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Saturday, June 05, 2010


Violence (and language)

An article in Al Jazeera unfortunately quotes an Israeli military statement, with no countervailing statement (a result, no doubt, of Israeli censorship, but still inexcusable) about the just-completed seizure of the Rachel Corrie aid ship:
"There was no violence or injuries amongst the soldiers or crew."
But this is false. It may (or may not) be true that none of the passengers were beaten, hit, or even pushed. But seizing a ship and its passengers and cargo at gunpoint is by itself an act of violence (regardless, by the way, of whether the robber intends to sell, keep, or even give away some or all of what was taken). In U.S. law, it would armed robbery, a felony. And holding people captive at gunpoint and taking them somewhere against their will is also an act of violence, known as kidnapping, another felony.

By the way, in case you haven't noticed, another statement from an Israeli government spokesperson confirms, not for the first time of course, that Israel is officially occupying Gaza, whether any Israelis are living within Gaza's borders or not:

"The people on board will be taken care off in accordance with Israeli law, as they have approached Israel illegally."
Of course they did no such thing. They were approaching Palestine, not Israel. Only if Gaza is Israeli-occupied territory does her statement make any sense whatsoever.

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