I found this article to be very interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have come into contact with many people who support the “Canadian Boat to Gaza” in my time at Western. I am somewhat familiar with their goals and mission and I do not necessarily believe that at the core of the mission of this particular organization is a desire to aid terrorists. That being said, any group that helps further the cause of terrorists without directly funding the killing but funding them in other ways is still responsible for all actions of the group that they are supporting. A constant theme that I talk about is that Palestinians are NOT all terrorists. There are lots of bad apples that are spoiling the bunch. I firmly believe that the Fatah government in the West Bank is a good partner for peace and I sincerely hope in a continued effort towards a meaningful and lasting peace.
Now that I have added my disclaimer, I think it is important to show that yes, supporting a boat to Gaza is going to hurt the Palestinian people in the long run. I do not agree with everything Israel does. In the same breath I would like to ask anyone who is thinking critically about the situation in the middle east - what would you do if you were Israel and were being rocketed daily by terrorists? Israel has tried targeted killings, they have tried war, and now, they are trying economic sanctions. Is Gaza completely starved? No. Israel does provide enough aid to Gaza for the people to survive. Would it be wise for Israel to give a people that ‘democratically’ elected a terrorist organization to be their leaders a glut of aid? I would suggest that the answer to that ought to be an emphatic “NO!”
So, how does sending a boat full of aid to try and test Israel’s blockade HELP the terrorists? The reasons are twofold. Firstly, it draws media attention to the plight of the poor Palestinians who are being oppressed by Israel and are only defending themselves by shooting rockets at civilians. Secondly, it is adding legitimacy to Hamas’ government by approaching them as an independent state. Will they be one eventually? Yes. Will it be before they renounce terrorism? I sure hope not.
So, on to the real question: Can you sue a terrorist? Is Hamas wants to become part of a legitimate Palestine, they are going to need to be accountable for their actions. The issue is, to what legal body can you bring a government to sue them? You can’t really. All you can do is what the Americans do and let them rot in Guantanamo Bay (legit or not… that’s up to you - some Liberals would say no… but then how would they propose you deal with terrorists?).
As for the news story that I linked in the title of this post… Do they really have a chance at suing the ‘Canadian Boat to Gaza’ for damages caused by some of the money they send to Gaza directly (or indirectly) funding a terrorist government? I wish I could say they stand a chance, but I think this case is a bit too hard to prove, though I sincerely hope that I am proved wrong.
One last reason why I decided to write about this today was because at my convocation yesterday some girl who had just been ‘hooded’ pulled out a huge banner on stage garnering everyone’s attention. It was about supporting the boat to Gaza. Not only was the stage of convocation an absolutely wrong place to make a political statement, she got some applause but made a whole lot of students very uncomfortable. Convocation is NOT the place you want to feel that way at all. To say the least myself, family, and friends were not pleased. Obviously there is nothing the university can do because the degrees have already been conferred but it was just so inappropriate of a venue that even I was shocked that it was there (I’m involved in lots of very politically charged events all the time… so little surprises me on this front).
Anyways, just thought I would share this interesting article about victims of Hamas’ rockets in Sderot suing the ‘Canadian Boat to Gaza’ and I am very interested to see if they have any legal recourse in this matter. Ironically, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario was the man getting the Honorary Doctorate at my convocation and now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense that someone try and expound that message in light of this court case and being in the presence of a presiding justice.