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Piracy v. piracy II

July 11, 2009

An extensive chronicle of how the U.K. disregarded its captured (and nearly capsized) citizens carrying medicine and crayons dangerous cargo on board the Spirit of Humanity in international waters:

‘The British government has loudly pledged Royal Navy help to stop the “smuggling” of arms to the Gaza resistance but won’t protect Gaza’s fishermen from being fired on by Israeli marauders while trying to earn their living. And evidently the government can’t be bothered to protect its own people going about their lawful business. But, sure enough, they kicked up an almighty fuss when Iran nabbed 15 British sailors two years ago for allegedly straying into Iranian waters.’

Well, he’s right. Israeli has no consequences to fear. But let’s be frank: there is no such thing as an Israeli pirate, only an Iranian or Somali one. Israel’s destruction of fishing life in Gaza and hijacking of boats not in its territorial waters are simply humanitarian gestures.

The U.K. could barely locate its nabbed citizens by GPS, let alone muster a squeal in their favor. Yet a British parliament representative for Alex Harrison, a U.K. passenger on board the boat, has made a Notice of Debate in the House of Commons. Dare one imagine such a thing in the U.S. House of Congress? I don’t remember congressional debates or concerns expressed in the U.S. when Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall were killed by the Israeli military.

Meanwhile, the U.N. needs some smelling salts. On the U.N.’s Richard Falk calling the hijacking of the boat ‘unlawful’ and the siege of Gaza criminal, the writer asks, ‘Yes, Mr Falk. But the question, as always, is: what is your paralytic, useless organisation doing about it? Or is handwringing all it’s good for?’

[Related] Piracy v. piracy

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