Last whimper from the Gaza flotilla?

posted at 10:05 pm on July 1, 2011 by J.E. Dyer

The US and Canadian Boats to Gaza – M/V Audacity of Hope and M/V Tahrir, respectively – tried to make an unauthorized departureon 1 July from the Greek port they have been detained in (don’t miss Challah Hu Akbar’s coverage at the link).  The Greek coast guard promptly intercepted them.  This may be the final ride of the 2011 flotilla.  Its prospects are certainly dimming:  now that AOH and Tahrir have violated a directive from the Greek authorities, which had ordered them to remain in port pending the investigation of a complaint filed against them, the ships can be held there for as long as the Greeks see fit, and their crews might well be charged in court.

Positive as this outcome would be, it falls short of the leadership by which the Western nations should have shut down the flotilla in the first place.  As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, there was a point at which all of the ships participating in the 2011 flotilla were flagged by North American or European nations.  (A Jordanian ship has since been announced, although there has been little information about it.)

Of all the nations on earth, it ought to be the nations of North America and Europe that prevent ships under their flags from being used in such a cause.  If for no other reason (e.g., that Israel is a US ally and fellow Western democracy), our concern about order in the unforgiving environment of the seas should prompt us to exercise our prerogative as flag states.  There exists no “right” to attempt to break a blockade under the flag of any nation; rather, the authority of a flag state to prevent such an attempt is absolute.  The flag state may not always have the means to prevent such an action.  But the US, Canada, and the nations of Europe certainly do.  In our case, the only question is whether the authority will be used.

The nations of the 2011 flotilla have not used it.  Instead, Israel has had to mount a campaign of lawsuits and sabotage to prevent the flotilla from getting underway. To date, Greece has been induced to hold at least six ships in port because of procedural complaints filed against them; two ships have been sabotaged (the second, the Irish ship M/V Saoirse, was reported on Wednesday); and the Israeli law center Shurat HaDin has filed a lawsuit in US federal court to prevent the M/V Audacity of Hope from participating in the flotilla.  (Texas Governor Rick Perry wrote on Thursday to urge the Obama administration to intercept and/or prosecute the American flotilla participants, citing Title 18 Section 962 of the US Code.)

These creative efforts get an A+ for ingenuity and determination, but they should not have been necessary.  Nor should the US or any of our allies be working through covert, undeclared pressure on Greece or Turkey to prevent the ships under our flags from departing their ports to mount the flotilla operation.  We should state our purpose overtly as a matter of policy.  Merely warning our citizens that this is a bad idea is insufficient; out governments should be denying them the ships.

We should do so especially because of the evidence of participation in the flotilla by Hamas and IHH.  Dutch media have reported this week that all the embarked Dutch journalists have pulled out of the flotilla (here and here), in large part because of the presence of a Hamas leader.  One of the chief organizers of the flotilla is Mohammed Sawalha, who has extensive Hamas connections.

But the participation of IHH members, widely reported in Turkish media, is in one way even more significant.  It was IHH participants who attacked Israeli soldiers during the 2010 flotilla incident, and their presence this year lends special credence to the Israeli report earlier this week that flotilla participants from the terror groups were planning another attack on the IDF.  In line with this purpose, one of the American flotilla planners has forthrightly announced that the flotilla is part of

… a larger strategy, to transform this conflict from one between Israel and the Palestinians, or Israel and the Arab world…to one between the rest of the world and Israel…

There can be no excuse for permitting Americans to involve the US flag in this.  There is no “order” in the maritime environment without the exercise of authority by someone functioning, in essence, as a territorial sheriff.  But the good news is that the enforcement of such order properly extends to preventing disorderly and escalatory acts by those operating under national flags.  Individual governments are the highest authority, and in maritime terms, the US is chief among them.  The Obama administration’s public passivity regarding the Americans in the flotilla and their US-flagged ship sends a significant and destructive signal about our posture on maritime order.  It says we don’t care about it.

That is a dangerous signal to send in 2011, with China conducting aggressive naval operations in the Japanese islands, Iran operating submarines beyond the Arabian Sea, and US leadership ineffective against the Somali piracy problem.  Maritime order doesn’t keep itself – but visibly enforcing it once can provide a lesson that lasts for decades.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “Contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Just escort them into Somali waters and let nature take it’s coarse.

BDavis on July 1, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks.
///

annoyinglittletwerp on July 1, 2011 at 10:26 PM

The real solution to this problem was to all them to leave port place the US 6th Fleet between the israel and the floatilla, and then utilize a few well placed Harpoon Missiles…. Just for “Training” ofcourse

Then the problem would be over…. permanently…..

After all they were, IMO, committing an act of war…

the_ancient on July 1, 2011 at 10:32 PM

The people of Palestine need to be freed. It is wrong what’s being done to them – especially the kids who have no idea what the he’ll is going on. They live in an open air prison, or zoo, if that makes it easier for people to discuss the situation. How would any of us act in the same situation?

They also illustrate the lengths that muslims will go too, in order to promote islam, and fight the jews. They should be a very clear indicator to the rest of the civilized world, what kind of cancer is being allowed to spread to the more free western countries. The countries which muslims will FOREVER claim as their ancestral lands, henceforth.

KMC1 on July 1, 2011 at 10:55 PM

…prevent the M/V Audacity of Hope from participating in the flotilla.

Damn, I needed a good laugh- the audacity of dopes- bwhahahahaha!

Meanwhile, Mossad carries on

2ipa on July 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM

The people of Palestine need to be freed. It is wrong what’s being done to them – especially the kids who have no idea what the he’ll is going on. They live in an open air prison, or zoo, if that makes it easier for people to discuss the situation. How would any of us act in the same situation?

They do not live in “an open air prison.” They live in their own “country” ruled by their own elected officials (Hamas). However, their borders are controlled because if they are not, the Palestinians will send suicide bombers into Israel, or smuggle rockets in via ship with which they will shoot rockets at the Israeli airport to bring down passenger jets, and try to kill Israelis wherever the rockets can reach.

How would sane smart people act in that situation? Stop trying to murder your next-door neighbors and live off welfare from the UN, stop teaching hate and violence, stop being a stalking horse for Iran, and no one will have to control your borders.

YehuditTX on July 1, 2011 at 11:06 PM

KMC1 on July 1, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Direct your concerns to their “brother” Arabs, who want nothing to do with them – with good reason.

OldEnglish on July 1, 2011 at 11:08 PM

YehuditTX on July 1, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Outstanding!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 1, 2011 at 11:10 PM

If Israel wants to survive it will have to do what it failed to do in 1967, and that is annex the disputed territories and let the Jordan River be the border. Gaza, and the Golan, too.

They won’t do this of course, and so they will never know another day of peace in the next century.

Rocket attacks and terror bombings, for all time, separated only by the occasional arab attack.

rightwingyahooo on July 1, 2011 at 11:34 PM

I weep for Israel, (in a big picture way) but at the same time, I can’t help but think they are only getting what any country who refuses to eliminate its persecutors would get.

And we are allowing Mexico to do the same to us.

rightwingyahooo on July 1, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Is that Chuck Mangione in that picture?

mizflame98 on July 1, 2011 at 11:37 PM

But the good news is that the enforcement of such order properly extends to preventing disorderly and escalatory acts by those operating under national flags. Individual governments are the highest authority, and in maritime terms, the US is chief among them. The Obama administration’s public passivity regarding the Americans in the flotilla and their US-flagged ship sends a significant and destructive signal about our posture on maritime order. It says we don’t care about it.

Wasn’t there just a blog post up about donations from Liberal Jewish Americans being down for Obama’s 2012 campaign? Huh I wonder why/

Dr Evil on July 1, 2011 at 11:37 PM

Audacity of Hope — we should send in SEALs to sink it, just because of its name!

KS Rex on July 1, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Sink ‘em all. Then chum the water.

GarandFan on July 2, 2011 at 12:10 AM

I weep for Israel, (in a big picture way) but at the same time, I can’t help but think they are only getting what any country who refuses to eliminate its persecutors would get.

And we are allowing Mexico to do the same to us.

rightwingyahooo on July 1, 2011 at 11:36 PM

You’re absolutely right on all accounts.

Unfortunately we have communist jihadis in the WH, so untill we get rid of them we’re stuck with the situation….

Vntnrse on July 2, 2011 at 12:23 AM

I mean, what else could he have meant by “fundamentally transforming the US”?

Vntnrse on July 2, 2011 at 12:25 AM

The Greek Coast Guard acted stupidly. – King Hussein Louie Obama

HalJordan on July 2, 2011 at 12:26 AM

Meanwhile, Mossad carries on…

2ipa on July 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM

God bless ‘em!

infidel4life on July 2, 2011 at 1:05 AM

Damn, I needed a good laugh- the audacity of dopes- bwhahahahaha!

2ipa on July 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM

I know – I had to do a double take to make sure I read that right.

What kind of a moron would name their boat after a book ghost-written by Bill Ayars?

These people, that’s who.

UltimateBob on July 2, 2011 at 1:25 AM

No chance of D’O!bama stepping on these slugs. They’re right in line with his ideology. And he doesn’t have the real world experience even to know he doesn’t know high seas law.

starboardhelm on July 2, 2011 at 2:15 AM

The USofA government should formally request, that Israel sink any ship trying to run their blockade flying a American flag.

Slowburn on July 2, 2011 at 4:15 AM

These people are morons — they are actually arguing that Greece doesn’t have the right to stop them! WTF? They are in Greek waters! Greek has 100% control of any & all activity that occurs in it’s water — that’s Maritime Law 101 & anyone who doesn’t understand that concept shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a boat, much less try to sail it.

Dark Star on July 2, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Good for Greece.

Lunatrope on July 2, 2011 at 6:06 AM

Show of hands: Who is for the Helen Thomas view of Jews in the Middle East?

BigAlSouth on July 2, 2011 at 6:40 AM

Sweet irony here! Turkey, which had relatively good relations with Israel until the their “religious” gov’t. took over a few years ago, has achieved a great feat! Its arch-rival Greece is now more pro-Israel than it has been in decades.

honsy on July 2, 2011 at 7:09 AM

@KMC1….Really, this is what you want to say? So, let me give you a little primer on internet postings:

1. Saying water is not wet does not gain you credibility. Same goes for saying that the myth of “palestinian arabs” is not a myth. There are no palestinans, unless you are referring the indigenous people of Israel that have been there over 3000 years, and that would be the Jews. Yassir Arafat was master…of propaganda.

2. Before you post, read, read again, think, read some, think again, check your assumptions, think again, read some more, THEN type.

3. The Arabs governments and the UN have been using the arabs in Israel, including Judea and Samaria as props in their desire to commit genocide on the Jews. The grand mufti of Jerusalem was an ally of Hitler and nazism..that has not changed.

4. Radical islamists have murdered more little muslim children in the past 30 years than Jews have in the past 3000 years, if any at all. Radical islamist love murdering muslim children and babies, they say so openly and in fact they think they are doing those children a favor

See http://www.mythsandfacts.org And start getting your head out of your ass

georgealbert on July 2, 2011 at 7:47 AM

US flotilla against Israel. This sounds like a great card for the GOP to play -make that Jewish vote a little less certain for the anti-Israel left.

“If elected – unlike the present administration and its leftist friends, I will support our democratic allies in the heart of terrorism, both on the grounds that it is the right thing for freedom-loving people to do, and on the grounds that we have a common enemy–radical Islam.”

Another rmillion votes instantly!Foreign policy established and domestic security goals restablished.

“Bowing is America’s death” (Pass out the bumper stickers to the cheering crowd.)

Don L on July 2, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Can they just take obama’s book’s name and not face any retribution etc.? If he was against it couldn’t he sue to try and stop it? Isn’t using that name suggesting that he actually supports the flotilla? Oh, I know he does, but I imagine he doesn’t want to world to know so blatantly! I think they need to keep the people in port, on the boat, and let them survive for a year or two on the food stuffs they brought for the Palestinians! / I would like to see the “idiot in office” answer a question about the name of the flotilla, but of course the lsm wouldn’t dare ask or carney would complain about their question and they will be out!

Bambi on July 2, 2011 at 8:55 AM

The open air-prison of Gaza just opened up a huge Mall with ALL the latest merchandise of all kinds at expensive prices.

Sing Sing & Leavenworth are extremely envious!

honsy on July 2, 2011 at 9:05 AM

These people are morons — they are actually arguing that Greece doesn’t have the right to stop them! WTF? They are in Greek waters! Greek has 100% control of any & all activity that occurs in it’s water — that’s Maritime Law 101 & anyone who doesn’t understand that concept shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a boat, much less try to sail it.

Dark Star on July 2, 2011 at 4:38 AM

maritime law is no longer relevant Barry made sure of that.
http://www.americanpatriot.org/2011/06/24/while-you-were-busy-watching-wiener-go-down-obama-lost-americas-oceans/

mizflame98 on July 2, 2011 at 9:25 AM

They do not live in “an open air prison.” They live in their own “country” ruled by their own elected officials (Hamas). However, their borders are controlled because if they are not, the Palestinians will send suicide bombers into Israel, or smuggle rockets in via ship with which they will shoot rockets at the Israeli airport to bring down passenger jets, and try to kill Israelis wherever the rockets can reach.

And the US signs the checks so palistinian subhumans can play government

stupid, stupid people

Sonosam on July 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Its really just a form of racism that prevents people from discussing the plight of the Palestinians as adults, instead of like children.

Stating that the Jews have been there for 3000 years, in no way justifies the people of Palestine being held in “a country of their own, with their own elected government and blah blah blah”. They can’t frickin leave. That’s a prison. Or a zoo. Whichever makes you feel more comfotable withn your own skin.
The fact that the people holding them in there are both Jews and Muslims IS the point. They can’t leave. Its a travesty, and its what is fueling the radicalism. The problem is, after generations being born in there, and being subjected to radicals (Hamas) the people there are being used as pawns. And a pawn is not the one responsible, the muslim puppet master(s) are.

KMC1 on July 2, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Greece…..showing backbone the Obama (the Muslim sympathizer) gave up.

PappyD61 on July 2, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Its prospects are certainly dimming DHIMMING

Fixed for accuracy.

mankai on July 2, 2011 at 11:43 AM