Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Flotilla Mythbusting Part 2: "International Law"

In our second dose of mythbusting in regards to the Flotilla Raid, we are tacking the go-to talking point of pro-Palestinian debaters everywhere: "International Law." In this case, it usually takes three forms. The first is that Israel had no right to be there in the first place, and therefore any casualties that resulted from the raid is their fault. They also claim that the Israelis are acting as "pirates" and therefore the passengers were under a legal obligation to kill them.

I could explain why this is wrong in my own words, but in the interests of time I will link you to people who know better than I do. Here is one collection of international law experts compiled by Reuters, and here is another more condensed version that also tackles the "piracy" accusation." To be honest both sides of the story are all over the Internet, and I can provide plenty more links upon request. I guess we'll have to go with the old, "That's for the court to decide," won't we?

Anyway, then the second argument is Israel's blockade of Gaza is illegitimate and therefore the activists were justified in going to Gaza and doing whatever they needed to to get there. To avoid this turning into another confusing discussion on international laws, let me just say the following: If Israel's actions really are illegal, it is not the job of the activists to try and change it. If they want Israel to take down the blockade, and they want to use the legal system, they need to use lawfare like everybody else. Appeal to the court system, the United Nations, or something like that. The leaders of the flotilla admitted themselves that the goal was not humanitarian but political, so they are again obligated (just like self-defense) to use the method that will put as few lives at take as possible. They did not.

As it stands, the activists decided to take the law into their own hands, and went from simply protesting the law to fighting it. They took the law into their own hands, and what do we call people who take the law into their own hands? Vigilantes. Who are criminals in their own right. If I were to stab a cop because he was enforcing an unjust law (or even an unconstitutional one) would I be arrested, or even killed? Of course I would. And these vigilante-protesters should have expected the same thing. In fact, by all accounts that is what they were banking on.

1 comment:

  1. The Flotilla Of Fools broke international law. It doesn't really matter why they did it; it was wrong and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Try breaking an American law and see where the argument they push against Israel would get them in a court here.