A Note From a Friend in the Middle East
By now I am sure that you have read about and seen reports of the conflict that occurred early Monday morning off the coast of Gaza. The news and world opinion are, as to be expected, very anti-Israel in their take on what transpired. I wanted to give you just a few of my thoughts and some of the facts as I know them. I also encourage you to read the official Israeli response to the emergency session of the UN Security Council today. It can be found on most major newspaper web sites.
1. This blockade has existed for some years now and was instituted when it was internationally determined that military equipment was being brought into Gaza by sea. This was during the time of the daily rockets attacks from Gaza into Israel.
2. Even after the blockade was begun, aid ships have routinely followed protocol, docked at Israeli ports such as Ashdod and had their cargo carried by land into Gaza with no problems.
3. For weeks the Israeli authorities have told the organizers of these ships that they would not be allowed to break the blockade.
4. The Israeli government told all of the countries that had citizens on board ship that it would not allow the ships through.
5. The captains of all six ships were notified that they would not be allowed to break the blockade…none responded.
6. Of the six ships boarded, only one chose to ambush the boarding IDF personnel and did so with guns, knives, metal pipes and even fire bombs.
7. The ship on which the conflict took place had 600 passengers. Aid ships are usually loaded to the brim with supplies. The thought that 600 people would be on board is not in line with the mission of an aid ship.
8. The attempt to break the blockade was timed the day before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas were to meet with President Obama to discuss having direct talks regarding a two state solution, a solution that the organizers of this flotilla of ships strongly opposes. The meeting will now not take place.
9. There is no food crisis in Gaza as supplies cross the border almost every day.
So what does all of this suggest?
This was a planned act on the part of the organizers to create a confrontation which would divert the focus of peace talks and put Israel, again, on the stage of world condemnation. Turkey has said that the next attempt to break the blockade would be accompanied by Turkish war ships and jet fighters. Greece has withdrawn from planned joint military exercises with Israel. And once again the country which is being singled out for annihilation, Israel, has to defend itself from protecting itself.
One more note, the position that the US takes on this event, both from official statements and leaked by-lines, will go a long way in determining just how far it has gone from its traditional defense of the only democratic country in the Middle East. Much will be brought to light all over the world in the next week.
[WindowView believes this to be reliable information and the opinions and accuracy of content here are attributed to the author who wishes to remain annonymous]