Thursday, June 03, 2010

Israel and the flottila - UPDATED

I have paid very little attention to the Israeli action against those trying to breach its blockade of Gaza. I pay so little attention not because it is not tragic, but because I know that "value free" reporting on the issue is impossible and because the intransidence of the problem and my inability to identify a (simple) solution merely leaves me depressed.

However, I have engaged in some conversations. I asked someone to tell me if the Israelis stopped one boat or a flottila, I was assured it was one boat and that there were another two on the way to make up the flottila. I was told that the humaniraians were an Irish based organisation.

I therefore found the item by Andrew Bolt today interesting. According to this item there were six boats, on only one was there violence and this boat was sponsored by a Turkish organisation with links to Islamists.

The issue of whether the actions occurred in international or Israeli waters is really rather irrelvant as no-one is disputing the intent of the boats.

Underlying this protest and many other recent protests (especially the ones that flourish around globalisation) is an inherent theory that "peaceful protesters" are allowed to do things that disrupt but that law enforcement shouldn't use force because it is a "peaceful protest". These people need to better understand the concept of peacful demonstration as taught by Gandhi. Line up in your thousands, block access or whatever it is you want to do, and when the police try to remove you by force GO PEACEFULLY.

As for the deeper issues of the Middle East it really is time that we changed the cnversation, and the single most important part to change is the 19th century idea of "national self-determination". It was a meaningful concept as a reaction to Empires, but it is a totally meaningless concept when it is applied to any geographic land mass or ethnic group. The Isrealis have no claim to a "Jewish state" and the Palastinians have no claim to a "Palastinian state" ... there is one land mass and a diverse group of people occupying it. They need to find a common basis for a market state of consent.

It is particularly disappointing that the USA that is the country that elevated the idea of the secular state from its European antecedants into a constitutional provision cannot take a firmer view.

The video below is Israeli "propoganda" - but that doesn't make it false by definition.

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