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ZOA calls for investigation of Turkey’s role in Gaza flotilla violence

NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the media and foreign government attacks, including from China, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey, on Israeli defensive actions against the Gaza terror ship. This ship, part of the ‘Gaza flotilla’ which was organized by a Turkish Islamist group, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi – IHH),  deliberately attempted to breach the lawful Israeli blockade of Gaza, a territory at war with Israel, run by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist regime whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the world-wide murder of Jews (Article 7) and which has fired thousands of missiles into Israel in recent years.

The violence of the Hamas supporters on one of the six ships in the Gaza flotilla, including the use of knives, axes, bats, firebombs and metal rods, as well as seizing and using of Israeli personnel’s side-arms, led to clashes and exchanges of fire that has resulted in the reported deaths of 15 people onboard the flotilla. Seven members of the Israeli boarding party, whose non-aggressive intent was evident from being armed principally with paint-ball guns (usually used in crowd control situations, not armed confrontations) were also wounded and injured, some seriously.

The ZOA calls for an investigation of Turkey, the country in which the organization assisting Islamist terrorists and responsible for the flotilla is based; from which the flotilla set sail; and whose government wrongly assured that the flotilla cargo had been duly inspected and found to consist purely of humanitarian supplies and had found no weapons. Yet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged no Turkish responsibility, condemned Israel and demanded punishing Israel for the calling it a “bloody massacre.”

To call the deaths of the 15 on board, as Erdogan did, a “massacre” when shooting did not occur until half an hour after Israeli personnel boarded the vessel and were assaulted by Hamas supporters in the manner already described is an obscene and absurd charge. It was only when the lives of Israeli personnel were in serious jeopardy that the Israelis begin to defend themselves. If those on board had not brutally assaulted the Israeli soldiers, not one Israeli shot would have been fired and no one would have been harmed.

The ZOA also rejects international criticism of the lawful Israeli action to board and inspect the vessels of the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla and contrasts this criticism with the relative silence and lack of interest in North Korea’s recent, unprovoked torpedoing of a South Korean vessel, resulting in the deaths of 45 South Korean servicemen. That the United Nations and the world said virtually nothing over North Korea’s unjustified and unprovoked action exposes the hypocrisy of the hue and cry against Israel for a lawful boarding of the Gaza flotilla that encountered unnecessary, unjustifiable and deliberate assault from the Hamas supporters ion the flotilla.

The bad faith and violence of the flotilla has passed without serious condemnation from the United Nations and the world, thereby assisting the cause of the terrorists who organized this propaganda event.

The IHH is not a peaceable, charitable institution – it is a Muslim Brotherhood-connected, Islamist organization, outlawed by Israel in 2008 for involvement in Hamas’ global fund-raising machinery. It has been similarly involved in assisting violent Islamist groups in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. In 2006, the Danish Institute for International Studies demonstrated the IHH’s connections to al-Qaeda. The IHH belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic), chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. In November 2008, the U.S. Treasury designated the Union’s leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) “created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization.”’

According to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played “[a]n important role” in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport.  The IHH has also been involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq.

The Gaza flotilla is also the brainchild of prominent members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), including ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf, who has described suicide bombings as “noble” and argued that Palestinian so-called resistance “must”’ include violence.

The ZOA condemns those journalists and media outlets that grossly mislead the public by falsely identifying the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla members as “peace activists” (for example, Charles Levinson in the Wall Street Journal) and the armed clashes aboard the ship initiated by the Hamas supporters as a “massacre” (The Scotsman). It also condemns Associated Press (AP) reporters Selcan Hacaoglu and Lee Keath, who virtually eliminated from their account any reference to the violence initiated against the Israeli boarding party and who were silent about the video evidence showing the initiation of violence by the flotilla members against the Israeli boarding party.

These inexcusable omissions and distortions enabled them to mislead the public by writing of “Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.” Such reports have given aid and comfort to the terrorists by helping produce condemnation and anti-Israeli demonstrations in Europe and the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Prior to sailing, the flotilla members were filmed chanting songs glorifying violence and killing, including one about ‘Khaybar’ – the iconic slaughter of Jews by Muslims in the 7th century which is used as a rallying cry to kill the Jews today by Islamist terrorists. Some of these supporters spoke keenly of ‘martyrdom’ – achieving their own death through launching violence against others.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is appalled at the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the international criticism of Israel to the deaths on board the Gaza flotilla and the corresponding relative absence of international condemnation of the deliberate and violent assault of the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla members to a lawful Israeli boarding party….”

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Preceding provided by Zionist Organization of America

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