The Unwarranted Castigation of Israel

Once again, Israel is at the center of an international crisis with world leaders, the UN, and citizens across the globe who are quick to jump on the Blame Wagon at the first opportunity to condemn the Jewish state.

The most recent episode involving Israeli naval commandos legally boarding a flotilla of vessels headed for Gaza, has the world up in arms as it finds Israel guilty of atrocities on par with history's worst violence. Alas, if only the judges and juries making their voices heard on the world stage actually considered the evidence at hand before concluding that this incident warrants international condemnation. But that would mean treating Israel as something other than a pariah and that just does not happen in today's world and it certainly does not happen under the watch of the Obama administration.

The Blame Israel Game has always been something that governments, the media, the UN, and anti-Semites the world over have enjoyed playing, however, this year has been particularly fraught with international discord and denunciation for the Jewish homeland. Since Obama's inauguration when he made his first official phone call to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, his official out reach to the Muslim world in his infamous Cairo speech, his condemnation of Israel and its Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu over the building of housing units in the country's capital of Jerusalem, and most recently, his agreement to sign onto the NPT agreement calling for a nuclear-free Middle East and isolating Israel in particular, the Obama administration has basically given a green light to the world to castigate Israel in the international arena.

That is not to say that under the watch of President Bush the world was not quick to jump on Israel for military incursions undertaken in order to protect its citizens and homeland from incoming missiles on its borders with Gaza and Southern Lebanon. The Goldstone report epitomizes the bias emanating from the UN and leaders the world over who relish in Israel-bashing while they ignore atrocities from the likes of Somalia, North Korea, and Iran.

In the face of the world's relative silence at the Iranian government's violent response to peaceful protests over the stolen election last year, human rights abuses across the globe including in Somalia and China, and most recently, North Korea's attack of a South Korean ship that killed dozens of South Korean soldiers, one wonders why the world is so quick to judge the details of the flotilla incident before reviewing the full nature of the events that unfolded. And as an American Jew who has been disturbed by the present administration's policies with regard to Israel, I cannot help but wonder how this would have played out under the Bush administration which would surely have stood by America's ally and condemned the terrorists who attacked Israel's naval forces., Memri, and other news sites have done a terrific job of remaining on top of this story and presenting the actual facts since it broke. Truthful information is available detailing who was behind the flotilla, including the knife and weapon wielding "activists" who were ready and waiting to ambush the Israeli commandos boarding the vessel, first-hand accounts and video of what took place, the propaganda machines in place successfully portraying Israeli soldiers as murderers, and the legal arguments behind Israel's right to board the vessel initially.

To summarize, Israeli commandos boarded a flotilla of vessels illegally heading to Gaza for purported "humanitarian purposes." What followed was quickly labeled by world leaders as a "massacre" as the Israeli soldiers were forced to fire weapons in order to defend themselves from attacks as they boarded the vessel.

Upon boarding, the commandos were faced with knives, iron bars, clubs, bats, and sling shots. The Israelis were merely carrying paintball rifles and were ill-prepared for the violence facing them. Many Israeli soldiers were beaten up, and although several had handguns, they held-off using them as they are trained to do unless facing "life-threatening" situations. At some point during the confrontation, it appears as if some of the activists either had handguns of their own or were able to capture the handguns of the Israelis and as gunshots were fired, the determination by the commandos to use weapons must have been made. The number of dead and injured is still in question although it appears that at least 9 "activists" have died and many more individuals were wounded, including Israeli soldiers.

What the mainstream media is not sharing with the public is the background leading up to this event. As became clear during the planning stages, the individuals and organizations behind the planning of the flotilla had no intention of providing humanitarian aid to Gazans, but rather had every intention of causing a public relations nightmare for Israel. One flotilla organizer stated: "this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege."

And that is because the organizers, planners, and participants who arranged the flotilla and were on board the vessel waiting in ambush were actually terrorists and not peace activists as they have led the public to believe (and as the public and media are so quick to lap up). As reported by

"Playing a central role in the flotilla is the Turkish IHH organization, which besides its legitimate philanthropic activities is also, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a supporter of radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.

See here and here for detailed information on the IHH.

Amongst the other organizations involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals in danger through encouraging 'direct action', which resulted in the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie. In 2003, ISM's extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. More recently, ISM has been a leading force in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni'lin, while an ISM activist has been jailed in the US, charged with "giving about $20,000 to a group he knew supported Hamas." and Memri both include a video on their websites that originally appeared on Al-Jazeera depicting the activists on board the vessel singing infidel songs aimed at killing Jews and praising martyrdom. These are not your every day peace-loving activists - unless you are in the Middle East or the Obama administration, in which case terrorists are viewed upon by the world as peaceful protestors, jihad is a "legitimate tenant of Islam," and democratic allies who only use weapons in self-defense are viewed upon as murderers and condemned on the world stage.

The situation in the Middle East grows more dire ever day as Iran continues on its quest to become a nuclear power and take over the region, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas build up weapons caches all aimed at the annihilation of Israel, and the Obama administration continues on a path of injecting daylight to the relationship it has with its most reliable and strategic ally.

Israel continues to be surrounded by enemies, however, now they seem more emboldened than ever before as they perceive the U.S. withdrawing support and helping to isolate the tiny Jewish state. It is imperative that Americans remain informed and outspoken and force the U.S. government to stand by Israel at this very precarious time in Mideast history. And it is even more imperative that American Jews show their outrage at the international condemnation being directed toward Israel, speak out to their religious and elected leaders, and let their brethren in Israel know that their support remains unabated.