June 10, 2010
Some on the JC have argued that Israels interception of the flotilla was a legal act. My view is that it was an act of piracy - I'll revise that following leagl advice from raycook - it was an act of state piracy. While procedure may permit the boarding of vessels to maintain a blockade (I am not a lawyer specialising in the law of the sea - and nor is anyone else on the JC - as far as I am aware), surely not in international waters, and only if the blockade itself were legal. It is not legal. It contravenes international law since it amounts to collective punishment of an entire population - putting Gazans on a diet as some charmer of an Israeli spokesperson put it. The UN have made quite clear that the blockade is not legal. Therefore enforcing cannot be legal either - is there something wrong with my logic? The 'search for weapons' thing is a complete red herring. The customs authorities in the ports of departure would have been very thorough in ensuring the cargo complied with the law in those countries - they would not have permitted the shipping of weapons. And in point of fact there were no weapons, were there? Please dont refer to kitchen knives, hammers, wrenches, and bits of wood - I dont think Hamas has much use for that kind of 'weaponry'.
And why then should the should the passengers of the Mavi Mamara comply with an illegal order to stop and be boarded? Given the doarding was illegal, would not defence have been entirely legitimate. Many have pointed out the differnt outcome re the boarding of the Rachel Corrie. Indeed, but I should imagine the Rachel Corrie passangers were a bit more co-operative after hearing that the IDF kills people on ships it boards.