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Posted June 2, 2010 | comments 3 Comments

Israeli blunder

The six boats were carrying 10,000 tones of aid for Gaza, but their mission was also provocative: to draw attention to the Israeli blockade of the territory.

The provocation was successful. Israeli commandos attacked the flotilla, killing nine passengers and arresting more than 600 activists from the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish organization that has organized previous aid voyages.

The Israelis had warned the vessels that they were entering a hostile area and the ships refused a request to dock at the port of Ashdod, where earlier shipments have been unloaded and sent on to Gaza after being searched for contraband.

When Israeli commandos boarded the largest ship early Monday morning, instead of encountering passive resistance, fighting erupted.

Although the Israeli government defended its navy's actions, the battle has sparked international condemnation and further isolated Israel just as the United States is working to restart the Mideast peace process. Turkey, Israel's closest Muslim ally, denounced the action as "inhumane state terrorism" and Egypt reopened its border with Gaza to allow aid through.

The Israelis imposed the blockade in 2007 after Hamas, which refuses to recognize the existence of Israel, took control of Gaza. But the burden falls disproportionately on the innocent. Among the banned items are jam, chocolate, french fries, fabric and toys. The Israelis also prohibit nearly all exports, which has decimated Gaza's agriculture and industry and left more than 80 percent of Gazans dependent on food aid.

Those who organized the voyage and its participants laced their humanitarianism with calculation, and the Israelis, either knowingly or unwittingly, fell into their trap.

The blunder should encourage the Israelis to rethink their Gaza blockade.

3 Comments |

    When Hezbollah and Hamas quit firing rockets into Israel and let them live in peace...maybe then Israel should lower the blockade. As it is now, Israel has a right to defend herself and those ridiculous protesters should have docked and been inspected, after all that is the law. If they had no munitions they should not have minded being inspected.

    I pray everyday for the peace of Israel, but I also receive the images of the people (Israelies) maimed and killed by Palestinian rockets all the time. The Arabs are the ones keeping all this unnecessary violence going. Israel has given, and given and given and EVERY time the Arabs break their word and attack them.

    Go Israel and God bless Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israelie people!

    As usual, Bishop, you are badly informed and mouthing off as if you know what you are talking about.
    No rocket, no suicide bombing, no attack of any kind by the Palestinians has ever taken place that was not immediately preceded by killing, torture, or starvation by Israel. For more than 60 years, the Palestinians have tried non-violence as well only to have their leaders deported, tortured, imprisoned, or killed.
    If you think that chocolate, fabric, toys, hearing aid batteries for children, spices, pears, avocados, end the many other more than 1000 such items which Israel bans are to secure the defense of Israel, you are in your usual callous mode.
    What Israel is doing has nothing to do with rockets. It is a continuing pattern of theft of Palestinian homeland and their natural resources. Every time a farmer grows crops, the Israeli tanks come in to destroy the entire farm and to kill the farmers. Israel will not even permit wheelchairs for the paraplegics which it created during the Gaza Holocaust of 2008-2009.

    Rockets are not and never were the issue or the cause of Israeli massacres in Lebanon and Palestine.
    In the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon, Israel was the first to launch rockets, not Hizbullah.
    In the 2008 Gaza Holocaust, Israel breached the June 19th, 2008, truce with Hamas, first by refusing to relax the blockade, second by unilaterally reducing from 6 miles to 3 miles that Palestinians could fish in their own waters, and even in the 3 mile zone, killed unarmed Palestinians and damaged or destroyed their boats. The third and final Israeli breach occurred on November 4, while the US was voting for President and very much distracted. Israel entered Gaza militarily and killed 6 Palestinians. There were no rockets. Hamas had kept its part of the bargain and had stopped all rockets. On November 5, Hamas launched its first rocket since it was elected in 2006.
    As for the Israelis who were allegedly killed by rockets, not one, not a single Israeli had been killed by rockets for the entire year immediately preceding December 27 when Israel launched its full scale attack against Gaza.


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