earth) is expected to defend itself and is usually offered assistance from other countries to do so. They are not told how they are allowed to defend themselves or restricted in how they defend themselves.

The MSM uses phrases like ‘disproportionate  force‘ when discussing Israel’s defence of its citizens, which is a phrase I have never heard used in any other conflict.

America ended the war with Japan using ‘disproportionate force’ because that is how you win a war. If you have similar proportionate force you end up with a bloody stalemate like the Western Front in World War One. That stalemate was only broken once the Allies obtained ‘disproportionate force’ in the form of tanks.

Read more »

ISIS affiliates at war with Hamas and rocketing Israel

The bizarro world of ISIS and jihadi scumbags has just got weirder.

They have moved into Gaza and are having a demarkation dispute with Hamas who are none too happy that their little reign of terror is being challenged.

They are busily killing each other…and in defiance the ISIS affiliates rocketed Ashdod… because they are Jews presumably?

The Islamist group that fired rockets at southern Israel Wednesday night said Thursday that it would continue its “way of Jihad” and “attack the Jews” – whether or not Hamas approved. And the next attack, it said, would come within hours.

In a statement, the “Sheikh Amar Hadid Brigades” said that the rockets were fired in revenge for “the death of an Islamic State member in Gaza by Hamas members.”

“We have repeated that we will continue in the way of Jihad against the Jews, the enemies of Allah. No one will stop us from fulfilling our obligation and attacking the Jews.”

Several days ago, the same jihadist group took responsibility for the firing of a Grad rocket at Ashdod last week.

The group has since presented Hamas with an ultimatum demanding that it be allowed to attack Israel from Gaza and on Thursday said it would conduct another attack on the Jewish state within 12 hours.   Read more »