Pardon Us for Not Joining the Condemnation

HomeIsraeli commandos rappelled from helicopters onto a ship carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza early Monday, expecting minimal resistance from about 600 pro-Palestinian activists on board. The Israelis badly miscalculated. A melee ended with nine protesters killed. Dozens were wounded, including seven Israeli soldiers.

Many countries quickly condemned the Israeli raid, including its closest ally in the Muslim world, Turkey.

The more we learn about this incident, though, the more it looks like a setup designed to provoke or embarrass Israel.

Video shows the Israeli commandos were surrounded and attacked as they reached the ship's deck. The Israelis tried to avoid a lethal confrontation. Israeli officials reportedly offered the vessel the same deal that was accepted by at least one previous flotilla — divert to the Israeli port of Ashdod and unload the cargo for inspection. As long as the cargo doesn't contain weaponry, it will be shipped into the Gaza Strip by land.

The leaders of the protest group were intent on breaking the blockade. Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Monday that the group has close ties to Hamas and to other terrorist groups, including al-Qaida.

Hamas would like nothing better than freer borders for arms shipments. Right now it has to smuggle arms via tunnels dug under the border with Egypt. The Egyptians sometimes can be persuaded to look the other way, but Egyptian authorities also crack down from time to time and destroy the tunnels.

This is turning into a diplomatic debacle for Israel. On Monday, Egypt opened its border with Gaza to deflect criticism of its role in the Israeli embargo. That's an invitation for weapons smuggling. More ships are headed into international waters near Gaza, apparently to provoke another confrontation.

Pardon us, though, if we don't join the condemnation. Israel has a right to defend itself and a keen interest in preventing arms from reaching Gaza. There's a nasty neighbor in control of that territory, just a short-range rocket away. 

Pardon Us for Not Joining the Condemnation – Chicago Tribune

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sjohnson
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 14:04:00

    There is something very odd about all of this. Supposedly the entire cargo was inspected before they set sail. Supposedly, the flotilla was financed by a terrorist group that supports Hamas. Supposedly the Israelis knew this and therefore boarded the ships in international waters to inspect for guns and other contraband. If all this is true, why would the IDF board the ships armed with paint guns and be unprepared for resistance? This whole thing smells bad.


  2. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 14:13:00

    Hello..Jewish blood flows in my veins..and I join those who condemn this act..I condemn any violent act..what was accomplished here?..what is ever accomplished with violence..
    I do not participate in organized religion..
    I know the reputation of Isreal's counterterrorist does everyone else..I cannot help but feel that those doing the good thing and bringing food to the hungry..should have anticipated this..there MUST HAVE BEEN A PEACEFUL WAY TO GET FOOD TO THE GAZA one is God..except god..
    With the wonderful wisdom of god..I pray he lends a strong hand in teaching us not to adhere to our violent nature.
    Peace Tony


  3. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 14:22:00

    Hello..All of the actions, that after all reflect ancient and recent 16th to 20th Euro-Asian politics..smells off and spoiled to me. It is a continuation of a violent exploitive action..It is fear of invasive repetition that comes Isreal every few ? years. It may be 10yrs. it may be 500..but come it does.
    When is everyone going to take war and oppression off the damn table..when is the golden rule going to be taken seriously? The violent reaction is not only a sign of undisciplined feeling to thought..most do not want to be on the recieving end of a violent reaction or action. Ask the families of the dead..anywhere..ask the homeless refugees..or just look..Peace Tony


  4. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 14:53:00

    Jewish blood flows in my veins as well.
    "Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
    The Whole World Will Hate Israel is Fullfillment of Prophecy

    Zola Levitt Israel in prophecy


  5. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 14:57:00

    (Full Reuters Story) – The following are excerpts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's televised remarks on Wednesday in which he rejected world criticism of Israel's deadly raid this week against an aid flotilla headed to Gaza.
    *Once again Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment.
    *Hamas is smuggling thousands of Iranian rockets, missiles and other weaponry, smuggling it into Gaza in order to fire on Israel's cities.
    These missiles can reach Ashdod, Beersheba, these are major Israeli cities. And I regret to say that some of them can reach now Tel Aviv and very soon the outskirts of Jerusalem. And from the information we have, the planned shipments include weapons that can reach even farther and deeper into Israel. *Under international law and under common sense and common decency, Israel has every right to interdict this weaponry and to inspect the ships that might be transporting them.
    This is not a theoretical challenge or a theoretical threat. We've already interdicted vessels bound for Hezbollah and for Hamas from Iran containing hundreds of tons of weapons.
    *Israel simply cannot permit the free flow of weapons and war materials to Hamas from the sea. I'll go further than that. Israel cannot permit Iran to establish a Mediterranean port a few dozen kilometers from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem, and I go beyond that, too. I say to the responsible leaders of all the nations, the international community cannot afford an Iranian port on the Mediterranean.
    *I warn of this impending willingness to enable Iran to establish a naval port right next to Israel, right next to Europe. The same countries that are criticizing us today should know that they will be targeted tomorrow. *It's for this and for many other reasons we have a right to inspect cargo heading into Gaza. And here's our policy, it's very simple. Humanitarian and other goods can go in, and weapons and war material cannot. And we do let civilian goods get into Gaza. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. *Our naval personnel had no choice but to board these vessels. Now on five of the vessels our seamen were not met by any serious violence and as a result there were no serious injuries aboard those ships. But on the larger ship something very different happened. Our naval personnel … were met with a vicious mob, they were stabbed they were clubbed, they were fired upon… they had to act in self defense. *They were members of an extremist group that … today supports the terror organization called Hamas. They brought with them in advance knives, steel rods, other weapons. They chanted battle cries against the Jews.
    *This wasn't a love boat, this was a hate boat.
    *I think that the evidence that the lives of the Israeli seamen were in danger is crystal clear. *I regret to say that for many in the international community no evidence is needed. Israel is guilty until proven guilty. Once again Israel is told that it has a right to defend itself but it is condemned every time it exercises that right.
    *Israel regrets the loss of life, but we will never apologize for defending ourselves.
    *Israel has every right to prevent deadly weapons from entering into hostile territory, and Israeli soldiers have every right to defend their lives and their country.
    *Israel should not be held to a double standard. The Jewish State has a right to defend itself just like any other state.
    (Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan)


  6. ken
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 15:46:00

    again your compassion is with the wrong people, not only was this whole thing backed by a org that has declared that all jews must die,but everytime gaza gets these shipments,withen months isreal starts getting deadly packages sent in from hamas,isreal does allow food and medical supply's after they have looked through them and made sure that there is no double uses for anything,again i question your motives…………………


  7. Snowy
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 15:50:00

    Israel boarded an unarmed vessel in international waters in an act of piracy and killed 9 people. Nothing they can say can justify this. How would the U.S. feel if this happened to one of their ships?Israel recently forged the passports of Australians and other people from friendly countries in order to murder someone in another country. Israel is wrong, and the U.S. is wrong in not condemning them in their outrageous actions.


  8. Inside_Passage
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 18:36:00

    Addressing your first point alone, Snowy, I have to disagree completely. I don't often hold sympathy for Israel, because they have a history of conducting themselves like ruthless thugs, but this incident with the flotilla was so blatantly contrived to create an international incident that it's hard to believe that people can't see it. Did you not see it coming?This isn't the first time one of these flotillas has approached Israel, apparently, but it's the first time it's gotten this much press. It was all over the news for a couple days in a row despite not being special. These activists are not raving morons. They know perfectly well that Israel has a history of acting like ruthless thugs and they blithely headed directly for the blockade with every intention of violating it. Worse, they stupidly attacked the Israelis who boarded the ship. Peaceful activists don't do that.If illegal immigrants did what those activists did in our country, came out to our border, attacked those that tried to stop them, there would be a righteous outcry. Against the illegals.Putting things in the perspective they actually happened, and not the skew of Israelis are always right or Palestinians are always right, I can't even honestly say these activists are idiots. They knew perfectly well what they were doing, and accomplished it.


  9. Snowy
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 18:50:00

    So you have no problem that this took place in international waters? It's piracy, and no amount of BS about it being contrived will alter that. Who would contrive to have 9-19 of their people killed in order to gain publicity? This has to be the most pathetic excuse dreamed up by the fundamentalist Right that I've ever heard. But then blaming the victim has always been the way they operate.And if an unarmed American ship on a humanitarian mission was boarded by armed troops in international waters I think you'd have a different point of view.


  10. Inside_Passage
    Jun 02, 2010 @ 19:03:00

    That it took place in international waters may be the -only- problem I have with it.This was blatantly not a humanitarian nor was it unarmed. Guns aren't the only things that are defined as arms, you know, and quite frankly, I consider the actions of those so-called "humanitarians" just short of piracy in itself, deliberately manufacturing an incident that will turn more people against Israel. They KNOW how Israel operates, they KNOW how ruthless Israel is and they did it anyway.You want to make a complaint about criminal actions in international waters, I'm willing to entertain that argument, but there is not an ounce of sympathy in me for people pretending to be stupid do-gooders with none of the righteous intentions.


  11. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 06:36:00

    Hello..As much as I condemn abhorrent violent action..what choice does Isreal have to approach..without doing it in their front yard..literally. With so much violence and trouble in their back yard they do have to be careful.
    Further..all of the comments I have read here have valid points. Some address..and show direction from a different frame.
    Everyone in this action was in international waters..everything said in these far as I can determine was least to the eye of the writer.
    It is this type of negative thing that causes wars. It has to be embellished by the overreaction that terrorists and people of that mind rely on. They are in a huge minority. Though everyone can do it..who in the hell wants to?
    The amount of press this got was bound to be exploited by everyone..if not in plan in reaction.
    Everyone was doing what they were expected to do. 'Another good plan'.
    Peace Tony


  12. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 06:37:00

    Though that is indeed true to the has been exploited by others and used by greedy landsmen..Peace Tony


  13. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 06:48:00

    Hello Snowy..One point to the other. The Isreal commando units are the most efficient in the world. I do not condone in any way the type of action you presented in example.
    I have said in a blanket comment what I thought of international waters. The publicity was more likely generated and funded by Hamas. There was the predictable stupidity in embellishing and reacting..something they count on.
    I do believe Ben Lauden has that kind of money. Though he has never been linked to that group..they are there..they came forward..and they exist. I would not like having that kind of extreme nonsense next door.
    It is always next door in Isreal. The fact of the food is good. The violent reaction to trained, well equipped troops was manipulation and death.
    'The Falcon and the Snowman' had one American view of exploiting other nations..Peace Tony


  14. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 06:50:00

    Hello..well said..I do not know that 'do gooders' are stupid..but nontheless..well said..Peace Tony


  15. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 06:54:00

    Hello Ken..I feeling is..would it not be wonderful if they would all stop fighting?..I know why they do not..I just would like it to be..Peace Tony


  16. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 09:14:00

    I agree with you on most every point. However, I do condone and cheer for the right to protection of their very survival. They know the enemy, better than we do.


  17. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 09:21:00

    Tony….Thank you for your comments
    …what choice does Isreal have to approach..without doing it in their front yard..literally. Your statement sent chills up my spine. They have no choice! They know the enemy, he lives next door..literally..


  18. Inside_Passage
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 09:45:00

    I too believe that Israel has the right to protect their survival and that we should support that right unconditionally.However, that protection must be very rigidly defined, not used as an excuse to justify any and every action they might take in the name of "national security" or "protecting their survival". They should not receive a blank check to violate any and every international law at will. It's only one solid step beyond "international waters" to "foreign soil". If they can name ANYTHING as defense of their national survival, attack any enemies who threaten them whenever and wherever without regard for law, that grants them unlimited power that extends to killing people in any country, even the United States if they feel those people are a threat to them. We don't have that right, and neither should they.


  19. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 03, 2010 @ 10:04:00

    I know what you're saying. However, Israel in my opinion has tried to regard international law, even when it has continued not to be favorable.


  20. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 07:35:00

    Hello..I saw this comment..I agree with everything you said..'in the interest of national security' is something that has been used right here, in the U.S…all too often..and for, what I believe to be other purpose, in some cases. The protection of borders is an inherent right. There is a huge example of misuse of that term right here in the U.S…right now. Confusion and oppression. What does an Arizona State Cop, who is ethinically latino, or in any minority do?..I did not intend to veer from the topic..just an example in living happenstance..back to the subject..Isreal has never invaded to expand or conquer..Peace Tony


  21. Cryin' for the Dyin'
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 07:37:00

    Hello..Thank you for posting this interesting and pertinent topic..Peace Tony


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