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June 15, 2010
Don't let hypocrisy prevail
It was Edmund Burke who once said that "facts are to mind what food is to body", therefore making the facts an indispensible part of each and every discussion, be it a social or a political one. When facts are overlooked and disregarded, that same debate will soon enough be rendered useless.
This past two weeks many world leaders and influential thinkers have slammed Israel over the flotilla raid, citing the usual "disproportional response and excessive use of force" arguments which are constantly applied merely to Israel, thus labeling the so called peace activists on board of the Turkish "Mavi Marmara" as harmless victims of the Israeli attack.
Well my friends the facts paint quite a different picture.
Six vessels made their way to Gaza, five of them docked safely at the city of Ashdod after the IDF made it clear that it will not allow the ships to break the Gaza Strip blockade (Initiated in the first place by both Israel and Egypt during 2007 when the Hamas forced out the Fatah and renewed rocket attacks on Southern Israel).
Upon arriving to Ashdod, the humanitarian equipment had been carefully examined and was subsequently loaded onto trucks and sent to Gaza, where the Hamas prevented the cargo from entering the city. Fact.
The sixth ship was the Turkish Mavi Marmara that refused the same appeal, accepted earlier by their fellow activists, and continued on its course to Gaza, leaving the IDF no other choice but to raid the ship in order to enforce the blockade as indeed any other country would have done. It was the only viable option after their intentions were made clear.
The Israeli soldiers that boarded the ship were equipped with paintball rifles which were to be used in order to disperse the expected on site rally. They were also equipped with handguns in case something went wrong, and guess what. It did.
As the following footage clearly shows, upon sliding down the rope towards the ship, the Israeli soldiers were brutally attacked, beaten and stabbed by a raging mob whose goal was to murder and/or kidnap them. One of the soldiers was thrown to the lower deck, resulting in severe injuries. If you don't believe me, take a moment to review these pictures published in a Turkish newspaper. A picture is worth a thousand words. Fact.
Let me ask you this, since when do peace activists carry metal rods and knives. Well, make no mistake about this -- they were not peace activists but rather terrorists whose aim was to harm the servicemen and at the same time to launch a provocation of massive scale. Unfortunately, they have succeeded.
I am truly sorry for the loss of lives during the operation because every death is indeed a tragedy. Nevertheless I remain convinced that Israel's reaction was just and appropriate since the threat posed to the soldiers' lives was clear and imminent. I firmly believe that any other sovereign state would have responded in similar fashion. I somehow doubt however that the activists would have dared to attack American or Russian troops.
The state of Israel had been fighting for survival and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors for more than 60 years now. Time and time again was Israel forced to make significant sacrifices in order to achieve a long lasting peace Israel has completely relinquished the Sinai Peninsula in order to sign a peace accord with Egypt. Israel has decided to withdraw from the Gaza Strip but all it got in return was an unprecedented wave of terror which resulted in many civilian and military casualties.
The attack on the Israeli soldiers boarding the Marmara was by all means an unprovoked and unacceptable act of terror which left Israel no choice but to allow the commandos to open fire in order to save both themselves and their friends.
Take another moment and try to honestly answer the most pivotal question of all -- Would you have done anything differently?
Don't let hypocrisy prevail.