Archive for May 2010

Israel’s justification for the navel blockade of Gaza…

May 31, 2010
The Gaza Flotilla and the Maritime Blockade of Gaza

Legal Background – 31 May 2010

 

1.    A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been  smuggled into Gaza via the sea.

2.    Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.

3.    A  blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral States. 

4.    The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

5.    In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla.  Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect.

6.    Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above. 

7.    Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area.  That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

8.    A State may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law.  The US Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade. 

9.    Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements.  Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade in violation of international law.

10. Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade. It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit warnings were  relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing Israel’s intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

11. Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade. 

12. Israeli personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with violence by the protesters and acted in self defense to fend off such attacks.

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This October?

May 7, 2010

The CARMEL ALERT May 7th 2010
A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to praying
 
Stefan’s Comment:  “The Lord is Not Slack Concerning His Promise”
2 Pet 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (NKJ) 

The spring season is a joyful time in the land of Israel as the land blossoms again after the winter rains and as we celebrate the spring feasts of the Lord (Lev 23). The holidays begin a few weeks before Passover, just at the end of the winter, when we celebrate the holiday of Purim. This holiday is not named a ‘feast of the Lord’ however it is rooted in the biblical story of Esther. In it we remember how God was faithful to save His people while in exile in the Medo-Persian empire from the hand of evil Haman. A few weeks later comes Passover and first fruits where we remember how we were brought out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.  Another 49 days later comes Pentecost when we remember the giving of the Law on Mt Sinai. Of course there is the fulfillment of these shadow pictures that came to pass 2000 years ago that we as believers rejoice in also.

Amongst these days are also memorial days for those who perished in the Holocaust and for the fallen IDF soldiers. Sometimes it is difficult to see beyond the death and grief that surround these days. Questions rise such as ‘how did God allow such things to happen?’, ‘how does this fit into God’s plan?’ and ‘how come so many people must die and how many more will?’. Sometimes it is easy to question God’s faithfulness to his people. It is  God’s faithfulness that I wish to share about.

An interesting parallel can be found when looking at the lives of Moses and Yeshua. Deuteronomy, chapter 18:15-19, says “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. ‘And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. (NKJ)

Here Moses is already speaking of Yeshua and describes Him as similar to himself. There are two attributes that are clearly visible both in Moses and in Yeshua. Numbers chapter 12 says: “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” And also “Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”   Because Moses was an extremely humble man, the Lord intervened on his behalf when his brother Aaron and sister Miriam questioned his leadership. Also, we are told that Moses spoke with the Lord as a man speaks to his friend face to face. This is because Moses was faithful to God. How amazing to be called ‘humble in all the earth’ and ‘faithful in all God’s house’!

The same attributes can be found in Yeshua’s life and ministry. We learn from John that no one has seen the Father except the Son, and whoever sees the Son has seen the Father. Since no one can see God and live, it is obvious that Moses saw Yeshua hundreds of years before He even walked the earth, as it says that he saw the from of God. Yeshua is also described as faithful and humble as it is written in Revelation 19:11 “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” and in Matthew 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

God is faithful to fulfill His word and the promises that he has given. His ultimate act of faithfulness is the sending of His son, Yeshua, to become the scapegoat for us so that we may be reunited with the Father. Without that act of faithfulness we would not be here today, we would not know the love of God and we would have no hope.   I believe that God’s faithfulness can be seen best through the history of Israel. Faithfulness is something that can be measured only over a long period of time, and mainly in difficult situations. Israel has both.

We see that with all the Jewish people have gone through, we are still alive and kicking. The language that Moses wrote Genesis in thousands of years ago is still a spoken language today, and despite two diasporas, one of 70 years and the other of 1800 years Israel is still a nation today, settled in the same land our fore-
fathers dwelt in thousands of years ago.   A few verses that speaks volumes of God’s faithfulness to Israel are found in the 49 th chapter of Isaiah.  The beginning
of the chapter can make it seem as if only the nation of Israel is being mentioned. However in verses 5-6 it is clearly speaking of Yeshua and God’s faithfulness to Israel through the Messiah, to restore Israel and bring salvation to the ends of the earth:

“And now the LORD says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (for I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength), Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'” (NKJ)

In these verses is the faithful promise to all the nations of the world, of salvation through the Servant (aka the Messiah).  A few verses down comes an amazing picture of how faithful God is to His people. Just imagine having a tattoo or engraving of someone’s name that you love on the palms of your hands. Today many people tattoo the names of their loved ones on their bodies so to always ‘carry’ them and be reminded of them. So God has engraved Israel on the palms of His hands, as He declares in verse 16:  “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (NKJ)

God is faithful. He is faithful to all who believe in Yeshua and call on His name. We are all in fact inscribed on the palms of His hands. Even though the people of Israel have had many dark hours, looking back we can see that God has never forgotten His people, He has never failed and has never been too late. So with our lives, even though it may seem like God is running a bit late on those promises, He is always right on time. 

2 Pet 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (NKJ)     This verse is speaking of salvation, but is it applicable to all that the Lord has promised us in His word, and personally through the Holy Spirit.   In the perilous times that lie ahead for us as believers and the nation of Israel, we must realize God’s faithfulness, we must stand on His promises that are ‘Yes and Amen’ and know that the Mighty One of Jacob will not let us fall.

The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel.  Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God.  Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims,  and please remember to pray for all of the soldiers in the IDF -they are defending and fighting for the Kingdom of God.

Shabbat Shalom …. David & Josie 

THIS WEEKS NEWS REPORTS 

1. Reports: Obama Preparing to Porce Israel’s Hand    Israel Today New    Apr 30
    Israeli officials told Ha’aretz on Thursday that US President Barack Obama recently assured European leaders that if the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is not moving forward by September or October, he will convene an international peace summit.  The purpose of convening an international peace summit could only be to impose a peace settlement on the two sides, and if Obama’s policies of late are anything to judge by, that peace settlement would greatly favor the Arabs by incorporating nearly all their demands. Palestinian officials this week also said they had received assurances from US Middle East envoy George Mitchell that if Israel did not start complying with US-backed Arab demands soon, Obama would act to force Jerusalem’s hand.
     The Palestinians are also threatening to unilaterally declare independence by October if Israel does not start meeting their demands. Israeli officials fear the UN would recognize such a declaration, and that the Obama Administration would do little or nothing to block it.  Recent history has demonstrated that such reports, which are often leaked as a pressure tactic against Israel, actually further delay peace negotiations as the Palestinians are all too happy to remain defiant and wait on the international community to strong-arm Israel.  The US and Europe remain mum on the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said he is ready to immediately restart direct bilateral negotiations, while the Palestinians refuse to sit with the Israelis and discuss anything.  
Please pray the Obama will change his wicked ways or that he will be removed as the Lord sees fit

2.  Israeli Envoy Nearly Lynched in Britain    Israel Today News   Apr 30
    The deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in London was nearly lynched by Muslim and pro-Palestinian demonstrators after giving a speech at the University of Manchester on Wednesday.  Talya Lador-Fresher said that her speech was repeatedly disrupted by demonstrators hoisting Palestinian flags or yelling anti-Israel slogans. And when she tried to leave the premises, she found the exit blocked by angry protestors.  Fearing for the envoy’s safety, embassy security and Manchester police evacuated her through a side exit and into an police getaway car, but that too was attacked. Lador-Fresher said the demonstrators attempted to smash the windows of the police vehicle, apparently intent on doing her physical harm.  Lador-Fresher said that despite the severity of the incident, she intends to continue speaking on UK campuses, since being cowed by the attacks would only play into the hands of Israel’s enemies.  There were no reports of arrests following Wednesday’s attacks, which further demonstrated the violent anti-Israel atmosphere that is growing in the UK.  Please pray that these kind of anti-Semtiic attacks will cause Jewish people everywhere to go back to Israel

3. Palestinian Youth Was ‘Sent to Kill Jews’  Isrel Today News   Apr30
    A 17-year-old Palestinian boy turned himself in to police in the northern town of Afula early Monday morning after confessing that he had been sent by his Palestinian handlers to “kill Jews.”  The boy arrived at the Afula police station carrying a plastic bag containing a large knife. The guard at the station asked the boy what he was doing, and the Palestinian did not hesitate to confess the purpose of his visit.  He was immediately arrested and taken in for questioning.   Police officials believe the boy was afraid to carry out his mission, and instead turned himself in. They are trying to determine who exactly sent the youth.   Please pray that all planned attacks will be exposed and prevented

4. Peres Insists Iran Sending Missiles to Hizbullah Via Syria   ICEJ News  May 4
    Israeli President Shimon Peres told Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen on Sunday that Iran is sending long-range missiles, some originating in North Korea, to Syria and then on to Hizbullah in Lebanon. His comments came in relation to recent reports that Syria transferred Scud-D ballistic missiles to Hizbullah. To counter the growing missile threat along its borders, Israel has asked Washington for help in acquiring additional Iron Dome air defense batteries against short-range rockets. Two batterieshave already been delivered to the Israeli Air Force and will become operational shortly, but the IDF needs as many as a dozen more to adequately defend the borders with Gaza and Lebanon. “The logic from an American point of view is that it is better to help Israel feel protected and defend its cities than it is for Israel to be under attack and have to launch another operation in Gaza to protect itself,”
explained one Israeli official.
Please pray that these missile transfers will be spotted and aborted

5.  Egypt on Alert for Mass Break-out From Gaza   ICEJ News May 4
    Egypt has declared a state of emergency on its border with Gaza after learning that Palestinians were planning a break-out en masse from the Strip. The move comes just days after four Palestinians were killed and six wounded in what Hamas charged was a poisonous gas attack on the tunnels by Egyptian forces. In denying the accusation, Egypt said a blast from a routine explosion to seal tunnels and the resulting fire could have quickly used up all the oxygen in the confined space, causing the victims to suffocate. Egypt has launched renewed efforts to shut down the tunnels, because they are used by Hamas to smuggle weapons into Gaza and terrorists in-and-out of the Strip.  Please pray that these plans of the Gazans come to nothing

     While US special Mideast envoy George Mitchell met with top Israeli leaders on Thursday in hopes of launching three-way proximity talks by this weekend, Palestinian Authority officials sought to justify why they were finally joining the process, explaining that they will be negotiating with the US, not Israel.  “Indirect talks mean that we will negotiate with the Americans, who, for their part, will be negotiating with Israel,” a PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s easier for us to negotiate with the Americans because they share most of our positions, especially on the issues of security and the future borders of the Palestinian state.”  hat the Arab League’s recent decision to support PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas joining the proximity talks came after the Obama administration “assured” Palestinian and Arab leaders it would exert “unprecedented pressure” on Israel to stop construction not only in the West Bank, but also in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. “The Americans have promised to be tough with Israel, and we expect them to fulfill their pledge,” he said. Please pray that all such peaces talks are averted

Iran’s naval forces began large scale war games in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, the second round of such exercises in less than a month. The “Velayat 89” exercises are scheduled to last eight days and cover about 97,000 square miles Iranian territorial waters. Navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari declared that the Iranian Navy and Air Force will “show its might” as Iran remains locked in a standoff with the West over its renegade nuclear program. Just weeks ago, Iran held its annual “Great Prophet” war games in the same waters, which included simulations of attacks on oil tankers
7.  Iran Launches More War Games in Persian Gulf    ICEJ News  May 6th
    Please pray that the US will join Israel in halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program

8. Palestinians Ordered to Stop Buying from Jews    Israel Today News  May 7th
     Palestinian Economic Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh on Thursday threatened Palestinian Arabs who do their weekly grocery shopping at Jewish supermarkets in Judea and Samaria.  In an interview with Al-Watan TV, Libdeh took aim at the thousands of Palestinians who shop at the two Rami Levy grocery stores located in Sha’ar Binyamin in Samaria and Mishor Adumim in Judea.  Libdeh said that the Palestinian Authority knows the names of those who shop at Rami Levy, and suggested action could be taken against their families if they do not stop.   In addition to those who shop at the supermarkets, a number of Palestinian Arabs are also employed at the two Rami Levy locations.  The new shopping ban comes just days after the PA revealed that Palestinians who do not stop working for Jewish contractors would face up to five years in prison.
Please pray that the people of Gaza & the West Bank will ignore these calls to boycott Israeli businesses

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6.  Palestinians Insist They Will ‘Negotiate With US, Not Israel’   ICEJ News  May 6