Boycott Israel and Free Palestine!

I spent the last two days trying to find out the definition of a naval blockade; or actually I was researching the international norms when it comes to blockades. What I found is that such an action needs the sanctioning of a higher body such as the United Nations Security Council. The council does not necessarily need to approve such a move but if the reasons have been communicated to it; whether they get a vote or not can at any stage be referred back to it for arbitration.

As an example; if Israel wanted to justify its blockade of Gaza all it had to do was to hijack one or two ships en route to there and find weapons on board. The weapons should be of a quantity that it is inarguable that they were for nefarious motives since often sailors will need to have enough for self-defence against pirates. Nefarious would entail proof that they are destined to a terrorist group which in turn will use them to attack a legitimate government.

Now, this is where lies the rub because Hamas is a legitimate government of Gaza which is entitled to all government benefits including small arms fire for defence and law enforcement and medium size arms like RPG launchers, mortar bombs and armoured vehicles for security. You don’t enforce law and order in a jungle such as Gaza while you are driving in a soft skin truck or van armed with a pistol.

So, Israel had ambitions of punishing the people of Gaza for voting Hamas into power and what better way to do it than to starve them and let them die of diseases like malaria and measles which no longer kill people in the developed world. Worse, the easiest way to kill a nation is to kill its children; which is why Israel has an agenda to increase the mortality of the Palestinians children.

There is no blockade in maritime (or mere) history (for that matter) that has ever achieved its purpose. One is made to recall the blockade of Western Germany by the Soviets in the 1940s which ended up with a wall and two alienated nations. At the end of the day 1989 came and the wall came down and one Germany was born.

The Americans have been blockading Cuba since 1959. Their actions nearly brought the world to a nuclear war when missiles were planted on the island as a retaliation to the American ones in Turkey. Today that blockade is still there but Cuba still achieves what it set out to do in its founding documents; free education, health care and access to most of the amenities we pay for.

Then there was the Boers tried blockading Mozambique and Zimbabwe during apartheid. They refused to carry Zim’s goods from Durban harbour through the country. When Zim devised ways of having its imports enter through Mozambique they armed RENAMO to disrupt the railway line transporting them.

Then Israel, to enforce its illegal blockade attacks an aid flotilla and kills 19 activists claiming that it was acting in self-defence. What is self-defence in Israeli books (not the Torah)? Self defence is when I am about to strike you and you strike me first. It’s pre-emptive but still can pass off as defence. There is no evidence that those ships were on their way to Israel or any of its naval bases. They were on their way to Gaza, which is not Israel but Palestine.

In my books (not a Bible or Holy Koran) you don’t hit me when I’m on the way to visit my friend and plead self-defence. How is my visit to my friend got anything to do with you?

One hopes that Israel will be isolated for its actions and one day come down to its knees like the apartheid regime. It needs cultural, military, exchange visits, academic and social sanctions. It needs to have its ambassadors expelled from progressive countries, its tennis players barred from participating internationally, its military forces denied joint training exercises, no cultural exchanges, no musicians should perform there. Like all progressive thinkers, this will not be to disadvantage the Israeli people but to bring to civilization their government – which does not wholly act on their behalf.

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