The Israeli violent attacks against the "Freedom Flotilla," an international humanitarian mission to Gaza, reveals Israel’s attempts to solve their problems militarily irrespective of world opinion.
Even without a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, any effort in this direction can’t be done with only the military option in mind. By attempting to solve all its problems using military might, the Israelis are sending a number of highly troublesome signals.
For centuries, world powers have sought to solve problems using diplomacy, or when that failed, a mix of political and financial pressures. Even in worst-case scenarios, countries have tried to use a mix of military and political powers. Attempts to solve regional and international problems using only military means reflect a policy that is based on total exclusion, de-legitimization and refusal to recognize the ‘other.’
Countries and regimes that have reached that final stage of refusing to recognize or deal with the other ‘because they are outside of acceptable norms,’ goes to long extremes to show that they are against the ‘rogue’ elements in a particular society or community and not against the ‘people’ themselves. Such actions, however, can only be done under the law of war. Most people don’t know that even wars have laws.
Over the years the use of violence within international settings are codified in what is referred to as "international humanitarian laws." For example, how an occupying power is supposed to act towards people under its military control is detailed in the Fourth Geneva convention. Crimes of war have also been developed in recent years to hold violators of the laws of war accountable irrespective of time or settings.
Not only war is regulated by the international community, but economic boycotts or sieges, for example, need to be mandated by the UN’s Security Council.
For decades, Israel has enjoyed protection from international censure as a result of its special relationship with the US. Yet even with the support of a permanent security council member, the Israelis have not asked for nor granted the right to boycott an entire community, as it has for Gaza. Amnesty Intertnational has called the illegal boycott a "flagrant violation" of international law. Instead international law still considers Israel as an occupying power and holds them accountable to the people of Gaza under their control.
The Israeli attitude has been unique in its ability to avert effective international condemnation. By applying the term ‘terrorists’ to the Islamists power in Gaza, Israel feels that it can refuse all possibilities of finding a political solution with them. Not only does the Israeli action affect the leaders of Hamas, but it has caused a direct and harmful effect on the entire civilian population of Gaza.
The fatal attacks on humanitarian ships legally registered and bound to the shores of Gaza reflects more than the flaunting of specific laws and covenants. Israeli attempts to solve their problems with Palestinians using only military means, reflects an attitude that rejects the very the concepts for which international humanitarian law is based on today. For a country that was born and has existed with the help of the international community, this reflects the ultimate in arrogance and contempt of the rest of the world.