Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

We Are All With the MV Rachel Corrie

Will Israel perpetrate another massacre? Will there be another act of piracy on the high seas? Will Tel Aviv torpedo the MV Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship travelling to Gaza under the auspices of International Law (UN Resolution 1860)? Is Israel planning another USS Liberty incident?

For Israel’s information, the UN Resolutions are legally binding under international law and how can Israel, as a UN signatory state, refuse to abide by them and further to that, massacre those who uphold them? The logical outcome should be Israel’s expulsion from the United Nations Organization, for to be a member of the international community, you have to act like one.

Since Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (not known to be the brightest bulb in the box) seems not to understand the terms of UN Resolution 1860, let us spell it out here loud and clear: here it is. It was passed by the United Nations Security Council in 2009 and has 9 (nine) clauses.

Clause 2 (Two) states clearly: “The Security Council calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment”

Clause 4 (Four) states: “The Security Council calls on member states to support international efforts to alleviate the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, including through urgently needed additional contributions to UNWRA and through the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee”.

We are all watching Israel, we are all watching the MV Rachel Corrie, a vessel constructed in Germany in 1967 and owned by the Irish arm of the Free Gaza Movement. The MV Rachel Corrie is carrying medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement.

Michael Martin, the Irish Foreign Minister, has told the Irish Parliament that “We will be watching this situation very closely – as indeed will the world – and it is imperative that Israel avoid any action which leads to further bloodshed”.

The question remains, would anyone be surprised if Israel torpedoed the vessel, and then claimed “They should not have been there” (excuse given after strafing a funeral procession in Lebanon)? Would anyone be surprised if Israel fired across the bows of the vessel in international waters, then turned the guns on the ship (Act of War)? Would anyone be surprised if Israeli commandos boarded the ship in international waters (act of piracy)?

Let us make it the collective duty of the international community to continue humanitarian aid missions – peacefully – into Gaza or anywhere else the UN Security Council gives us the right to deliver it, under international law and while Israel continues to flout it, let us boycott Israeli goods (bar code number, first three numbers from left 729) and call for the removal of Israel from the international community.

Israel’s claim that its actions were justified aboard the Freedom Flotilla because its troops were attacked first are as risible as they are stupid: if a pirate boards your vessel, you fight back.

Just as Israeli warplanes and torpedoes sank the UN research vessel USS Liberty in 1967, slaughtering 34 American servicemen and wounding a further 171, it appears history is repeating itself.

The international community understands Israel’s history and the history of its people, we understand its concerns and fears regarding terrorism. What we do not understand or accept is flagrant breaches of international law, massacres, kidnapping, theft, stealing lands outside the 1948 borders and cruelty.

Israel has to understand that to be a respected member of the international community, you have to behave like one, not a like a terrorist state and a pariah.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru

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