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Israel Overcomes Tough Turkish Defense 9-0
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Last week’s declaration by Representative Brad Sherman that he would be asking the Attorney General to prosecute as terrorism supporters any and all Americans who participated in the Gaza flotilla should come as no surprise to those of us who have spent years watching congress line up to genuflect to Israel.

But this article by one Holly Yan on a local TV station website originating in Dallas – Ft. Worth takes the cake. Helpless commandos viciously attacked by unarmed passengers. Man bites dog.

“Nearly two weeks after members of the Israeli navy were attacked by passengers of a Turkish flotilla, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R- Texas, denounced the attack and introduced a resolution supporting Israel.

‘Every country has a right to defend itself, and Israel is no different,’ Cornyn said in a written statement. ‘The flotilla was a disgraceful and premeditated attempt to provoke a violent confrontation with Israel, hidden under the cloak of a humanitarian relief effort. This type of despicable conduct must be condemned and I hope my colleagues will join me in cosponsoring this important resolution to help remind the world that the United States stands with Israel.’

The ‘Free Gaza’ flotilla was sponsored by the Humanitarian Relief Foundation and a Turkish organization. When it entered Israel’s defensive blockade May 31, the Israeli navy intercepted the Mavi Marmara ship and boarded. Passengers of the Mavi Marmara attacked members of the navy with knives, pipes, clubs and other weapons.

The Israelis then killed nine of the attackers in what many call an act of self defense.

Israel created the blockade of Gaza in 2007 in an attempt to block rockets and mortars into Israel.”,0,5388352.story

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza Flotilla, Israel, Turkey 
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  1. Matt says:

    The flotilla was a disgraceful and premeditated attempt to provoke a violent confrontation with Israel, hidden under the cloak of a humanitarian relief effort.

    This is no doubt true.

  2. Matt – Nope. I know two of the Americans who were with the flotilla and both were on a humanitarian mission. Maybe some folks were hoping for a confrontation but to describe the entire flotilla as a disgraceful and premeditated attempt to provoke a violent confrontation is flat out wrong and is precisely what the Israelis would like everyone to think.

  3. Matt says:

    Since the Israelis made it known early on that they would stop the flotilla and that they considered it an attempt to violate their blockade, I don’t know how we can refer to this as anything other than a provocation. That’s not to say that everyone in the flotilla had political intentions, or that it was a wholly evil endeavor, but on the whole they knew what they were doing and they broadly knew how Israel would probably react. At the very least, once they started beating soldiers with pipes and throwing them overboard, they were well past the point of provoking a response.

  4. “At the very least, once they started beating soldiers with pipes and throwing them overboard, they were well past the point of provoking a response.”

    Is that provocation, or defense? I mean their ship was being borded illegally, in international waters, by heavily armed Israeli Commandos. I would presume they would have a right to defend their ship.

    Regardless, whether they were on a humanitarian mission, or were seeking a provocation, they were not doing anything illegal. They were on a boat in international water….The Israeli army, on the other hand, commited an ACT OF WAR against a long-time ally.

  5. James says:

    Anti-Israeli groups wanted a tragedy and got one. Rather than disarm and disown Hamas, Palestinian Arabs continue to play the disproportion game wherein having the bigger gun is deemed immoral and intent is thrown out the window. 2000-3000 rockets flying out of Gaza mean nothing to the international media in such a scenario.

  6. Like I said before: When I break into your house so I can rape your wife and daughter, you’d better not pull a butter knife on me! If you do, I’ll have to shoot you in self-defense!

  7. Gee, Matt, armed men land on your ship in international waters in the middle of the night and it’s wrong to fight back? Using your reasoning the guys on Flight 94 should not have resisted the hijackers on 9/11.

  8. Suffused through all this is the successful effort of Israel to declare anyone who fights Israel as a terrorist beyond the pale. So Iran “backs terrorism” but the terrorists they back are not particularly interested in attacking us. Hezbolla and Hamas never attacked the continental US. So their “terrorism” consists in their resistance to Israel. And of course Israel itself began as a collection of terrorists organizations attacking our British allies.

    If we let the Israelis make their enemies our enemies we will end up with a lot of enemies indeed.

  9. TomB says:

    Matt wrote:

    “I don’t know how we can refer to this as anything other than a provocation.”

    Well of course it was a provocation. Unless you believe the Israelis have the right to declare anything a provocation however and this thereby makes same morally wrong—which seems to be the argument here—the question still remains as to whether the Israeli reaction was just.

    Clearly it wasn’t. In the first, narrow place, one ought to note that it’s almost certainly false to accuse the provocateurs of *wanting* violence since if they did they hardly would have relied on the makeshift kind of weapons they clearly just grabbed up as they could. At the very least a pile of 2 x 4’s would have made them better equipped. And regardless of this even how does one explain what seems the plethora of head shots inflicted by the Israelis during this raid?

    In the second, larger perspective, collective punishment is clearly wrong, and yet is clearly what Israel is doing in Gaza. Israeli officials have even admitted as such, and it’s entirely of a piece with what it has long practiced such as indiscriminate shelling of Beirut, salting Southern Lebanon with anti-personnel bomblets as it withdrew from same, and etc., etc., ad infinitum it can seem.

    Indeed, when one thinks about it, challenging what is clearly the entire rest of the world’s hard-fought realization that collective punishment is wrong can only be considered a provocation on steroids. But then of course comes the hypocrisy whereby it’s observed how insanely evil Hitler’s brand of collective punishment was, or how equally evil it is to ascribe the behavior or character of one jew or even Israel itself to all jews, with Israel, for instance, now standing accused of war crimes by no less than a jewish fellow like Mr. Goldstone. (And this is despite Israel proclaiming itself “the jewish” state and her leaders constantly telling everyone that it does indeed represent world jewry.)

    For Israel then it’s particularly “provocative” in more ways than one for it to be acting and talking in the way that it has as regards Gaza. That is, being “provocative” in the additional sense of being hypocritical to a simply gag-inducing degree.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I know two of the Americans who were with the flotilla and both were on a humanitarian mission.
    Philip, that tells us more about your notion of “humanitarianism”, than about what actually happened.

  11. Matt says:

    I’m not sure what we’re actually discussing anymore. We’ve got rape analogies and 9/11 analogies, but I fail to see the relevance. The IDF soldiers obviously did not intend from the start to cause any bodily harm; otherwise you’d have a lot more dead than 9. It seems sensible to take Israel’s statements at face value, that they intended to escort the ships to Israel, inspect the cargo, and send to Gaza what was permitted. If you believe Israel is a legitimate state with a national security interest in preventing Hamas from obtaining weapons, then this is hardly an unwarranted and vicious course of action.

    Of course some will say here that the blockade itself is illegitimate, since by all accounts Israel blocks far more than just weapons. Well ok, I agree inasmuch as it should be reformed to be more sensible, but then we aren’t on the subject of the raid anymore.

    If the raid was an act of war against Turkey, then how is Turkey’s letting the flotilla set sail in the first place, with the stated intention of running Israel’s blockade, not an act of war in itself? That’s what makes the Turkish response so comical; if they had just detained the ships they could have avoided all of this.

  12. Thanks Ivan. I do know the difference between humanitarian and Israeli propaganda, Apparently you do not.

    Matt – How can you ignore that armed commandos landed on ships in international waters and killed basically unarmed passengers when they resisted? “Send to Gaza what was permitted?” Permitted by whom and on what authority? If you wanted to make an arrest you would have landed policemen, wouldn’t you but even then what crime was being committed? If you think Israel has a right to enforce its own rules over all its neighbors then fine, but I don’t share that view. I think Israel is a rogue state that plays by its own rules, doing along the way tremendous damage to the United States, but I guess that is just my own viewpoint. You are perfectly entitled to see it differently.

  13. Matt says:

    Permitted by whom and on what authority?

    Here you seem to be disagreeing that Israel is “a legitimate state with a national security interest in preventing Hamas from obtaining weapons”. Perhaps you agree that Israel is legitimate, but disagree that they have a legitimate right to or interest in blocking weapons from entering Gaza. If you don’t think Israel should be able to disarm those who openly avow their intent to destroy it, then I don’t know where else to go.

    If you think the raid was heavy handed in its execution and could have been conducted in a manner far less likely to turn violent and end up a PR disaster for Israel, then we can find agreement. If you think Israel has absolutely no authority to enforce its own blockade of Gaza, then we’re not on the same page at all. Israel absolutely has every right to defend itself over the objections of its neighbors. That’s a right I’d reserve for every country, and I hope most people would agree. If the defense is in response to a threat that was not truly a threat (e.g. the US invasion of Iraq), or if the defensive response is way out of proportion to the threat posed (e.g. the Gaza and Lebanon invasions) then we can go from there and make some substantive criticisms, but that doesn’t invalidate the basic principle at work here.

    I agree that Israel is a rogue state, if by ‘rogue state’ you mean that they are acting recklessly and not in their own best interests. Reflexive US support and US aid help enable this behavior, and if we were in a sensible country we could debate the productivity of such policies. Of course we aren’t, so that won’t happen anytime soon.

  14. Sorry, Matt, but Israel is a rogue state in a manner that Iran is not. Tell me, how many countries has the Islamic Republic attacked in the past 50 years? (Kindly remember that Saddam Hussein started the Iran-Iraq war, back when he was America’s friend, before April of 1990 when he threatened to fire missiles at Israel and was instantaneously transformed into “The Most Dangerous Man in the World”—the actual title of an ABC “Prime Time Live” segment—several months BEFORE he invaded Kuwait.)

    Contrast this with the number of countries attacked by Israel over the same time period. Heck, IF the Iranians are pursuing nukes, I can’t say I bloody well blame them!

  15. Greg says:

    Frankly, Israel didn’t do enough. They should have just sank the ship. Let the “aid workers” duke it out among themselves for the life boats.

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