Quotable: Craig Murray on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack

“A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare.”

Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan

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6 Responses to Quotable: Craig Murray on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack

  1. Dalymir says:

    As much as I’m usually inclined to agree with you on your blog, I’m going to stick with the advice of of Dr Sabel.
    “Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.
    Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.
    Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.”
    Other than that – good blog, keep it up!

  2. There’s only one problem with that: Israel does NOT own Gaza (although it would like to, and is therefore trying to starve out all those pesky Palestinians it corralled in there first.) So this embargo is invalid, and Dr. Sabel’s argument likewise.

  3. Jim Hadstate says:

    Jumping in where ‘Bina left off, Israel has never had its ’embargo’ recognized by anyone, including the US. It is simply another illegal means to try and take the territory away for the Palestinians by subterfuge, since it can’t do it overtly. It can’t do it overtly, because the Palestinian territories are a part of the peace treaty of 1948 that allowed Israel to become a recognized nation.
    Now a word on the good ambassador’s statement. The British used to use Letters of Marque and Reprisal to give some cover to their sanctioned pirates like Queen Elizabeth I’s lover Francis Drake. They had a commission from the government making the vessel a military vessel, but were universally recognized as pirates. This ultimately led to the hanging of Captain William Kidd in London because the British couldn’t decide whether the booty he took was under his Letter of Marque or was as a pirate. So even the good ambassador’s country couldn’t tell the difference. That’s the trouble with having a long and somewhat dubious past. It sometimes pops up at very inconvenient times.

  4. Dalymir says:

    Yes but embargoes are ipso facto a declaration that you do NOT own a piece of land, but rather that you are stopping transfers of it. Israel has acknowledged they don’t own Gaza.

  5. So, then, why are they doing this? If they don’t own it, they have no right to stop travel or goods in and out of it. All they can do is legally prevent their own citizens from entering, and not do trade with that country, as in the case with the US and Cuba. THAT’s an embargo. What Israel is doing is nothing less than a siege. And it’s an illegal one, at that.

  6. Dalymir says:

    No but that is what Israel are doing – they have completely closed their borders, as have Egypt. Israel, under UN and Red Cross supervision, still let in over 15,000 tonnes of aid a month. Over a million tonnes has gone in since the ‘blockade’ started.
    In fact, Egypt completely opened their border with Gaza at 1030 GMT on Tuesday, so now supplies can get into Gaza to help the people there.

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