Friday, July 3, 2009

UN expert says Israeli seizure of aid ship a crime

UN expert says Israeli seizure of aid ship a crime from Reuters.

A U.N. human rights investigator on Thursday called Israel's seizure of a ship carrying relief aid for the Gaza Strip "unlawful" and said its blockade of the territory constituted a "continuing crime against humanity".

and ...

"Such a pattern of continuing blockade under these conditions amounts to such a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions as to constitute a continuing crime against humanity," Falk said in a statement released in Geneva.

Prior to leaving Cyprus, the ship was inspected by Cypriot authorities in response to Israeli demands to determine whether it carried any weapons, according to the U.N. investigator. "None were found and Israeli authorities were so informed."

"Nonetheless, the 21 peace activists on the boat were arrested, held in captivity and have been charged with 'illegal entry' to Israel even though they had no intention of going to Israel," Falk added.

Kafka would love this! The Israelis seize a ship in international waters that has no intention of entering Israel. It kidnaps all of those on board, and forcibly takes them to Israeli prisons. It then accuses them of 'illegal entry' into Israel.

To me, the best analogy to what's going on is the Somali pirates. In both cases, armed men in boats go out into international waters to hijack a ship and kidnap its crew and passengers. I suppose we are lucky that the Israelis aren't demanding ransom to release its victims. Instead, it is only holding them prisoner until they can try to force them to sign propaganda statements that Israel wants.

The good news is this. The Israelis say Ms. McKinney is being "uncooperative". I'll bet she is! You go girl!

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