Thursday, June 10, 2010

Legalese -v- Bullets and Bombs

Christopher Jon Bjerknes

I do not know if Erdogan himself ever really stated that he is considering traveling aboard a Turkish naval vessel bound for Gaza to bring relief aid to the Palestinians, but there are reports that he did. Could be bait, perhaps not, I just do not know.

What is certain is that an Israeli named Uzi Dayan is calling for Israel to declare any such voyage an act of war and to respond by sinking the vessels:

Israeli Gen. threatens to drown Erdogan

If Erdogan is for real, then it would be a very bad idea for him to deliver himself to the reaper on a silver ship. However, I do think that Turkey should send a navy vessel to Gaza, but must do so carefully and thoughtfully in anticipation of the Jews' efforts to use the law against Turkey.

My first impression is that Turkey should by no means go it alone and should be joined by Arabs and Persians, and for that matter, Malaysians, Indonesians, Pakistanis, etc; perhaps even Russians. But this raises technical legal issues which the Turks may or may not consider important. Bullets trump contracts every time, and NATO has already crapped on Turkey and violated its treaty obligations.

What are Turkey's obligations under NATO? Can it join with States like Russia, Iran and Pakistan to deliver aid, or would it be wiser for each nation to maintain complete independence? Should they come to one another's defense in the event one nation is attacked but not the other?

Though it seems unreasonable to expect that it would happen, it might be wise to have other NATO nations join the fleet, if any such venture arises in fact. Perhaps Albania, Norway and/or Greece could join with Turkey? Does Turkey have the right to sue NATO under its charter or treaties? Can it petition for support in the form of troops and/or military supplies and intelligence?

If Turkey declares its entirely lawful intentions, and Israel threatens Turkey with war should Turkey take those legal actions, can Turkey demand NATO support before proceeding and would it be a breach of security measures for NATO members to publicly discuss Turkey's requests and demands? Would it not be another act of war for Israel to threaten Turkey so as to intimidate Turkey to prevent it from exercising its legal rights? Are not such threats also violations of the Charter of the United Nations?

This situation certainly provides a testing grounds for the rule of international law and for the real purpose for which NATO was formed. Does not NATO exist to secure its member States, or is NATO a weapon of convenience meant to serve the Jews and only the Jews? What of the UN?

What would happen should any aid ever reach Gaza?

Could not Turkey have its military enter Egypt and provide Gazan relief by land? Would Israel attack the Turks on Egyptian soil? If the Turks sincerely want Arab support, would this not be a better means of obtaining it? Again what happens should aid make it to Gaza at the Egyptian border? Surely the Jews will storm in at that location. Would the Turks have the legal right to defend their cargo in Gaza until it is distributed and changes title to the Palestinians individually and institutionally?

At what point do the Jewish provocations change from attacks on the Palestinians to acts of war on Turkey itself? At what point will Turks declare that the issue is no longer just Palestinian rights, but instead how to respond to the Jews' war on Turkey, a war which has been going on for centuries?

Turkey will need economic support from Arabs. Will it be forthcoming and provide Turkey with an actual gain over its relationship to the Jews? Turkey will need the Arabs to hurt Israel economically. Will the Arabs do so? How can the Turks ensure that an Israeli open attack on the Turkish military would be so costly that the Jews would never attempt it? The cleanest way to defeat the Jews is to convince the Jews that they cannot win and must not try.

Ultimately, international law is a matter of force. No one knows this better than the Turks.