Melanie Phillips via CAMERA blog:
The flotilla and the Third Intifada
Published in: Melanie's blog
Is a bunch of young Israeli lawyers working round the clock sustained only by Diet Coke, falafel and cigarettes about to pull off the legal equivalent of the Six-Day War?
Israel famously won that war before it even started by destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground. Now it’s beginning to look as if the Gaza flotilla of fools and fanatics may be holed below the waterline before it even sets off on its cynical and potentially murderous stunt.
It was supposed to have sailed by now. Today, however, it wasreported that it now may not set sail before next week. The main reason is a series of unprecedented and ingenious manoeuvres by Israeli lawyers which have tied up the boats in legal actions mainly concerning insurance and registration issues.
And I can reveal that a separate legal move today threatens fourteen of the flotillistas with arrest if they enter Israeli territorial waters.
Two Israeli soldiers in the reserves are seeking to bring a private prosecution against those activists who took part in the first Gaza flotilla -- and who are planning to take part once again in the current one -- for the crimes of assault and soliciting aid for an attack.
The fourteen comprise one person from Ireland, two from the US, one from Cyprus, two from England, two from Spain, one from Greece, two from the Netherlands, one from Norway, one from Sweden and one from Qatar. Separately, the captains of the flotilla boats also face the possibility of criminal charges from a similar attempt at a private prosecution.
In addition, the US Attorney General has threatened the 36 Americans on the flotilla that they will be liable for criminal prosecution if they sail.
Already, the number of flotillistas has been whittled down from 1500 to 350, and the number of boats from 15 to ten. Most of the credit should surely go to the Israeli activist law firm Shurat haDin which believes in bankrupting terrorism through a creative use of the law. Here are some of the legal challenges to the flotilla which Shurat HaDin has initiated with seismic effect. [Read the rest]