With a flotilla of "peace activists" steaming toward the blockaded Gaza strip, Israeli authorities have been worrying about a showdown turning into a public relations disaster. That's a sorry reflection not on Israel but on the willingness of a world audience to swallow almost any amount of propaganda, if it comes with a Gaza label.
The basic narrative spun by the organizers of this "freedom flotilla" is that some 700 "activists" from dozens of countries have boarded eight or nine ships filled with tons of "humanitarian aid." Their mission is to run the Israeli blockade, "break the siege of Gaza" and "establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world." The umbrella website for this venture is labeled "The Free Gaza Movement," and on it the "Free Gaza Team" of the "Freedom Flotilla Coalition" professes a dedication to nonviolence and respect for universal human rights.
All that might make sense if Gaza were a peaceful and democratic enclave, unreasonably walled up by its neighbors. But there's some important information that the flotilla crew omits. Gaza is a terrorist enclave. Gaza is controlled by an Islamist terrorist group, Hamas. And Hamas is: backed by Iran; headquarters some of its leaders in terror-sponsoring Syria; has a busy and violent history of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket and mortar attacks; and is dedicated in its charter to the destruction of Israel.
That is what the blockade is all about. It didn't happen because the neighbors decided to victimize Gaza. Rather, it is Hamas-run Gaza that threatens the neighbors, and for that matter, is hostile generally to liberal, western societies.
Israel vowed to intercept and they did, so of course the result is media outlets splashing headlines of how Israel attacked a ship which was bringing "aid" to Gaza. Then again, terrorists have always manipulated the MSM in order to control the story and narrative.
YnetNews fills us in on the facts as Ron Ben Yishai recounts bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel: The lacking crowd-dispersal means, the brutal violence of ‘peace activists,’ and the attempt to bring down an IDF helicopter.
JP has news and/or reactions from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Israeli Navy commander Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
As for the aid that was on the ship with the activists:
The IDF said that the ships would be taken to the Ashdod Port where, despite the violence, the cargo they hold will be inspected and then transferred to the Gaza Strip via land crossings. Israeli Navy commander Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom was commanding over the operation from sea.
The Navy made initial contact with the flotilla at 11 p.m. on Sunday ordering the ships to follow them to Ashdod Port or otherwise be boarded.
The actual boarding of the ships took place at 2 a.m. Monday and was yet to be completed by 8 a.m.
Activists aboard the ships repeatedly said they would not respond with violence to the navy's interception of their flotilla prior to the boarding.
Liberty Pundits have a number of updates, so head over to catch up.
Netanyahu has canceled his White House visit in order to deal with the fallout.
[Update] Clear, concise and unapologetic, rightly so, RightWingNews, states the facts:
So, that brings us to the relief flotillas. Note that I say Flotillas. This is the 9th time that they've tried to send a floatilla through Israel's blockade. Incidentally, Israel has that blockade in place for a very good reason: to keep weapons that will be used to murder Israelis from being shipped through to the Palestinians. So, since aid can be sent through the UN -- where it'll be checked for weapons -- what's the real point of these floatillas? It's an attempt to embarass the Israelis into giving up the blockade, so that weapons can be shipped to the Palestinians, so that more Jews can be killed.
In any case, this time around, the Jew haters on the floatilla made a critical Darwin Award worthy error: they assaulted an Israeli commando team with knives, sticks, and guns. The Israeli commandos responded, quite correctly in my opinion, by killing AT LEAST 10 of them.
[Update #2] PMW shows the atmosphere beforehand:
On the day before the Gaza flotilla confronted the Israeli navy, Al-Jazeera TV documented the pre-battle atmosphere created by men on board the flotilla, who chanted a well-known Islamic battle cry invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:
"[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"
Read it all.