Home > Gaza, Iran, Israel, Palestinian Authority > StandWithUs: It did not have to be like this

StandWithUs: It did not have to be like this

By Roz Rothstein

Roz Rothstein

LOS ANGELES — We regret the violence, unnecessary casualties, and loss of life instigated by the anti-Israel flotilla when it defied national and international law, and provoked a confrontation with Israel early this morning (May 31)

It did not have to be like this.

Israel has sought peace and compromise with its neighbors for all of its 62 years.

However, Hamas activists and supporters, in an intentional provocation against Israel, violated international law, violently attacked Israeli military and security personnel with steel pipes, knives, rocks and, according to the most recent news reports, with gun fire, and provoked bloodshed.

It did not have to turn out this way.

The organizers of the anti-Israel flotilla claimed that their goal was bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza’s residents. Israel offered to accommodate them in any way possible, and deliver the donated goods through Ashdod, using normal search procedures. The activists rejected the offer.

The Israeli navy contacted the boats, and warned them not to proceed to Gaza, but to go instead to Ashdod. They refused.

Their refusal violated international law and directly attacked Israel’s sovereign rights. The Oslo Accords give Israel sovereignty over the Gaza coast, and international law allows countries to ask suspicious boats to identify themselves before entering their waters, and to require that they conform to the nation’s laws and security needs.

Israel cannot allow unknown goods and people to enter Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist regime that calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy. In the past, Israel has intercepted weapons-laden boats headed for Gaza’s coast.

No government allows unidentified people and goods to flout their border regulations and enter their countries freely. If these activists behaved similarly at passport and security control in the U.S. or any other nation’s shores, ignoring their official protocol and violently attacking security personnel, they would also have been stopped and arrested.

It should not come as a surprise that any country’s navy would find it necessary to board and search a vessel attempting illegally to enter their sovereign shores. What is surprising is that the Israeli security personnel were brutally attacked with knives, lead pipes, and other weapons when they carried out predictable and routine security procedures.

Israel has pressing security needs on its border with Gaza, which is controlled by a terrorist organization, and has become a center of other terrorist entities as well, such as Al Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas was responsible for close to 40% of the suicide attacks against Israeli citizens, has launched over 8,000 rocket attacks at communities in southern Israel since 2005, and intensively smuggles weapons to continue its war. Israel could not give a free pass to vessels that might contribute to Hamas’ terrorist efforts.

It did not have to be like this.

The flotilla organizers claim they are “peace activists.” They should be very concerned that the Hamas government they seek to aid is an enemy of peace, opposes all compromise and negotiations, and systematically incites its people to hate and kill Israelis. They should be concerned that Hamas is a brutal regime that has tortured and murdered almost a thousand Palestinian rivals, summarily executes alleged Israeli “collaborators,” terrorizes and oppresses Gaza residents, and has held kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit incommunicado for nearly three years, violating all human rights standards. They should also be concerned that in supporting the Hamas regime, they endorse the murder of Jews and the genocidal threats of Hamas’ main sponsor, Iran.

It did not have to be like this.

The flotilla organizers could have sincerely sought peace by urging Hamas to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, accept past Palestinian-Israeli agreements, and reject terrorism and violence. Instead, the flotilla activists endorse Hamas’ current extremism and belligerence.

People of good will everywhere should condemn the flotilla’s goals and its violence.

From Itamar Marcus, Palestinian Media Watch:

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, chanting 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!”

Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor for future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.

*
Rothstein is president and chief executive officer of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel advocacy group based in Los Angeles

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: