I admitted that I jumped the gun in my response to the Israeli Naval Commandos boarding the Mavi Marmara one of six ships that was part of the “Freedom Flotilla” that was going to try to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. In the process 16 of the crew were shot and killed which brought international criticism.
I think the media coverage we’ve seen so far has been pretty one sided. They have portrayed this crew as being peaceful activists. A video just released of the boarding shows a different picture.
This video coupled with the facts I think tell quite a different story.
This group was warned that their ships were going to be boarded and searched if they tried to run the blockade.
They were given the opportunity to deliver humanitarian supplies to an Israeli port in order for it to be sent to Gaza.
Israel is in armed conflict with
Palestinian AuthorityHamas, and as a result had the right to blockade Gaza and to enforce that blockade.
Thereby they had the legal right to board ships in international water under current international maritime law.
The crew of the Mavi Marmara clearly attacked the commandos as they were boarding the ship first. It isn’t like the commandos lined up the crew and shot them while they were unarmed. The commandos do have a right to defend themselves while being attacked.
This flotilla was being backed by a terror finance organization – The Turkish IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi in Turkish) which would certainly be a red flag to Israeli intelligence
They knew full well they were not going to reach Gaza. Ralph Peters in a New York Post op/ed today pointed out the flotilla’s ulterior motives and Turkey’s role in all of this.
Yesterday’s "aid convoy" incident off the coast of Gaza wasn’t about bringing humanitarian supplies to the terrorist-ruled territory. It wasn’t even about Israel.
It was about Turkey’s determination to position itself as the leading Muslim state in the Middle East.
Three ships of that six-ship pro-terror convoy flew Turkish flags and were crowded with Turkish citizens. The Ankara government — led by Islamists these days — sponsored the "aid" operation in a move to position itself as the new champion of the Palestinians.
And Turkish decision-makers knew Israel would have to react — and were waiting to exploit the inevitable clash. The provocation was as cynical as it was carefully orchestrated.
He then points out the video that was shot…
The lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, just happened to have an al-Jazeera TV crew on board to film Israel’s response. Ironically, the early videos would’ve been counterproductive, had world leaders and journalists not been programmed to blame everything on Israel.
Those videos showed Israeli commandos rappelling onto the ship with both hands on the rope (making it rather hard to use a weapon), yet activists claimed the Israelis opened fire as they descended.
Purely by coincidence, dozens of "peace activists" waited with sharpened iron bars, clubs, slingshots — and rifles. Of course, the nine dead in the melee were all Israel’s victims.
The first wave of Israeli commandos reportedly were armed only with paintball rounds for crowd control. Inspect those videos of maddened peaceniks assaulting the soldiers as they landed on deck. You don’t see any Israelis pointing rifles — they’re fending off blows.
But the claims of pro-terrorist "peace advocates" are given instant credence.
I think the world has been duped, and at second glance I believe the blame lies with IHH and the crew of the Mavi Marmara. I don’t think Israel is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and like I said before my support for them is not blind. The facts speak for themselves. Had the flotilla heeded Israel’s warning no one would be dead. Had they truly responded in a peaceful manner to Israel’s lawful boarding – no one would be dead.
But I know it’s fashionable to just blame Israel, but we shouldn’t ignore the facts (and video evidence) before reaching a conclusion.
Category: Foreign Policy