Friday, June 4, 2010

The Israel Ambassador Defend Poor, Helpless Israel

The New York Times has a shameful editorial contribution about the recent Israel assault on the humanitarian aid flotilla that was attempting to deliver aid to Gaza. It's written by none other than Michael Oren, who is the Israeli ambassador to the United States. It says a lot about the current state of media affairs  when the reaction of the "liberal" New York Times is to give a national platform to the Israeli ambassador to spew his propaganda, as though Israel has trouble getting heard in the United States.

Needless to say, there is nothing from anyone representing the Palestinians side, or the side of the outraged international community in general.

PEACE activists are people who demonstrate nonviolently for peaceful co-existence and human rights. The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis — both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas — and to destroy any hope of peace.
There is so much that is wrong with paragraph that I hardly know where to begin.

First, he calls them a mob, but the rest of the world knows that the group included European legislators, peace activists, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. These people were not armed, and the idea that they were some some of angry mob bent on invading Israel in ludicrous.

Second, the notion that these people assaulted the Israeli commandos is would be laughable if it were not so outrageous and disgusting. These people were unarmed, were in international waters, and were assaulted by Israeli storm troopers rappelling out of helicopters in the middle of the night. Numerous reports have been made that the Israeli's fired their weapons from the helicopters before they even reached the ship. The most obvious explanation is that the peace activists were defending themselves. And it simply boggles the mind that any sane person could believe that a bunch of unarmed activists could pose any resembling a threat to the Israeli Defense Force, which is one of the most ruthless, well-armed, and unstoppable military forces on the planet, much less could be assaulting them from the deck of a small boat.

What does he think happened here? Does he think that those Israeli special forces guys were just innocently hanging from helicopters in the Mediterranean when a boat full of politicians and peace activists swooped in with ferry boat and attacked them with sticks? Because that's what he's saying.
Millions have already seen the Al Jazeera broadcast showing these “activists” chanting “Khaibar! Khaibar!”— a reference to a Muslim massacre of Jews in the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century. YouTube viewers saw Israeli troops, armed with crowd-dispersing paintball guns and side arms for emergency protection, being beaten and hurled over the railings of the ship by attackers wielding iron bars.
I haven't seen this video, but it's not surprising that people who were being assaulted and murdered would say things like that. And there is frankly nothing that can believed about any of the videos that the Israelis have released, because they are out of context and because the Israelis have seized all journalistic evidence, and are controlling the flow of information completely.
What the videos don’t show, however, are several curious aspects Israeli authorities are now investigating. First, about 100 of those detained from the boats were carrying immense sums in their pockets — nearly a million euros in total. Second, Israel discovered spent bullet cartridges on the Mavi Marmara that are of a caliber not used by the Israeli commandos, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds. Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers “injured” by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred.
First of all, when did it become a crime or even suspicious behavior to carry money? And is this really that much money? That averages out to 10,000 euros apiece. If I was going to a place like Gaza, I'd probably want to have some cash with me, too. Is that supposed to be some sort of justification for murdering a bunch of aid workers in cold blood?

As far as spent bullet casings and video clips go, well, does anyone with any knowledge of how Israel operates doubt for a second that could easily be a plant? And Israel, of course, is insisting that all of this "evidence" and, indeed, the whole massacre, be investigate by none other than Israel.
The investigations of all this evidence will be transparent, in accordance with Israel’s security needs.
Note that he does not say that the investigation will be transparent, but that it will be transparent as long as the transparency serves Israel's interests.
There is little doubt as to the real purpose of the Mavi Marmara’s voyage — not to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, but to create a provocation that would put international pressure on Israel to drop the Gaza embargo, and thus allow the flow of seaborne military supplies to Hamas.
So the real intent of this mission was to spotlight the cruelty and inhumanity and criminality of Israel's denial of vital food and medicine to Gazans, and we're supposed to think that there is something wrong with this? Of course, Israel is not only trying to starve Gaza, but it's also trying to deny them weapons. This is what any genocidal government would do to a population that it has been brutally occupying for decades. I'm sure the Nazi's tried to keep guns out of the Warsaw Ghetto, too. It doesn't make it right.
Just as Hamas gunmen hide behind civilians in Gaza, so, too, do their sponsors cower behind shipments of seemingly innocent aid.
What is only "seemingly innocent" about a boatload of medical supplies? Did the Israelis find a weapons cache and forget to tell the world?
This is why the organizers of the flotilla repeatedly rejected Israeli offers to transfer its cargo to Gaza once it was inspected for military contraband. They also rebuffed an Israeli request to earmark some aid packages for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for four years.
Or maybe it's because Israel has repeatedly refused to allow these exact same kinds of supplies to get through, and has even publicly claimed it plans to put the Palestinians people in Gaza "on a diet". And so what if they refused to bring an aid package to Shalit? It's a group of international aid workers and politicians. If Israel wants to deliver aid to Shalit, they can drop it off themselves. They're in Gaza shooting people every day anyway.
In the recent past, Israeli forces have diverted nine such flotillas, all without incident, and peacefully boarded five of the ships in this week’s convoy. Their cargoes, after proper inspection, were delivered to non-Hamas institutions in Gaza. Only the Marmara, a vessel too large to be neutralized by technical means such as fouling the propeller, violently resisted.
Wait, I though they were assaulting the Israelis? Now they're only resisting these heavily armed commandos? With sticks?
It is no coincidence that the ship was dispatched by Insani Yardim Vakfi (also called the I.H.H.), a supposed charity that Israeli and other intelligence services have linked to Islamic extremists.
You'll have to excuse me for not believing the Israeli intelligence service. So who are these "other intelligence services"? Is he trying to say that Al Qaeda is mixed up in this? Because Oren knows damn well this isn't true, and is just trying to spread rumors that he knows will get America's thoroughly-terrorized wing nuts foaming at the mouth.
The real intent of breaking the embargo is to allow rockets to be transported to Gaza from Hamas’s suppliers in Syria and Iran. Israel has already intercepted several such ships laden with munitions. Since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has fired more than 10,000 rockets and mortars at our civilian population. This week, two Hamas rockets exploded near Ashkelon, one of Israel’s largest cities.
I'm sure Hamas would love to have some more rockets, as ineffectual as they have been. A few dozen Israelis have ever been killed by these rockets, and that's over the entire history of Israel's brutal occupation of Gaza, a history which includes a recent war against the defenseless Palestinians in which 13 Israeli soldiers died, while 1300 Palestinians, many of them civilians and children perished and what was left of the Gazan infrastructure was left in rubble- the ruins of which the Israelis are condemning the Palestinian people to live in while denying them food, medicine, clean water, and any hope of rebuilding.

But apparently, we should all be outraged that the Palestinians would want to get a few homemade rockets to fight back against the world-class military that the United States has so graciously provided for Israel. And this outrage is somehow supposed to obscure the fact that there were no rockets on these ships, as the whole world already knew.

Israel has a right and a duty to defend itself from Hamas and its backers.
But not by committing genocide against the Palestinian people.
Our struggle is not with the people of Gaza but only with the radical regime that overthrew the legitimate Palestinian Authority and has pledged to seek Israel’s destruction.
No matter how many times Israel says this, it doesn't change the fact that it is the civilian population of Gaza that pays the price.
Each day, Israel facilitates the passage into Gaza of more than 100 truckloads of food and medicine — there is no shortage of either.
100 truckloads-for a population of 1.5 million, and in a territory that has been reduced to rubble and desperately needs to rebuild. The notion that there is no shortage of food in Gaza is laughable; report after report from independent agencies have shown that there is a massive ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
We, too, want a free Gaza — a Gaza liberated from brutal Hamas rule — as well as an Israel freed from terrorist threats.
Hamas was put in power because they got the electricity working. The Palestinians don't seem to think they're brutal, and it would be hard to imagine anything as brutal as the Israeli army's treatment of Gaza. It's preposterous for Israel to claim that they are concerned about the freedom of Gaza.

As far as Israel being free from terrorist threats, the next time they complain about rocket attacks or suicide bombers, we should all remember that they have overwhelming regional military superiority, they have nuclear weapons, the have the world's only superpower backing them regardless of what they do, and that they have been brutally occupying Gaza for decades. They have denied the Palestinians any method of self-determination, and have denied them a conventional military with which to defend themselves.

How can they complain that it's somehow "unfair" when the Palestinians fight back with stick, stones, rockets and suicide bombs?

What other options have they been left with?


  1. Thanks for your clear thinking.

  2. It suprises me how ignorant you are talking about a situation you were neither there for nor have you even watched yet.