imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Ship to Gaza Activists Brutalized

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM


Ship to Gaza Activists Brutalized   

by Stephen Lendman

On October 22, headlined "Release: Estelle crew beaten during (Israel's) attack. (Participants) were beaten during the attack and by interrogators." Former Canadian legislator "Jim Manly still in detention."

More on this below.

Israeli policy includes repeated crimes of war and against humanity. Occupied Palestinians suffer most. Humanitarian activists are brutalized for trying to help.

Participants in about a dozen missions were lawlessly interdicted in international waters. They were brutalized, imprisoned and deported. In May 2010, nine Mavi Marmara activists were murdered in cold blood.

A previous article headlined "Brave Israeli Commandos Slaughter Aid Activists at Sea."

Even media scoundrels couldn't duck a crime this grave, but don't think they didn't try. The UK-based Stop the War Coalition called it "Yet another act of Israeli barbarism." In response, an "emergency demonstration" was held near Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street residence.

Thousands of Gazans protested. So did many supporters in Amman, Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, Ankara, Istanbul, Beirut, and other regional cities.

Israel's propaganda machine went into overdrive. Millions knew what happened and expressed outrage. In September 2010, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) issued damning findings.

They "concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation."

Israel acted lawlessly "since there was no legal basis for the Israeli forces to conduct an assault and interception in international waters."

The same holds for all Israeli high-seas interdictions. International law is violated every time. Blockading and isolating Gaza is illegal. Doing so constitutes acts of war. They're variously defined as:

• surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;

• measures to isolate an enemy;

• encirclement and besieging;

• preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces, or aid in time of or as an act of war; and

• an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy's coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.

Law Professor Francis Boyle calls blockades:

"belligerent measures taken by a nation (to) prevent passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country."

"Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade."

"Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare."

America approved these declarations. They're binding US law. They're also "part of the general international law and customary international law."

Past US presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Jack Kennedy called blockades acts of war. Do did the US Supreme Court. Palestine poses no threat. Blockading Gaza has no legitimacy. Even Israel admits it.

In June 2010, McClatchy Newspapers headlined "Israeli document: Gaza blockade isn't about security," saying:

"McClatchy obtained an Israeli government document that describes the blockade not as a security measure but as 'economic warfare' against the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory."

In response to a Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement lawsuit, documents obtained said Israel called blockading Gaza "economic warfare." According to a government statement:

"A country has the right to decide that it chooses not to engage in economic relations or to give economic assistance to the other party to the conflict, or that it wishes to operate using 'economic warfare.' "

Nations may indeed decide whether or not to have economic or any relations with other states. It may not interfere in the lawful right of nations (including Palestine) to engage politically, economically or other legal ways with countries it chooses.

Blockading Gaza is illegal. Doing so is an act of war. It's also a crime against humanity. So is brutality in any form as well as high-seas piracy.

On October 23, Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah headlined "Mavi Marmara lawyers file case against Israel for seizure of Gaza-bound Estelle," saying:

"Lawyers in Turkey have filed a complaint with the Istanbul Public Prosecutor against Israeli leaders for seizing the Estelle with Nordic parliamentarian, activists and other civilians on board in international waters."

Named were "Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and head of the Navy Ram Rothenberg."

They're accused of "arbitrary arrest, confiscating maritime or railway transportation vehicles, intentionally causing damage to property, preventing communication (and) possible crimes against humanity."

The Turkish-based IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation explained. Its press release states:

"On the 20th of October, at approximately around 10:15 (CET) hours, Israeli Naval Forces boarded Estelle, took it over and routed it to Port Ashdod."

"At this moment, the vessel was approximately 30 nautical miles from the nearest shore. According to Article 3 of the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, the territorial waters of a State are maximum 12 nautical miles."

"This means Estelle was sailing in international waters. In international waters all states enjoy freedom of navigation and the flag state regime applies."

"No State may exercise any kind of jurisdiction over foreign vessels as long as there is no suspicion of slave trading, weapons or drug smuggling, piracy or unauthorized broadcasting. Since none of these exceptions existed, Israel had no right to stop and seize Estelle."

"Imposing a naval blockade is only possible in an International Armed Conflict which requires at least two conflicting States. Since Israel does not recognize the State of Palestine, the conditions for an International Armed Conflict are not fulfilled."

"Therefore, there is also no legal ground to impose a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip."

Israeli crimes violate fundamental international law. The well-established universal jurisdiction principle (UJ) applies. It holds that certain crimes are too grave to ignore. They include genocide, crimes of war and against humanity.

Under UJ, nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won't, can't, or hasn't for any reason. Israel used it to convict and execute Adolph Eichmann.

A US court sentenced Chuckie Taylor, son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, to 97 years in prison for torture. The Hague convicted and sentenced his father to 50 years imprisonment for war crimes and other offenses.

Though never held accountable for murdering Chileans and other human rights abuses, Britain used a Spanish court provisional warrant to apprehend Augusto Pinochet.

He was held under house arrest for 18 months. It set a precedent. It let other heads of state and top officials know they're vulnerable.

Under Article 7 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg:

"The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment."

No one deserves immunity for high crimes demanding accountability. It's long past time guilty US and Israeli officials faced justice.

Those most culpable are considered hostis humani generis - enemies of mankind. War crimes are against the jus gentium - the law of nations. International law was established to address them.

The Nuremberg Charter, Tribunal and Principles determined that crimes of war and against humanity are "international crimes" too grave to ignore.

Tribunal Principles hold that "(a)ny person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment...."

"(C)rimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit (them) can the provisions of international law be enforced."

The Rome Statute's Article 25 of the International Criminal Court codified the principle. It affirmed that persons culpable of crimes and war and against humanity be prosecuted.

Nuremberg established that immunity is null and void. Top officials, including heads of state, should be held accountable. Western and Israeli ones so far escaped judgment even though fundamental international law affirms no one is above the law.

The latest communique from Ship to Gaza Sweden (Estelle) headlines "Israeli activists give their version," saying:

"I am now on my way home, but I keep thinking of my shipmates, my fellow activists from abroad who are still imprisoned under harsh conditions and undergo interrogation by the Shabak Security Service, among them Parliament Members from several countries."

Israeli Elik Elhanan was on board Estelle. "Today," he said, "the court ordered his release and that of two other detained Israelis, Yonatan Shapira and Reut Mor."

"At first they tried to charge us with all kinds of very serious felonies, such as 'aiding the enemy'. The court rejected this out of hand. Today they tried an article on the law books called 'Attempted infiltration into a part of the Land of Israel which is not part of the State of Israel (sic).' But the court threw out this charge, too."'s October 22 press release said:

"Jim Manly, former Canadian  MP (1980-88) and retired United Church Minister, continues to be detained in Israel with many of the other crew members of the Estelle, without any news about when (they'll) be released."  

"This despite freeing the Greek, Italian and Spanish citizens who were on the Estelle and the release of Israeli activists after being detained and charged."

Those still held refused to sign confessions saying they entered Israel illegally. They were kidnapped and forcibly brought to Ashdod. Other foreign nationals released signed and were deported.

Elhanan and others said Israel used excessive force. Taser "electro-torture" was used. Israeli Yonatan Shapira said they were tasered repeatedly on their arms and legs. It was "horrible," he explained.

Elhanan's father said he saw burn marks on his son's hands. He and others were brutalized.

GazaArk added:

A Greek MP on board "was beaten by Shabak Security Service interrogators." Elhanan accused Israel of using "completely disproportional force against us."

“When the Navy arrived to take us over, Yonatan Shapira counted no less than fifteen vessels surrounding us on all sides. Large and small ships and boats, a ship carrying a helicopter, as well as the Zodiacs of the Naval Commandos."

"Fifteen armed naval vessels against one small civilian boat carrying games for the children of Gaza. We must have disturbed very much the Navy and those who give orders to the Navy."

Jim Manley's wife Eva said:

"These testimonies increase our concern for Jim and continue to raise the question why aren’t the Canadian government and the opposition NDP doing more to secure his release?"

A Final Comment

On October 23, the Jerusalem Post headlined "Israeli activists from ship to Gaza released on bail," saying:

Yonatan Shapira, Elazar Elhanan, and Reut Mor were released on 50,000 NIS (New Israeli shekels). About four shekels equals one dollar.

"Beersheba District Court Judge Yael Raz-Levi ordered their release and banned them from approaching within 500 meters of Gaza."

"Her order superseded the Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court ruling Sunday." It remanded Estelle activists to police custody for 72 hours. It left open possibly holding them longer.

Judge Raz-Levi said releasing the three Israelis wouldn't obstruct investigative procedures. Israeli prosecutors admitted the same thing.

Police argued that releasing the men endangered public order. They said anyone participating in Gaza missions try to breach Israel's blockade.

Contrary to documents Gisha obtained and McClatchy Newspapers reported, they claimed besieging Gaza is essential to Israel's security. Of course, it has nothing whatever to do with it. Most important is that it violates fundamental international law.

Raz-Levi dismissed police arguments. Elhanan didn't regret sailing on Estelle. He "knew what (he) was getting into." He and others were well briefed and trained for their mission.

He stressed that Israeli commandos used excessive force. On board they recognized Elhanan and threatened him, saying:

"Elhanan, you will pay for your leftism." They proved it by tasering him repeatedly. He's not dissuaded. He said "if they think they could deter me, and those who sailed with me, they are mistaken."

"The siege of Gaza is an ongoing crime, and it must be ended. We will continue the struggle." Other global activists feel the same way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy