Saturday, June 05, 2010

It’s the Thirties all over again—time to blame the Jews

Pajamas Media

Yes, I know people have said things even more bigoted and stupid than dotty old Helen Thomas did the other day (not that she was any brighter before she got dotty), but I can’t help but thinking Ms. Helen felt freer to express her rancid anti-Semitism because of the times in which we live. I mean — to be blunt – the era of Barack Obama. Consciously or not, our President — with his increased, and pompously self-righteous, pressure on Israel — has sent a message to the world. It’s time to blame the Jews. And the world, in economic extremis, is all too eager to find someone to blame.

For the ignorant Thomas – who appears not to realize Israeli Jews are not just from Western Europe, but from Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and many other places — that means sending my co-religionists back to Germany and Poland. At least she didn’t go so far as to subscribe, openly anyway, to the football chant recently made popular in Europe: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”

You don’t need Yogi Berra to tell you that this is déjà vu all over again. And the déjà vu isn’t pretty and could get worse. The irony is that all this broke out — the merde hit the proverbial ventilateur, as they say, and the flotilla happened followed by Thomas making the coveted… or not so coveted… top spot on Drudge – right in the middle of the Obama Administration’s Schmooze-athon attempt to win back the Jewish vote that seems to be deserting it. Tough go, Rahm and company. Better luck next time.

But better luck to all of us — not just Jews. I am not the first to observe that Jews are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to the preservation of Western civilization. And these are nervous times with those canaries getting quickly blackened.

Fortunately they have some staunch defenders — both intellectual and comic. On the other hand, there are those who pretend to defend while criticizing. These critics usually say they should be free to criticize, that it is the sign of democracy. And it is. But one wonders how they feel when hearing the vitriol spewed by Thomas.

As for myself, I wish I felt I had that luxury. Unfortunately, I don’t. The vitriol is too much, not just from one old lady, but from too many corners of the globe. This is not a time for intellectual parsing, but for action — action against anti-Semitism before we are returned to an era we thought we would never see again.

Toward that end, PJTV has put up a short survey. It asks the question “Should the White House revoke the press credentials of Helen Thomas?” I guess you already know how I voted. If you would like to vote, please go here.

'Guns may have been thrown overboard'

06/04/2010 12:43

Gun-sights, cartridges and coded plans found on 'Marmara.'

Firearms may have been thrown overboard by passengers of the Mavi Marmara, Israel Radio reported Friday, citing IDF sources. According to the report, gun-sights and rifle cartridges not fitting IDF weapons were discovered upon inspection of the ship, leading defense officials to believe that there may have been weapons on board when the ship set out from Turkey aside from the knifes, rocks and slingshots found in the search.

Coded messages apparently alluding to scenarios of soldier-kidnapping and soldier fatalities were also found on board the ship.

Some of those aboard the ship recorded messages saying they intended to become shahids , martyrs for the cause of war against infidels.

A Reuters report appeared to corroborate on Friday claims of an attempt to kidnap a soldier during the raid of the ship.

Andre Abu Khalil, a Lebanese cameraman for Al-Jazeera TV who was aboard the Mavi Marmara, told Reuters that some 20 Turkish men had tried to prevent the boarding commandos from reaching the wheelhouse and commandeering the ship.

Using slingshots, metal pipes and bats they initially succeeded in wounding and overpowering four Israeli soldiers and dragging them below the deck.

After standoff lasting approximately ten minutes, the Israelis opened fire, the man said.

A makeshift hostage negotiation took place aboard the ship, according to the cameraman. One activist used a megaphone to tell the commandos the four captive soldiers were well and would be released if they provided medical help for the wounded passengers. An Israeli Arab MK - presumably Haneen Zuabi - was said to have mediated in the negotiations, and the soldiers acquiesced. The wounded were subsequently brought up to the top deck to be airlifted off the ship.

Maagar Mochot Poll of Israeli Jews Inside Green Line: Palestinians don't want peace

Maagar Mochot Poll of Israeli Jews Inside Green Line: Palestinians don't want peace 74%:7% Only 6% think accepting two state solution would permanently end conflict

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 3 June 2010

Telephone poll of a representative sample of 513 adult Israeli Jews living within the Green Line, by Maagar Mohot Survey Institute (headed by Professor Yitzchak Katz) carried out 23-28 May 2010 for the Ariel University Center of Samaria. Survey error +/- 4.5 percentage points

Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is:
The source of the conflict with the Palestinians Yes 23% So-so 18% No 58% Other 1% A real Zionist activity Yes 61% So-so 15% No 22% Other 2% Waste of state funds Yes 27% So-so 14% No 59% The state's security belt Yes 52% So-so 15% No 31% Other 2% Illegal settlement Yes 19% So-so 18% No 61% Other 2%

The Jewish residents settling in Judea and Samaria are: Real Zionists Yes 46% So-so 19% No 34% Other 1% Money grubbers Yes 13% So-so 15% No 70% Other 2% Wall of defense for state Yes 45% So-so 19% No 34% Other 2% Law breakers Yes 18% So-so 20% No 58% Other 4% Like every other Israeli citizen Yes 64% So-so 18% No 17% Other 1% Source of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Yes 20% So-so 18% No 61% Other 1% Obstacle to peace Yes 24% So-so 22% No 54%

Who of the following is the real representative of the settlers in Judea and Samaria?
27% Religious Zionists serving in combat units in the IDF
02% The hilltop youth
08% Heads of YESHA Council
04% Right wing parties
06% Heads of communities in Judea and Samaria
07% The rabbis in Judea and Samaria
33% All the above
13% Other

What do you think is the desirable solution for the areas of Judea and Samaria
04% Partial unilateral withdrawal (without agreement)
01% Full unilateral withdraw (without agreement)
37% Partial withdrawal in framework of agreement with PA
07% Full withdrawal within framework of agreement with PA
16% Continue as is
08% Partial annexation
14% Complete annexation.
13% Other

What effects your position regarding the desirable solution in Judea and Samaria Iranian threat Yes 26% So-so 7% No 62% Other 5% Positions and declarations of PA Yes 37% So-so 16% No 44% Other 3% Hamas takeover of Gaza Yes 46% So-so 13% No 36 Other 5% Qassam attacks from Gaza on communities in the south Yes 57% So-so 13% No 27% Other 3% The position of the American government headed by President Obama Yes 40% So-so 18% No 37% Other 5% The many sons of settler serving in IDF combat units Yes 40% So-so 17% No 40% Other 3% Conditions of Gush Katif evacuees Yes 46% So-so 16% No 33% Other 5% Chances of making peace with the Palestinians Yes 43% So-so 14% No 37% Other 6% The chances of making peace with the Arab states Yes 36% So-so 20% No 38% Other 6% Illegal Arab takeover of land in Negev and Galilee Yes 32% So-so 17% No 42% Other 9%

If it were up to you would be prepared to evacuate communities or settlements in Judea and Samaria not including Jerusalem in return for ending the conflict with the Palestinians and full peace?
34% Oppose any evacuation
21% Only isolated illegal settlement
15% A few legal settlements
14% A large bomber of settlements
12% All the Jews in Judea and Samaria
04% Other

If Israel accepted the two state solution what would it do to the Israeli Palestinian conflict?
34% Nothing
31% Prevent conflict worsening for a short time
20% Prevent conflict worsening for long time
06% End conflict
09% Other

Do you identify with the following statements? A government decision to continue the freeze serves Israeli interests Yes 25% So-so 19% No 49% Other 8% In the coming year a peace agreement with be signed between Israel and the PA Yes 8% So-so 14% No 72% Other 6% The Palestinians are interested in peace with the State of Israel Yes 7% So-so 14% No 74% Other 5% A failure of the Israeli Palestinian talks will bring another intifada in Judea and Samaria Yes 38% So-so 24% No 28% Other 10% The Government of Israel should continue the freeze that contributes to the negotiations with the Palestinians Yes 28% So-so 22% No 43% Other 7% The prime minister should withstand pressure to freeze construction in Jerusalem Yes 57% So-so 15% No 21% Other 7%

In your opinion, will the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria influence the decisions of the Netanyahu government regarding the future of settlements in Judea and Samaria?
13% Not at all
18% Little
41% Middle
15% Considerably
05% greatly
08% Other

How would you term the behavior of the Netanyahu Government today towards the Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria?
17% Too soft
38% Correct
30% Too hard
15% Other

Are you confident that the Israeli Government will make the right decisions about the future of settlements in Judea and Samaria? No 38% So-so 35%Yes 22% Other 5%

Do the Jewish residents - settlers in Judea and Samaria damage today relation between Israel and the American Government?
25% Hurt
37% No effect
27% Contribute
11% Other

Will Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu act in the near future in accordance with the policies of President Obama with regard to the future of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria?
24% No
37% More or less
27% Will act
12% Other

How often do you visit Judea and Samaria?
06% At least a few time a week
05% Once or twice a month
16% Few times a year
09% Once in year or two
33% More infrequently
29% Never visited
02% Other

Why do you generally visit Judea and Samaria
05% Army service (regualr and reserves)
27% Family/friends visit
06% Work/business
01% Studies
18% Hike/vacation
01% Participation in demonstrations
07% Other purposes
35% Never visit/others

What do you consider yourself
15%Very right
34% Moderate right
31% Center
13% Moderate left
01% Very Left
06 % Other

48% Secular
24% traditional
13% National religious
15% Ultra orthodox/National religious-ultra orthodox

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis Website:

Friday, June 04, 2010

World Press Rushes To Condemn Israel -- as Usual

David Limbaugh
Friday, June 04, 2010

In reviewing the available facts about the Israeli storming of the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla, two conclusions emerge: 1) The Israelis were justified in their actions, and 2) the Israelis will continue to be unjustly condemned by the world community.


Israeli is surrounded by nations and entities either dedicated to its destruction or decidedly hostile to it. In the past five years, Hamas has fired some 10,000 missiles into Israel from Gaza.

With that background and pursuant to its existential right to self-defense, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza to prevent the delivery of weapons into the area that could and probably would be used by Islamic terrorists in more attacks against Israel. If Hamas' acts of war against Israeli civilians aren't sufficient to convince you that Israel's blockade was justified, then consider that Egypt has imposed a similar blockade in the area to prevent the delivery of arms to Hamas.

Israel has not completely isolated Gaza. It has been providing abundant humanitarian relief to it and routinely allows the United Nations and international groups entry into the area.

Nor did it deny the delivery of aid to Gaza by this particular flotilla, but insisted on its right to inspect the goods for security purposes before allowing their delivery. What was the reaction of the flotilla's organizer, the Turkey-based IHH?

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, "All of our appeals were turned down." If the IHH's intentions were benign, why would it refuse its ships to be inspected?

Well, it seems humanitarian aid wasn't the IHH's main motivation. NewsBusters reports that as the flotilla was waiting to embark on its mission, the crowd on one of the ships that would be involved in the incident invoked a jihadist chant: "Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return." One said, "We are now waiting for one of two good things -- either to achieve martyrdom or to reach Gaza."

But what is the IHH? The Washington Examiner reports that it is a "virulently anti-American, pro-Hamas radical Islamist group" that "has been linked to the ultra-radical Muslim Brotherhood and to al Qaeda by French, Danish and U.S. intelligence agencies" and is one of many groups "that raise and channel funds to Hamas." Hamas has never renounced its organizing purpose: to destroy the state of Israel.

As Israel was contemplating how to deal with this guaranteed disaster, it was fully aware that an unsympathetic and biased international press would uniformly condemn any action it took.

One senior military source was quoted as saying, "It makes no difference what we do or how careful we are or how we tackle the matter of the flotilla. Whatever we do, they'll all be against us. They'll condemn us at the U.N., and we'll be scolded. We might as well at least preserve our national dignity and maintain the blockade of Gaza."

As the flotilla approached the Gaza Strip to defeat the blockade, Israeli commandos boarded one of the ships from a helicopter and were met with activists reportedly armed with metal poles, knives and guns. The Israel Defense Force later released video showing activists attacking soldiers with a stun grenade, a box of plates and water hoses.

Legal experts argue not only that the blockade was justified by international and domestic law as a response to acts of war but also that Israel was on firm legal ground in enforcing the blockade in international waters against ships determined to violate the blockade, which this flotilla clearly was. As commentators have noted, if the flotilla's primary purpose had been to deliver humanitarian aid rather than to sabotage the blockade, it would have permitted Israel and Egypt to inspect the goods and then send them into Gaza. Flotilla organizers themselves said, "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies; it's about breaking Israel's siege on 1.5 million Palestinians."

Indeed, it's highly unlikely that the IHH even harbored good faith intentions of securing the delivery of this "aid" to Gaza. As Jonathan Schanzer wrote in The Weekly Standard, the IHH knew its ships would never reach Israeli waters because the government had banned the group in July 2008 for its ties to terrorism finance.

But as long as it could provoke Israel to violence and count on the international media to further condemn Israel, the IHH would succeed in advancing its cause against Israel, even if -- especially if -- casualties occurred.

Though it's tragic that people died in the raid, is it fair to lay the blame on Israel for enforcing its blockade after first exhausting all peaceful solutions and on Israeli soldiers who acted in self-defense against activist aggression?

No matter. When it comes to this age-old struggle, fairness is rarely part of the equation. People have chosen sides; the facts be damned.

Copyright © 2010 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

In The Great Flotilla Debate, The Facts Are On Israel's Side

Marty Peretz

Look, I wish the Israeli raid on the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” had ended differently. Why, I ask, didn’t Israel’s navy disable the engine of the Mavi Marmara and drag the ship into port? Who knows? The engines of the other boats were apparently disabled—or so reliable sources say.

But, frankly, when some 800 men and women, distributed over six boats after weeks and weeks of preparation, are headed towards Gaza on the wings of slogan and hysteria, you don’t take that many chances. Somebody has trouble in mind. he first five vessels were steered quietly to the Israeli port city of Ashdod, which means that neither their passengers nor the Israeli commandos were especially provocative.

The sixth ship, which had 600 activist Turkish voyeurs on board, is an entirely different story.

Sponsored by an organization labeled the Humanitarian Relief Fund (I.H.H.), it is said to have ties to Al Qaeda. Which would be logical since Al Qaeda is an ally of Hamas. An intriguing tripartite liaison.

But I.H.H. is also a satrap of the ever-more-Islamist government in Istanbul, which seems, in turn, to have volunteered itself as a front for jihadism everywhere, most especially in dealing with Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

There is hardly a Muslim cause that the Erdogan regime in Ankara has not taken to heart and under its belt. (Recall that Turkey kept U.S. forces from traversing Turkish soil in 2003.)

Turkey was also once an important ally of Israel, which protected it from Syrian ambitions and gave it a non-Arab friend in a sea of Arabism.

Israeli commerce and Israeli military cooperation — that is, modernizing Turkish armaments and units — will not continue much longer with this still-backward country. The Israelis will be sad to lose this friend, but, in fact, they have lost it already. And this is a reciprocal loss.

It wasn’t so long ago that Turkey — Erdogan’s Turkey — aspired to membership in the European Union. They can kiss that goodbye.

The Turks may now be heroes on the Arab street, but they certainly aren’t heroes in Europe’s chancelleries, which prefer controversies on paper. And, much as some E.U. states have huffed and puffed about Israel, the Union is not anxious to add nearly 80 million Muslims to what would no longer be Europe.

It rings symbolically true that the two European countries first in line to bash Israel were the continent’s prime basket cases: Greece, whose fakeries and troubles have no end; and Spain, saddled with hundreds of thousands of non-working Muslim immigrants and two ongoing separatist movements, one of which (Catalonia) has much justice on its side. Both Greece and Spain are, of course, “progressive,” which is to say socialist (and unbelievably corrupt).

The propaganda for the flotilla has been in the works for months. Most of it was simply false. The poverty in Gaza is not qualitatively greater than that of your average Arab city. (Take Cairo. Or Amman, for that matter.) The markets are full of fruit and vegetables ... and flowers. Persistent pockets of deprivation exist in the historic refugee concentrations, which the Palestinian political class maintains as evidence of the ancient wrong. And, no, nobody is building big houses ... except again the elites, to the extent that they can smuggle materiel through the hundreds of tunnels which are perhaps less corrupt than the ordinary channels of commerce.

Who is behind this over-hyped mission of mercy? And who is its beneficiary?

It is none other than Hamas, the Gazan outpost of the global jihad, cousin of the Taliban, second cousin once-removed of Hezbollah. Wishing Hamas well, laboring for its success, is actually a crime against the Palestinians themselves. Of course, the new realists, so-called, will now beat the drums for a “pragmatic” opening to Hamas. It is an old trope for Robert Malley and his ilk.

So, over the last two days, they have returned with the same message: Hamas is the future.

Soon we will hear from James Baker, James Wolfensohn, even Paul Volcker, who knows a lot about some things but absolutely zero about the Middle East.

But Hamas is the past, the ugly past of ignorance. That does not mean it has no future. Hamas is the Palestinian counterpart of the movements of dread that now course throughout the world of Islam, and against which the West and moderate Muslims are struggling.

The backward Muslims were Lost in the Sacred, as Dan Diner put it in his dazzling book-long essay, subtitled Why the Muslim World Stood Still. Pascal Bruckner depicts their Western sympathizers in The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism. Read these two books and you’ll understand the desperate and comradely pity educated men and women have for pitilessness.

Sympathy for Hamas is an odd reality in the Western world, and Israel needs to puzzle over how it has lost so much ground in its struggle against Arab and Muslim barbarism.

I understand that the revival of a certain chic anti-Semitism has paved the way for the grosser anti-Semites and for the Muslim phantasts who deal in torment and salvation.

Among these were the voyagers on the ship of fools who, a clip from Al Jazeera demonstrates, awaited the shores of Gaza ... or martyrdom.

The front page of the Financial Times reads “Israel faces global backlash.” Turkey, it says, “calls flotilla attack ‘inhuman.’ ”

This is Turkey, mind you, which can’t admit to the Armenian genocide of nearly a century ago and won’t relent on the Kurds today.

As it happens, the Security Council, meeting way into Tuesday morning, passed a balanced, even judicious, resolution that was, in true meaning, at least as much a rebuke to the Turks as it was a criticism of Israel.

Neither Russia nor China stood in the way — at least not in the end — of fairness to Israel. And they did not try to exculpate Hamas or the macabre joy riders.

And I must admit that this marks a turning point in the Obama administration’s attitude to Israel.

Although it made some de rigeur criticisms, it was not about to make Jerusalem a sacrificial lamb for a faltering foreign policy. Susan Rice, with whom you know I have many problems, made all the appropriate visits and phone calls — bravely, conscientiously, and wisely.

Maybe it was at least as much for the Palestinian Authority as it was for the Jewish state. Or for ultimate peace, unlikely as it is. But it was.

Neither did anyone walk out of the “proximity talks,” non-talks as these are. And, for this, I assume the president is responsible. Mazel tov.

In fact, many people are having second thoughts … or are freeing their initial thoughts from the tiresome orthodoxies in smart parlors.

There were several smart pieces yesterday about the flotilla fallout. One was written by Michael Sean Winters in the lefty National Catholic Reporter. It is called “Judging Israel.” And it judges the Jewish state fairly.

But perhaps the most important take on the episode appeared in The Daily Beast. The piece (“Israel Was Right”) was written by Leslie H. Gelb, a senior ideas man in the American foreign policy establishment, a former New York Times columnist, and the longtime president (now president emeritus) of the Council on Foreign Relations. Writes Gelb:

Israel had every right under international law to stop and board ships bound for the Gaza war zone late Sunday. Only knee-jerk left-wingers and the usual legion of poseurs around the world would dispute this. And it is pretty clear that this "humanitarian" flotilla headed for Gaza aimed to provoke a confrontation with Israel.

Various representatives of the Free Gaza Movement, one of the main organizers of this deadly extravaganza, have let it slip throughout Monday that their intention was every bit as much "to break" Israel's blockade of Gaza as to deliver the relief goods.
Regarding international law, blockades are quite legal. The United States and Britain were at war with Germany and Japan and blockaded them. I can't remember international lawyers saying those blockades were illegal—even though they took place on the high seas in international waters.

On that note, here are the relevant passages from the Helsinki Principles on the Law of Maritime Neutrality:

5.1.2 (3) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search, capture or diversion.
5.1.2 (4) Merchant ships flying the flag of a neutral State may be attacked if they (a) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy; (b) act as auxiliaries to the enemy’s armed forces; (c) are incorporated into or assist the enemy’s intelligence system; (d) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or (e) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy’s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.
5.2.1 As an exception to Principle 5.1.2. paragraph 1 and in accordance with Principle 1.3 (2nd sentence), belligerent warships have a right to visit and search vis-à-vis neutral commercial ships in order to ascertain the character and destination of their cargo. If a ship tries to evade this control or offers resistance, measures of coercion necessary to exercise this right are permissible. This includes the right to divert a ship where visit and search at the place where the ship is encountered are not practical.
5.2.10 Blockade, i.e. the interdiction of all or certain maritime traffic coming from or going to a port or coast of a belligerent, is a legitimate method of naval warfare. In order to be valid, the blockade must be declared, notified to belligerent and neutral States, effective and applied impartially to ships of all States. A blockade may not bar access to neutral ports or coasts. Neutral vessels believed on reasonable and probable grounds to be breaching a blockade may be stopped and captured. If they, after prior warning, clearly resist capture, they may be attacked.

The law is on Israel’s side.

Ethics and history are on Israel’s side.

Those who are on the side of Hamas are actually enemies of civilization.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The ship of horrors

Instead of goodwill, Gaza-bound flotilla featured knives, terror connections

Yoram Ettinger
Israel Opinion

Tell me who are your supporters/organizers and I’ll tell who you are!

Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center sheds light on the nature of Turkey’s IHH, the chief organizer of the flotilla to Gaza: This radical Islamic, anti-Western organization poses as a humanitarian relief fund, while supporting Hamas and several Jihadist organizations in Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Algeria, Chechnya, etc. The IHH initiated a number of “humanitarian aid” convoys to anti-US Islamic terrorists in Iraq’s Fallujah Triangle. According to the Danish Institute for international Studies, the group is connected to al-Qaeda and global Islamic terrorism. The Istanbul office of IHH was raided in the past by the Turkish security services. Explosives, manuals, weapons and Afghanistan-oriented documents were confiscated during the raid.

According to a French intelligence report, Bulent Yildirim, the president of IHH, recruited “Jihad warriors” and transferred money, firearms and explosives to al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists in various countries. IHH also produced documents that facilitated air travel by Islamic terrorists, posing as relief workers.

In respect to the IHH-organized Gaza mission, Israel’s aim of cooperation was demonstrated by Jerusalem’s offer to allow the flotilla to reach its destination (in spite of the daily flow to Gaza – via Israel - of food, oil, cement and multitude of products) following a thorough examination of its content.

The flotilla’s aim of confrontation was demonstrated by its rejection of Jerusalem’s offer and by the handguns, knives, screwdrivers, and iron pipes employed by terrorists on board.

Clash of civilizations

Israeli soldiers were prepared for a peaceful takeover in face of (erroneously-assumed) civil disobedience. Therefore, they were equipped with paintball guns as the primary weapon and handguns as an emergency weapon, to be used only if facing death. They resorted to handguns in response to an attempted lynch by scores of terrorists, who assaulted the soldiers with iron pipes, knives, and screwdrivers. Handguns were snatched from soldiers by the lynching mob and directed at troops.

Overall, five boats were taken over peacefully and one (with 600 passengers) became an arena of confrontation between Israeli soldiers and terrorists. Israeli restraint in fact minimized fatalities among terrorists.

Would NATO allow a “humanitarian aid” convoy, organized by the radical Islamic anti-Western IHH, to travel unchecked to a Taliban stronghold?! Would Germany, Italy or France allow such a convoy to reach “Baader Meinhoff”, “Red Brigade” or “Action Direct” terrorist strongholds?

On a final note, the “Gaza Flotilla” highlights the role of the Jewish State as the outpost of Western democracies in face of Islamic terrorist offensive. De-legitimizing and weakening Israel – the role model of counter terrorism – would be a tailwind for Islamic terrorists – the role model of international terrorism - facilitating their assault on the Free World. It’s not a clash over Gaza; it’s a clash of civilizations!

Screw-Up Nation
Flotilla Crisis

By David Suissa

The biggest PR fiasco in Israeli history would never have happened had somebody up high in Israel pressed the "play" button.

How bad were the first news reports about the Flotilla Fiasco? Put it this way, for the first time in my life, I didn't give the Israelis the benefit of the doubt. How could I? Top-flight Israeli commandos who couldn't stop a bunch of peaceniks without killing them? So here's what went through my head in those first few hours: If I'm enraged at Israel, how will the rest of the world feel? You know, that large majority of the planet who are used to thinking the worst about Israel-the ones who never give Israel the benefit of the doubt?

I got my answer pretty quickly. Within hours of the first news reports of "Israeli Commandos Kill Pro-Palestinian Peace Activists," the world, not surprisingly, was up in flames. It was the abyss of abysses. A global forest fire of condemnation that threatened to engulf the Jewish state.

The harm done to Israel's reputation on that first day of breathless news reports will stain Israel for a long time. No amount of demonstrations or clever PR will undo this damage.

And why? Because the powers that be in Israel decided to wait 12 hours-12 long, agonizing hours of hysterically negative news reporting on Israel-before finally releasing video footage that shows Israeli commandos being ambushed by violent thugs, not kumbaya peaceniks.

The video was disgusting, but even more disgusting was the fact that Israel waited so long to release it. Had the world's press seen this right away-at the same time that they first heard about the killings-the dominating image of the story would have been a grainy mob of thugs attacking Israeli commandos one by one with clubs as they came down from the chopper.

Did I hear anyone say Rodney King? Does anyone remember the billions of impressions made around the world many years ago-way before the era of Youtube-when a group of LAPD officers beat up a man named Rodney King?

Would there ever have been a more powerful image to define a news story about Israel than a bunch of disgusting thugs posing as peaceniks ambushing Israeli commandos with metal clubs while the Israelis are ordered "not to shoot"?

Yes, of course, for all you cynics out there who say that the world will "hate us no matter what," nothing will please you. You know what? Take your cynicism and get out of the way. Stay on the sidelines, where you belong. I'm not going there. I still believe the truth can make a difference.

Especially the truth that comes with an image. God knows the Palestinians have had a whole bunch of those images, and made full use of them. When is the last time you remember seeing an image that helped Israel's case?

Listen to a foreign reporter's reaction after he saw the footage, according to JPost this morning: "I saw it, and I realized I had done Israel an injustice. At that point, and only at that point, I understood what the Israelis had been saying."

Can you imagine? A foreign reporter who admits he did Israel an injustice! And all because Israel decided to wait 12 hours before showing proof of what we were saying (How could we expect anyone-let alone a skeptical reporter-to believe that Israeli commandos were acting in self defense against peaceniks?)

So why did Israel wait so long? This is from David Horovitz in JPost this morning:

"Some of their considerations are not beneath contempt. There was a legitimate concern, for instance, that the footage, showing colleagues in such trouble, might prove demoralizing for Israeli troops. And some of their considerations are utterly contemptible, including the scandalous parochial obsession with local TV-the insistent, misguided desire to hold back dramatic material until late in the Israeli day, so that as many people as possible will see it fresh on the 8 p.m. Hebrew nightly news."

According to Horovitz, this is not the first time "Israel's abysmal official public diplomacy hierarchies have made this kind of criminal misjudgment, to the terrible detriment of the national interest."

It's not easy for me to criticize a country that I so deeply love and admire. And to tell you the truth, even after the beating we took around the world on that first day, I was relieved to see that Israel had not, in fact, indiscriminately killed 10 protestors.

But as someone who is so pained at how Israel is so unfairly portrayed in the world- at how it is hated and condemned beyond any proportion of decency-it killed me to see that we finally had our Rodney King moment-and we blew it.

David Suissa is the founder of OLAM magazine, and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. You can read his daily blog at and e-mail him at

* Next message * Previous message * Click here to close the full message view * Full view My response to WashPost Gaza flotilla artil

My response to the WashPost - Ingnatius article re the Gaza flotilla.

Perhaps not only Israel should learn from the Gaza flotilla raid. While the article cites some points in her defense other relevant facts were censored.

1.Participants on the ships were hardly 'peaceniks' ;al Jazeera documented the pre-sailing incitement to killing Jews and calling for martyrdom. Those seeking peace do not equip themselves with guns, clubs, metal bars, and more. 2. Contrary to the claim that Israel has intimidated its adversaries, it has made dangerous concessions under pressure from 'friends' in order to promote the phony 'peace process' in which the PA has done nothing. 3. The U.N. has been hijacked by supporters of terrorism - not only against Jews but anyone other than Muslims. It is a corrupt organization that allows purveyors of terrorism the freedom to vote against its victims.
4. Israel is the bulwark of democracy that is fighting the same war in which the rest of
Western civilization are engaged. That lesson is what should be learned by those condemning Israel today; the US needs a strong Israel lest the whole region fall to such 'peaceniks' who will in the future take off their masks and reveal their true intentions - the creation of a worldwide caliphate with sharia as rule.

The US would not allow a Gaza like flotilla within her international boundaries and neither should Israel.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Israel under Attack

Ari Bussel

Israel is under attack and it seems the whole world is against her. A Convoy of Terror against Israel – organized, deliberate, well equipped with deadly arsenal, its members well trained in inflicting terror against the West and calling for the West’s demise – has succeeded beyond the organizers’ wildest imagination. It has successfully delivered an abundant supply of anti-Israel material to an eagerly awaiting world. I am reminded of that early Tuesday morning when the United States of America was under attack. Many it seems have forgotten. Then, too, it subsequently became known, the terrorists meant to inflict harm to the United States yet did not expect their plans—well researched, planned and rehearsed—to perform so well.

The World Trade Center towers were not expected to collapse the way they did, although the plane bound to DC was thwarted thanks only to the heroism of the passengers. The bravery of the few, the courage shown in face of the greatest adversity, the ability to unite and act together for the greater good, that of one’s country, was not taken into account by our enemies. The passengers sacrificed their lives, and we must never forget.

Israel is blamed for having insufficient intelligence thus acting inappropriately. Specifically, the terrorists on board the lead vessel Mavi Marmara had planned for a bloody confrontation, while giving false and misleading interviews in English and other Western languages to the contrary. We should have all known better. It is they who hijacked the many hundreds of so-called peace activists, loading knives, wooden and metal rods and other cold weapons that they intended to use. These were not kitchen utensils and rolling pins.

Israel, instead, acted with the greatest humanity: She gave options for the successful completion of the mission, had it been a true humanitarian mission, then she gave ample warnings, and when all else failed, her top soldiers boarded the vessel expecting spits and curses, not a lynching mob whose intent was to murder the soldiers in cold blood.

The whole world was waiting for that confrontation. We all knew for weeks but have done nothing. Israel’s only error was being too soft, too concerned with human life. The compilation of “International Reactions to the Gaza Flotilla Clash” on Wikipedia was so immediate it is frightening in its length, global scope and uniformity: condemnation after condemnation, not a single exception, with only variations in the intensity of hatred.

The official condemnations were augmented by demonstrations in Israel and throughout the world against the Israeli aggression. Israel was attacked. The confrontation in mid-sea, rather than be solved by eliminating the threat, the way the Russians would have done for example, was the ruse that allowed the gates of ancient hatred, brewing for a very long time above the fires of “Palestinian misery, victimhood and right of self determination” to finally open. The boiling lava has erupted and continues to flow, bright and very dangerous.

Like the volcanic ashes that have frozen travel all over Europe, so too here was Israel stopped right in her tracks. It seemed for a very short moment, a moment that passed so fast it left one astonished, that Israel would be united. “It is a very difficult day” was heard on the streets of Israel, as reported by Dr. Daniel Gordis of Jerusalem. That summed the feelings, atmosphere and true essence of Israel’s position. But soon rumors began flowing, high-ranking officials sought cover, running away from responsibility, the High Court received petitions against the State, the UN acted faster than it ever has and the left has had a field day.

It was a very difficult day not only because hatred supposedly dormant erupted so strongly. Rather, the seven Israeli soldiers who were wounded as they embarked the lead vessel and were ambushed and lynched brought back memories—memories of Itbach al Yahud (kill / butcher / slaughter the Jews) that could have been heard in the 1929 massacres against the Jews, in 1948 as the country was attacked by her Arab neighbors and as recently as two days ago on board a humanitarian-aid convoy and hours later in capitals around the world.

Itbach al Yahud resulted in soldiers who were stubbed, fired upon, beaten almost to death and thrown off board. The real-time footage brought back vivid memories of very similar scenes of peace-loving Palestinians who butchered in a very like manner two Israeli reservist soldiers who took a wrong turn and lost their way. It was on October 12, 2000. Lest it is forgotten, the footage, courtesy of the Italian TV crew, is available on the Internet.

The two innocent soldiers were taken to a “Police Station” where they were beaten almost to death, then thrown out the balcony to the Arab mob downstairs who finished the job, waving hands dripping of the reservists’ innocent blood in a sign of victory for the world to see. Then they paraded with the bodies, much like it was done in Iraq with the bodies of American soldiers.

Lest we forget this Middle Eastern mentality, the thirst for blood of the innocents has been applied not only toward Israelis, but toward Americans as well, not only toward soldiers, but also toward “leftist, peace-loving advocates” the likes of Daniel Pearl who was beheaded on live broadcast for the world to see.

The soldiers now in the hospitals are owed a very deep, personal apology. They were sent onboard the vessels of the Convoy of Terror to complete the wrong mission. They, alone, stood in the face of the most savage adversaries. Capable and strong, honest to their mission yet completely unprepared and unequipped, they went like sheep to the slaughter, and after them we all follow.

The slaughter now continues around the world, and the scenes from the Mavi Marmara are not so far fetched. In a demonstration in Los Angeles, the mob’s behavior could have deteriorated into a lynching against a single Jewish youth carrying the Flag of Israel and wearing a t-shirt with the IDF logo. He wore a yarmulke and embodied for the haters the epitome of Jewish sacrificial blood. His innocence stood alone against their lust for blood, as shouts Allah U Akbar (“god is great”) were chanted by the vicious mob.

Israel is under a well-coordinated, well-orchestrated attack. Her friends are silent as they watch the battle from front row seats. Once again we are living a situation like that of the 1930’s, and the slogan “Never Again” has been silenced by cries of “we must finish the job of exterminating the Jews.” The call to action is being heard around the world, but now there is no one willing to stop evil from once again rearing its ugly head.

In the series “Postcards from Israel—Postcards from America,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, an Israel visitors rarely discover.

This point—and often—counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

© “Postcards from Israel—Postcards from America,” June, 2010

Terrorists at the helm

June 02, 2010

Turkey's Islamist prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, knows better than most why Israel found it necessary to confront that phony "peace" flotilla off Gaza Monday.

Certainly he knows that the convoy was organized and manned by the Foundation for Human Rights & Humanitarian Relief -- as bloody-handed a terrorist gang as exists in the Mideast.

Known by its Turkish acronym, IHH, the group has strong and enduring ties to Hamas and al Qaeda. Indeed, the Turkish government itself raided IHH's Istanbul office in 1997, uncovering guns, explosives, bomb-making manuals and jihadist flags -- along with documents showing that its members had been dispatched to war zones like Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya.
Tayyip Erdogan
Tayyip Erdogan

And a 2006 report by the Danish Institute for International Studies linked IHH to a foiled al Qaeda bombing plot against Los Angeles International Airport.

No surprise, then, that the one vessel whose passengers violently resisted boarding by Israeli commandos seems to have been the IHH flagship -- and that most, if not all, of those who died in the ensuing struggle were IHH members.

Nor that IHH leaders stated openly that the flotilla's real purpose was to provoke a confrontation with Israel that would further damage Jerusalem's already frayed diplomatic and military ties with Turkey -- not that Ankara needs much encouragement in that regard.

All of which makes Prime Minister Erdogan a flaming hypocrite.

But wait -- there's more. There is no "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza in the first place: This year alone, more than a quarter-million tons of medicine, food and other supplies have already moved from Israel to Gaza.

More to the point, Israel offered to send the flotilla's supplies to Gaza once they'd been inspected for weapons and other contraband.

The offer was flatly rejected.

As was a similar offer from Egypt, which also maintains a Gaza blockade -- for essentially the same reason: The Islamist lunatics who make up Hamas also pose a mortal threat to Cairo.

All this adds up to sufficient justification for Israel to have intercepted the flotilla.

The fact is, the convoy's purpose was to break a blockade of Hamas-run Gaza that is fully supported under international law -- even if Israel chose to act in international waters. And, as a government spokesman said, given Hamas' constant effort to import weapons into Gaza, "If this blockade is broken, every man, woman and child in Israel will pay a price."

Not that the crisis has passed.

The media is in full-throated condemnation mode, as is the "international community." No surprise there -- that's what they do best.

Then there was news yesterday of two new "aid" ships under way in the Mediterranean, bound for Gaza.

Has a seaborne intifada now begun?

If so, its purpose is not peace, but rather the destruction of Israel and the eviction of democracy and human rights from the Middle East.

Neither Israel -- nor America -- can flinch.
Read more:

Turkey Responsible for Flotilla Deaths

June 2, 2010 | David A. Ridenour V.P.
The National Center for Public Policy Research

The international community should be denouncing Turkey, not Israel, for the loss of life on the so-called "Freedom Flotilla."

That's because Turkey, the flag state of the ship, had an obligation to ensure that the ships making up the flotilla adhered to international law.

It didn't. Though neither Turkey nor Israel are parties to the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the treaty presumably spells out what the states ratifying the treaty believe to be acceptable rules of behavior. Many of those countries are now, rather hypocritically, denouncing Israel.

The Free Gaza Movement announced its intention to breach Israel's barricade of Gaza - requiring it to violate Israel's territorial waters.

Article 19 of the Law of the Sea Treaty specifies that "any act of propaganda aimed at affecting the defence or security of the coastal state" or "the loading or unloading of any commodity, currency or person contrary to the customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws or regulations of the coastal state" are deemed "prejudicial to the peace, good order or security" of that state. This flotilla - as with ones before it - would have done both if allowed to proceed.

While Article 19 only gives the coastal state the authority to act within its territorial waters, the bloodshed may well have been greater had Israel waited until then. If reports are accurate that some activists carried arms, Israeli commandos would have lost the element of surprise.

It also appears that Israel may have been within international norms in boarding the ship as all states have an obligation under Articles 109 and 110 of the treaty to stop unauthorized broadcasts (those intended for the general public, but not distress calls), including in international waters. The so-called "Freedom Flotilla" was broadcasting its voyage live.

Blood is on Turkey's hands.

President Obama should do the right thing and recall the U.S. ambassador.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems. For more about The National Center for Public Policy Research click HERE

Rethinking the Gaza Blockade

David Makovsky
June 1, 2010

The New York Times convened an online panel of five Middle East experts to discuss the balance between maintaining security for Israel and addressing the humanitarian and political crisis in Gaza. The following is a contribution by Washington Institute Ziegler distinguished fellow David Makovsky, director of the Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process. Read the entire discussion on the Times's website.

Recalibrate the Blockade
The flotilla tragedy has brought fresh interest about whether the blockade of Gaza should be maintained.

Of course, the blockade can be lifted immediately if Hamas would say that it accepts what the international community -- the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- has demanded of it since 2006: Israel's existence, a denial of violence and adherence to past agreements. These criteria have been reaffirmed repeatedly by President Obama over the last year. Indeed, it would be useful if flotilla activists would use the same energy to press Hamas to accede to peace as it has pressed Israel. It is odd to see self-proclaimed peace activists on the same side as an organization whose signature policy for more than 20 years is exhorting teenagers to engage in homicidal suicide bombing and then adorning the public space with "martyr" portraits.

The origin of the blockade is not punitive, but defensive. It can be found in Israel's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and the 3,300-plus rockets that fell on Israel between then and the Gaza War in December 2008 and 2009. An unconditional lifting of the blockade now would be a windfall for an unreconstructed Hamas, which would turn a trickle of smuggled rockets from Iran into a flood.

The better question is whether it is possible to recalibrate the blockade in a way that would bar the importation of rockets and protect Israeli security, while easing conditions on the ground. This leads to the issue of dual-use items. The past has demonstrated that Hamas has no scruples about diverting select construction materials as well as other aid meant for the public good in Gaza and utilizing it to build weapons.

To ease tensions with the international community without sacrificing Israeli security, there might be an advantage for Israel to agree to a streamlined dual-use list. Instead of saying all is forbidden unless it is explicitly approved, it might be easier to say all is permitted but that which is prohibited explicitly by the dual-use list. As such, there would instantly be a rationale for everything that is disallowed.

Yet, the first approach of Hamas agreeing to live peacefully with its Israeli neighbor would be preferable and profoundly transformative.

David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process.

Obama's Top Counterterror Adviser's Inability to Think Outside the Box Bodes Disaster

Raymond Ibrahim
Pajamas Media
May 29, 2010

"The greatest hurdle Americans need to get over in order to properly respond to the growing threat of radical Islam is purely intellectual in nature; specifically, it is epistemological, and revolves around the abstract realm of 'knowledge.' Before attempting to formulate a long-term strategy to counter radical Islam, Americans must first and foremost understand Islam, particularly its laws and doctrines, the same way Muslims understand it—without giving it undue Western (liberal) interpretations. This is apparently not as simple as expected: all peoples of whatever civilizations and religions tend to assume that other peoples more or less share in their worldview, which they assume is objective, including notions of right and wrong, good and bad. …. [T]he secular, Western experience has been such that people respond with violence primarily when they feel they are politically, economically, or socially oppressed. While true that many non-Western peoples may fit into this paradigm, the fact is, the ideologies of radical Islam have the intrinsic capacity to prompt Muslims to violence and intolerance vis-à-vis the 'other,' irrespective of grievances…. Being able to understand all this, being able to appreciate it without any conceptual or intellectual constraints is paramount for Americans to truly understand the nature of the enemy and his ultimate goals."

Such were the words that opened my testimony to Congress. One year later, none other than President Obama's top counter-terror adviser, John Brennan, has come to to personify the approach I warned against, that is, the misguided phenomenon of westernizing Islamic concepts.

A Fox New's report, titled "Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam,'" has the details:

During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms."

In other words, despite the fact that Islamists describe all their goals in "religious terms," Brennan sees them—you know, people like Osama bin Laden who murdered 3,000 Americans—as naught more than victims of the system. And why is that? Because Brennan believes that "political, economic and social forces"—the three I specifically stressed in my excerpt above—are the only precipitators to violence. So jihadists can openly articulate their violent bloodlust through religious terms all they want, it matters not: Brennan and his ilk have their intellectual blinders shut tight and refuse to venture outside the box.

Next, our counter-terror adviser evokes the perverse logic behind the administration's recent decision to censor words offensive to Muslims (which I closely explored here):

Nor do we describe our enemy as "jihadists" or "Islamists" because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.

Inasmuch as he is correct in the first clause of that sentence—"jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community"—he greatly errs in the latter clause, by projecting his own notions of what constitutes "holy," "legitimate," and "innocent" onto Islam. In Islam, such terms are often antithetical to the Judeo-Christian/Western understanding. Indeed, the institution of jihad, according to every authoritative Muslim book on Islamic jurisprudence, is nothing less than offensive warfare to spread Sharia law, a cause seen as both "legitimate" and "holy" in Islam. As for "innocence," by simply being a non-Muslim infidel, one is already guilty in Islam. Brennan understands the definition of jihad; he just has no clue of its application. So he is left fumbling about with a square peg that simply refuses to pass through a round hole.

Fox News continues:

Brennan defined the enemy as members of bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and "its terrorist affiliates." But Brennan argued that it would be "counterproductive" for the United States to use the term, as it would "play into the false perception" that the "murderers" leading war against the West are doing so in the name of a "holy cause."

Fine, do define the enemy as members of bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and "its terrorist affiliates," but do also define the cause that binds these "terrorist affiliates" together in the first place. Of course, one need only read their writings to know that they adhere to one and the same cause: the establishment of a hegemonic caliphate that governs the world according to Sharia. As for Brennan calling the terrorist affiliates "murderers," would he also be willing to apply that epithet to their prophet Muhammad, who was wont to send assassins to, well, murder his critics, including poets and one old woman whose body was dismembered by her Muslim assailants—assailants who were no less convinced that they were involved in a "holy cause" than were the 9/11 hijackers?

It should be further noted that this tendency to project one's own cultural norms and priorities onto others is the height of arrogance and ethnocentrism—precisely what liberals constantly warn against. Yet the irony is that "open-minded" proponents of cultural relativism are also the ones most prone to westernizing Islam. When Brennan insists that jihadists are really not motivated by religion but rather are products of "political, economic and social forces," is this total dismissal of the "other" and his peculiar motivations (in favor of Western paradigms) not arrogant?

In the end, Brennan is not all to blame. After all, though he and I were both born and raised in North Bergen, New Jersey, perhaps my dual Middle-East/Western background gives me the advantage to understand both the Islamicate and American mindsets equally. No, seems the greater blame lies with the president whose campaign denounced ignorance and arrogance as leading us astray—only to hire a counter-terror adviser who epitomizes both.

Raymond Ibrahim is associate director of the Middle East Forum, author of The Al Qaeda Reader, and guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College.

What took so long with flotilla film?

06/02/2010 07:28

MK: "First hours set rest of media coverage."

A disagreement between the IDF and the Foreign Ministry over the effect the release of video footage from the navy’s anti-flotilla operation on Monday would have on the military’s prestige held up the distribution of the footage to the media by several hours, defense and diplomatic officials said on Tuesday. The footage was released on Monday afternoon but only at around 4 p.m., close to nine hours after the takeover of the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish passenger ship where the clashes took place and nine activists were killed. The takeover of the ship – which began at 4 a.m. – was completed by around 7.

Although it takes time to process and edit such footage, it would have been possible to release it earlier in the day, government officials said.

According to one government official, the footage was already available at the IDF’s underground central command-and-control center – called the Bor (the Pit) – located in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“The Foreign Ministry pushed for the footage to be released as soon as it came in,” said one official who participated in the discussions. “The IDF hesitated due to footage which was not complimentary for the naval commandos.”

The videos show commandos from Flotilla 13 – known as the Shayetet – rappelling down ropes from Israel Air Force Black Hawk helicopters onto the upper deck of the ship, which was carrying about 700 passengers.

Each commando was immediately attacked by a number of activists armed with bats, knives and metal pipes. In some of the footage, which was recorded by thermal cameras placed on aircraft hovering above the ship as well as on nearby navy ships, activists are seen hitting soldiers with bats and then throwing some of then down to lower decks or into the water.

Defense officials confirmed that there was some hesitation to release the video since it could undermine the elite naval commando unit’s morale.

Kadima MK Nachman Shai, a former IDF Spokesman who has a doctorate in public diplomacy, said that had the footage come out earlier in the day it would have dramatically changed the way the story was covered by the international press.

“I watched the videos and it filled me with anger, since it was not flattering for the Shayetet,” he said on Tuesday. “But at the same time, in these types of events the first hours set the rest of the media coverage, and if the statement and video had come out earlier it could have gotten the message across that these soldiers were violently attacked.”

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"The Continuing Story"

Arlene Kushner

Dear friends, before I begin the news of the day, I must advise you that there is going to be a hiatus in my postings. For good and positive reasons: Family matters. These matters will keep me from my computer for some days.

And so I implore you -- no further communication to me until I've picked up posting again. Do not be concerned, and please do not inquire after me. No sharing of news you think I must see. I am well and functioning -- and will be pleased to pick up again when that is possible. Then there will be time for discussions and sharing.

Messages sent to me now will simply clog my mailbox and overwhelm me as I return to my postings.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. And then a correction, with apologies: I wrote yesterday that the ship had been taken to Ashkelon, when in fact, it was taken to the port of Ashdod. Knew that! And yet my hand typed Ashkelon. (With thanks to Ashdod resident Evi A. for the correction.)


Israel made at least two mistakes with regard to the operation in taking on the flotilla yesterday.

One was an intelligence failure. We were not sufficiently prepared for what hit us. The commandos who were sent in apparently expected a crowd of rowdy demonstrators, who were to be responded to with all possible restraint, rather than a mob of terrorists intent on killing. They were sent in insufficient numbers and with insufficient weapons. They boarded the ship via rope from a helicopter above, and no sooner did they touch down then they were besieged. The attacks on our soldiers were premeditated and ruthless. Only when the word came from commanders did they begin to shoot.

Caroline Glick makes it clear in her piece, "Ending Israel's Losing Streak," that there was ample opportunity to figure out what the commandos would be confronting:

"...The fact that these pro-Hamas activists intended to commit suicide to discredit Israel on camera was made clear by the fact that the Turkish organizers named the lead ship Rachel Corrie.

"So too, the fact that IDF forces boarding the ships would be met by trenchant, violent opposition was knowable simply by looking at Turkey’s role in the operation." (see more on Turkey's role below)


But the other failure has to do with making our case sufficiently. Glick addresses this in her piece, as well:

"And now, in the aftermath of the lethal takeover of the flotilla, Israel’s leaders stammer. Rather than demand an apology from the Turkish government for its support for these terrorists, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called his Turkish counterpart to talk over what happened. Rather than demand restitution for the terrorist assault against IDF troops, Israel has defended its troops’ training in nonviolent crowd control.

"These efforts are worse than worthless; they make Israel appear whiny rather than indignant. And more depressingly, they expose a dangerous lack of comprehension about what has just occurred, and a concomitant inability to prepare for what will most certainly follow.

"Israel is the target of a massive information war. For it to win this war, it needs to counter its enemies’ lies with the truth."

I could not agree more.


Haifa University professor, Steven Plaut, similarly laments our apparent inability to stand resolute in defending ourselves against public opinion:

"The whole world is speaking about the flotilla affair as 'tragic'...

"It was not tragic....

"The tragedy is that the idiotic Israeli politicians are agreeing to an 'investigation' of the soldiers’ actions, so once again Israel proclaims itself guilty until proven innocent in order to appease the anti-Semites. Once again the world is demanding a Goldstone-style investigation, one whose conclusions were written before the ships even left Turkey."


But we must not confuse issues: neither of these failings detract one iota from the propriety and necessity of our having taken on the flotilla.

The basic story of what happened, I shared yesterday. You can see footage of the attack on our soldiers here:


The IDF spokesman has put out information regarding the weapons that were found on the ship:

"Once the activists left the ship, security forces began a thorough search and found a supply of weapons, including knives, Molotov cocktails, detonators, wood and metal clubs, slingshots and rocks, large hammers and
sharp metal objects. In addition, gas masks were found, pointing to the prior intention of the ship’s passengers to use violence against IDF soldiers who would then be forced to use riot dispersal methods."

Here you can see very clear footage of the weaponry found:


According to Israel National News, an IDF source reports with regard to the "humanitarian" aid taken from the ship and inspected by the IDF, "the poor condition of the supplies renders most of it unusable...Many of the medicines are expired."

Clearly, delivering aid is not what this was all about.


And then this most important information regarding the legality of our actions. Aaron Lerner has put up on IMRA material from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I believe this will answer questions addressed by several readers:

"Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea. (emphasis added)

"...A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral states. (emphasis added)

"...The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the
requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

"...In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided
appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime
blockade is in effect.

"...Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above.

"...Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

"...A state may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade. (emphasis added)

"...Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the
blockade in violation of international law.

"...Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade...." (emphasis added)


You might also want to see excerpts from the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994. It includes this:

"67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

"(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
(b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;"


So that there be no mistake about it: we are at war with Hamas, which indeed is the enemy. We run a blockade of the Gaza coastline to prevent Hamas from securing weapons by sea that would be used against Israeli civilians. Were the flotilla to have broken the blockade it would have enabled a flow of missiles and rockets into Gaza for use by Hamas.


Palestinian Media Watch has now provided additional information on the intentions of those in the flotilla. Two days ago, speaking on Al-Aksa TV (Hamas-controlled), Dr. Abd Al-Fatah Shayyeq Naaman, lecturer in Shari'ah law at a university in Yemen, who is now visiting Gaza, said:

"The [Gaza] flotilla commander said yesterday: 'We will not allow the Zionists to get near us and we will use resistance against them.' How will they wage resistance? They will resist with their fingernails. They are people who seek Martyrdom for Allah, as much as they want to reach Gaza, but the first [Martyrdom] is more desirable."

This puts the lie rather conclusively to arguments still being advanced that we attacked a group of humanitarian activists intent on bring supplies to suffering Gazans.

The bottom line here is our ability to believe in the rightness of our own position, and to stand tall before the world, unafraid of being censured and secure in the knowledge of who we are.

And, my friends, one and all -- as difficult as it is if you live where the media is now engaged in a frenzy of attacks on Israel -- I am hoping that you will find ways to stand tall with us.

Our strength is not something to be apologetic about. As Glick commented:

"Israel is the frontline of the free world. Its ability to defend itself and deter its foes is the single most important guarantee of international peace and security in the world. A strong Israel is also the most potent and reliable guarantor of the US's continued ability to project its power in the Middle East."


There are many commentators echoing these sentiments. The observations of Dr. Mordecai Kedar -- fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University -- in his piece, "A war for the world's future," should be particularly noted:

"It is clear to anyone with eyes in their head that the battle taking place off the Gaza shore is in fact a clash between an Islamist coalition which Turkey attempts to head – and which includes Iran. Hamas, and Hezbollah on one hand – and forces with a liberal Western orientation, represented by Israel, on the other hand.
"This fight isn’t about Gaza. The battle is about the future of the Middle East: Will it be a future where the existing political order is maintained, or will radical Islamic forces rise and replace the current order as already happened in Lebanon and in Turkey?

"...the big question: Who is the master of this region? It appears that Israel chose to tell the Islamisizing Turkey... no more. The forces of the Ottoman Empire, who aspire to again rule the Middle East as they did almost 500 years ago, will be stopped at Gaza’s shores.

"...The time has come to tell those who live near and far that this battle is not just about the Middle East; rather, it is a fight for the face of this world. At this time, Israel is located at a frontal outpost, where it fights the war of the enlightened, liberal, pluralist, open, and democratic world – in the huge struggle against the Islamic forces that threaten to take over the world and subjugate it to their green flag."


You can see more on the issue of the Turkish role in the Gaza confrontation in a Ralph Peters article in today's New York Post:

"Yesterday's 'aid convoy' incident off the coast of Gaza wasn't about bringing humanitarian supplies to the terrorist-ruled territory. It wasn't even about Israel.

"It was about Turkey's determination to position itself as the leading Muslim state in the Middle East."


From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, information on IHH, the Turkish organization connected to the flotilla:

All important to know, as you defend Israel against charges that we attacked humanitarians.


I hasten to add that "peace" between Israel and the PA would do nothing to deflect the intentions of Islamists such as Turkey -- pronouncements by Obama aside.

Here, before closing, I want to single out J-Street's Jeremy Ben-Ami, who put out a statement that said, in part:

"J Street is deeply shocked and saddened by reports that at least 10 civilians have been killed..."

"Civilians?" Obfuscation to hide the militant/terrorist inclination of those on the ship. And why mourn their deaths instead of expressing outrage at what their intentions were?

Continues Ben-Ami: "This shocking outcome of an effort to bring humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza is in part a consequence of the ongoing, counterproductive Israeli blockade of Gaza..."

"An effort to bring humanitarian relief"? He maintains this fiction in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. So we're the bad guys, right?

Do not, ever, believe representatives of J-Street when they say they are pro-Israel. Ben-Ami stands exposed.

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Time to get our act together

Isi Leibler
June 1, 2010

As the details emerge, there is little doubt that our efforts to prevent the flotilla seeking to break the embargo on Gaza have become an immense public relations disaster. Israel is being depicted in the global media as barbaric aggressors whilst Hamas and their fellow travelers are portrayed as valiant champions for human rights. I have little doubt that when the facts are assembled, this debacle will not reflect adversely on the IDF. However, the surprise ambush does imply a breakdown in our intelligence. After all, only one day prior to the confrontation, a female participant of the flotilla interviewed by Al Jazeera TV expressly predicted that the outcome would be "one of two happy endings: either martyrdom or reaching Gaza."

The other principal failure was the government's unpreparedness in presenting its case to the world in a timely and effective manner. The authorities did manage to convey that the flotilla rejected Israel's offer to enable the transfer of the goods, supposedly dispatched on humanitarian grounds, to Gaza following inspection at the Ashdod port. But despite being aware months in advance that a major international information campaign would be required after the event, the government was once again unprepared. When it did address the foreign media, it was in a totally unprofessional manner.

Israel faced a no-win situation. It was entitled by international law to deny entry to a flotilla of boats seeking to breach a military embargo against an Iranian-backed terrorist entity which proudly boasts of its determination to destroy Israel. Hamas is indisputably a terrorist group whose evil charter explicitly calls on the faithful to continue killing Jews until none survive. It is the ultimate hypocrisy for democratic countries to challenge Israel's action. Could one conceive of American or European forces permitting convoys of unchecked "humanitarian aid" to be transferred to Taliban strongholds?

However, it was only in the afternoon, after the world media had been inundated with hair-raising stories about alleged Israeli atrocities (by which time most nations had already condemned Israel) that interviews with IDF soldiers depicting the events started to emerge and enabled Israeli journalists to begin presenting the case for Israel.

It then became clear that all the casualties occurred on one boat.Rather than the Gandhi style idealistic pacifists portrayed in the media, Islamists under the control of IHH, a Turkish pro terrorist group closely linked to Hamas, had ambushed, violently attacked and attempted to kill soldiers who had been led to believe that they were dealing with nonviolent political activists (click here and here for Youtube video links). It was unquestionably a lynch-mob atmosphere with evidence of participants shrieking Islamic battle cries and expressing a willingness for martyrdom in order to kill Jews.

IDF soldiers were shot with live ammunition, stabbed with knives, beaten with iron clubs and thrown off the boats. There is no question that they faced life-threatening situations and had no choice other than to use weapons in self defense. It is thus grotesque to relate to proportionality in the context of soldiers being beaten by a wild mob employing iron bars.

This was alluded to in the early media statements by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Regrettably these press conferences which should have been framed for the global media were ineffectively presented and predominantly broadcast in Hebrew for internal Israeli consumption. This surely should have been an occasion for Israel to have used its most articulate spokesmen to marshal the facts and convey them in an effective manner to a global audience.

We lost the initial opportunity of conveying the case for Israel at the outset when first impressions are critical. In the immediate aftermath of the interception of the flotilla, all coverage and testimony, including video feeds, were almost exclusively orchestrated by Hamas, Turkey, Al Jazeera and other hostile anti-Israel elements. It took almost fourteen hours after the event for footage of the brutal behavior of the thugs who confronted our soldiers to be released by the IDF. By then, it was too late. The earlier anti-Israel images had become embedded in the sound bites of all international media. Other than Fox TV in the United States, the crucial raw depiction of the thuggish behavior against the soldiers was largely ignored by the global media.

It was also regrettable that no reference was made to the fact that the embargo against Hamas was also being implemented by Egypt, no friend of Israel, which is not keen to enable weapons to flow from Gaza to their own Muslim Brotherhood terrorist factions.

This is not the first time that we face disastrous repercussions because of a delay in marshaling the facts. Again and again, we expose the lies to the world far too late and only after the horse has already bolted. We should have learned the lessons from the devastating fallout following our failures to respond in a timely manner to the false claims of massacres in Jenin during Defensive Shield or the fabricated Muhammad al-Dura blood libel which ignited the second intifada. On this occasion, we may well have promoted the objective of those seeking to legitimize Hamas.

Although there have been calls for an independent inquiry, the footage released by the IDF speaks for itself. However, we do need an inquiry or commission to explain why our government continues to mishandle the crucial war of ideas primarily because of delays in adequately communicating the facts. We need to know why more funds are not being set aside for the war of ideas and why we are not using talented Israelis with skills to promote our case.

It is true that even if the facts were crystal clear, we would still be condemned by most of the world. One only needs to contrast the international outcry against Israel with the recent muted response of the international community to the unprovoked North Korean submarine sinking of a South Korean frigate. But we must, at the very least, make sure that our case is clearly presented so that those who apply double standards against us are shamed and exposed. This can only be possible if we adequately provide the tools to enable objective, fair minded people to appreciate that we are confronting barbaric and determined enemies who represent the ultimate antithesis of what one would expect amongst those purporting to campaign on behalf of human rights.

We face today yet another major effort by our enemies to delegitimize us. It is a time for unity and full credit should be extended to opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Kadima who have set aside politics to display solidarity with the state. Hopefully that will be extended to the formation of a unity government which the majority of the nation would welcome during these trying days when we once again find ourselves, realizing the words of Balaam in the Torah, as "the people who dwelleth alone."

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

Call US Embassy now

The American Embassy in Tel Aviv must hear from as many of us as possible - in particular American citizens. The telephone no. is (03) 519-7575. Brevity and courtesy are essential as we express ourselves. Enclosed is the link to the Itamar Marcus and Jan Jacques Zilberdik fine detailed report that contains background information. Americans in the US should contact the American consulate neares them. And here is the rest of it.

Israeli PR disaster, again

Officials screwed up again as PR arena was taken over by our opponents

Roni Sofer
Israel Opinion

Whoever stayed up late Sunday night was able to view the drama that took place at sea via a live broadcast. The popular al-Jazeera network and mostly the website used by the Gaza flotilla activists showed Navy commandoes raiding the “anti-blockade” ships The images were accompanied with the voices of activists and Hamas spokesmen who repeatedly condemned Israel over what goes on in Gaza and elsewhere. Only one voice went silent – Israel.

Until the press conference held by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon at 10:30 am, more than six hours after the incident started, Israel did not issue even one official response to the grave events. Even in Ayalon’s press conference, which was indeed opened in English, there was barely any foreign media presence. The few people that made it did not present any questions.

And what’s worse than that: Images of the violence on the Mavi Marmara ship or any other visual information from the Israeli side were only provided many hours later. The defense minister, IDF chief of staff, and Navy commander told journalists in a press briefing about the fierce resistance encountered by the troops: Knives, bats, clubs, and even guns. Yet we saw none of it early on.

All that was left on the screen were the photos provided by the Turkish activists via their cell phones, accompanied by rumors about Sheikh Raed Salah’s death. Did Israel’s public relationship establishment fall asleep again?

The National PR headquarters argued that the responsibility for this is born by the IDF spokesman, yet the IDF Spokesman’s Office pointed its finger back at the Foreign Ministry and the very same National PR headquarters.

The PR chief, Nir Hefetz, was in Canada with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hasbara Minister Yuli Edelstein’s voice was not heard either, because he too was with the prime minister in Canada.

And so, for long hours, the harsh accusations against the violent Israel, accompanied by furious protests in Turkey and harsh condemnations across the world, were left without an Israeli response.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"We Stood Strong"

It was inevitable, as things were going with the "flotilla" -- for us there was no choice. And so I am enormously grateful that we stood our ground. Had we backed down in the face of extreme provocation that ultimately became physical attack, it would have been horrendous.
A summary of events:

Six boats were in the flotilla -- two carried people and the rest supplies. During the night our Navy sent them multiple messages urging that confrontation be avoided. They were asked to return to Cyprus or re-route to Ashkelon for unloading of the humanitarian supplies, but the "activists" on board rejected all offers. One boat -- the Marma -- carrying 600 people, was most problematic in its response.

Yesterday, Al Jazeerah documented the cries of people on that boat:

"Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"

Explains Palestinian Media Watch, this is a reference to "Khaibar...the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad's army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor for future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims."

PMW put out the Al Jazeerah video report on its website:

See it, please! Save it and share it very broadly. It tells the story of what we faced more vividly than anything else.

Most incredible was the statement of one Arab woman present:

"Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza."

Hardly the statement of a humanitarian activist eager to supply food to hungry Gazans. This is the statement of a jihad extremist. Make no mistake about it.


At about 3 AM, Navy commandos, trained and prepared for this, boarded the boat. They were met with premeditated violence. The IDF called it an attempted lynching. Those on board had weapons -- guns, knives, iron bars, bats, clubs, slingshots with marbles -- and attacked. In two instances, "peaceful activists" pulled the guns from our soldiers and began shooting. One soldier was beaten to the floor of the ship and pummeled, another was knifed in the stomach.

As chaos ensued, our soldiers had no choice but to respond with fire -- something they had hoped to avoid doing. In light of the circumstances, their response was controlled, and they have since been praised by their superiors for their proper action. In the end, seven of our soldiers were wounded, two seriously. Some ten people on the boat were killed. I have no information on who they were, but there was a large contingent of Turks among these fighters -- the Turks, after all, were instrumental in the planning of this flotilla.


"Live fire was used against our forces. They initiated the violence, that's 100% clear," said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Prime Minister's office.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed regret for the loss of life, but said that the flotilla was a provocation sponsored by extremists who support a terrorist organization.

Indeed this is the case: The flotilla was organized by IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi - “humanitarian relief fund”), a Turkish aid foundation which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and global jihadi networks, as well as mujahideen groups in Afghanistan. It openly supports Hamas; members of Hamas had boarded boats at the Gaza coast and were waiting to "receive" the flotilla.


At his press conference this morning, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said:

"I want to report this morning that the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well known for their ties with global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons - prepared in advance and used against our forces.

"The organizers' intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent. Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome. We repeatedly called upon the organizers, and all those who associated with them, through diplomatic channels and any other means we could - to stop this provocation. The so-called humanitarian aid was not for a humanitarian purpose. Had it been for a humanitarian purpose, they would have accepted our offer to deliver all humanitarian supplies through the appropriate channels which are used on a daily basis, as we make sure that Gaza will not be short of humanitarian supplies. On a daily basis we do that...

"We asked them to send [their supplies] through the proper channels, whether it's the UN, whether it's the Red Cross, whether it's our people - but to no avail. They said it's a humanitarian campaign, but in fact what they said repeatedly is that their intent and purpose was to break the maritime blockade on Gaza. [The blockade] is very legal and justified by the terror that Hamas is applying in Gaza. Allowing these ships to go in a illegal way to Gaza would have opened a corridor of smuggling arms and terrorists to Gaza with the inevitable results of many, many thousands of civilian deaths, and violence all over the area. (Emphasis added)

"After these repeated calls were not heeded by the organizers, we told them that they will not be allowed to break the blockade. According to maritime law we have the right to do that. Unfortunately the people and organizers on the ship did not heed the calls of our forces this morning to peacefully follow them and bring a peaceful closure to this event. (Emphasis added)

"No sovereign country would tolerate such violence against civilian population, against its sovereignty, against international law. And we in Israel call today upon all relevant parties and on all relevant countries to work together in calming the situation."


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, on TV this evening, said, "Israel is a sovereign state and cannot accept the undermining of its sovereignty. Israel has stopped ships in international waters before and when ships refuse to accede to warnings and obey instructions, we have the right to board them under international law." (emphasis added) Additionally, he noted that passengers on board the ship "were not peace activists but terror supporters."


Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was in Canada when this transpired, is on his way home. He has communicated to President Obama the impossibility of meeting him right now.

Said Netanyahu, "Our soldiers acted in self defense":

"I think both Prime Minister Harper and President Obama understand that Israel has a great security problem and I want to put that into context. The context is that Gaza has become a base for Hamas terrorists backed by Iran. They have fired thousands of rockets into Israel. They are amassing thousands more rockets to fire at our cities, at our towns, at our children.

"...our policy is this -- we try to let in all humanitarian goods into Gaza, all peaceful commodities, food, medicine, and the like. What we want to prevent coming into Gaza are rockets, missiles, explosives and war materials that could be used to attack our civilians. This is an ongoing policy and it was the one that guided our action yesterday. We told the flotilla of ships, we said, 'You can take all your cargo, put it in our port of Ashdod, we'll just ferret out if there are any war materials, and the rest will go through.'

"We succeeded in doing this peacefully with five of the six ships. The sixth ship, the largest, which had hundreds of people on it, not only did not cooperate in this effort peacefully, they deliberately attacked the first soldiers who came on the ship. They were mobbed, they were clubbed, they were beaten, stabbed, there was even a report of gunfire. And our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed."

The ships have been brought to Ashkelon. The "activists" will be either deported or arrested, and the wounded will be treated. The cargo of the ships will be unloaded and examined, and genuine humanitarian aid will be sent through crossings to the people of Gaza.

Undoubtedly I will have more on this tomorrow.


What is of enormous significance now is that each of you reading this should understand precisely what went on, what the true motivations and actions of those on the ship were -- and what Israel's concerns and rights in the matter are.

That we are going to take heat, big-time, is a given now. We'll hear, of course, from Turkey, the UN, Arab nations, etc., and likely some European nations as well.

Each of us best serves Israel now by spreading this information at every turn, as broadly as you possibly can. I think you have what you need with the information above. Please use it.

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