…armed with knives, bats, and metal pipes. Read Pamela Geller’s coverage of the Gaza “peace flotilla” incident.
Also see video at Maggie’s Farm, where Bruce Kesler comments:
The convoy was not humanitarian in intent or action. It was a blatant political propaganda ploy, intentionally belligerent in leadership, word and deed, to provoke in order to pressure Israel to commit suicide, opening Gaza’s borders to the type of infusion of deadly weapons and missiles for Hamas to attack Israel that flows unimpeded into Lebanon.
Any who defend the convoy or its passengers are actually furthering avoidable death and war.
Extensive coverage and commentary also at Bookworm.
No military or coast guard force in the world would have permitted such an attack on its personnel without a forceful response..and in the case of many countries, such response would have been considerably more violent than that carried out by Israel.
It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments — play an absolutely essential role in the drama. If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media. Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves.
And, right on cue, here’s a condemnation of Israel’s actions from the president of the United Nations general assembly. Anybody surprised? And here’s a college professor, quoted approvingly by a financial journalist, with a bizarre comparison of Israel to North Korea.
From today’s Wall Street Journal:
As Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations writes nearby, the flotilla—which falsely billed itself as a “humanitarian” mission—was organized by a radical Turkish group with close ties to Hamas, the terrorist group that illegally seized power in Gaza in 2007. Since then, both Israel and Egypt have imposed a partial blockade on the Strip, mainly to prevent Hamas from arming itself with the kinds of weapons it used to spark a war with Israel in December 2008. Food, medicine and electricity continue to flow to Gaza.
The Gaza war also elicited international protests against Israel, which time and again is told what it can do in its own self-defense, with its critics deeming nearly every effective military action “disproportionate.”…We suppose Israel could have allowed the flotilla to pass to avoid the political fallout it is now enduring. Had it done so, however, it would have merely created a channel through which Hamas could be supplied with ever-more advanced weaponry (much of it courtesy of Iran), thus setting the stage for an even bloodier future war in Gaza.
Those who denounce Israel today ought to at least propose how they mean to keep arms from going to Hamas—or else consider the role their denunciations will play in encouraging another war.
Max Boot does argue, in his own WSJ column today, that Israel needs to do a better job with PR and information warfare:
As it does too often, Israel took a narrow military operational approach to what is a broader strategic problem. Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups are conducting a skillful “information war” that is making Israel a pariah state in the international community. Israel, like the United States and other democratic nations, is at a severe disadvantage trying to combat a ruthless foe willing to sacrifice its own people to score propaganda points.
There are no perfect counter-tactics available, but whenever Israel does use military force it needs to be more aware of the political ramifications.
Zenpundit makes a similar point on this blog.
It’s true that Israel’s PR efforts often seem clumsy, and it may be that the Gaza interception could have been better executed tactically. But PR is an art, not a science, and military operations are inherently unpredictable. The real issue here is the depth of the reservoir of hostility toward Israel in western countries, especially among certain elites. While some of this hostility could be or could have been drained by more effective PR on the part of Israel and its supporters, a lot of it goes much deeper. The hostility toward Israel and the romanticization of Palestinian terrorism on the part of certain influential groups in western society–epecially among writers, journalists, entertainers, professors, etc–largely reflects a more fundamental hostility toward American society, toward Western civilization, and indeed even toward civilization itself. Palestinian society is under the spell of a nihilist death cult, and anyone who acts as an enabler of that cult–whether on a “peace flotilla” or in a college classroom–has blood on his hands. Bookworm has an important post on the role of our institutions of higher education in inculcating these destructive attitudes.
RWN has an interesting but not surprising comparison of liberal/”progressive” versus conservative reaction to the Gaza flotilla events.