Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Don't shoot the Red Cross

Whenever you hear from an Israeli or Palastinian politician you get long emotional comments so I will save you a lot of time with this summary. The Gaza blockade started in 2007 and Israel says this is to limit the rocket attacks from the Hamas controlled Palastinian government. The blockade causes great hardship in Palestine but Israel has many reasons to blame Hamas for the lack of essential items getting through to those in need.

This leads me to the news about the flotilla of aid ships that were stopped on their way to Gaza. Who was the aggressor? Well if I were sailing my ship in international waters and someone told me to change direction then I would say my travels were none of their business. If they then sent soldiers on board I would feel threatened and may pick up sticks or whatever was at hand to defend myself. If the soldiers started shooting and killing my crew then I would surrender. However the actions of the soldiers were illegal.

The opposite view is that a deliberate attempt was made to evade a blockade which would allow further rocket attacks on Israel. Intelligence reports told the Israelis that the flotilla was carrying a cargo that was much more sinister than simple aid. Whatever the intentions of those who called themselves aid workers, they attacked the soldiers who were simply carrying out their duties to protect their citizens. It was inevitable that the soldiers had to defend themselves. This must be the case as deaths only occurred on one ship. The actions of the soldiers were perfectly legal.

I know which story I prefer. There is a siege going on causing great hardship. Occasionally those who are carrying out the siege suffer some losses. These two sides may consider themselves at war with each other but this weekend's action is like shooting members of the Red Cross on their way to help the wounded.

Change the world


  1. Thanks for your comment Manfarang. You are welcome to choose your own metaphor.