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How The Gaza Ship Was Diverted

And why, contra Hamas, it was no ‘war crime’

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The Dignite al-Karame sailing into Ashdod, trailed by three Israel naval vessels.(Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

A few more details on the Israeli navy’s successful interception of the Dignite al-Karama, the lone vessel from the thwarted flotilla that managed to make its way close enough to Gaza to be confronted. This was a French yacht bearing 16 passengers and crew, which set out from the French island of Corsica, anchored in international waters, initially reported that it was headed for Alexandria, Egypt—a calculated lie that was nonetheless, the ship says, perfectly legal—and then headed for Gaza. It was trailed by IDF ships, which made radio contact, confirmed that it bore no cargo and that its destination was Gaza, and ordered it to turn away. “After dialogue reached a dead end,” said the IDF’s chief spokesperson, “naval commandos boarded the yacht and took control of it without facing resistance.” These commandos were members of the elite Shayetet 13 group. The Dignite al-Karama was diverted to Ashdod, on the Israeli coast; the passengers will be questioned and then turned over to immigration authorities.

Hamas quickly accused Israel of “piracy, a war crime and a violation of the principles of human rights.” Actually, though, even many opponents of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza concede that it is arguably legal, and certainly no war crime. In a sense, everyone got what they wanted today: Those aboard the yacht—whose lack of cargo serves to prove further that their mission was purely symbolic—forced Israel to enforce its blockade, which, if you believe the blockade is unjust, means Israel just drew attention to its injustice; Israel upheld its policy; and nobody, kennahurra, was the worse for wear afterward. On all sides, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Protest Yacht, Bound for Gaza, Is Diverted By Israeli Forces [NYT]
Hamas Accuses Israel of Piracy and War Crimes After Seizure of Gaza-Bound Ship [Haaretz]

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Can I be the first to say “amen” but wonder about your spelling of “kein ayin hara?” Is it orthographic or idiosyncratic? (I’m trying to combine warm praise and fussy curiosity into something purposeful.)

michaelira says:

Those Hamas’ers sure got a lotta choots pa!

Lauren says:

A new restaurant was opened in Gaza yesterday.


Bernie Dishler says:

You said: “Nobody was the worse for it”. I disagree, these well meaning do-gooders put the Israel Defense Forces through an unnecessary expedition, which was costly and could have been a risk to the service people and or the participants.

If people want to help the cause of peace, this is not the way.

ralph says:

but we must make it expensive for these racist jew haters. confiscate the boat all contents and all but the clothes on their backs. charges laid with penalties including financial so they cannot come back. then either jail in tent by sederot for a week or so waiting for hamas rockets. or deport to gaza.

Bennett Muraskin says:

Pity the poor IDF! Wait, my tax dollars are supporting the IDF. So I guess I have a right to my two cents.

If the ship posed no threat to Israel, after it was inspected, it should have been allowed to proceed.



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How The Gaza Ship Was Diverted

And why, contra Hamas, it was no ‘war crime’

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