While there’s been no shortage of Jews who insist that Israel was wrong to stop and board the terrorist flotilla. there’s been a curious disconnect. Most of the Jews who got the most sea-sick by Israel’s self-defense are the same Jews who constantly want Israel pressured to get more involved in the peace process.
But what do the existing agreements of the peace process have to say about Israel’s rights to control the waters off the Gaza coast?
Since the Oslo Accords, signed by the saintly Yitzhak Rabin and his fellow Nobel Laureate Yasser Arafat, are held up as the one of the great moments of the peace process, it might be interesting if anyone bothered to read it. One industrious Arab journalist, Abbas Al Lawati. staff reporter for the Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) did so.
In a Q & A format, Al Lawati explained the basics of the flotilla to his readers. This was in the May 24, 2010 issue of the Gulf News, a week before the Israel-flotilla blowup. Here are excerpts from two of his questions and answers:
Why does Israel not allow the vessels to enter?
Israel claims that some of the aid material that is being carried by the vessels could pose a threat to its security, and strengthen Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip. The cement, for example, could be used to build bunkers for Hamas’ leadership, it has argued.
Does Israel have a legal argument in blockading the Gaza Strip?
… After the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli war on Gaza, the Israeli Defence Forces began enforcing a naval blockade of Gaza for 20 nautical miles…. In justifying its actions in Gaza’s territorial waters, Israel is also likely to cite the Gaza-Jericho agreement of May, 1994. Under the agreement between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel, part of the Oslo Accords, Israel reserved the right to patrol 20 nautical miles of those waters "without limitations" and take "any measures necessary against vessels suspected of being used for terrorist activities… or for any other illegal activity."
Thanks for finding that, Abbas.
So according to Oslo, if Israel could patrol "without limitations," and "take any measures necessary against vessels suspected," then either the agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinians mean something or they don’t.
If the peace agreements previously signed mean nothing, then the peace process is a fraud.
If the agreements mean anything, then Israel was 100 percent justified to take "any measures" regarding the flotilla.
And why did it take an Arab reporter, Abbas Al Lawati from the Gulf News, to figure this out?