Israel Attacks Freedom Flotilla

Israel Attacks Freedom Flotilla May 31, 2010

Why does Israel think it can control international waters and prevent humanitarian aid from coming into Gaza? Israel has boarded the “Freedom Flotilla” and killed an indeterminate number of innocent bystanders as they attempted to take control international waters. (If I wanted to  engage political rhetoric, I would ask, what does Israel have against freedom, but I know that such questions are naive, because freedom is such an equivocal term).

This is going to be a major international incident. Israel is claiming the massacre is justified because their soldiers were attacked. They fail to point out they were attacked when they were boarding a vessel they had no lawful authority to board, acting like pirates who think they control the seas. Probably those who attacked the soldiers were acting reflexively without thinking. Let alone the moral question, in all practicality, this was not the wisest thing to do, because the soldiers were heavily armed and could take control of the ship without difficulty. Nonetheless, this does not justify the blockade, Israeli piracy, and the disproportionate response given by the Israeli soldiers.

The “Rabble Staff” explain the situation quite well:

Israel intensified its 2006 blockade after attacking the area in a weeks-long assault that ended in January 2009, killing more than 1,400 and leaving thousands more homeless and reducing huge swaths of housing to rubble. The blockade has created mass unemployment and extreme poverty, leaving four out of five Gazans — half of whom are children — dependent on humanitarian aid.

The Freedom Flotilla carries more than 10,000 tons of relief and developmental aid to Gaza, along with roughly 700 participants from more than 30 countries, among them volunteers from Canada, South Africa, Algeria, Turkey, Macedonia, Pakistan, Yemin, Kosovo, the UK and US and Kuwait – and an exiled former Archbishop of Jerusalem who currently lives in the Vatican.

Here we see the situation involves not just Muslim nations, but many of the nations of the West, such as the United States. We also see that the retired Archbishop of Jerusalem is on board the ship, indicating the active role the Church has had in this humanitarian aid. The result, of course, demonstrates the reason why this aid was needed in the first place. Israel’s brutal policies extend beyond Israel itself, and they think they can control the region, similar to how the USSR once tried to control Eastern Europe. Innocents in Gaza are suffering daily, and they need our help. This kind of reaction will only help generate more anger and hostility toward Israel by those who suffer from its harsh measures the most. This is not a good thing, because it will certainly generate more terrorist reactions against Israel. This we need to try to prevent. We need to move beyond the cycle of violence.

We need to move beyond the ideological spectrum from both sides trying to make this into a fight which no one can win. We need to encourage the peaceful folk in Israel and the rest of the Middle East to build the bridges of friendship, for this will be the only way peace can be made in the region.

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  • digbydolben

    WHAT “peaceful folk in Israel and the rest of the Middle East”? Whatever “peaceful folk” there are there have almost no influence, and it is because of this that the Western nations should pare down relations with these countries to the barest minimum and leave them to their own devices.

    Military aid to Israel and Egypt should be cut off and the Zionist interference in the formation of American foreign policy must be identified and stopped.

    We must withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible, before we have the onerous responsibility of protecting Iraqi air space against the incursion of the Zionist fascists’ airforce, on their way to attack Iran’s nuclear assets. This whole region constitutes a ticking time bomb, primed to draw the whole world into a Third World War.

  • Now can you post alleged data from both sides…e.g. two pistols, reasons for ongoing blockade, offer to transpost their supplies the normal way which apparently will now take place just as was offered to begin with. Think 8th commandment when you report.

    • Bill

      Let’s see. Israel is either in Gaza’s waters or in international waters. They are attacking humanitarian aid ships. They do not have the right to engage as they just did. And indeed, the “normal channels” is abusive, as those in Gaza who do not get the aid know. They are being strangled by Israel, and they do not trust all that goes through Israel itself to reach them in safety. Israel doesn’t own international waters, and has no right to piracy.

      The irony is– they attacked “freedom” on Memorial Day. Well, I will remember them today. Remember the USS Liberty.

      The fact that there are two “pistols” means what? Now two pistols is enough to do a massacre? Yes, I’m not fan of gun rights, and indeed, I said the defensive-assault in response was bad, but it is striking that the same people who will say “they had two pistols, in international waters!” means “massacre is now fine.” Well, seems some people are now for gun control after all?

  • We need to encourage the peaceful folk in Israel and the rest of the Middle East to build the bridges of friendship….

    Hearing from Muslims who condemn Hamas would be a good start.

  • Henry
    Go to the Los Angeles Times which at least has both sides (which are very different on the violence issue…two guns seized from Israelis….or ship occupants firing from below deck to upper deck) and I don’t think Israel has commented yet as to how far out at sea the raid took place from shore. That is the report to date of one side.
    Prudence might mean waiting two days or so prior to believing facts as facts when your source seems to be one side.

    • Bill

      It’s already been presented — they were out in international waters, and even if they were closer, it would have been in Gaza’s waters, not Israel. Second, your “two guns” still doesn’t deal with the real issue. I seem to remember in Germany, the “the Jews had guns” argument was used to justify mass slaughter as well. The issue is not “did they have guns” or even “did they use them?” That’s beside the whole point, because at best, their guilt is secondary based upon the provocation of Israel, and it is a defensive use at best — and many who were killed were not near any such guns or weapons or were not even fighting!

  • Let’s see if Pope Benedict jumps in this early and takes all his info from one side’s sources. If he does, he should never be canonized or maybe he should…maybe saints sin too.

    • I’m expecting the Pope to condemn the actions, just like the world condemned the brutality against Indians by the UK when Gandhi did his salt protest, or the world condemned the brutality of the Germans when they went to slaughter so many who were “just asking for it.”

  • Except that Gaza…unlike your Gandhi and Nazi examples… is ruled by Hamas who does not want Israel to exist and who fires rockets at its civilians when it can; however badly they aim.

    • Gandhi didn’t want “British India” to exist… and Israel is constantly having a sleeper-hold over Gaza, which is why there will be defensive reactions. As I have said already, the reactions are not necessarily good, but they are understandable. And yes, the Jews were often having armed attacks against the Germans and that was used as an excuse to justify great evil in response. Moreover, Hamas is not so united, and if one looks back further, it appears it was created by Israel.. seriously, the “they are an evil government” response doesn’t justify destruction of humanitarian aid.

  • And I bet this shipment will undergo a search and will be let in after that search eliminates anything that has dual use as weapons. Here is an Israeli with whom you can discuss “defensive reactions” of Hamas:

    • Yes, many war criminals say it was the victim’s fault — indeed, I think most of them say it. “If they only obeyed me.” Israel’s warnings were illegal, their actions criminal, the defense as sickening as a rapist’s “she made me do it.”

  • Karl
    He wants an arms ban on his own people (near end) while he mentions no commensurate arms ban on Muslims. Hamas spokesmen (which can be easily googled by you) give sermons which are found on “you tube” which state that the Koran mandates the killing of all Jews and if you have read the Koran, you know that it has passages that can be interpreted that way. Some even have said that the end of the world cannot come until the Jews have been killed.

    And your Jewish speaker above wants an arms ban on Israel and mentions none on the Muslims of the area who believe such murders are their religious obligation found in the Koran.

    I think he should take off the tie clip since apparently he never fought for Israel himself…his friend did.

  • Rodak

    Friendship doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell until after the Israelis decide to allow some justice for the Palestinians. The U.S. might be able to force their hand on that matter. But maybe not. They have nukes after all.

    • Rodak

      That is one way of looking at it. On the other hand, Christ reveals that self-giving can turn enemies into friends as well.

  • jh

    As to the former Archbsihop. Is he not the same person that was convicted of smuggling arms?

  • Rodak

    Israelis to Palestinians: Hey! You guys in poverty, hopelessness and exile: We like you! We really LIKE you!

  • Sarah Palin (who’s been sporting a dual Israel-US flag lapel pin):
    “I disagree with the Obama administration on that. I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.”

    The religious background ? From The Atlantic

    “…an alarm bell went off in my head when I heard Palin talk about “days and weeks.” It’s quite one thing to say that Israel needs settlements to contain its growing population but it’s something else entirely to predict that Jews in the Diaspora will imminently be flooding the Holy Land. I asked Dr. Ice if he thought that this statement by Palin, who has been exposed to this brand of evangelical thinking in her Alaska churches, was informed by these beliefs.

    “I’ve read that Palin has been part of an apparently unique movement I’ve heard of — that her pastor, when she was in the Assembly of God, believed based on some personal revelation he claims to have gotten from God, that the Jews would move to Alaska during the Tribulation. But nevertheless, my understanding from what I’ve seen is that she holds fairly typical Protestant Zionist beliefs, and one of those beliefs is the regathering of the Jews in Israel.”

    Ice told me he believes this sort of thinking is supported by the facts. “Over forty percent of the world’s Jews now live in Israel. What Sarah Palin probably believes is that this is the first regathering,” when the Jews all migrate to Israel. “This is a condition for the second regathering, the regathering in belief, when the Jewish nation is converted. Then there will be the battle of Armageddon, because remember, Satan wants to wipe out the Jews to prevent the Second Coming, but Jesus comes to rescue the beleaguered Jews. We believe that the Jews are going to be converted so that they can call on Jesus to rescue them from Satan.”

  • “Some even have said that the end of the world cannot come until the Jews have been killed.”
    and many American Christians (I use the term loosely) believe that the Jews have to survive for the end of the world to come. Isn’t religion fun ? Three groups of fanatics, forever at odds and arms. Those Zionist Christians won’t kill Jews (like their predecessors) because they are the, uh, “middle man.”

    I really regret that rapture isn’t happening. Imagine all those people, leaving Earth for good. You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day they’ll beam up and the world will be as one….

  • As to the former Archbsihop. Is he not the same person that was convicted of smuggling arms?

    Wow, good link. Here I was thinking he’s just a garden variety volunteer human shield. Appears as if he’s somewhat of a dupe either way, poor guy.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    Here is a good article summarizing the relevant maritime and international law.

    It appears from what I have read here that what Israel did in boarding these ships was in fact illegal. Or rather, they could have done it if they had the permission and cooperation of the country under whose flag the ship is sailing (in this case, Turkey). On the other hand, Israel is claiming that its actions were justified insofar as it had followed the protocol of international law in establishing a naval blockade. That argument is here:

    Honestly, I’m not really sure what is going on here legally. Anybody competent in this area of the law? Anyway, my overall impression is that this was a really bad move on Israel’s part. Sad and tragic, regardless.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    Here is an interesting article about recent attempts to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

  • digbydolben

    The state-sponsored boarding and seizure of a ship flying a white flag in international waters is both an act of piracy and an act of “state terrorism.”

    It also demonstrates incredibly stupid insouciance regarding world public opinion. Israel is digging her own grave, diplomatically-speaking, and no other country should want to jump into the grave with her.

    It is time for decent nation-states with some minimum respect for “international law” to cut off relations with the rogue-state of Israel.

  • Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the US was on CCN 20 minnutes ago and stated that 100 trucks a day go into Gaza with humanitarian aid so that there is no shortage of medical or food aid but building aid is iffy and being let through now despite Israelis feeling that Hamas may be building bunkers and not schools with it.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    The Israeli military has released a thermal imaging video that purports to prove their side of the story.
    The video that was released, however, starts well into the raid of the ship. If the IDF videotaped the raid, they should release a version that starts at the beginning in order to determine if the response by the sailors on the Turkish ship was justified. Moreover, in the commentary that was provided with the video by the Israelis, it is claimed that the occupants of the ship threw a stun grenade at the IDF soldiers. But I read a firsthand account given by one of the soldiers that it was the Israelis who were deploying stun grenades. The video is ambiguous and should be released in full without commentary so that people can try to figure out what exactly happened here.

  • Israel in this case seems to observe international law as to international waters which law considers an offense to begin at leaving port when a group states that it will breach a blockade… but Israel is not a signatory to the UN concept of international waters which is stricter than international law of the seas and which UN law prohibits what Israel did while international law does not seem to…go here:

  • From Brother Matthew’s first link we have what might be part of the solution from the Israeli point of view:

    “The next territorial boundary marks the State’s potential contiguous zone, which extends 24 miles offshore. Within this zone, a coastal state can stop and inspect vessels and act to punish (or prevent) violations of its laws within its territory or territorial waters. The contiguous zone solves a vexing problem. As Malcolm Evans describes it:

    Traditionally, where the territorial sea ends, the high seas began and the laws of the coastal State no longer apply. However, policing maritime zones is no easy matter and, unlike land boundaries, they are simple to cross. It would therefore be easy for vessels to commit offences within the territorial sea but to evade arrest by moving just a little further seaward. The answer is to permit coastal States to arrest vessels outside their territorial seas in connection with offences that either have been committed or which it is suspected are going to be committed within their territorial sea.”

  • digbydolben

    Bill Bannon, your description of the living conditions of the Palestinians living in the Gaza is absolutely false and far too sanguine:

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    This video purports to show events from the beginning from the perspective of those on board. This does not look good for Israel at all. What were they thinking?

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    BTW, apologies for the beginning of the video, which uses some foul language to insult the president.

  • MBA

    “And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.” Sarah Palin

    According to International Law, specifically the Geneva Conventions, the settlement of civilians on land taken by war – whether offensive or defensive – is illegal. Look it up. According to International Law, all the settlements beyond the green line are illegal. Our State Department used to say as much quite openly.

    In 2002 (as I recall) there was a so-called Arab initiative in which all the Arab states agreed to peace and trade with Israel if Israel would move its settlements back to the green line.

    Maybe we should side with International Law, regardless of our other sympathies because today, Memorial Day, we recall those who died in WW2, the ending of which led to the Geneva Conventions.

  • Pingback: Israel Kills Two Aid Workers – Don’t Feed the Palestinians | The Church of Jesus Christ()

  • Rodak

    The mistake is in thinking that Jews are kinda like Christians, whereas the truth is that having only the “Old Testament” for guidance, Jews are kinda like Muslims.Having no intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ, they can’t see beyond “an eye for an eye.”

  • Hearing from Muslims who condemn Hamas would be a good start.

    How about hearing from Jews who condemn Netanyahu and Liberman?


    While I cannot verify the claim, it is said that this is Israelis celebrating the assault on the Freedom Flotilla in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv. It looks like it, but I know sometimes how footage can be used and manipulated.

  • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO

    Beyond the left/right divides, the conflicting descriptions of what happened, and the sterile rhetoric, what is the appropriate Christian response, not just to this incident, but the larger situation? We cannot look at the attack on the Flotilla outside of the broader context. The organizers set out to provoke the Israelis—it is naive to say otherwise. (This is not pejorative: Any act of civil disobedience is meant to provoke and challenge the oppressor, to force him/her to respond on your terms, and to get the broader world to view the situation from another perspective. This was the intent of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, etc.)

    But now that the world is looking at Israel and the Palestinians from a new perspective, what do we want them to see? And, more importantly, what do we want them to do? “Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless.” The Palestinians in Gaza have been effectively under siege for years. According to the U.N. (as quoted on the BBC last night) only 25% of the needed relief aid is being delivered. This I think trumps every other concern or interest.

    “Do not oppress the alien among you, for you yourselves were once slaves in the land of Egypt.” The human dignity of the Palestinians has been abused in countless ways and has been document by countless nonpartisan observers. Israel must end this.

    “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” The Palestinians have the short end of this, but nevertheless they cannot continue to respond violently, if only because this continues to legitimize the far greater violence that Israel has shown itself willing to unleash.

    What can we, the international community do? I am not sure, but diplomacy shaped towards these ends will be more productive, in the end, than any real-politik.

  • I am not going to make a declaratory statement either way, as to whether Israel or the flotilla was in the right or the wrong. It does seem though, that Israel was justified in keeping the blockade, and in boarding the flotilla, since the flotilla refused Israel’s offer a few weeks ago to allow the flotillas to enter and give aid via the port of Ashdod.

    Look here .

    • If Bin Laden offers US aid and tells the US “if you get out of Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Israel today, I will help restore all the damage I’ve done to you,” is he justified in more assaults if we turn down the offer?

  • Karlson,

  • Teresa,

    How can you possibly support this evil blockade? Are you aware of the Vatican’s staunch opposition, and that they called it a “big concentration camp”? Are you at all familiar with the immense suffering this blockade has imposed on the Gaza residents, where food and medical shortages are becoming dire? Listen to the Church on Gaza, not the spokesmen for the American position.

    In fact, those who are breaking this blockade quite probably have justice on their side.

  • Morning’s Minion,

    Cardinal Renato Martino is not the pope and does not speak for the whole Church. The Pope called for an end to the conflict, which is not the same thing as making an ex cathedra statement condemning the actions of only one side, is it?

    The conflict would end if the rocket attacks and the weapons smuggling would stop.

  • RCM

    Outrageous! The defense for Israel is absolutely absurd. Who can even say it with a straight face?

  • R. Rockliff

    I saw the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, in an interview yesterday on PBS, state that the ship was in international waters, but that action against ships in international waters are justified in some circumstances. He compared the circumstances to US action against German ships in international waters during WWII.

    Conflicting reports state that the crew of the boarded ship either (1) were immediately attacked by the boarding Israelis, or (2) immediately attacked the boarding Israelis. My first thought was that they had to expect that they would be boarded, and that they had to know that they would not be able to successfully resist the Israeli military, and that therefore the mission had to be to provoke Israel into a response that would do Israel political damage.

    My second thought was that, if the ship was in international waters, and if the ship was not carrying “contraband” (i.e. war materiel), then regardless of who struck the first blows, the crew was being boarded in international waters in the middle of the night and naturally defended themselves. It seems to me that forcefully boarding a ship in international waters under cover of darkness is an intrinsically hostile and threatening action, much like breaking into someone’s home in the middle of the night. I am therefore not convinced that the crew is guilty of “starting it” even if they struck the first blows. The nation under whose flag the ship sailed could, I think, reasonably interpret this as an act of war, if they were so inclined. However, I do not think that they will.

    All of this is not to say that I am not sympathetic with Israel’s responsibility to protect its own people by preventing war materiel from being smuggled into Gaza where it will be used in attacks against Israeli civilian targets.

    I do not think either side is being entirely forthright about the matter.

  • Bruce in Kansas

    This is a mess — all around.

    First, the Turkish flagged vessels clearly intended to provoke an overreaction by the Israelis — which they did. Ankara’s government has been trying to (re)assert its leadership as a Muslim state in the MidEast and new champion of the Palestinians.

    The al-Jazeera video shows Israeli commandos rappelling onto the ship with both hands, yet the claim is the Israelis opened fire as they descended. Many of the peace activists on board had metal bars, clubs, slingshots, and rifles. Perhaps some of the nine dead in the melee were not at the hands of the Israelis?

    The Israeli commandos reportedly began the raid armed only with paintball rounds for crowd control. Checking the videos, I don’t see any Israelis pointing rifles — they’re fending off blows.,7340,L-3896796,00.html

  • Bruce in Kansas

    The poor, hungry, sick and homeless have been practically overlooked in this sickeningly familiar game.

    • Bruce

      But don’t you think part of the point is to focus on Gaza and what is going on there? Even if the ships intended to provoke a response, did Israel have to response as they did? It reminds me of what happened with Gandhi on many levels. The British did not have to massacre Indians just because of Gandhi’s provocation, though Gandhi expected such reaction so as to expose to everyone what was really going on. I think this is exactly why the ships hold an international crew, including many political figures from the US, Germany, etc. This is about getting the world to see the desperation of Gaza, and what the years of Israeli blockade have done.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    The IDF jammed the communications on the ship before boarding in the cover of darkness. It seems that they did not count on the satellite broadcast going on as long as it did. After the raid they confiscated all recording equipment from the flotilla. They have been free to release their own video and information for the past 24 hours, taking control of the narrative before eyewitnesses have a chance to tell their side of the story. The latter have begun to surface and, of course, contradict the Israeli story. Of course, they cannot back up their claims because all of their possessions have been confiscated. Given the IDF’s attempts to control information about what happened, they do not deserve to be trusted at this point. What arrogance and stupidity.

  • The Huffinginton Post has an article from a couple years back showing that Israel allowing humanitarian into Gaza–

    This isn’t about Israel, but I did find it interesting that Egypt opened up its border to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza–

    And, this is from earlier this year–

  • digbydolben

    Are ANY of you thinking objectively–or even sanely?–in your mindless, jerk-knee support of what the Israelis did? Do you actually believe that the Israelis feel “threatened” by some bags of cement getting into the hands of the destitute Gazans? Yes, the intent was to “provoke” but the Israelis had NUMEROUS choices as to how they wished to respond to the “provocation.” They chose THIS response, but none of you are asking why THIS response. Don’t you know that they could have put frogmen into the water and jammed the propellors–as they have before, in other instances? Don’t you know that they could have put their own larger flotilla into the area and just BLOCKED the ships from proceeding? Yes, the Turks and the Palestinians were hoping for a violent response–but I believe that the fascist Zionists in Netanyahu’s government were EQUALLY wishing to incite the “humanitarians'” violence. And you know what? The Zionists have LOST the battle for world public opinion that they were equally as craftily and cynically projecting because they made the stupid mistake of committing what is, indeed, at least technically, an act of piracy. What American or Jew wouldn’t be CONGRATULATING any of their seafaring compatriots who had violently resisted a takeover on the high seas of a ship sailing under Israel’s or America’s flag by a group of, say, Iranians or Taliban–whether or not the Iranians or Taliban gave “ample advance notice”?

    But the important thing for us to do right now–and it is VERY important, considering that the U.S. is about to lose control of Iraqi airspace, and that the Netanyahu government would want to take out ALL of Iran’s nuclear assets with the kind of fell swoop that can only be accomplished through a flyover of Iraq–is to try to figure out exactly WHAT the Netanyahu government has been thinking about, when it chooses responses like this one.

  • Jeremy

    This is the second or third time the Gandhi reference has been made. Is there a peaceful-civil disobedience movement in the Gaza strip?

  • Teresa,

    (1) Cardinal Martino was, at the time, the chief Vatican official with reponsibility in this area i.e. he was the president of the Pontifical Commission for Justcie and Peace. (and what does “ex cathedra” have to do with this???)

    (2) After a complete and total blockade around the time of the Gaza war, Israel started allowing some traffic, but it is still minimal, and still subject to the arbitrary whims of the Israeli military. Talk to the seminarians from Gaza who cannpt return to complete their studies. Talk to the students in Bethleham university who cannot go home to Gaza without being stuck in that “big concentration camp”. Talk to the tens of thousands of people whose livelihood has been decimated. Talk to the local Gazan priests who congregation cannot get adequate medical supplies. The list goes on.

  • Morning’s Minion,

    “(1) Cardinal Martino was, at the time, the chief Vatican official with reponsibility in this area i.e. he was the president of the Pontifical Commission for Justcie and Peace. (and what does “ex cathedra” have to do with this???)”

    “ex cathedra” has everything to do with whether a Pope and/or his Bishops are speaking for the Church or not. Cardinal Martino is speaking for the Vatican, which is a secular state and not speaking for the whole Church.

    “The pope, by the power of the keys and promise of Jesus to protect the Church (Matt. 16:13-19), has the ability to speak infallibly ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals only. This does not mean that he is impeccable or that every time he speaks he is infallible. Infallibility also extends to all other bishops as long as they are speaking together with the pope. The pope does not make infallible pronouncements as a private person, but rather does so as the supreme teacher of the Catholic faith. Even when he is not speaking ex cathedra his teaching authority is to be respected.”

    • Teresa

      Incorrect. A pope and bishop are capable of speaking for the church according to many different levels of teaching authority. Just because the pope is not speaking an infallible declaration, it doesn’t mean his teaching has no level of authority, and it has no connection to the church.

  • Rodak

    Has anybody stopped to consider just why it is that the residents of Gaza NEED humanitarian aid in the first place?

  • Karlson,

    Believe what you want since you believe according to the “Church of Karlson” and not according to the Catholic Church. Look it up in the Catechism or in another Church document.

    • Teresa

      But the catechism isn’t itself written as an infallible document, so according to you, not Church teaching. You are the one who is making up the church as you go.

  • Some have, Rodak, but not enough. Our thoughts are turned towards legitimizing violence through grand national myths and narratives.

  • Ole Sarge

    Ammo and weapons = humanitarian aid, interesting concept. There have been MANY shipments of “arms” in with humanitarian aid. Frankly it’s like the welfare industry here in the USA, why do so many people depend upon “handouts” rather than WORK, BUILD and CREATE for themselves?

    I’m sorry, I support Israel in this one.

    • This was in international waters, and done in an improper fashion, Sarge. The idea that “ammo and weapons” have been found in the past is one thing, this is not the past. And do you really grasp the situation on the ground in Gaza? They are in a stranglehold!

  • MBA

    As for Israeli governments and International Law and Israeli governments and the Christians living in their midst, a Feb. 21, 2005 article in America, the national Catholic weekly, gives an insight:
    “Recently the Israeli government told the nation’s Supreme Court that it is not bound by a 1993 treaty with the Holy See. That declaration is an affront not only to the Catholic world but to all who take international agreements seriously…
    ‘Treaties must be honored’ (pacta sunt servanda) is among the most elementary principles of international law. What, then, we ask, does Israel’s appalling pattern of noncompliance reveal about its attitude to the Christian presence in Israel? If the Fundamental Agreement is not recognized as binding, what is the government’s true policy toward the Catholic Church? If Israel cannot be relied upon to honor the Fundamental Agreement, which of its promises, if any, can be trusted?”
    This was 2005. More than 5 years later, the situation is much the same. Meetings and more meetings but no resolution.
    “The agreement led to the Vatican’s recognition of the State of Israel. Critics of the agreement warned that the Holy See had played its only card (diplomatic recognition) in return for a promissory note. More than 11 years later [now more than 16 years later], it appears that is exactly what happened. Israel has not kept its promises.”
    Catholics should be familiar with what seems to be an ongoing insult to Pope John Paul II and to Christians and Christian institutions within Israel.

  • Karlson,
    Nice try. Close but no cigar. You haven’t posted one Church document to back up your theory as I requested. I suppose you think that the Holy See and the Vatican are one and the same? Well, you would be fallacious in that concept also. The Vatican is a secular landlocked city-state which was established in 1929. Was your Church founded in 1929? Because the Catholic Church, that I follow presupposes your 1929 version of the Catholic Church, and has existed for over 2000 years-when Christ founded the Church. Are, there not parts of the Catechism that specifically focus on issues of morals and faith, and not International statesmanship or skirmishes in International waters? That would be a “Yes sir e Bob”. The Catechism draws from earlier infallible Church documents and not some Bishop, priest, or Cardinal spouting off his opinion. And, in this matter, the Cardinal’s opinion is not being drawn from any Church documents or any infallible Church teaching.

    You have fun tinkering and changing 2000 years of Church teaching to fit Karlson’s mold, the modern, or “Karlson’s Church, and I will stick with the real deal, the Catholic Church and her 2000 years of Tradition.

    • Teresa

      You are the one making all kinds of claims. You are the one who has said in other threads you won’t follow the Church when it goes against your American ideals. You are the one who makes the Church to suit your desires. I am not tinkering with anything. I am dealing with the reality of the Church, a reality which recognizes teaching authority is not just found in “infallible documents.” The Catechism is not an infallible document. Just because you claim “it is derived from them” does not make it infallible, which is what you are claiming is necessary for something to be a matter of church teaching. And of course, if you want to follow “ok, infallible documents and those which are based upon them,” then you get the full of Catholic Social Doctrine back at you. The fact of the matter, again, is you are making things up as you go, even the notions of what is and is not an official declaration of the church.

      Hint: go to the Vatican website. Study up on the question of authority in the Church. You might look into the question of obeisance.

      If you continue to speak out against the Church, I will delete any comments you make in my posts which show a complete indifference to ecclesial authority.

  • Karlson,

    Thanks for proving to me that there is NO proof to back up all of your unfounded assertions since its way tooooo hard for you to post a Church document supporting you fallacious notions.

    • Teresa

      Silence does not mean no proof. All it means is silence. Learn some logic. If you want to know why I don’t usually respond and go all out and give all kinds of evidence to all things you question: it will go on forever, you will always give a “but this…” until you think you win when someone doesn’t respond. I find my time better suited doing other things than playing your games. They are the typical tactics of self-absorbed idiots, and the kind which Augustine routinely ridiculed as indicative of an evil will. Take it as you will.

      But… .for your benefit.. just this once.. LG25. Of course, you will probably tell me it is not authoritative.

      25. Among the more important duties of bishops that of preaching the Gospel has pride of place.[39] For the bishops are heralds of the faith, who draw new disciples to Christ; they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people assigned to them, the faith which is destined to inform their thinking and direct their conduct; and under the light of the Holy Spirit they make that faith shine forth, drawing from the storehouse of revelation new things and old (cf. Mt. 13:52); they make it bear fruit and with watchfulness they ward off whatever errors threaten their flock (cf. 2 Tim. 4-14). Bishops who teach in communion with the Roman Pontiff are to be revered by all as witnesses of divine and Catholic truth; the faithful, for their part, are obliged to submit to their bishops’ decision, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind. This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and sincere assent be given to decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention, which is made known principally either by the character of the documents in question, or by the frequency with which a certain doctrine is proposed, or by the manner in which the doctrine is formulated.

      Although the bishops, taken individually, do not enjoy the privilege of infallibility, they do, however, proclaim infallibly the doctrine of Christ on the following conditions: namely, when, even though dispersed throughout the world but preserving for all that amongst themselves and with Peter’s successor the bond of communion, in their authoritative teaching concerning matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement that a particular teaching is to be held definitively and absolutely.[40] This is still more clearly the case when, assembled in an ecumenical council, they are, for the universal Church, teachers of and judges in matters of faith and morals, whose decisions must be adhered to with the loyal and obedient assent of faith.[41]

      This infallibility, however, with which the divine redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining doctrine pertaining to faith and morals, is co-extensive with the deposit of revelation, which must be religiously guarded and loyally and courageously expounded. The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful–who confirms his brethren in the faith (cf. Lk. 22:32)–he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.[42] For that reason his definitions are rightly said to be irreformable by their very nature and not by reason of the assent of the Church, is as much as they were made with the assistance of the Holy Spirit promised to him in the person of blessed Peter himself; and as a consequence they are in no way in need of the approval of others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal. For in such a case the Roman Pontiff does not utter a pronouncement as a private person, but rather does he expound and defend the teaching of the Catholic faith as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the Church’s charism of infallibility is present in a singular way.[43] The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme teaching office. Now, the assent of the Church can never be lacking to such definitions on account of the same Holy Spirit’s influence, through which Christ’s whole flock is maintained in the unity of the faith and makes progress in it.[44]

  • “If you actually studied the Church, and her documents, you would learn your whole “only the infallible declarations are to be adhered to” is rejected time and again by the Church.”

    I never stated anything about ONLY following infallible teachings. That is another fallacious presumptious notion that you assumed, which is false. You are the missing the main point. Its stunning to see how your politics overrides 2000 years of Church Tradition.

    Your lack of intellect with regards to Church teachings is very telling.

  • “ex cathedra” has everything to do with whether a Pope and/or his Bishops are speaking for the Church or not


    Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me”;[3] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.


    This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise…

    Once again, Teresa, I would recommend you actually study ecclesial documents, instead of trying to play “prove it to me” games. What I said was not controversial; only for a cafeteria catholic like you does this “he didn’t speak ex cathedra” come out to defend disrespect to ecclesial authority. I think it is clear the same person who said, “I let my heart and soul dictate what is right, not any news channel or Church,” is the one who proves themselves time and again to be the cafeteria Catholic who has a “lack of intellect with regards to Church teachings…”

  • Stop digging, Teresa, you are embarrassing yourself.

  • R. Rockliff

    It is a scandalous spectacle to observe Teresa accusing others of subordinating religion to politics. I have been observing her subordinate religion to neoconservative politics for some time. Her position on Israel is the perfect example. She is unconditionally pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian. This is not the Church’s position. Where does she get her ideas about Israel? Neoconservative politics. However, there is more to it. It is no accident that her comments on other subjects are consistently Cryptocalvinist. Her unconditionally pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian position is consistent with Protestant literalist hermeneutics, according to which the Church is not spiritual Israel, because Israel is spiritual Israel. According to this theology, all Israeli claims are valid and all Palestinian claims are invalid. The Anticatholic nature of this position is even more shockingly evident when one observes that she supports Israeli claims to the exclusion of the claims of Palestinian Christians, many of whom are Catholics. The ancient Catholic communities of the Holy Land are being exterminated by the Israelis. Neoconservative “Catholics” who support Israel in this destruction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem betray their fellow Catholics in the Holy Land. These “Catholic” Neoconservatives like to throw epithets like “liberal” at those of us who believe in justice. I have an epithet for them: Traitor. Today Teresa lectures us about fidelity to the Church. What did Teresa say yesterday?

    “The Catholic Church has abandoned me and that is why I am looking into the Marionite Church.”

  • Bruce in Kansas

    Wow, I missed some fireworks.

    Henry, Re: whether the provocative nature of running the blockade is justified in order to bring attention to the plight of Gaza —

    Perhaps in this environment of battling for the hearts and minds of Americans and others via mass media. So I guess the humanitarian narrative can be emphasized by provoking an overreaction and ensuing international news feeding frenzy. It certainly works, but is it preferrable?

    And isn’t Israel’s narrative something like this? The deadly unguided rockets being launched into Israel from Gaza are coming from Syria, Iran and elsewhere, which necessitates a naval blockade, a recognized method of nations in conflict protecting themselves. Humanitarian aid should be brought in via Israel, where the cargo can be properly inspected and searched to ensure no weapons are being brought in. Even if the ships had no weapons, by running the blockade, Israel had to act to thwart the arrival of the ships.

    Again, I think there is ham-handedness on both sides of this and the welfare of the Palestineans is being used for other agendas. As followers of Jesus Christ, we ought to see that humanitarian charity as the point of the effort, not as a tactic in some strategic chess game.

    But it seems to me neither the blockade nor the blockade runners appear to be motivated to act by Jesus.

    There’s got to be a win-win in here somewhere if a grown-up country (or alliance) with the chops and moral credentials can muster the will to act, even behind the scenes. That used to be what we thought the USA could do. I hope we still can.

  • Bruce–
    Just what is it that you see those who ARE “motivated to act by Jesus’ doing with regard to: Gaza, Israel, and the cries for justice of displaced Palestinians in general?

  • Curt

    Once the operation did not go as planned by
    Israel, they could have backed off and came
    up with a different plan.
    Was there an immediate threat by the ship?
    No, there was time to reconsider.
    So the trend, ask people what was
    the immediate threat?

  • Curt

    Sorry, that was supposed to be:
    start the trend, ask people what was
    the immediate threat?

  • smf

    I can’t speak to the latest on blockade in international law, but traditionally blockade is a recognized procedure in international law, as is enforcing it with military force. Neutral ships suspected of blockade running are liable to being stopped and searched, a right conferred upon the blockader. Traditionally blockades needed to be officially declared, enforced and effective to be recognized as binding. Neutral shipping and cargoes violating a blockade can be seized even in open, international waters. (However, blockade running has not generally been seen as criminal offense, thus neutral sailors and passengers are released).

    Blockades have been a very common part of international relations and war for a long time. In US history the most notable blockades were the British blockades of the US in the Revolution and War of 1812 and the US blockade of Confederate ports in the Civil War. The US also instituted blockades of Mexico in the Mexican-American War, of certain Spanish ports in the Spanish-American War, of the bases of the pirates during the Barbary Wars, and obviously during the two World Wars. The Cuban missile crisis included a quasi-blockade termed a “quarantine” to avoid it being a clear cut act of war.

    The British also notable blockaded much of Europe during the Napoleonic wars, cutting off the commerce of France and its allies as well as restricting naval movements. US vessels at times tried to run those blockades, one of the many sources of tensions leading the War of 1812.

    There is also the notable blockade of Germany and its allies in the Great War by the British that nearly starved Germany and was considered legitimate by most. This was reciprocated by the German U-boat campaign, which was an attempt at blockade that was seen as illegitimate. Oddly, the US, which objected to German U-boat operations in both world wars as being against international law, used virtually the same sort of blockade by submarine against Japan to considerable effect.

    The nearest example to the question of the Israeli blockade of Gaze in US history is probably the blockade of the Confederate states in the US Civil War.


    Pope saddened by flotilla raid violence

    (AFP) – 21 hours ago

    VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said violence during an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying aid left him with “a heavy heart.”

    “Violence does not solve disputes, but increases their tragic consequences and generates more violence,” the Pope said at the end of his Wednesday audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican, according to Vatican Radio.

    “With great trepidation I followed the tragic events that occurred near the Gaza Strip. I feel the need to express my heartfelt condolences for the victims of these painful events, which worry those who care about peace in the region,” he said.

    Israeli commandos boarded the aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip in a pre-dawn raid on Monday that left at least nine passengers dead and sparked global outrage.

    The Israeli military accused activists aboard the ship of provoking the bloodshed by attacking its soldiers as they boarded.

    “I appeal to those who have political responsibilities, locally and internationally, to relentlessly seek just solutions through dialogue, to ensure the people of the best living conditions, harmony and serenity,” the pope said.

    A Vatican document leaked Tuesday called the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories a “political injustice,” Italy’s ANSA news agency reported.

    The occupation is a “political injustice imposed on the Palestinians,” said the Instrumentum Laboris, a working document on an upcoming synod of bishops on the Middle East, embargoed for release until Sunday, when Pope Benedict is to present it during a visit to Cyprus.

    The Vatican has said the raid “will not influence” the pope’s trip to Cyprus, from which the flotilla set off.

    Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

  • Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP

    Wow. She is a bit of a firecracker isn’t she? lol. Nice to see her standing up to the louts. On the topic of male virtues: These guys are exhibit A of what such virtue does not look like. A crowd of men bullying a single women.

  • The latest news is that Hamas is refusing to accept the aid from the flotilla. Who is most at fault here?

    One thing is clear in all this, if the blockade is broken, Hamas will rearm itself and another more deadly war will soon follow.

    • Lamont

      There are reasons why they do not accept the aid — when it is being manipulated by Israel — in that 1) they are having much of the aid lost (stuff like lumbar are apparently banned and not getting through) and 2) they are concerned about contamination from Israel in the process — they are not too trustworthy of Israel. Think of it like Gandhi’s actions — he didn’t accept salt from the UK. And the “Hamas will rearm itself.” So basically, we can put a stranglehold on a people because what we think they “will” do? Isn’t that the justification for Hitler’s final solution? Please, think this through — look to what the WORLD has said about this, look to who was ON the ship, look to the LIES which have been exposed about Israel and its declarations of what happened — they keep lying about it — why? Israel is already engaged in a “conflict” with Gaza, according to their own excuse –do you yet understand what is going on? Think Native Americans.

      • In other words, they are saying “Stop playing business as usual here.” They do not want Israel to dictate how they get aid, and for Israel to confiscate aid as they have done. They want the full, real aid, not what Israel is claiming it is. If they accept it now, it is basically saying “We agree, this is all we get.” It would be like if you were owed $10,000 and someone sent you a check for $1000 and on the back said “this will end all debts.” If you cash it, that makes the 9000 debt vanish.

  • Bruce in Kansas


    I don’t know what folks motivated by Jesus are doing right now, but being a sinful man myself, I have not given up hope.

  • I’ve heard both Israelis and Palestinian’s use this phrase against each other: “There will never be peace until they love their children more than they hate us.”

    That Hamas cares more about whether aid comes through Israel than whether their people get needed supplies underscores how far everyone is from that point right now.

    • DC

      Wrong. Because they care about being able to get real aid. If they accept this, Israel will use it to continue their precedent. The precedent CAN NOT continue like this. Therefore, they have to work for their children and make sure they will have a place to live with the resources needed for survival. Accepting status quo is not an option if that is going to happen.

  • Okay, fair enough, Bruce–
    Specifically what is it that you are hoping for in that respect, then?

  • grega

    Frankly at the end of the day Israel represents and defends most of our core values – NOT suicide bombing Hamas. Sure the State of Israel was not an immaculate conception – and sure the enormous injustice of taking many Palestinian land away is a wound that will not heal ever – look no further than the way european settlers took land from the native americans hundreds of years ago- why did they/we got away with it?
    Sure we feel bad about it and do this and that to convince our self that we care – but at the end of the day would we ever give back the land? – not a frikking chance – same for Israel.
    Sure us folks on the left are particular ‘conflicted’ and inflicted with a serious case of holy hand wringing paired with feel good hollow retoric – at the end of the day do we really want to do the Hamas bidding – not me.
    I do not care for religious fundamentalist of the catholic kind the christian kind the muslim kind or the jewish kind.
    I like my government democratic, rationale and secular – while I do not care for the current conservative Israeli government I very much prefer such secular democratic leaders over folks that find nothing wrong with having kids train to become suicide bombers.

    • Frankly at the end of the day Israel represents and defends most of our core values – NOT suicide bombing Hamas.

      What core values are they defending? Seriously, they used suicide bombing among other things to gain control. And while in control, they support human rights violations. What values are they defending?

  • Rodak

    “… – NOT suicide bombing Hamas.”

    If there had been no Israel-as-a-colonialist-Jewish state, there would be no Hamas.

  • If there had been no Israel-as-a-colonialist-Jewish state, there would be no Hamas.

    If there were no Mexican immigrants, there would be no nativists demanding that they all be deported.

    Why should Jews not have been allowed to migrate to Palestine if they wanted to?

  • Rodak

    Certainly the Jews should have been allowed to migrate to Palestine. What they should not have been allowed to do was set up a Jewish state and create an artificial political majority by fiat and ethnic cleansing. That was allowed to happen only because of European guilt over the Holocaust. That guilt was well-earned, but the Palestinian Arabs shold not have had to pay the price of it.

  • When nationalist passions broke out into open war in ’48, both sides did a pretty thorough job of ethnically cleansing the other. Determining “who started it” is a pretty futile exercise at this point. The difference is that the expelled Jews settled in Israel and built new lives for themselves, while Jordan and Egypt kept the Palestinians sitting on the border in order to use them as a lever against Israel’s existence.

    What happened throughout the region was wrong, but hardly unique. Ethnic cleansing was carried out throughout much of Europe as well in the late 40s in order to try to put an end to the tensions which had helped fuel WW2.

    The difference being that the Sudetenland Germans aren’t still living in camps demanding to be let back into Silesia.

    And while I’m not fond of states founded on ethnic nationalism, Israel at least has a long tradition of Arab members of the Knesset, which is much more than any of the surrounding Arab regimes can claim.

  • The Palestinians, however, already lived in–guess where?–Palestine! The Zionists, by contrast, came streaming in from Europe. I don’t dispute their right to emigrate to Palestine. But I do dispute the legitimacy of a Jewish state created by force where there was no Jewish state. I understand their motives; I simply don’t find them to be just. It would seem to be that it is now encumbent on the Israelis, from their position of power, to make things right. And the creation of economically inviable “Bantustans” is not the answer.

  • The Palestinians, however, already lived in–guess where?–Palestine! The Zionists, by contrast, came streaming in from Europe. I don’t dispute their right to emigrate to Palestine. But I do dispute the legitimacy of a Jewish state created by force where there was no Jewish state.

    The entire world is composed of states run by people who are not “native” to the area. The Middle East in particular, being the cradle of civilization in the West, is one long history of invasions and migrations as far back as recorded history goes.

    Also, there were some Jews already in the region prior to Zionism, and in the course of 47/48 the neighboring Arab countries expelled a population of Jews (somewhere between 700k and 1.2M) roughly equal to the number of Palestinians expelled by the Israelis.

    Thus the comparison to the expulsions of ethnic Germans from Poland (and also Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands) in ’45-’50. Somewhere between 10 and 14 million German civilians were expelled from those regions (the majority of them from Poland) despite having in many cases been settled there for hundreds of years. It’s claimed that 1-2 million died in the process.

    It was bad and wrong (though no one paid much attention given that WW2 had just ended) but it’s now sixty years over and done with and there’s really no point in revisiting the situation now.

    A lot of the reason for the continued unrest in the Holy Land has to do with the fact that while the Jews expelled from surrounding countries settled down and became Israelis (and the ethnic Germans expelled from surrounding countries settled down and became Germans) Egypt and Jordan kept the Palestinians on Israel’s doorstep in camps, rather than welcoming them into their countries. Something they did primarily because they didn’t like the fact that Israel is what and where it is. To my mind, that makes those countries at least as much at fault from the current problems as the current residents of Israel.

    • DC

      If I claim your home is my home, and tell you that you can only live in the bathroom, beat you up once a day, and tell you that you can only eat what I give to you in the bathroom, and that you are free to leave and live with your neighbors, who have room for you, if they won’t take you in, it is their fault?

  • Henry,

    If I was unable to dislodge you from the rest of my house, I would go find somewhere else to live. I would not live in a bathroom for 50 years.

    If the rest of the neighborhood kept shoving me back in every time I tried to climb out the window saying, “No, you must stay in the bathroom. We have plenty of room out here, but you need to stay in Henry’s bathroom and keep demanding to have the rest of the house back.” I would blame them for my predicament just as much as you.

    • What if you are blocked from exit, and can only either stay in the house, or with neighbors, and your neighbors won’t take you? Will you struggle back? If you are being beat up each day, would you struggle, or just take it? Interesting enough your “if I am unable to dislodge” suggests you would be struggling back. So you give yourself room to struggle but not those who had their home invaded.

      Did the Native Americans also deserve genocide, too?

  • I should know better than to play dueling analogies with the Rook Of Inapposite Analogy — the turtles go all the way down. 🙂

    How about this: I have no moral problem at all with Palestinians having resisted being expelled from their villages in 1948. (Just as I have no problem with the American Indian tribes having fought back against being driven from their territory.)

    What I think is a problem is that people are still trying to fight the ’48 and the ’67 war decades after the fact. The fact is, none of the states the currently exist in the Middle East existed 75 years ago. Arab Palestinians lost land and property when they were expelled from Israel. Middle Eastern Jews lost land and property when they were expelled from Syria, Iraq, Jordan, etc. No one saw their full nationalistic ambitions fulfilled. And I don’t think it’s the case that some particular ethnic group has a sacred, un-ending right to a particular region because their ancestors lived there for a couple hundred years. After a while, possession becomes the law.

    When Jordan and Egypt lost territory to Israel in the ’67 war, they should have allowed Palestinians who wanted to live under an Arab-dominated government to immigrate if they wanted to. And the Palestinians should have either gone, or reconciled themselves to living under a majority-Jewish regime.

    That we’re still at this point forty plus years later is everyone’s fault, not just Israel’s.

  • grega

    I am native german , work with a number of Israelis living now here in the US and an Palestinian Christian who’s grandfathers land was taken by force in 1948. We all full well understand that live is rather complex – we know our history -my palestinian friends family lost land 60 years ago – nothing can really sooth the injustice of that act – but the family did what fine average human beings do – my friends father and mother left to pursue an education in the US – most relatives regrouped around Bethlehem, got involved in local politics and lived a good relatively prosperous life under formally political Israeli control. A life with some economic opportunities, freedom and safety. Not so these days with Muslim Palestinians in full control.
    I recently read a very interesting book by Paul Berman “The Flight of the Intellectuals” – while I do not agree with a number of his assertions one of his main points in my view is a good one we see these days – (just like in the past i.e. Satre – Stalin) a number of influential liberals supporting the wrong type of people.
    I am sorry this liberal has not much love lost for folks that systematically mistreat women, homosexuals and believers of any other religion than the most strict form of Islam.
    I am sorry this liberal much rather sides with our secular jewish friends – folks who happen to live in the 21 th century and share most of my values – folks who have built a rather impressive free and economically and scientifically impressive society within a 30×200 miles inhospitable sliver of land.
    Sure it was not fair that the winners of WWII allowed this land to become the home state of the jews at the expense of perfectly peaceful wonderful native palestinians – live is never totally fair. It was not fair that land was taken from the Native Americans – it was not fair that the Spanish killed the native cultures in south and middle america – there is not way back – to pretend otherwise is foolish.


      Pope condemns Israeli raid on Gaza aid ships
      2010-06-02 21:20:00

      /AKI) Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday condemned Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla in which nine activists were killed.

      ‘With great trepidation I followed the tragic events that occurred near the Gaza Strip,’ Benedict said and urged world leaders to press for peace in the Middle East.

      ‘Again I say with a heavy heart that violence does not solve disputes, but increases their tragic consequences and generates more violence.

      ‘I appeal to those who have political responsibilities, locally and internationally, to relentlessly seek just solutions through dialogue, to ensure the people of the best living conditions, harmony and serenity,’ he said.

      Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of civilian aid ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip Monday, killing nine people.

      The incident has sparked widespread global outrage. The UN Security Council has issued a statement calling for a ‘prompt, impartial, credible and transparent’ inquiry into the incident.


  • Curt

    An issue with a lot of emotion.
    I see truth with ideas from opposing sides.
    DC, I have heard others make the same point
    that other countries in the region should
    have welcomed the Palestianians. I have to
    agree with that. I consider myself to be
    quite a reader, not however with the Middle
    East. I watched a DVD (typical American)
    and after one of the wars with Egypt,
    Israel offered to discuss Jordan, etc.
    Their line was open, they never rcvd a call.
    The attitude seemed truly humble.
    However, today the US is pretty biased in
    its support of Israel. My answer is: I don’t
    know. Other than to say that if you want
    an example of a better example of going from bad
    to worse, I can hardly think of a one.
    I see Karlson’s side of one of the players
    having over whelming force. Unbiased and
    unemotional reason is needed, this isn’t a
    jab at anybody here, I mean from the US,
    which has the most influence.

  • Bruce in Kansas

    Anyone else catch this piece in the WSJ last Thursday, which has an alarming view how hauntingly Hitlerian the prime minister of Turkey is proceeding.

    On the one hand I realize this might be confirmation of my own bias, but on the other it would seem unwise to ignore this in a discussion of the issue.

    • Bruce

      This might explain some things:

      Turkish media sources detail information implicating the Israeli Mossad in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

      An e-mail found on a personal computer belonging to one of the members of the underground Ergenekon organization exposed Mossad’s role in the failed assassination efforts against Erdogan, Turkish media outlets reported on Friday.

      The organization has been accused of orchestrating a coup plot against the current Turkish administration.

      The indictment list tabled by the Turkish prosecution against the organization says that an Israeli journalist had sent the e-mail to a number of Ergenekon figures to inform them of Israeli readiness to assassinate the Turkish premier.

      According to sources in the Turkish press, the e-mail promised support for Mr. Dugo — whose identity has not been revealed — against Erdogan after coordination with Mossad chief Meir Dagan.

      The e-mail explained that the Mossad would wait for a green light from Mr. Dugo to carry on with the assassination plans.

      Turkish sources have claimed Mr. Dugo to be Turkish Labor Party head Dugo Prinitchek — who is suspected of leading the secret organization.

      The news of an alleged Israeli role in the plot comes after a report last month suggested that Tel Aviv sought to stage regime change in Turkey in response to Ankara’s condemnation of Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip.

      Tensions between Israel and Turkey emerged in late January, when Erdogan stormed out of a Davos forum after a heated debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres on the military aggression brought upon Gaza.

      The Turkish prime minister walked out of the debate — attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other panel members –, while complaining that his comments on the conflict were cut short by the Washington Post’s moderator David Ignatius.

      Erdogan had told Peres at the Forum, “When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill.”

      The criticism was leveled at the Israeli killing of over 1,350 Gazans amid a crippling 20-month blockade on the densely-populated Palestinian sliver.

      “I know very well how you hit and killed children on beaches,” he lashed out.