Vail Daily letter: Brutal ambush at sea
Vail, CO, Colorado
Your Associated Press article in Our World on Thursday gives the usual anti-Israel slant. It gives no background about the ships in the flotilla nor why there is a blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt.
The people on the Mavi Marmara were no “sisters of mercy.” They were political activists whose main goal was to continue the PR war to delegitimize Israel. Whether they broke the blockade or not, they would still have a victory in the international press.
The background and context that should have been given in that story war was – who were the key players in the Free Gaza Movement flotilla, and why is there a blockade on the Gaza port?
It’s important to remember why the “aid” was being transported by sea in the first place.
In January of this year, a convoy led by then British MP George Galloway ended in violence at the Egyptian-Gaza border as Egyptian authorities delayed their entry into Gaza in order to inspect the freight. One Egyptian officer was killed, and Egypt then made it clear that “aid” could no longer enter though its crossing.
Also, remember that when Israel ended the occupation of Gaza by unilaterally withdrawing – even removing its own citizens by force – Hamas responded with terror attacks and launching thousands of rockets at Israeli citizens. It also kidnapped an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, and has refused to give him back after four years.
A state of war exists between Israel and the Hamas regime controlling Gaza. Rockets and mortars are still being launched by Hamas toward southern Israel on a daily basis. Gaza is “occupied” by terrorists who ousted the PA in a violent coup, and arms are continuously being smuggled into Gaza, even by sea.
Israel has every right and need to inspect all transports going into Gaza, as the main “need” of Hamas is weapons!
Every week, 150 tons of humanitarian aid enter Gaza in accordance with established procedures. Many countries and the United Nations are using those mechanisms on a daily basis.
What kind of “humanitarian activist” demands to bypass the U.N., the Red Cross and other internationally recognized agencies?
What kind of “peaceniks” use knives, clubs, iron bars and other weapons to attack the authorities?
The answer is clear. They are not peace activists; they are not messengers of good will.
The main organizer of the flotilla was a Turkish organization called the International Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which is tied to Hamas and even al Qaeda. It is part of the Union of Good, a collection of “charities” tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. The union has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a terrorist entity due to its fundraising activities on behalf of Hamas.
In Monday’s violence, the videos speak for themselves. Israeli commandos were beaten as they landed on the ship’s deck by men wielding pipes, knives and other weapons. The Israeli plan was to use paintball guns (which can hurt but not kill) to gain control of the ship, in order to take the ship to Ashdod, the closest Israeli port to Gaza, to inspect the freight and then to transport recognized “humanitarian aid” overland, under the watchful eyes of the members of the flotilla.
“They came for war,” was how one Israel Navy commando described the “activists” aboard the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger ship, where clashes erupted early Monday morning and ended with a reported 10 “activists” dead and dozens of others, including eight IDF soldiers, wounded.
The assessment within the Navy was that the activists would resist the Israeli takeover of their ship but along the lines of the demonstrations the IDF faces weekly in the West Bank, where Palestinians protest against the security barrier.
Rocks and punches would be thrown, it was assumed, and an occasional knife would be brandished – but not the extent of violence they met. The passengers on the other five ships behaved in the normal “peacenik” manner – none were hurt.
Only the passengers on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, attacked with “cold” weapons, as Israeli commandos rappelled onto the ship with both hands on the rope. It’s rather hard to use a weapon with both hands occupied with holding you up.
In a search of the ship afterward, the Navy discovered – in addition to the bats, metal pipes and knives – Molotov cocktails that had been prepared in advance by the so-called “activists.”
I believe the soldiers acted with the utmost nobility. The videos clearly show the soldiers engaged in hand-to-hand combat sustained injuries but only opened fire after one of them was lying on the ground unconscious and two others had been shot.
This was an unbelievable demonstration of restraint and typical of how the Israelis try not to harm any civilians during war.
This was a brutal ambush at sea by forces filled with hatred of Israel. This should have been the story.