...While the flotilla is obviously intended as a public-relations challenge to Israel, it has a not-so-hidden legal element as well. For years, the Left has tried to narrow and constrict the law of armed conflict so that it effectively denies Israel (and, by extension, the U.S.) the ability to conduct effective combat operations against jihadists. And while the legality of military blockades against belligerents is well-established under the laws of war, the Left essentially and functionally denies that a state of armed conflict or actual “war” exists against Hamas.
While at home we often argue about the military versus law-enforcement paradigms in our own war on terror, the distinction has real meaning in the international legal debate. Simply put, if you’re fighting a war, a lawful belligerent enjoys a freedom of action that a police officer does not. Yet when the Gaza Flotilla sails (the first ship has already left) and Israel intercepts it on the high seas, the airwaves will fill with allegations that Israel’s actions are “illegal.”
But such claims — just like the claim that the American strike on bin Laden’s compound was unlawful — are grounded in a political argument, not a legal reality. The goal of the Left is to change the law of war to render the use of military force nearly impossible. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban cannot defeat American or Israeli forces on the battlefield, so their functional allies attempt to use international law to accomplish what the actual terrorists cannot. That is the essence of “lawfare.”And the Islamist-Leftist hookup is the essence of a malevolent folie a deux.
Update: Who's behind the second flotilla?
Update: Floating on a sea of Hamas propaganda