Israeli hijacking of Women’s Boat to Gaza – An open letter to Murray McCully

By   /   October 6, 2016  /   43 Comments

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We ask you to strongly condemn the illegal Israeli hijacking of the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, in international waters, 70 kilometres from the Gaza shore.

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Dear Murray McCully

We ask you to strongly condemn the illegal Israeli hijacking of the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, in international waters, 70 kilometres from the Gaza shore. Will you call for the release of the all-female crew that included parliamentarians, writers and human rights activists? These citizens of New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Canada and the United States are looking to the UN Security Council to speak up and act to defend their rights to travel unhindered by foreign military powers.

The Israeli Navy abducted 13 women, including NZ Green Party MP, Marama Davidson and the Zionist regime has also sent a message of intimidation by carrying out more than 25 bombing raids near Gaza City. SOS video messages have been released by the Freedom Flotilla group and the Freedom Flotilla coalition has released a statement calling on “governments, public officials and people of conscience to support publicly the right of unimpeded passage for peaceful civilian navigation, and the physical integrity of the crew and participants on board. They also call for full freedom of movement for all peoples, including the Palestinians of Gaza.”

The Palestinian quest for justice is embraced by millions worldwide and the peaceful voyage should serve as an inspiration. To ignore this and remain silent is to condone violations of human rights and international law. The granting of impunity to Israel can only add to Middle East instability.

Leslie Bravery,
Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand www.palestine.org,nz

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About the author

Leslie Bravery

Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible!

43 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Get a grip Leslie!

    It is perfectly legal.

    There is a stop and search order against all vessels going to Gaza to block the importation of weapons, especially the missiles that they fire randomly at civilian areas.

    As we all (should) know, there is free movement of good into Gaza. Dozens of trucks enter every day carrying everything they could possibly need. These are all searched by the IDF for weapons.

    So what was the point of this little junket?

    Grandstanding

    • save nz says:

      They have no weapons, Andrew so they should be allowed through under international law.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Get a grip, Andrew!

      Israel and its navy know full well what this boat was carrying, its human protester load and aid for Gaza citizens!

      Your arguments are stupid if not mischievous, as there will be no weapons and illegal goods to be smuggled into Gaza.

      We know you love the Zionist Israeli propaganda, but your spreading it here is inappropriate and opposed.

      • Andrew says:

        If it’s not carrying weapons they could just as easily send it through the normal channels.

        Ah! But that wouldn’t get these drama queens pictures on TV would it?

        • Priss says:

          Your support for Zionist agression is noted, Andrew. Tell us, did you also support the apartheid regime of South Africa?

          • Bg says:

            Your support for a medieval misogynistic régime that vows the destruction of a democratic country whilst allowing honour killings is also noted.

            • And that’s your justification for the blockade of Gaza; illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank; on-going occupation of the Golan Heights, and ignoring several U.N. resolutions to adhere to previous border demarcations?

              Supporters of Israeli government aggression will pick any reason to validate brutal policies.

              I guess you can justify anything you like, Bg, using anything you can find. It’s called selective morality.

              • Bg says:

                I’m not ignoring the Palestinian rights to self determination but I will not back them until they move out of the dark ages and continue to call for the destruction of another state.

                The Palestinians have been used as a geopolitical football by the likes of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and have been too stupid to do anything about it.

                Hypothetically if Israel and the Palestinians got along fine and dandy, Palestinian women would be still subject to being 2nd class citizens and virtual cattle. To me that is more important

                • Rubbish. You have zero interest in women’s rights. You appear here to post your pro-Israel comments and have seized upon any examples to support your own racist, chauvinistic views.

                  In fact, it’s unsurprisingly that you and other supporters of the Israeli regime are here: you people perenially turn up whenever a post is made about Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

                  I think we all know what attracts you here, “Bg”. And it ain’t women’s rights.

                  Oh, and by the way, others in the Jewish community do not share your chauvinistic views; “The pro-Palestinian Jewish Activists on U.S. College Campuses” – http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.709425

                  It appears that you and other pro-Israeli government stooges are the ones out of step.

                  • Bg says:

                    You support the régime that allows honour killings and treats women appallingly (and let’s not get into how Hamas treat gays and lesbians) and that’s OK with you? I’m happy with my moral compass thanks

                • Mike in Auckland says:

                  An honest approach would be to give Palestinians the right to return to their homes all over the present state of Israel, and for them to be given equal rights as the citizens of Israel, in a new state called Palestine-Israel, where democracy and human rights prevail, and where a Second House of Parliament will represent both populations, Arab and immigrant and native Jews equally, so that a constitutional balance of rights and representations is given.

                  With that would come full women’s rights as the UN would recommend them.

                  You are just playing games with women’s rights, here using it for made up arguments as a side show.

                • Mike in Auckland says:

                  BG – only Hamas, or the extremist branch in it, called for the destruction of Israel, not the Palestinian Authority and those in charge in the West Bank, and also now in Gaza.

                  And one must ask about the right of the state of Israel to exist, given it was established with force, and by driving out Palestinian Arabs who lived there for centuries, and that rightfully.

                  How can such a state have a right to exist, as by that logic Hitler’s conquests in Russia would have been “legal”, would they not?

                  • Andrew says:

                    Most so-called ‘Palestinians’ haven’t been living there for centuries.

                    They are relative newcomers to the region, drawn in by a combination of oppression in their own countries (Egypt & Jordan) and the jobs on offer when Zionists first started returning to the region in the early 20th century.
                    For example it is a fact that Yassar Arafat held an Egyptian passport.

        • Mike in Auckland says:

          You know full well this is about protest and politics, and the Israelis will never let activists through their blockading border posts, who dare raise issues about their inhumane actions against Gaza and the people living there.

          Good try, but we are not fools, Andrew.

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      Legal according to who?

        • Mike in Auckland says:

          FFS, what a joke, an opinion piece by a blogger of sorts, that is neither here nor there, Mr Andrew.

          And as for the Palmer report, while it accepted Israel can protect itself from attacks from violent groups in Gaza or those heading there, it was also highly critical of the Israeli authorities’ handling of that earlier attempt to break the blockade:

          “Facts, Circumstances and Context of the Incidence”

          “The Panel finds:
          i. The events of 31 May 2010 should never have taken place as they did and strenuous efforts should be made to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in the future.

          ii. The fundamental principle of the freedom of navigation on the high seas is subject to only certain limited exceptions under international law. Israel faces
          a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.

          iii. The flotilla was a non-governmental endeavour, involving vessels and participants from a number of countries.

          iv. Although people are entitled to express their political views, the flotilla acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade. The majority of the flotilla participants had no violent intentions, but there exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and obj
          ectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH. The actions of the flotilla needlessly carried the potential
          for escalation.

          v. The incident and its outcomes were not intended by either Turkey or Israel. Both States took steps in an attempt to ensure that events did not occur in a
          manner that endangered individuals’ lives and international peace and security. Turkish officials also approached the organizers of the flotilla with the intention of persuading them to change course if necessary and avoid an encounter with Israeli forces. But more could have been done to warn the flotilla participants of the potential risks involved and to dissuade them from their actions.

          vi. Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable:

          a. Non-violent options should have been used in the first instance. In particular, clear prior warning that the vessels were to be boarded and a demonstration of dissuading force should have been given to avoid the
          type of confrontation that occurred;
          b. The operation should have reassessed its options when the resistance to the initial boarding attempt became apparent.

          vii. Israeli Defense Forces personnel faced significant, organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara
          requiring them to use force for their own protection. Three soldiers were captured, mistreated, and placed at risk by those passengers. Several others were wounded.
          viii. The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable. Nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded by Israeli forces. No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths. Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.

          ix. There was significant mistreatment of passengers by Israeli authorities after the take-over of the vessels had
          been completed through until their deportation. This included physical mistreatment, harassment and
          intimidation, unjustified confiscation of belongings and the denial of timely consular assistance…”

          I suggest you re-read ‘vi’ and ‘ix’ above!

          And for the recommendations, read this:

          “How to Avoid Similar Incidents in the Future”

          “The Panel recommends:

          With respect to the situation in Gaza
          i. All relevant States should consult directly and make every effort to avoid a repetition of the incident.
          ii. Bearing in mind its consequences and the fundamental importance of the freedom of navigation on the high seas, Israel should keep the naval blockade
          under regular review, in order to assess whether it continues to be necessary.
          iii. Israel should continue with its efforts to ease its restrictions on movement of goods and persons to and from Gaza with a view to lifting its closure and to
          alleviate the unsustainable humanitarian and economic situation of the civilian population. These steps should
          be taken in accordance with Security Council resolution 1860, all aspects of which should be implemented.
          iv. All humanitarian missions wishing to assist the Gaza population should do so through established procedures and the designated land crossings in consultation with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority”

          So I ask:

          Has Israel constructively and fairly reviewed the naval blockade, has it followed relevant UN resolutions, i.e. that Security Council one mentioned, has it done all to ease the unsustainable humanitarian and economic situation for people living in Gaza? And how can any NGO consult with both the PA and Israel, when those two do not cooperate given serious disagreements on important matters.

          That Palmer report is “dated”, it relates to a very different scenario, and here we are talking rather about a women’s boat heading to Gaza, clearly stating its peaceful intent. You are comparing apples with pears, Andrew, as usual, go and do some more study, thanks.

          • Leslie Bravery says:

            The Palmer Report says: “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.” What concern is there for the Palestinian people, blockaded and militarily Occupied in their own land, by a belligerent, nuclear armed power. How about their need to prevent Israeli weapons descending upon them both by sea and air?

        • Brigid says:

          Andrew, if you are going to post links to confirm your statements, you really ought to read said links first.

          ” In light of the information so gathered, the Panel has examined and
          identified the facts, circumstances and context of the incident and considered and recommended ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future.
          In so doing it was not acting as a Court and was not asked to adjudicate on legal liability. Its findings and recommendations are therefore not intended to attribute any legal responsibilities.

          So you see there has been nothing determining this, or subsequent, similar actions illegal or otherwise.

          I have concluded that you are simply a fool

    • Priss says:

      Andrew, your concerns about “lagality” are a sick joke and smack of hypocrisy.

      You show no concerns about Israeli illegal settlements on the west Bank, but you’re happy to invoke legal niceties when it suits you?? Hypocrite!

    • Draco T Bastard says:

      It’s perfectly obvious – everything that Israel does is an injustice against Palestine and against the world.

      Of course, the injustice started with the Israeli terrorism in Palestine before that ultimate injustice that is the invasion of Palestine by Israel.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        Oh, Israely “terrorism”, our MSM seems to tell us, there was and is no such thing, they are friends of the US, who is a member of our “friendly” Five Eyes network, so they surely cannot be “terrorists”, can they?

        Now, who do we believe, the MSM, the Zionist and US propaganda, or do we perhaps bother studying a bit of factual history?

        I guess most know the answer, except the likes of Andrew, already brooding on thinking out a new angle to attack.

    • “It is perfectly legal.”

      The Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal, Andrew. Do you accept that?

      And if so, what are you prepared to do about it?

  2. Words says:

    Thank you Leslie, we should all strongly condemn this illegal act by Israel.

  3. kejomu says:

    Zionism, the scourge of the Jewish people, who suffered so badly under fascism they now support a fascist style government. Do unto others as has been done unto you ??????

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    Our pro Zionist PM had this to say:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85020524/green-mp-marama-davidson-detained-by-israeli-authorities-on-boat-in-international-waters–reports

    “PM: ‘LESS-THAN-PERFECT LOOK’ ”
    “Key said he was not surprised by news of Davidson’s detention, given the same thing had happened to others who tried to enter Gaza via flotillas.”

    So a New Zealand MP should not be seen at protest actions, the PM seems to suggest. Maybe he learned this approach from the Mainland Chinese government, with which he has so often met, that is representatives of it, during trade talks and so forth.

    Remember how the government made great efforts before to keep protestors away from visiting “dignitaries” from China and some other places. Oh, how dare they “embarrass” New Zealand by protesting for human rights, how dare they?

  5. Andrea says:

    Israel are sending out pirates. Just like Somalia. Surely the Law of the Sea applies?

  6. Groucho Marxist says:

    Is it the male genital mutilation that makes them such angry people?

    • Brigid says:

      That’s an excellent question. Let’s ask Andrew. I expect he’ll know
      Andrew
      Are you also genitally mutilated?

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        I suspect he is “generously mutated”, not being of what we perceive as normal humane and common sense thinking.

  7. Blake says:

    US and Israel are full of hypocrisy and double standards. Netanyahu and John Kerry are war criminals and liars of the highest order.

    ” Saber rattling rhetoric ” from them and from the Andrews and others with their heads in the sand. War crimes – lets look at the fact that the US ( backed by Israel ) have bombed 3/4’s of the countries on the planet – long list, very long list. How many worldwide ; greedy ; criminal ; politicians have blood on their hands ?

    Good on the women on that Boat to Gaza who have the guts to demonstrate and speak out about the madness in this area. Let em go now and put your sabers down for just a moment. Grow a pair Israel and Murray McCully – yeh – like that’s going to happen.
    We all know why Palestine is being taken and now being destroyed.
    Greedy Israelis and their backers and supporters – – the ” United States of Annihilation ” ! ! ! John key is right in bed with them – our serial lying PM.

    I just found out that the U.S. spends in three weeks on their military what Russia spends in ONE YEAR ! The U.S. and their bed buddies, the Israelis are evil empires and they fund the Islamists. John Kerry is a massive liar and war mongerer and needs to go – as does Netanyahu.
    NO WONDER JOHN KERRY AND HILLARY CLINTON and Netanyahu deeply HATE RT.COM SO MUCH.
    RT has the guts to expose their greedy madness and they don’t like it.

  8. Andrew says:

    I suggest you all build a bridge and get over it. The Jews aren’t going anywhere. They are the dominant social, technical, cultural and military force in the region and have every right to boot every single Arab out of their country if they wish.

    The land they occupy is small compared to the land stolen from Jews by Arabs:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_and_Muslim_countries

    But quite how the progressive / left has come to support this failed culture (Islam) is beyond belief. You all need to wake up and take note of the hard facts:

    During 2016 there were 1843 Islamic attacks in 56 countries, in which 15592 people were killed and 18913 injured. Some religion of peace!

    Women are treated as second class citizens. They are regularly beaten. They suffer acid attacks and ‘honor killings’ in many Islamic states. Do you wish for women to have to wear bags over their heads when in public? Is that your idea of ‘progressive’?

    Homosexuals are regularly attacked, tortured and killed. It is illegal in most Islamic states.

    Those who dare to question their theocracy are targets for assassination. It is a culture that is so offended by a cartoon it has to kill the author.

    It is a culture of a thousand years of ‘cousin marriage’ and the regressive genetic defects that result.

    It is anti-science. It never advanced beyond the 15th century and today still wallows in Medieval ignorance and superstition.

    The problem you all face is that you’re judged by the friends you keep.

    There is a new wave of politics stirring in the west and your ideology is about to be consigned to the scrap heap of history.

    • I suggest you all build a bridge and get over it. The Jews aren’t going anywhere. They are the dominant social, technical, cultural and military force in the region and have every right to boot every single Arab out of their country if they wish.

      And that’s the nub of it, Andrew. Your referencing “legalities” was nothing more than an attempt at cloaking Israeli aggression in a veneer of respectability. But now we know where you’re really coming from: support for aggressive colonialism.

      I suspect that disclosure from you will come back to haunt you at every opportunity you take to support Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

      Your suggestion that “there is a new wave of politics stirring in the west and your ideology is about to be consigned to the scrap heap of history” is a fantasy in your own bigotted mind.

      You’re a mouthpiece for colonialism, mixed with racism, Andrew. That kind of colonialism has failed throughout the world – it will fail in Palestine.

      History has a place for people like you.

      • Andrew says:

        I’m sure Israelis would love to live in peace in their country.

        Unfortunately their Muslim neighbours hate them with an irrational passion so the Israelis have to take measures to defend themselves.

        They know that handing back the West Bank will not create peace: Just the opposite – it will just embolden their enemies. So it will remain a buffer zone until circumstances change. (I’m not holding my breath on this one.)

        The West is now experiencing the true intentions of ‘The Religion of Peace’ and is gaining a deeper insight into the Israel situation, so I expect you’ll be on the wrong side of history yet again.

  9. Otto Mann says:

    The Zionists are out in force here in The Daily Blog. You can tell when Israeli oppression is threatened by decent folk, the Zionists panic and start to justify Israeli aggression.

  10. Mike in Auckland says:

    This is the madness going on, so Murray is a loser anyway, it is a waste of time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDSizR8sJzM

  11. Mike in Auckland says:

    sign off it is getting nasty, take care

  12. Mike in Auckland says:

    There are those claiming the vanity, they are rather poor:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jiEp0CAu6Q