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News Link • MEDIA (MainStreamMedia - aka MSM)

How Israeli propaganda shaped U.S. media coverage of the flotilla attack

• Glenn Greenwald -
It was clear from the moment news of the flotilla attack emerged that Israel was taking extreme steps to suppress all evidence about what happened other than its own official version. They detained the flotilla passengers and barred the media from speaking with them, thus, as The NYT put it, "refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel's version of events." They detained the journalists who were on the ship for days and seized their film, video and cameras. And worst of all, the IDF -- while still refusing to disclose the full, unedited, raw footage of the incident -- quickly released an extremely edited video of their commandos landing on the ship

11 Comments in Response to

Comment by Die Daily
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(This starts in the comment directly below and then continues up to this comment.)

1.4 Inviolability of Neutral Territory
Belligerents must respect the inviolability of neutral territory. In consequence, belligerents may not conduct hostilities in neutral territory and in neutral waters, except in individual or collective self-defence and subject to Principle 2.1. In conducting hostilities elsewhere, belligerents must exercise due regard to prevent to the maximum extent possible collateral damage on neutral territory, neutral waters or the airspace over these areas.

So can they use Principle 2.1, the loophole of this clause? No:

2.1 Hostilities in neutral waters
If neutral waters are permitted or tolerated by the coastal State to be used for belligerent purposes, the other belligerent may take such action as is necessary and appropriate to terminate such use.

So we see that 2.1 has no application here. Unarmed ship. Unarmed murder victims. Crayons and cement. Absolutely zero application here. Onward.

3.3 Special Zones
Subject to Principle 5.2.9 and without prejudice to the rights of commanders in the zone of immediate naval operations, the establishment by a belligerent of special zones does not confer upon that belligerent rights in relation to neutral shipping which it would not otherwise possess.

The loophole is 5.2.9. Does it apply? No:

5.2.9 Transit
Neutral ships, whether commercial or warships, enjoy the right of transit passage through international straits, the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage through archipelagic waters and the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea or archipelagic waters of belligerents, regardless of the existence of an armed conflict.

Obviously, the international waters near Gaza must either qualify as an international strait or archipelagic sea lane, in which case civilian passage is clearly guaranteed, or does not, in which case 5.2.9 is clearly not a loophole. Take your pick.

5.2.10 Blockade
Blockade, i.e. the interdiction of all or certain maritime traffic coming from or going to a port or coast of a belligerent, is a legitimate method of naval warfare. In order to be valid, the blockade must be declared, notified to belligerent and neutral States, effective and applied impartially to ships of all States.

What is USA not a state? South Africa, Denmark? When have our ships been searched? Slam, dunk. Violation. Illegal.

5.3 Relief
A blockade may not be used to prevent the passage of relief consignments which has to be free according to the applicable rules of international humanitarian law, in particular those contained in Articles 23, 59 and 61 of the Fourth Geneva Convention or Articles 69 and 70 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

I stop here. Because 5.3 IS SO UTTERLY DAMNING TO THE ISRAELI CASE. Next, week, stay tuned when Die Daily shows how the Definition of Piracy perfectly applies to the illegal Israeli action...night all.

Comment by Die Daily
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I kinda wondered why articles 1 through 4 were scrupulously avoided by Mike and we jump right to 5. (Well, not really). It turns out, in order to get to article 5 of the Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality, surprise surprise, it's necessary to get through points 1 through 4. So let's have a look! (Pay attention to the bold, Mike, assuming my bold tags worked...this is an experiment).

1.2 The Effect of the Charter of the United Nations
Nothing in the present Principles shall be construed as implying any limitation upon the powers of the Security Council under Chapters VII and VIII of the United Nations Charter. In particular, no State may rely upon the Principles stated herein in order to evade obligations laid upon it in pursuance of a binding decision of the Security Council. Nor shall the present principles be construed as denying the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence recognized in Article 51 of the Charter.

However, Article 51, while secondary, is still a loophole, Mike will quickly, obsessively, notice. So we must detour to Chapter VII of the UN Charter for a quick sec to lay that to rest before proceeding.

Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

So, if you choose the ONLY escape clause, Article 51, then you have to REPORT it to the Security Counsel whereupon it must be APPROVED, STAMPED, SEALED, ENDORSED, CONDONED, ALLOWED, and such-like. Israel didn't. The security counsel, in turn, didn't. Period. Well, not period, because we could bring in the several resolutions that actually roundly condemn said actions, but we don't even need to go there. There's such a wealth of law opposed not only to the illegal occupation (i.e. "attacked" by the occupied peoples you occupied? Um, no, they call that LAWFUL RESISTANCE, RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE, and such like. And we all know the deeeeep respect Israel has had for the UN and its resolutions. It is therefore quite humorous when they quote article 5. of some international law, lol. But at any rate, there has never been any sort of Article 51 procedure, let alone the successful obtaining of a Security Counsel dispensation on Israels part. By "never" I mean "not ever", "not once", "zero times", and such like. Continued………

Comment by Mimi Stitz
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 Go Israel Go Go!! YEAH ISRAEL!

Comment by Nick Barnett
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I don't understand... something is "ok" and a valid law because some old coots wrote it down in a book?

Comment by John Redman
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I see that Mike Renzulli, a true criminal, has thick skin. He, or 'it', looks for justification for murder in strange places, ones that do not describe, for instance, interceptions on the high seas (international waters) as included. Stupidity like this, good people, runs from truth but hides from direct confrontation like a cockroach from the light.

Comment by John Redman
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I am finding it difficult to negotiate the site, particularly, right now, in tracking comments on this story. I want to follow the reaction of the people I have excoriated.

Comment by Mike Renzulli
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Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality: Par.: 5.2.10:" Blockade,i.e.the interdiction of all or certain maritime traffic coming from or going to a port or coast of a belligerent , is a legitimate method of navan warfare..........Neutral vessels...breaching a blockade may be stopped and captured. If they, after prior warning, clearly resist capture, they may be attacked"

Comment by John Redman
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With "friends" like Mike Renzulli around who can, without blushing, redefine "defending oneself" as 'initiating attack', who needs English teachers. He and Clinton ("sex",  "is") are in the same mold, cowards, liars, slimeballs, disease carriers, deserving ridicule, ostracism and shame.

Comment by John Redman
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"Israel is America's  ally in the middle east" Is that the same bunch of cut throats that attacked the USS Liberty? I thought so. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Comment by Leslie Fish
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Sure, I've seen those "censored" videos;  they show those "humanitarian aid" workers beating up Israeli soldiers who were searching the ship.  I can see why the Israelis would want to conceal any evidence of icky-evil "vi-o-ence" involved in their encounter with the flotilla, especially given the way Obama's tame media like to portray Israel.  It's no secret that Obama has a policy of snubbing Israel and buttering up the Arab nations.  What I find disgusting is the way the media have cheerfully fallen in line with this policy, blithely ignoring the fact that America's one consistent ally in the middle-east has always been Israel.  Is this simply because the Arab countries have oil and Israel doesn't?  Or is there something darker at work here?

--Leslie <;)))><   

Comment by Mike Renzulli
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The same NYT story Greenwald alleges as being evidence that Israel is suppressing evidence doesn't fly. An interview with a German left-wing politician states: "Norman Paech, a former member of the Left Party in Germany who was aboard the Marmara, said he had seen only three activists resisting the naval commandos, and called the Israeli response a violent overreaction. 'They had no knives, no axes, only sticks that they used to defend themselves,' Mr. Paech said at a news conference in Berlin after returning from Tel Aviv. He said, however, that he could not rule out that others on the boat had used weapons against the soldiers." A recent BBC interview with a HAMAS rep shows him denying the group launching rocket attacks against Israeli cities. This is the same group that backs efforts like the flotilla.

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