Tel Aviv Diary - June 7-11, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut



Tel Aviv Diary - June 7-11, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 7, 2010

Messed up the site today - so you probably saw nothing instead . There will be an internal inquiry about this tomorrow.

June 8, 2010

Right. As if you thought I would inquire into the mistakes I made myself. How dumb do you think I could think you are?

On a different subject, the other day on the news they announced that four Palestinians about to set off rockets towards Ashkelon were killed. I rejoiced. Then my Palestinian friend wrote me that four Palestinian men were killed by the Israelis, as if it were a random act of evil. Hmm. How can we ever know the truth? Who could possibly 'inquire' objectively?

On the other hand, some things are clear:

Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality
5.1.2(3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.
5.1.2(4) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they:
(a) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
(c) are incorporated into or assist the enemy’s intelligence system;
(e) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy’s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.
5.2.1 Visit and search
As an exception to Principle 5.1.2. paragraph 1 and in accordance with Principle 1.3 (2nd sentence), belligerent warships have a right to visit and search vis-aĚ-vis neutral commercial ships in order to ascertain the character and destination of their cargo. If a ship tries to evade this control or offers resistance, measures of coercion necessary to exercise this right are permissible. This includes the right to divert a ship where visit and search at the place where the ship is encountered are not practical.
5.2.10 Blockade
Blockade, i.e. the interdiction of all or certain maritime traffic coming from or going to a port or coast of a belligerent, is a legitimate method of naval warfare. In order to be valid, the blockade must be declared, notified to belligerent and neutral States, effective and applied impartially to ships of all States. A blockade may not bar access to neutral ports or coasts. Neutral vessels believed on reasonable and probable grounds to be breaching a blockade may be stopped and captured. If they, after prior warning, clearly resist capture, they may be attacked.

June 9, 2010

The other day in the public market, I saw a t-shirt that said, "Zaka...collecting people." Zaka is the organization that appears immediately after a terrorist attack, takes care of the wounded, and more, picks up the body parts. Its a pretty gruesome parody of the "Nokia, connecting people" ad, but it took me a few days to realize that the place this t-shirt was being sold in a place where a number of people had been killed in a terrorist attack, and that although I still shudder, we go everywhere now with almost no panic.

June 10, 2010

Why we're so jumpy

Why we don't go back to Poland. An interesting answer to Helen Thomas. My grandparents lived next door to each other on the market in Lida. They each had a house that was 'lost' when the families were destroyed. You think they'd give those houses back to us? I wouldn't mind sharing the one on my father's side with my cousins, but on my mother's side it's only my brother and me. Maybe we could work something out, although I think the reason they lived there was that they were kicked out Palestine in the first place...

June 11, 2010

I may be gone for a week

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