1st part of 2
June 4, 2010 - By now virtually the whole world has heard about the debacle of the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla." And virtually the whole world has condemned
On May 31 Israeli naval forces stopped a group of six ships trying to break the blockade of
When the situation is defined in these terms, it's hard not to feel deep hatred for
1. The facts do not support this portrayal.
2. The facts hardly matter anymore.
Let's take each point in turn.
The Facts Do Not Support the Popular Portrayal
The "Freedom Flotilla" billed itself as a nonviolent, peaceful mission to help the starving people of
The "nonviolent" protesters were not nonviolent. Video exists showing that those on board had prepared metal rods and knives, slingshots, and broken bottles to attack the Israelis. Not generally reported but noteworthy are spent bullet cartridges found on the Mavi Marmara that were not of any caliber used by Israeli commandos, some of whom did suffer gunshot wounds. Also found were propaganda photos of protesters who were supposedly injured. Evidence that these photos were shot during daylight showed they were prepared hours before the operation, which took place at night. The "nonviolent" nature of the flotilla is a myth, though a well-staged one.
The Israelis did carry side arms, but were under orders not to use them unless their lives were in danger. At first they tried using nonlethal methods to break up the attack. They had paintball guns to disperse the crowds, but those were not sufficient to stave off the threat. Video exists showing Mavi Marmara protesters attacking Israeli soldiers, beating them with metal pipes and chairs, and throwing one Israeli soldier over the railing to a deck below. The soldier suffered a serious wound to the head.
A humanitarian "crisis"?
Now let's look at the assumption that these protesters were trying to relieve a "humanitarian crisis" in
The reason for the blockade is simple. It is not to impose suffering on the Palestinian people. Hamas has been importing material to manufacture weapons and an infrastructure of bunkers it has used to attack Israeli citizens inside
The plain fact is that
These goods include not only food but building supplies. Imports of cement and iron must be controlled because Hamas uses them to cast bunkers and rockets for attacking Israeli cities. Nevertheless, tons of iron and cement are regularly allowed into
Gazans are suffering not because
In spite of this theft by Hamas, ample goods are reaching the people of
“Everything I demand, I can get,” says Abu Amar al-Kahlout, who sells household goods out of a warehouse big enough to accommodate a passenger jet. (Buck, 2010)
And now, irony of ironies: After so much concern about a humanitarian crisis, Hamas is refusing to allow into
If a humanitarian crisis really does exist in
Who were the flotilla organizers?
So just who are these "Freedom Flotilla humanitarians"
The IHH is a Turkish Islamic NGO and owner-operator of three of the ships, including the Mavi Marmara. A report by the Danish Institute for International Studies identifies the IHH as a "charitable front group" supporting terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents in
A French intelligence report (citation in Kohlmann, 2006) found that the IHH was recruiting soldiers for a coming "holy war" and sending them to war zones in Muslim countries to get combat experience (see Isseroff, 2010 for further details).
The true intentions of this supposed mission of "peace" became evident as the participants shouted this chilling battle cry, on footage taken aboard the flotilla just before its departure:
"Remember Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"
Khaybar is the name of the last Jewish village destroyed by Muhammad in 628, marking the beginning of the end of any Jewish presence in
(Watching it I couldn't help thinking of Stevenson's
The clip ends with one woman passenger proudly proclaiming: "Right now we face one of two happy endings: either martyrdom or reaching
It looks like they got what they wanted.
The other group involved with the flotilla, the Free Gaza Movement, also has a distinguished membership. The FGM is a coalition of pro-Palestinian activists. They were the main coordinators of the flotilla, and its board of directors prominently includes Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf, founding members of the International Solidarity Movement. Arraf is actually the board chair of the FGM and was herself aboard one of the ships.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) practices to perfection the pretense of nonviolence and peace while actually supporting violence and terrorism. While ISM members do not engage directly in violence, they make no secret of supporting those who do. They even say the Palestinian "resistance" must be "both nonviolent and violent." The ISM in fact has ties to violent groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It has supported terrorists and shielded them from Israeli authorities.
It is no coincidence that these people are behind the Free Gaza Movement. They are practicing the identical strategy: using the language of peace and humanitarianism to mask an act of war. And that is exactly what the flotilla action was. Its purpose was to break the Israeli blockade in order to enable the free flow of weapons to Hamas. It is the same purpose the ISM had when it tried to block Israeli bulldozers from demolishing tunnels used for smuggling weapons into
Here is another glimpse of the sincerity of the peace-loving humanitarians. The following exchange was captured from a radio transmission between the Israeli Navy and the Mavi Marmara. You can hear it yourself on YouTube (see the final video listed in the sources at the end of this article).
Israeli ship: This is the Israeli Navy. You are approaching an area which is under a naval blockade.
Mavi Marmara: Shut up! Go back to