On Memorial Day, 2010, Israeli commandos were ordered to rappel down a helicopter rope into a boatload of hatred. Hamas activists grabbed the rope and attempted to down the helicopter.
Show Date: June 10, 2010
Did the soldiers choose their assignment? Did they look forward to being pummeled with pipes and knives? Did they anticipate that “peace” activists on-board would throw two of their own overboard – and threaten to lynch others? Certainly not. Were they given orders to shoot to kill on sight? No – they were carrying paint guns and pistols. Did nine people die nonetheless? Yes. Was it a tragic episode? Horribly so. Did Turkey’s President and Hamas hope to create a confrontation with Israel over the Gaza aid flotilla? Absolutely.
Was every man, woman and child in Israel responsible for this turn of events? Should the world hold every newborn and yet to be born accountable? Absolutely not.
And yet, the global hatred fest against Israel, Israelis and Jews – the most vicious in recent memory precisely because it was global and viral – erupted not in days, but in seconds, minutes and hours. All that Hatred was biding its time in virtual bunkers, waiting for the signal to attack.
The New York Times and Washington Post “instantly” published a sea of comments so venomous that any sane person would think the world had suddenly gone insane.
Insane over Hatred of Israelis and Jews.
The flotilla of words reached a feverish pitch when Helen Thomas, a 60 year veteran of the White House Press Corps, said Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else.”
Or how about the European football chant: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” Perhaps the endgame will come sooner than we think.
When the world goes mad, Americans should get mad – not be dragged into the hysteria. Words matter.
As one Israeli citizen wrote: “The boats wanting to break the blockade are playing into the hands of people who don’t give a damn about their passengers. You can’t stop a conflict built on insanity with a Red Riding Hood mentality. We would rather not send our kids, boyfriends and husbands to risk themselves or you…People have being saying things about Israel they wouldn’t believe they said if we, Israeli citizens, the actual people, would send back their messages with a personal note about how it feels to see all their demons showing.”
Israel’s blockade of Gaza is the result of colliding truths: Hamas has declared time and again its intention to destroy Israel – and proved it by launching repeated rocket attacks from the Gaza staging area. Trying to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza, Israel declared a blockade three years ago. Egypt – viewing Hamas as a terrorist organization and threat – put its power behind the blockade. (Yet, there has been no outpouring of global Hatred against Egypt.) Iran is targeting a take-over of Gaza. A majority of Gazans voted for Hamas. But those who voted against Hamas, weren’t old enough to vote or weren’t alive when the vote took place are victims of leaders and policies they didn’t choose.
With events in the Middle East moving rapidly, with political landscapes shifting week to week, few observers care to remember how the situation in Gaza came about and why. Since 2007, the policy of the International Quartet has been to isolate the government that controls Gaza after Hamas forces ousted the forces loyal to the official representative of Palestinians from the Strip in a coup. An ugly and violent coup. “In five days of intense fighting,” reported Der Spiegel, a respectable European publication, “Hamas wrested political control over the 1.4 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Fatah’s troops offered surprisingly little resistance.
By the end of [the] week, victorious Hamas fighters were driving [a Fatah leader’s] few remaining men half-naked through the streets, before executing them in the desert.”
So, there were very good reasons for isolating Hamas and attempting to contain the Gaza Strip. True, the government in charge of Gaza is a headache for Israel. But it is no less of a nuisance to the legitimate representative of the Palestinians—the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas…Recognizing Hamas would signal that the Palestinian Authority could no longer claim to represent the people of Gaza. It would signal that the world is willing to work with a bully, with a group refusing to commit—even rhetorically—to the cause of peace, that it has given up on a better life for the Palestinians of Gaza.
Not even the United States, generally mellow in its response to the raid, could resist the temptation to define the situation in Gaza as “unacceptable and unsustainable.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “we have to deal with the situation in Gaza in a way that both protects Israel’s legitimate security interests and fulfills the needs of the people of Gaza.”
…the likely outcome of the flotilla affair will be that Israel’s security needs will be met, but less vigorously, and the “people of Gaza” will be abandoned. They will get more aid, more food and supplies, maybe some roads and buildings will be repaired—but abandoned they will be. Destined to be ruled by the ruthless and undemocratic Hamas regime without the international community’s protests or objections. ~ Shmuel Rosner, Slate
Was Israel (and Egypt’s) multi-year blockade of Gaza the most effective option? Yes, and it’s unclear. The rocket attacks stopped – for now – but Gazans are hungry for hope. Was there a better way? Possibly. What was it? No one can say – in retrospect – with any certainty. Ironically, Turkey and Israel strengthened military and strategic cooperation during the same 3-year period. Yet, I don’t recall Turkey sending food, medical and building supplies to Gaza – until the Memorial Day flotilla. By comparison, Israel has been sending 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies to Gaza every month.
Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land — evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack. The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million — that number again… refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution. ~ Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
What actions would you have taken against Hamas if you were the Prime Minister and/or Defense Minister of Israel? I would have been wiser, all-seeing, benevolent and made no mistakes. But that’s just me. What would the President of Iran do in a parallel situation? Or the President of Turkey? I’m certain they would allowed in as many weapons as possible, embraced their enemies until it hurt and told their own citizens to accept whatever fate has in store – including generously agreeing to vanish as a sovereign nation if it would make the world a happier place.
And if that didn’t work, they could have launched a flotilla of Hatred against Israelis and Jews, because that’s what rulers and pundits do when self-aggrandizement is their true objective.
But truth has a way of rising to the surface. A new report states that activists who attacked Israeli commandos with clubs and knives boarded the ship in Istanbul without checks and were equipped by the Turkish government with flack jackets embroidered with Turkish flags, communications equipment and gas masks.
In a report published this week, a group of independent investigators from Israel’s intelligence community found that activists aboard the ‘Mavi Marmara’ were part of an organized group that was prepared for a violent conflict. The report, published by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (known in Israel by its Hebrew acronym Malam), said activists who attacked commandos with clubs and knives were supported by the Turkish government.
The report said while most of the Mavi Marmara’s 500 passengers were humanitarian volunteers who underwent security checks before boarding the ship at Antalya in Turkey, a group of 40 IHH activists had boarded the ship in an Istanbul port beforehand, keeping apart from the rest of the passengers throughout the journey. This hard core of activists boarded the ship without checks and was equipped with communications equipment, flack jackets embroidered with Turkish flags, and gas masks, Malam said. According to the report, the group turned the upper deck into its headquarters, blocking it off to other passengers. It had a clear internal hierarchy, with specific activists nominated as commanders.
As they had been banned from bringing wepaons aboard, IHH members improvised weapons including metal rods and knives cut from the ship’s metal rails, which they used to attack the soldiers. According to a witness aboard the ship, a confrontation broke out when the ship’s crew heard IHH members sawing the railing into metal rods, but they were unable to confiscate them from them.
IHH activists also gathered all the knives from six cafeterias on the ship, as well as axes from fire extinguishers on the deck, all of which served as weapons against Israeli commandos. ~ Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz
Two final points:
1) On Wednesday, June 9, the United Nations passed a new round of (watered down) sanctions against Iran. China and Russia supported the sanctions. But Turkey voted against them.
2) The British Petroleum oil catastrophe has been compared to a nuclear attack on the United States – certainly on our Gulf Coast ecosystem. Yet, and rightfully so, not a word in the US press of irrational Hatred towards the British people.
To words that matter,