By Wesley Pruden, Jewish World Review
When the going gets tough, the not-so-tough call in the cliches. The world’s “leaders” are shocked! — shocked! — when Israel defends itself. Actually, they’re about as “shocked” as Claude Raines, the police inspector in “Casablanca,” who was shocked to learn that gambling was going on in the casino at Rick’s Cafe.
Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations who rarely sees third-world evil, shocking or otherwise, says he was “shocked” by the Israeli navy’s stopping a convoy attempting to break through the blockade of Islamist terrorists in Gaza. The governments of Sweden, Greece and Jordan were so “shocked” they recalled their ambassadors to Israel to get the inside dope to fuel further “shock.” Tony Blair, who is some sort of “peacemaker”-at-large in the Middle East, was “shocked,” too. If he is, it’s only because he hasn’t been in the Middle East long enough to unpack his Gladstone. France was not just a little bit “shocked,” but “profoundly shocked.” There was so much “shock” in the air that the mourning became electric.
The convoy of six ships not only carried thousands of tons of supplies, but hundreds of “activists” and when the smoke cleared nine or so “activists” — the count varied through the day — had been rendered “inactivists,” and capable of no further mischief. The European Union demanded an official inquiry, so profound was its “shock.” The United Nations went into emergency session to recover from “shock.”
The usual suspects went riding off in several directions even before they could mount their horses, but an investigation, official or otherwise, is not really necessary. Verdict now, facts later. The Associated Press, which once took pride in its reporting but is awash now in activists and pundits, set out the early story line: “Dozens of activists and six Israeli soldiers were wounded in the bloody predawn confrontation in international waters. The violent takeover dealt yet another blow to Israel’s international image, already tarnished by war crimes accusations in Gaza and its 3-year-old blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.”
The account of the Israeli commandos tells a different story. The Mava Marmara, the lead ship in the flotilla, was told to change course and not land in Gaza. When it ignored the warning Israeli marines and commandos boarded the ship, some by rope ladders from helicopters. A fierce fight erupted on deck and only after taking severe casualties and fearing for their lives the commandos, armed only with pistols and paint ball rifles because they were expecting genuine peace activists and not trained street fighters, fired back, trying to aim first at the feet of the “peace activists.”
Israel is at war, fighting for its very existence, surrounded by hostile Islamic regimes, some more hostile than others. Not all the hostile regimes approve, or so they say, of the Islamist campaign of extinction of Israel by attrition (until Iran gets a working nuclear bomb). None of these hostile regimes, so in love with peace, will do anything to persuade or compel the Palestinians to give up the dream of destroying Israel in a second Holocaust. This is the reality in the Middle East and the cowering milklegs in Washington, London, Paris and the other capitals of the West know it. Who could be shocked when the Israelis do what they must do to survive?
The facts on ground and sea are, as usual, ignored in the bang and clang of rioting in the streets and the din of diplomatic argle-bargle, with the media peddling the usual story: The flotilla of “peace” ships was only intended to relieve the suffering of women, children and maybe even an occasional cute kitten or adorable puppy. But the “activist” account is bunk.
Adequate supplies of food, medicine and other necessary goods are regularly delivered to Palestinians in Gaza — and by the Israelis. The government in Jerusalem invited reporters to the Kerem Shalom crossing to see, and photograph, the convoys of trucks delivering these goods to Gaza. The Israelis even offered to transfer the goods from the flotilla as soon as the ships could be unloaded and inspected. The sponsor of the flotilla, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, is regarded by Israel as a radical Islamist organization, part of a global fund-raising operation of Hamas. If the Israelis allow such flotillas to deliver supplies to Gaza, other ships will follow, not with rice and beans but with explosives, rifles and long-range Iranian Fajr-5 missiles.
But the attack of the “peace” ships was intended for a larger and more important purpose — to undermine Israeli determination to continue the struggle against the radical Muslims who are determined to kill Jews. The Israelis are determined there won’t be a second Holocaust. This shouldn’t shock anyone who’s been paying attention.