Friday, June 04, 2010

Pot. Kettle. Black

Israel evacuates Gaza and hands over everything they built over nearly four decades to its enemies, hoping for peace. Instead, it gets daily rockets, deliberately aimed at civilians, from the "piece" of Jewish land it foolishly handed over (now with 20/20 hindsight we all know that Zvi Yehuda Kook was right). Israel imposes a naval blockade to interdict weapons intended for Hamas, the terrorist masters of Gaza. A flotilla of boats organized by a Turkish group with ties to terrorists including Al Qaeda, and with the full support of the Turkish government, attempts to run the blockade. They call themselves "peace activists" attempting to deliver "humanitarian aid," and somehow Israel thinks it's dealing with disciples of Martin Luther King. A small lightly armed naval commando force is sent to interdict the boats. They rappel from a helicopter into what turns out to be a lynch mob armed with crowbars, clubs and knives. After a heroic struggle in which several commandos are wounded and at least one flung overboard, the Israelis gain control. Nine enemy lives are lost. An orgy of condemnation, made in and directed by Ankara, comes Israel's way. Never mind that the blockade is fully in accord with the international laws of war and anybody attempting to run it should know that he is putting his life on the line, just like the Confederate blockade runners in the American Civil War. Never mind that Israel, true to form, took great pains to use minimal force and minimize enemy casualties. Never mind that Israel warned the flotilla several times and invited the boats to dock in Ashdod, where the cargo would be inspected and genuine humanitarian aid would be trucked overland to Gaza. Never mind that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza; food, medicine and such are trucked in every day from Israel and Egypt, and indeed were trucked in even during the worst of Operation Cast Lead. Never mind that some of the "peace activists" had prepared Al Qaeda-style "martyrdom tapes" before the operation and had declared their intention beforehand to become "shahids" - martyrs in jihad. Israel is at fault. Israel always is at fault.

Isrealis attacked by "peace activists"

There is a sea change in the Middle East, as sweeping as the one over three decades ago when the Shah of Iran fell - and an America that was serious about its global responsibilities would never have allowed that debacle to occur. Turkey is abandoning the legacy of Ataturk, architect of the modern Turkish state who threw in Turkey's lot with the West and Western secularism. It is becoming an Islamist state with ambitions of becoming the dominant power in the region as it was before World War I. Here is New York Post columnist Ralph Peter's take on the situation. This is the Turkey that never owned up to its genocide against the Armenians, the Turkey that oppresses its Kurdish minority, the Turkey that imprisons and tortures human rights activists, and the Turkey that occupied one-third of the independent nation of Cyprus, sent in thousands of Turkish settlers and set up its own puppet state, the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," recognized by no other nation on earth. This has been going on since 1974. The United Nations of course is chiming in, that confabulation of tyrants and dictators responsible for untold suffering and bloodshed. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Next time (and there almost certainly will be a next time - an outfit from Ireland is organizing a flotilla as I write, of course with support from Turkey) Israel should have better intelligence and know with whom it is dealing. Nonviolent demonstrators can be subdued with paintball rifles. Armed terrorists must be met with overwhelming force that will maximize the enemy's losses and minimize Israel's own. Finally, there are murmurings that Turkey intends to send naval vessels to escort a second flotilla. If it does, it will have unambiguously shown all concerned whose side it is on. This should not surprise us; in the Middle East nations change sides in a conflict the way we change our underwear. Israel and the United States must take notice and act accordingly.

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