By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Straight from the Jerusalem Cloakroom #235, May 31, 2010
Tell me who are your supporters/organizers and I’ll tell who you are!
Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center sheds light on the nature of Turkey’s IHH, the chief organizer of the flotilla to Gaza (http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/hamas_e105.htm):
1. The radical Islamic, anti-Western IHH – the chief supporter of the flotilla to Gaza – poses as a humanitarian relief fund (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation), while supporting Hamas and several Jihadist organizations in Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Algeria, Chechnya, etc..
2. The IHH initiated a number of “humanitarian aid” convoys to anti-US Islamic terrorists in Iraq’s Fallujah Triangle.
3. According to the Danish Institute for international Studies, IHH is connected to Al Qaeda and global Islamic terrorism. The Istanbul office of IHH was raided, and IHH activists were arrested, by the Turkish security services. Explosives, IED (Improvised Explosive Device) manuals, weapons and Afghanistan-oriented documents were confiscated during the raid.
4. According to a French intelligence report, Bulent Yildirim, the president of IHH, recruited “Jihad warriors” and transferred money, firearms and explosives to Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists in various countries. Yildirim made telephone calls to European “shelter apartments,” which were used by Islamic terrorists, including Abu el-Ma’ali, known as “Junior Ben-Laden.” IHH produced documents, which facilitated air travel by Islamic terrorists, posing as relief workers. IHH was connected to Ahmed Ressam, an Islamic terrorist, who attempting to smuggle 1320 pounds of explosives and plant them at the Los Angeles International Airport.
5. Bulent Yildirim embraced the world view of the Muslim Brotherhood (the mentor of Hamas in Gaza) and has been a systematic supporter of – and collaborator with – Hamas. He has transferred significant amount of money to Hamas and its “charitable societies” and has promoted – during major Hamas events in Turkey – armed struggle against the Jewish State.
THE CONTEXT OF THE “GAZA FLOTILLA”:
1. Gaza is a bastion of Iran and Syria-supported Hamas terrorism, launching thousands of missiles at Israel, kidnapping Israel’s Gilad Shalit and smuggling into Gaza terrorists, more precise and longer range missiles, explosives and other lethal elements. Efforts have been made to minimize such smuggling via Sinai and from the Mediterranean.
2. Israel’s aim of cooperation was demonstrated by Jerusalem’s offer to allow the “Gaza Flotilla” to reach its destination (in spite of the daily flow to Gaza – via Israel – of food, oil, cement and multitude of products) following a thorough examination of its content.
3. The “Gaza Flotilla” aim of confrontation was demonstrated by its rejection of Jerusalem’s offer and by the handguns, knives, screwdrivers, iron pipes and a gun employed by terrorists on board. Confrontation has been the goal of the “Gaza Flotilla,” as evidenced by the campaign of anti-Israel incitement carried out by its personnel and sponsors.
4. The Israeli soldiers were prepared for a peaceful-takeover in face of (erroneously-assumed) civil disobedience. Therefore, they were equipped with paintball guns as the primary weapon and handguns as an emergency weapon, to be used only if facing death. They resorted to handguns in response to an attempted lynch by the scores of terrorists, who assaulted the soldiers with iron pipes, knives, screwdrivers and a gun. Handguns were snatched from soldiers, by the lynching mob, and were directed at the soldiers. Five boats were taken over peacefully and one (with 600 passengers) became an arena of confrontation between Israeli soldiers and terrorists. Israeli restraint minimized fatalities among terrorists.
5. The responsibility for the fatalities and casualties lies at the doorstep of the IHH, other supporters of the “Gaza Flotilla,” the UN and multitude of governments, which could – but would not – stop the Flotilla.
6. Would NATO allow a “humanitarian aid” convoy, organized by the radical Islamic anti-Western IHH, to travel unchecked to a Taliban stronghold?! Would Germany, Italy or France allow such a convoy to reach “Baader Meinhoff”, “Red Brigade” or “Action Direct” terrorist strongholds?
7. The “Gaza Flotilla” highlights the role of the Jewish State as the outpost of Western democracies in face of Islamic terrorist offensive. De-legitimizing and weakening Israel – the role model of counter terrorism – would be a tailwind for Islamic terrorists – the role model of international terrorism – facilitating their assault on the Free World. It’s not a clash over Gaza; it’s a clash of civilizations!