Forums / Political & Legal / Flotilla's Goal Was Not Humanitarian

4 years 50 weeks ago, 11:10 AM

samD

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A Commentary by Debra J. Saunders

Friday, June 04, 2010 Email to a Friend ShareThis.Advertisement

On CNN earlier this week, American Edward Peck, an activist who sailed with the Free Gaza Movement flotilla, asserted, "The purpose of the movement was humanitarian."

Sorry, but the video of so-called peace activists clubbing Israeli soldiers and tossing one onto a lower deck didn't exactly exude the Kumbaya spirit to me.

While Peck argued that the flotilla was not "hostile," its goal was provocative -- to break Israel's military embargo against Hamas. Activists knew they were taunting a standing army.

They also knew they couldn't lose. Israel already delivers food and other relief to the Gaza Strip. As for the PR war, even before Israeli forces boarded the Gaza armada, the Jerusalem Post reported, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told supporters, "If the ships reach Gaza, it's a victory for Gaza. If they are intercepted and terrorized by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the siege of Gaza."

And I don't think some American and European activists minded being linked with terrorists. When anchor Rick Sanchez had asked Peck if the flotilla organizers had ties to al-Qaida, Peck answered, "No. Are some of the people on it involved? That is possible."

When journalists interviewed the brother of Furkan Dogan, 19, a Turkish American who was killed during the melee and whose body was returned to Turkey, The New York Times reported that the brother replied, "We didn't expect him to come back like this. However, we were not sorry to hear that he fell like a martyr." Be it noted, the usual way to become a martyr in the Middle East is to die while trying to kill other people. So spare me the "humanitarian" conceit.

Sure, Americans and Europeans who boarded the flotilla may tell themselves that they simply wanted to bring food, medical supplies and cement -- barred by Israel lest it be used to build bunkers or tunnels -- to Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants, but at some point, they will have to recognize that they also were serving as tools for men who were prepared to martyr themselves. And in so doing, they have aided extremists who want to move Turkey into the arms of radical Islam.

As Our Betters in Europe pounced on Israel, President Obama has been wise to refrain. There's no need to jump on Israel. Israelis know that, at best, their military blundered by underestimating the threat and ultimately playing into the hands of extremists looking for a public-relations victory.

Other Israelis question the embargo itself. In banning the importation of such innocent goods as instant coffee, dried fruit and nutmeg, as well as the export of Gaza agricultural produce, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gambled that Palestinians would see no future in Hamas and turn on its leaders. That gamble has not paid off.

But then it's hard to win when there are so many guns pointed at your back, and you are held to standards not applied to the true despots of the world, who are not afraid to bite back.

Think about it. A team of international investigators found that North Korea sank a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors. But I don't think you'll see many American peace activists on a flotilla to North Korea.

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4 years 50 weeks ago, 11:34 AM

ecaman

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Great, Sam

Thanks so much for making this a Forum topic. I think that Ms. Saunders nailed it. "Humanitarian", my ass. The whole purpose of the "flotilla" was political activism. It was calculated to be a protest against Israel, and against the U.S., Israel's ally.
I believe that the Israelis on the scene handled the situation poorly, but I fully and completely support Israel. They are our ONLY ally in the middle east, and the only democracy there.
I don't count Turkey as a democracy, since unfortunately they're a democracy in name only.
It's very unfortunate that this happened on a Turkish ship, since Israel and Turkey have been building a good relationship in recent times, or had been until the election of the present government of Turkey. Unless the U.S. can move to smooth the relationship between Israel and Turkey, this incident has set it back very seriously.
As for the European critics of the incident, they have consistently demonstrated themselves to be anti-Israel in recent times, in significant part because of their resentment of the U.S.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
4 years 50 weeks ago, 10:05 AM

LLE

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and for the excellent observations, Mr. ecaman.

I believe the danger facing the free world at present, is getting so caught up in these individual harassment events, that we lose sight of the big picture being painted by the world-wide Islamo-extremist conspiracy. There is little doubt that they wil die trying to get Israel to disappear. They have little or no real concern for the needs of the "palestinian people", but it certainly is a popular issue. If the Islamo-extremists succeed, they know that will be the first major step in lining up absolute followership control of the 1.5 billion Islamists world-wide. The promise, then will be, "today Israel, tomorrow the world".
World-wide jihad, will have real, tangible meaning, if that happens.

Whats that you say?? That will never happen?? Better take a look.........Turkey, a long time friend of Israel[despite being a muslim country], has suddenly turned away, to the extent that as we speak they are planning to cover the next Gaza flotilla with warships and warplanes That is reflective of Erdogan's level of Islamo-extremism---virulent to the point of stupid, self-destructive actions, which will surely result in the end of much of the Turkish military.

So here we are---an Islamo-extremist noose, being tightened around our ally, by the likes of Syria, Iran, Hamas, and all the fellow travellers, including some arab countries who would not want to be connected with this, just yet. And if they are successful in the destruction of Israel, we will look back on 9/11 and be asking ourselves how we could have been so incredibly stupid.
.........and we still have to listen to an Obama administration telling the Israelis they must have restraint. How much more restraint!!?? Paintball guns, instead of tactical nukes??

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
4 years 50 weeks ago, 1:57 PM

HampsterW

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Right LLE et al,

that is why Iran is running as fast as it can to gain nuclear capabilities.

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
4 years 50 weeks ago, 2:44 AM

LLE

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if I remember biblical prophesy correctly, it says, among other things, that the whole world will come against Israel...........I think we are almost there, my friends......when we get "there", what do you suppose will happen next??

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
4 years 50 weeks ago, 4:10 AM

Anonymous

and to think...

the Israelis are fighting against a nomadic people who lay claim to the land upon which Israel formed a country.Nomads are a people or tribe of constant migration(in lay mans terms)so how can Hamas or whomever even begin to lay claim to the lands of Israel?I find myself siding with the Israelis thru all of these "issues".

4 years 50 weeks ago, 9:32 AM

samD

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In "Middle East Crisis: Always Side with the Civilized Man" at Big Government today, Pamela Geller brings a clear moral sense to the ridiculous hysteria being directed against Israel for defending itself:

In the post-American world, a convoy of war ships trussed up as a "flotilla" is affectionately called "humanitarian aid." And now the world is demanding a full-on "investigation" of Israel's defensive action.
I asked former UN Ambassador John Bolton for his take on it. He said, "How Obama reacts in the UN Security Council and more generally will say a lot about his views on Israel."

You gotta love how post-American Obama was so quick to call policeman James Crowley "stupid," motivated by racism in the Gates affair, but when Jewish soldiers were getting beaten to a pulp on the killing flotilla, the Obama administration morally equivocated and "condemned those acts which resulted in the loss of life."

What the hell does that even mean? And Obama and other world leaders are ignoring the fact that, as was reported by the Israel Project, "all nine protesters killed Monday (May 31) aboard a Gaza-bound Turkish ship carrying weapons-wielding activists are believed to be Turkish nationals and were backed by the IHH, an Islamist Turkish group connected to global jihadi networks."

Has the post-American President Obama bothered to watch the murderous beatings?

It would be pointless to advise the UN, which voted Wednesday on a resolution regarding the killing flotilla, to watch the videos; they are blind with Jew-hatred. There's endless video showing jihadists savagely beating Israelis, but they need a full-on Nazi-style indictment of Israel. I am sure there are Richard Goldstone kapos lined up, just salivating for the chance to bury the Jews.

Where was the full-on investigation of North Korea's torpedoing of a South Korean ship, killing 46 innocent sailors in a declaration of war? Where was the full-on investigation of the Iranian mullahcracy, beating, raping and slaughtering its own people in their march for democracy? Where was the full-on investigation of the UN peacekeepers raping and selling children into human trafficking? Where was the UN investigation when China was found to be harvesting organs from the Falun Gong? Where was the UN investigation of sharia law, stonings, hangings, amputations? Where was the UN investigation of the mindless slaughter of Christians by Muslim hordes wielding machetes in Nigeria? Of Mumbai? London? New York? Madrid? Bali?

Only good gets investigated and condemned at the UN. Evil is exalted, celebrated....

4 years 50 weeks ago, 10:42 AM

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down and I am not sure what can be.

Patrolman Kato
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They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
4 years 50 weeks ago, 11:21 AM

LLE

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but I am certain most of the rest of the world would rather stand by and watch the Islamo-terrorist/extremists, and their fellow travellers, wipe Israel off the map. The problem is that that pesky bunch of jews have said "never again", so we are probably going to watch another Masada--only this time, the "Hebrews" [Israelis] have nukes and modern weapon technology, and the "Romans"[Islamo-extremists], who will be led by the pretender to the throne of the second Persian Empire, will suffer a terribly painful extinction. Maybe the world will be satisfied then---let them erase each other from the face of the earth, and the problem will finally be solved for the rest of us.

Charles Krauthammer, is one of my favorite commentators on world events. He just wrote a superb article called "Israel, Disarmed". The article meshes very well with what Pam Geller has written. I would like to post Krauthammer's article here, but I do not know how to do that, so samD---can you give me some help??

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
4 years 50 weeks ago, 2:23 PM

samD

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Then we can make magic happen

4 years 50 weeks ago, 3:47 PM

Schuyler

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JUNE 4, 2010 12:00 A.M.

Israel, Disarmed

If even a blockade, the most passive and benign of defenses, is impermissible, what defenses does Israel have left?

The world is outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administrationdithers.

But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiél, and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza — as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking theblockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Israel has already twice intercepted weapons-laden ships from Iran destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?

But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort toblockade? Because blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically delegitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself — forward and active defense.

1. Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense — fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai peninsula and Golan Heights) rather than its own.

Where possible (Sinai, for example), Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southernLebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks.

But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies — and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.

Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land — evacuating southern 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.

2. Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense — military action to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat (to borrow President Obama’s description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.

The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and the Gaza operation of 2008–09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N.’s Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli — the precedingand unprovoked Hamas rocket war — effectively delegitimized any active Israeli defense against its self-declared terror enemies.

3. Passive defense: Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but the most passive and benign of all defenses — a blockade to simply prevent enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international delegitimization.

But, if none of these are permissible, what’s left?

Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, 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 is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010, The Washington Post Writers Group.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
4 years 50 weeks ago, 3:52 PM

LLE

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Hope that will help!! I think Charlie said it all.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
4 years 50 weeks ago, 4:03 PM

Pkato

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I really like

Krauthammer, he is very good, does not invoke emotion
but tells it the way it is and explains things in very simple
terms. We could use politicians like him...but I suppose
most people don't want to hear the real truth. Which is
oh so sad...but I do feel things are changing.

If I ever ran for office...I swear, I wouldn't embellish anything
I have done, I wouldn't lie about anything and if something
came out that was a mistake or someone in my administration
said or did anything controversial I would immediately handle
it and let the press know what I was doing. I think Americans
can handle a LOT, as long as their politician is honest about
it. We forgive pretty easily. I always thought Clinton was an
ass for not coming clean (no pun intended). He was well liked
and if he just came right out in the beginning and admitted it,
everything would have ended and it would have died pretty
quickly...instead we are still seeing jokes about stains and blue
dresses almost 15 years later!

Ok...if anything, I would just downplay what happened on my
Thailand, Philippine, Laos, Cambodia, etc trips...but I would
need to fess up to a lot of it!

Patrolman Kato
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
4 years 50 weeks ago, 4:06 PM

Pkato

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They should

have blown the second floatilla out of the water...everyone
hates them anyway, so who cares? I really think Obama
wants Israel to just go away. I saw a poll that showed 7 out
of 10 Jewish voters supported Obama and now only 4 out of 10
do. Of course the poll was before this latest shit...so maybe
it's 2 or 3.

Patrolman Kato
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
4 years 50 weeks ago, 4:16 PM

Schuyler

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I suspect this is happening now with the tacit back channel support of the Obama Administration. Any other American President would have sent a Carrier Strike Group into that area and said, "Hand off." If Obama were not in office, this situation would never have developed.

FWIW the Harry S Truman, CVN-75 is just about to enter the Mediterranean and could be in the area within a few days. In most of these deployments, the group is headed to the 5th fleet AOR (Area of Responsibility) to relieve the Eisenhower in Afghan support duties. It will have to traverse the Suez Canal to do that, of course. However, for a short time there will be two carriers in the Middle East, either of which could be diverted in Israel's direction.

Addendum. The Nassau, LHA4, is at the southern end of the Suez right now. That's a big deck amphibious strike force (Marines with guns & helicopters).There is normally one LHA/LHD group and one Carrier Strike Group in the general area at all times. Both these groups are comprised of about ten ships each, including supply support, destroyers and cruisers, and at least one fast attack sub.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
4 years 50 weeks ago, 2:54 AM

LLE

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threatning to up the ante by riding on the next flotilla, and possibly be covered by Turkish warships and military aircraft. Can't you just imagine the drama, and worldwide headlines, when he is captured by the Israeli commandos, flown to Jerusalem, and feted with honors, as the head of State of an erstwhile ally? I wonder, however, what would happen, if any of the flotilla ships were found to be secreting weapons and ammunition. This could be an instantaneous SHTF event.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]

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