Stephen P. Heller
Numerous legal experts claim naval blockades are legal. Enforcement in international waters is legal when the vessel attempts to violate the blockade. Lethal force is legal for self-defense. The IHH acknowledged its intention to break the blockade, and Hamas refused entry of the goods into Gaza. No one disputes that life in Gaza is miserable (but not as bad as in many Arab/Muslim countries or life of Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka). Neither can it be disputed that Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israeli population centers without regard for civilian casualties. Egypt joined with Israel in blockading Gaza after Hamas gained control.
The second largest amount of U.S. financial aid goes to Egypt. No one seeks withdrawal of U.S. aid to Egypt for its enforcement of the blockade (or treatment of Coptic Christians). No one argues for a boycott of goods from China for its repression of Tibet (or selling organs of executed prisoners). No one demonstrates against Iran for its brutal suppression of the opposition or its threats to use nuclear weapons (and brutal treatment of religious and ethnic minorities).
No one marches against Saudi Arabia for punishing homosexuality and adultery with amputations (and lack of religious freedom). Yet Israel is routinely vilified for every mistake (if self-defense is mistake) it makes. How about giving Israel a break and focusing attention on the truly villainous governments of the world in Sudan , Iran, Somalia, China, Brazil, Uganda, North Korea, Kenya and so on?
Netanyahu is Glutten for Punishment! Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will head to the U.S. on Monday for his meeting with U.S. President Barak Obama on Tuesday. The two will meet for two hours after which a half hour press conference will be held and then the two will dine together. (After last visit humiliation of Netanyahu shouldn’t Obama come to Israel ?)
Undemocratic and Inept Government. The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday voted down a proposal that would have given the Knesset the power to veto an extension of a government-imposed freeze on the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. If passed, the legislation would have severely limited Netanyahu’s power to extend current building restrictions in the West Bank, due to expire in September.