Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Theater of War
Theater of War
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
The effort to destroy the Jewish state has many fronts. One front is in Iran, where the maniacal regime that has repeatedly promised to "wipe Israel off the map" marches inexorably toward a nuclear bomb. Another is in Gaza, from which Hamas has lobbed 10,000 missiles into Israeli cities. Yet another front, the most insidious, is comprised of the propaganda arm of the Palestinian movement. And this front thrives for only one reason -- the complicity of the world press and the so-called "international community."
It was the propaganda arm that staged the "Freedom Flotilla." But there have been many previous productions: The propaganda arm was responsible for the photo-shopped images of damage to Lebanon during the 2006 war, the staged "death" of 12-year-old Muhammad Al Durrah, the "massacre" at Jenin, and the "war crimes" in Gaza. In each and every case, the "news" of Israeli atrocities was broadcast far and wide by organizations like Reuters, AP, CNN, and AFP. The United Nations has offered its imprimatur to every libel. The truth seemed always to have a case of laryngitis.
Today, in the wake of the confrontation between Israeli soldiers and the provocateurs aboard the Gaza flotilla, the remarkably incurious world press is providing exactly the sort of headlines on which the organizers knew they could count. "Flotilla Attack Is Israel's Kent State" screamed the Huffington Post. Agence France Presse carried a banner quoting the Turkish foreign minister to the effect that "Israel has lost all legitimacy." Every news outlet I checked docilely described the flotilla as "humanitarian."
Don't members of the press ever resent being so used?
Fact: Israel imposed a blockade of Gaza to prevent weapons from reaching the radical Islamic regime there that continues to make war on Israeli civilians. Egypt, too, has blockaded the strip, hoping to choke off weapons to Hamas, which it views as a threat.
Fact: Humanitarian relief is delivered to Gaza from Israel on a daily basis. During the first three months of this year, 94,500 tons of supplies were transferred to Gaza from Israel, including 48,000 tons of food products; 40,000 tons of wheat; 2,760 tons of rice; 1,987 tons of clothes and footwear; and 553 tons of milk powder and baby food for the strip's 1.5 million inhabitants. Representatives of international aid groups and the United Nations move freely to and from the Gaza Strip.
Fact: Upon learning of the intentions of the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli government asked the organizers to deliver their humanitarian aid first to an Israeli port where it would be inspected (for weapons) before being forwarded to Gaza. The organizers refused. "There are two possible happy endings" a Muslim activist on board explained, "either we will reach Gaza or we will achieve martyrdom."
Fact: The flotilla ignored multiple instructions from Israeli navy ships to change course and follow them to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Fact: On board one of the ships, according to Al-Jazeera, the "humanitarian" Palestinians sang "Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return" -- a reference to the 628 massacre of Jews in Arabia at the hands of Muhammad.
Fact: The flotilla's participants included the IHH, a "humanitarian relief fund" based in Turkey that has close ties to Hamas and to global jihadi groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya and elsewhere, and which has also organized relief to anti-U.S. Islamic radicals in Fallujah, Iraq. A French intelligence report suggests that IHH has provided documents to terrorists, permitting them to pose as relief workers. Among the other cheerleaders -- former British MP and Saddam Hussein pal George Galloway, all- purpose America and Israel hater Noam Chomsky, and John Ging, head of UNRWA, the U.N.'s agency for Palestinian support.
Fact: When the family of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was kidnapped during a cross border raid by Hamas in 2006, offered to support the flotilla if they would agree to ask Hamas to permit international agencies to visit their son, they were rebuffed.
Fact: When Israeli commandos rappelled down ropes to the deck of the Mavi Marmara, they were assaulted and beaten with metal poles and baseball bats by the Palestinians on board. (It's available on theisraelproject.org).
Some commentators sympathetic to Israel complain that the Israelis were late getting their explanation of events to the press. That's probably true, but almost irrelevant. There is a jerking of knees around the world whenever and wherever Israel is forced to defend herself. This eagerness to repeat the Palestinian version of events, to assume the very worst about Israel, and to ignore the history of blatant and outrageous lies by Israel's enemies -- amounts to joining them.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Does it strike anyone else as beyond coincidence that within hours of Israel's commando raid on a flotilla of ships bound for Gaza -- ships supposedly containing "humanitarian supplies," and left-wing "peace activists" -- that demonstrations broke out in Europe and outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington? And how about the U.N. Security Council, which often acts in slow motion, except when it has the opportunity to criticize Israel. It sprang into action on Memorial Day to listen to haters of the Jewish state denounce Israel as if it already knew who was to blame for the nine civilian deaths and the many wounded. The Council has now called for an "impartial" and "transparent" investigation.
Haven't we seen this equivalent of a TV summer re-run before? According to the familiar script, anything that the Palestinian side, Hamas, Iran and numerous other haters of Jews and Christians do is justified because of the Israeli "occupation" of "Palestinian land." When Israeli soldiers defend themselves from violent attacks by these "peace activists," they are always acting "disproportionately" and thus deserving of denunciation, censure and ostracism from the "world community." One wishes the haters of Israel would direct some of that zeal to the real enemies of freedom and religious pluralism: radical Islam.
The 1994 Gaza-Jericho agreement served as the basis for Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. In it, Israel was given authority to act precisely as it did on Monday. The relevant sentence states: "As part of Israel's responsibilities for safety and security within the three Maritime Activity Zones, Israel Navy vessels may sail throughout these zones, as necessary and without limitations, and may take any measures necessary against vessels suspected of being used for terrorist activities, or for smuggling arms, ammunition, drugs, goods, or for any other illegal activity..."
If one is known by the company one keeps, then it is useful to consider who was behind this flotilla to Gaza. According to Israeli intelligence, the chief sponsor of the mission was an organization known as IHH, a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic, anti-Western orientation. Like many other groups, including some that have infiltrated Western countries, IHH does just enough legitimate charitable work to serve as a front for its true agenda. In this it resembles the American Mafia.
Israeli intelligence says IHH initiated a number of "humanitarian aid" convoys to anti-U.S. Islamic terrorists in Iraq's Fallujah Triangle. It cites information from the Danish Institute for International Studies that asserts IHH is connected to al-Qaida and global Islamic terrorism. IHH offices in Istanbul were raided by Turkish security services and IHH activists were arrested. Explosives, weapons, manuals and documents pertaining to Afghanistan were found.
According to a French intelligence report, Bulent Yildirim, the president of IHH, recruited "Jihad warriors" and transferred money, firearms and explosives to al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorists in various countries.
There's plenty more tying IHH to the Gaza flotilla and to its efforts in support of radicals and terrorist organizations, but you get the picture.
Israel's minister of defense, Ehud Barak, told a news conference a few hours after the flotilla incident, "On one of the six ships, the protestors initiated violence. We express remorse for the injured activists, however, the full responsibility rests on the organizers of the flotilla and those participants who acted violently."
President Obama said it is important to learn "all the facts and circumstances" behind the incident before reaching conclusions. The facts and circumstances are already known. It is a fact that those trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza hate and wish to destroy Israel. And any circumstance will be created or used to achieve that objective.
Again, we've seen this scenario before and surely will see it again, and again, and again, unless and until the world wakes up to the clash of civilizations too many want to ignore, hoping it will go away. It won't until one civilization crushes the other.
The Rush To Judge Israel
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Unsure whether Israel has acted in self-defense? Just check whether the United Nations has called for an "emergency session." At the U.N., Jews' wielding guns always precipitates an international crisis.
Now, I'm not one of those who reflexively accuse critics of Israel of anti-Semitism. That would be preposterous. Or nearly as preposterous as pretending that Judaism has nothing to do with the defense, criticism or the never-ending war waged against Israel.
And it is undeniable that there are those who consistently and disproportionately vilify the Jewish state as an impediment to peace and rationalize or ignore far greater injustices and dangers in the world -- often simultaneously.
The brouhaha over the skirmish on a Turkish flotilla with humanitarian aid headed to Gaza -- to help fix a self-inflicted crisis -- was only the latest case in point.
It must be noted that unlike the typical "humanitarian" aid vessels, these were filled with violent activists rather than the normal caches of weaponry.
The impulse toward peace was so strong among passengers, in fact, that rather than allow an Israeli search for armaments -- a blockade necessitated by Hamas rockets falling on Israel daily -- the mob, chanting songs about invading Israel, attacked those who boarded with sharpened iron bars, poles, rifles and clubs.
Before boats were boarded, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, whose Jew hating would make Heinrich Himmler proud, already had said, "If ships reach Gaza -- victory. If terrorized by Zionists -- victory."
Using civilians as human shields, stocking weapons in schools, mosques and boats, and relying on death and martyrdom as forms of depraved propaganda is the game plan.
Yet from the bullet-riddled environs of Time and Atlantic magazines to the crater-filled battlefields of cable news studios, courageous pundits judged that the Israeli commandos' response, which killed 10, was "disproportionate."
They should be content with disproportionate. A proportional response by Israel would have meant upscale Jewish condos on the Gaza beachfront about 40 years ago.
Though all the evidence isn't in, Israel no doubt will investigate the incident, as is the custom in democracies that feature political parties and a free press.
In Gaza, on the other hand, Hamas rarely relies on NGO reports. A boatload of Jews -- any kind of Jews -- would have had no chance.
Still, commentators such as Alan Colmes opine: "To speak out against this despicable act isn't to hate Israel, but rather to love it, and peace."
So why don't left-wing pundits love Turkey for a while? That nation, after all, not only instigated this event but also is home to more than 25 million Kurds living in occupied territories -- Kurds who deal with daily human rights abuses: torture, mass disappearances and assaults on their language and culture.
No emergency sessions at the United Nations for them.
No editorial cartoons depicting their victimhood.
Not many columnists spinning overwrought tales about their plight.
And no U.S. administration is pressuring Turkey to give Kurds their own state.
Because there is always a disproportionate response by critics who claim that Israel and its supporters are the ones with naked and irrational hostility toward ... well, folks who want to see them as smoldering ash.
In all probability, Israel's biggest failure is taking the bait.
Posted by Brett at 11:56 AM