Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
The absurdity of the human rights hypocrisy of the Western world has become more naked and undeniable by the day as this second flotilla controversy unfolds. If there was any shadow of doubt remaining in the minds of the people of the world as to the real priorities of the leadership of Greece, it has now been eradicated by the light of truth.
John Klusmer, the Captain of the Audacity of Hope, a ship sailing from the United States to the embattled Gaza strip, was being held captive by Greek authorities in “shocking conditions.” The Captain was being held in a jail cell in a port town near Athens without a toilet, food, or water. Under the European Convention on Human Rights this is an egregious violation that needs to be addressed by the international community. While corrupt organizations like the International Criminal Court are quick to condemn individuals like Gaddafi with less than ironclad evidence, they stay silent on real, irrefutable violations of human rights.
Under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, prisoners must be guaranteed access to legal representation, something which Klusmer was not allowed. Indeed, Klusmer was not even allowed consular access according to Richard Levy, a lawyer from New York and a passenger on the Audacity of Hope.
Under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, torture is explicitly prohibited, which includes “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” to which there are no exceptions or limitations. Any rational person would see the treatment of Captain Klusmer as degrading and the conditions are unarguably poor. Why is this case being treated differently than every other? Why is this man allowed to be tortured just because he was attempting to lead a humanitarian aid mission that Israel is attempting to stifle?
To be clear, we must notice the 15th article of the European Convention on Human Rights which outlines the cases in which contracting states are allowed to derogate from certain rights guaranteed under the Convention. These permissible derogations must meet the following three conditions:
1. there must be a public emergency threatening the life of the nation;
2. any measures taken in response must be “strictly required by the exigencies of the situation”, and
3. the measures taken in response to it, must be in compliance with a states other obligations under international law
There is no public emergency threatening the life of the nation of Greece that is in any way related to the second flotilla. One might argue that the current riots and chaos in certain parts of Greece constitutes a public emergency, but this does not threaten the life of the nation, nor does it have anything to do with the Audacity of Hope or the flotilla as a whole.
Furthermore, the measures taken in response are not “strictly required by the exigencies of the situation” and definitely are not in compliance with Greece’s other obligations under international law. Simply put, this is illegal and there is no excuse for the treatment Captain Klusmer is receiving at the hands of the Greeks.
According to AFP, a passenger from the Just Foreign Policy Organization, Robert Naiman, has offered to pay his bail but have received “no indication at all that he will be allowed out of jail before Tuesday.” The United States embassy in Athens was “not available for comment,” essentially tacitly accepting the treatment of the American citizen being held in violation of human rights law.
This is far from the only setback that the flotilla has confronted in their efforts to aid the people of Palestine.
There have been multiple cases of sabotage, including one case in which an Irish ship’s propeller was compromised which could have resulted in the ship sinking. This act eliminated the ability of the Irish ship, named the Saoirse, to participate in the second attempt to break the illegal collective punishment of the people of Gaza.
Another strangely similar case of sabotage was carried out on the ship called the Juliano, in which the propeller shaft was cut and the propeller housing was destroyed. Not surprisingly, Israel has officially denied any hand in the sabotage of these ships.
Due to these cases of sabotage and the immense pressure being put on the activists by the government of Israel, only four out of the ten boats initially set to sail to Gaza will be able to participate in the flotilla.
According to AFP:
Israel credited its ‘diplomatic efforts’ for the delays and setbacks that have kept the vessels grounded.
‘I welcome all the efforts that have been made to stop the flotilla,’ Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday.
‘The success… is the fruit of intensive contacts with states in the region and the international community,’ he said.
These “diplomatic efforts” are clearly far from diplomatic by any sense of the word, unless illegal and inhumane detention conditions and extralegal sabotage are now considered diplomatic.
Foreign Minister Lieberman has made claims even more absurd than the above, saying, “They are clearly there to create a provocation, looking for confrontation and blood and for many pictures on television screens,” Lieberman told Israel Radio, adding that there was a “hard core of terror activists” among the participants.”
Unfortunately for Foreign Minister Lieberman, this is completely false and irrefutably so. In an interview with Isareli Army Radio, an Israeli participant in the flotilla named Dror Feiler revealed that, “all of the passengers had signed a pledge of non-violence.”
Sadly, the United States has been supporting these illegal and inhumane actions, offering no support for the American citizens who will undoubtedly be besieged by the Israeli Defense Forces.
So where is the international community that is supposedly so devoted to the human rights of every single man and woman on Earth? Why are they so quick to justify an attack on the people of Libya based upon alleged human rights violations while staying completely silent on this? How can the people of the world accept this hypocrisy and allow Israel to dictate the actions of other nations without any right to do so? How can we allow our supposed representatives in Washington to serve foreign interests while ignoring the vital rights of the same citizens they are elected to serve?
I sincerely hope that more people will start taking notice of this human rights hypocrisy and no longer sit by silently as the people of Gaza are made victims of collective punishment (yet another act illegal under international humanitarian law) at the hands of the Israelis. Only through fighting the battle of spreading information and hard facts can the people of the international community stand up to these massive violations.
By sharing articles like this and others that reveal the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, you are effectively fighting the international terrorists at the helm of the Israeli government. Stand up, stay informed, and be heard. Only through the peaceful means of the war of information can we stand up to those who seek to engage in violence and terrorism. If you are reading this, you must realize you are on the front lines of this war, and this is nothing to be taken lightly. With the knowledge you possess, you have the real power to save lives around the world. Do not shirk this responsibility; spread your knowledge and insight with everyone you meet, regardless of how you might think people will react.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground. – Rosa Parks