By now you may have heard about the “peace” flotilla that was stopped by the Israeli military, resulting in at least ten activists being killed. If not, here is a bit of background. Various peace activists useful idiots and fellow travelers have been sending shipments of aid to Gaza over the past few years. The main purpose of these activities are to place a spotlight in Israel as an evil, apartheid regime mantaining an illegal blockade against the poor suffering souls of Gaza. However, Israel has not prevented the aid from reaching Gaza. The aid is allowed entry, after Israeli officials search the ships and containers for any possible contraband. “No matter”, say the activists, “the main issue is the blockade. We should be able to deliver what we want directly to the people of Gaza Hamas terrorists without any interference from Israel.” So this time, they openly declared their desire to break through the blockade.
Who organized this action? What organization is behind it? The Turkish organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief or IHH), which not surprisingly, has ties to terrorist groups:
According to a report by the Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center, senior Islamic extremists attended the launching ceremony in Istanbul of a boat participating in the flotilla. Among the participants were Mahmad Tzoalha and Sahar Albirawi, both top Hamas terrorists who today operate in Great Britain, and Hamam Said, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.
Bolant Yilderim, the chairman of the IHH, a Turkish based pro-Palestinian organization that is spearheading the Gaza flotilla, delivered a radical speech at the ceremony to the abpplause of Turkish politicians and radical Islamic activists. “Israel behaves like Hitler did towards the Jews. Hitler built concentration camps in Germany, and today the Zionist entity is building concentration camps in Palestine,” said Chairman Yilderim.
The rally was also attended by Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who praised the attitude of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and asked leaders of the entire Arab world to follow his example.
Details surrounding the event are still coming in but media reports note the flotilla openly attempted to break through the blockade whereupon the were engaged by the Israeli military. Warning shots were fired to no avail and the decision was made to storm the ships. Israeli commandos descended from helicopters in an attempt to stop the ships and met resistance from the crew. The Israelis first used non-lethal weapons but when one was stabbed they responded with lethal force.
For those who are still convinced the activists were a peaceful lot, dedicated to passive resistance, “defense officials say soldiers attacked with rocks and knives upon boarding ships” and a protester attempted to steal a soldiers weapon. Some of the protesters were armed with pistols and fired at the commandos. Yeah, sounds like a real peaceful bunch of folks to me.
If you don’t believe me, check out these videos:
In any event, Israel will be demonized, as usual. The military takes the utmost care but it doesn’t matter. Some suggest more could have been done and I agree. After the initial warning shots were fired, Israel should have sunk every last one of those ships.
MORE ADDED (June 1, 2010)
Max Boot (WSJ)
Matthew Continetti (Weekly Standard)
Leslie Gelb (The Daily Beast)
Evelyn Gordon and Max again at Contentions. John Podhoretz responds. So does Jennifer Rubin.
Lastly, Peter Beinart writes “Don’t blame the commandos for the flotilla disaster. Blame Israel’s leaders, who enforce the cruel and corrupt Gaza embargo, and their supporters in America.” I find it hard to believe this is the same Peter Beinart who called for a return to the muscular, vital-center/cold-war liberal tradition in The Good Fight. More on this in a future post.
In the meantime, Sultan Knish has this to say:
Beinart himself suggests that only when the Palestinian terrorists are happy, and Israel is transformed into an oasis of social justice, (and presumably all conservative parties are banned and the Russian immigrants who voted in Lieberman are deported back to Russia) will his compatriots possibly get on board with supporting Israel again. Which really means that their support for Israel is conditional on the Palestinian terrorists accepting Israel. That is not the way that people who actually ever have any intention of supporting Israel talk or think. It is the way that people who trying to strengthen the terrorists’ hand argue. And of course that is the real aim of the left.