The Gaza flotilla: Selected articles

The Gaza flotilla: Selected articles


French judge: I knew Turkish group behind Gaza flotilla had terror ties in 1996
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz
July 17, 2010
IHH has past ties to al-Qaida affiliates, and Jean-Louis Bruguière says he is proud of the fact that already in 1996 he came to the conclusion that IHH "is a terror organization and not a charity group." Bruguière was asked to investigate the Turkish group after French intelligence discovered that Canadian couriers were sending forged Moroccan passports to France for use by Islamic militants intent on carrying out attacks in France and other European countries.

Sponsor of Flotilla Tied to Elite of Turkey

New York Times | International Herald Tribune
15 July 2010
The Turkish charity that led the flotilla involved in a deadly Israeli raid has extensive connections with Turkey’s political elite, and the group’s efforts to challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza received support at the top levels of the governing party, Turkish diplomats and government officials said.

The truth about the Gaza Flotilla
National Post editorial board (Canada)
July 14, 2010
When Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish jihadis on board the lead ship of a Gaza-bound flotilla six weeks ago, Israel’s enemies exhibited unusually fervid spasms of agitation. Never mind that about half the victims already had declared their aspiration to die at Israeli hands as violent “martyrs”; or that the organizers were part of an NGO that Western prosecutors and researchers have linked to terrorism. As with the Gaza war in late 2008, the case was presented as a black-and-white morality play, with Israel in the role of vicious marauder.

Where are the protests?
by Barry Cohen, former Australian minister
The Australian - June 18, 2010
On January 17 this year, in Nigeria, about 300 Muslims were slaughtered by Christians. In March 500 Christians were slaughtered by Muslims. On March 26, North Korea torpedoed a South Korean ship, killing 46. On May 28, in Lahore, Pakistan, 95 members of the Ahmedi Islamic sect were killed in an attack on a mosque because they were blasphemous... The question that comes to mind is, did anyone notice? Most of these massacres received only a cursory glance from the media but few asked questions. Nobody demanded an independent inquiry.

Support Israel: if it goes down, we all go down
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by José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain 
Times of London - June 17, 2010
Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the West’s best ally in a turbulent region. For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.  

Plenty of blame to go around in Gaza
by Joel Brinkley
San Francisco Chronicle - June 13, 2010
"When Israel boarded another ship bound for Gaza last weekend and escorted it to an Israeli port without incident, it demonstrated to me that both sides, Israel and the activists, hold blame for the aid-ship melee the week before. But you can't tell that from the continuing accusations and debate - exposing rank hypocrisy of a scale seldom seen in modern world affairs."

New York Times Needs My Help to Find Flotilla Planners' Terrorist Ties: OK! Here's A Start for Their Research
by Barry Rubin - June 12, 2010
"In an editorial, the newspaper has held forth with the following sentence: "The Israelis claim that Insani Yardim Vakfi is a dangerous organization with terrorist links. They have yet to offer any evidence to support that charge." This is like Goldstone who keeps saying that no one has challenged his report despite literally hundreds of specific refutations."

A rush to judgment that will be refuted by history and fact
by Zion Evrony
Irish Times - June 11, 2010
"Future historians will puzzle over the western media’s portrayal of the flotilla activists as humanitarians, ignoring evidence of motive."

Why do the peace activists ignore the violence of Hamas?
By Lindy McDowell
Belfast Telegraphy, 9 June 2010
The “freedom flotilla” we were assured, was carrying “humanitarian aid”. Those on board were “peace activists”. “International peace activists” to boot. God, how could you be against anything in that lot. Israel raising (legitimate) concerns about its right to secure its own borders didn’t count in this freedom-fest.

Gaza activists were ‘useful idiots’ in a much bigger Turkish power game
By Stephen King
Irish Examiner - June 9, 2010
The deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara were regrettable and most probably avoidable. They deserve full investigation. But to avoid the mistakes of the past, politicians need to go beyond kneejerk reactions to examine the effects of their statements on the Middle East peace process, the moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Iranian efforts to establish hegemony in the region.

It's time to stop demonizing Israel
by Bernard-Henri Lévy
Haaretz, June 8, 2010
The flood of hypocrisy and bad faith that seems to have just been waiting across the media worldwide for the Mavi Marmara is by no means acceptable.

The 'activists' wanted violence: Wiesel says we must honestly assess who is to blame
by Eli Wiesel
New York Daily News - June 7, 2010
"I waited a week to write this commentary. I needed to gather more details about the unfortunate Gaza incident that caused the death of nine pro-Palestinian peace activists and instantly provoked the almost universal condemnation of Israel. By now the situation has become more transparent. From video clips made by both Israelis and their prisoners, and also from their testimonies, it appears that while the political attacks on Israel may have been understandable, they were surely hasty and exaggerated."

Flotilla - Investigation by German Public Broadcaster
June 7, 2010

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True peace activists would have made another choice to aid Gaza
by Gideon Lustig
The Seattle Times - June 6, 2010
"We are now waiting for one of two good things - either to achieve martyrdom or to reach Gaza."
These words were spoken by one of the activists aboard the Gaza flotilla and broadcast to the world by Al-Jazeera TV, just before the six vessels departed on their journey to Gaza.

International Donations Not Always Welcome in Gaza
by Ulrike Putz
Spiegel on Line - June 6, 2010
"The aid shipment that the Palestinian activists' flotilla was hoping to bring to Gaza before they were halted by Israeli commandos is now awaiting delivery. But Hamas will only let the badly needed goods into the territory under certain conditions."

Turkey's Erdogan bears responsibility in flotilla fiasco
Washington Post editorial - June 5, 2010
"Western governments have been right to be concerned about Israel's poor judgment and botched execution in the raid against the Free Gaza flotilla. But they ought to be at least as worried about the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which since Monday has shown a sympathy toward Islamic militants and a penchant for grotesque demagoguery toward Israel that ought to be unacceptable for a member of NATO."

UN condemns Israel first, investigates later
by Rex Murphy
The National Post, June 5, 2010
"I don’t suppose the world needs to remember Rwanda to note how sluggish in the face of imminent horror the United Nations is and can be. But torpid as is its nature, and comatose as are its eternal deliberations, on one subject, and toward one state, the United Nations acquires a strange and uniquely transformative power. Bring Israel under its gaze and the diplomatic sloths at UN headquarters morph into the swiftest of gazelles."

The Gaza Blockade and International Law - Israel's position is reasonable and backed by precedent
by Eric Posner
The Wall Street Journal - June 4, 2010
Israel's raid on a fleet of activists bound for the Gaza Strip has led to wild accusations of illegality. But the international law applicable to the blockade eludes the grasp of those in search of easy answers.

Israel had no other choice
by Christopher Caldwell
Financial Times - June 4, 2010
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"Botched" and "stupid"are adjectives that have been applied all week to the events of Monday, when Israeli soldiers killed nine passengers and wounded dozens more on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish flagship of a six-boat convoy. The boats, sponsored by a Turkish charity with ties to Islamist radicalism, had a humanitarian objective: to deliver aid to Gazan ports. But as the flotilla leaders themselves acknowledged, they also had a military one: to break the blockade of Gaza that Israel imposed in 2007. When participants in a conflict blur the line between civilians and combatants, good options disappear. Under the circumstances, the raid was neither stupid nor botched. It successfully repelled an attack on Israel’s borders, albeit at considerably higher cost than Israel would have wished.
There is a blockade of Gaza because Hamas, the Islamist party that runs Gaza, wants Israel destroyed. In recent years, it has launched thousands of rockets at cities in the Israeli south. One can argue over whether quarantining Hamas is wise, reasonable, proportionate or effective. But this is a separate question from whether Israel has the right to enforce a blockade in a war zone. Those complaining loudest about the Israeli raid tend to mix the two up and to say that because a) Israeli’s blockade of Gaza is unjust, and b) the passengers of the Mavi Marmara oppose the blockade of Gaza, therefore c) in any encounter between Israel and the passengers of the Mavi Marmara, Israel is in the wrong and the passengers are in the right. This is an unreasonable viewpoint. It is also a blueprint for escalating violence. Imagine the dangers, if, during the cold war, non-governmental organisations from the Soviet bloc had sailed flotillas into US waters to protest about racial conflict, or into British waters to protest against IRA internment.
Israel has provided evidence that its soldiers were in mortal danger when they abseiled on to the decks of the Mavi Marmara - high-quality video footage, which was released within hours. The government has shown that the passengers brought gas masks and had pre-fabricated propaganda videos. The Guardian reports that three of the dead Turkish citizens were seeking "martyrdom" through the operation.

Rationalizing homicidal aggression
by John Robson, The Ottawa Citizen, June 4, 2010
"It is perfectly obvious that Israel is not going to permit uninspected cargoes to enter Gaza and it is obvious why: Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which is sworn not only to destroy Israel, but also to exterminate Jews. No one but Israel would ever be asked to let such an entity import uninspected cargoes for murderous purposes; not only would Canada not permit it under similar circumstances, but also we would not ask Syria to stand for it, or North Korea."

Israel's actions are in self-defence - Enforcing blockade is necessary to keep missiles out of Gaza
by Yoram Elron
Montreal Gazette, June 4, 2010
"As an Israeli it pains me to see the substantial public condemnation of measures that my country has taken to ensure the safety of its citizens.  The mass outcry that followed the recent flotilla incident, a blatant provocation against Israel perpetrated by extremists sympathetic to Hamas, is just another example of the double standard that Israel faces on the world stage..."

Those troublesome Jews

by Charles Krauthammer
Friday, June 4, 2010; A19
The Washington Post
"The world is outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers. But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal...."

Hamas, Israel, and the Gaza flotilla: seven facts you need to know
By Nadav Tamir
The Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 2010
"In the torrent of rage and confusion generated by the loss of life when the Israeli Navy enforced the embargo on the Gaza Strip this week, there has been a regrettable overlooking of certain fundamental facts. As is so frequently the case, these facts have gotten buried in the rubble of political rhetoric..."

Erdogan, Qaradawi, Ramadan, Hamas, and Obama
by Stephen Schwartz
The Weekly Standard Blog, June 3, 2010
"In the aftermath of the attempt by Hamas supporters to breach Israel's Gaza blockade, more questions should be asked about Turkey's relationship to Hamas - and about the U.S. attitude toward Turkey and its pro-Hamas associates. One point is already obvious: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a backer of the antiblockade campaign. The antiblockade operation was organized, by the Turkish "charity" Insan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi (IHH), which has been designated by both Israel and the U.S. as a supporter of Hamas."

Inside the 'Freedom Flotilla'
Glenn Beck on Fox News - June 2, 2010​


Turkish charity that sent aid convoy to Gaza ‘has links to terrorism’
by Alexander Christie-Miller, James Hider
The Times, June 3, 2010
"Despite their claims to be an entirely peaceful organisation, The Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) has a history of involvement in Islamic extremism around the world and has been linked with an attempted bombing of an airport in the US..."

Three of the four Turks killed on ship sought Martyr's death

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Media Watch, June 3, 2010
Official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida headline: "Three of the four Turkish victims of the Israeli attack wished to die as "Shahids" (Martyrs)"

Israel obeyed international law: Legally, the Gaza flotilla conflict is an open-and-shut case
By Alan Dershowitz
The NY Daily News - June 2, 2010
"Although the wisdom of Israel's actions in stopping the Gaza flotilla is open to question, the legality of its actions is not. What Israel did was entirely consistent with both international and domestic law. In order to understand why, the complex events at sea must be deconstructed..."

Flotilla raid: Turkish jihadis bent on violence attacked troops, Israel claims
by Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian, Wednesday 2 June 2010
"A hardcore of 40 Turkish jihadis on board the Mavi Marmara was responsible for the violence that led to nine deaths and dozens of injuries on the flotilla taking aid to Gaza, the Israeli government claimed today. The allegation came as Turkish newspapers reported that three of the four Turks killed in the onslaught had declared their readiness to become martyrs."

French Judge Says Turkish Charity Behind Gaza Flotilla Had Terror Ties
AP Interview - June 2, 2010
"The Turkish Islamic charity behind a flotilla of aid ships that was raided by Israeli forces on its way to Gaza had ties to terrorism networks, including a 1999 al-Qaida plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport, France's former top anti-terrorism judge said Wednesday..."

Israel's action
The Miami Herald editorial, June 2, 2010
"The organizers of the Gaza flotilla knew full well they were sailing into troubled waters when they embarked on a mission to break Israel's blockade of the enclave controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. The cries of outrage following the raid on the Marmara by Israeli commandos ring hollow given that the organizers clearly intended to cause an international incident..."

An Assault, Cloaked in Peace
by Michael B. Oren
The New York Times, June 2, 2010
"Peace activists are people who demonstrate nonviolently for peaceful co-existence and human rights. The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis - both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas - and to destroy any hope of peace..."

Israel and the flotilla
Chicago Tribune Editorial - June 1, 2010
"Israeli commandos rappelled from helicopters onto a ship carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza early Monday, expecting minimal resistance from about 600 pro-Palestinian activists on board. The Israelis badly miscalculated. A melee ended with nine protesters killed. Dozens were wounded, including seven Israeli soldiers. Many countries quickly condemned the Israeli raid, including its closest ally in the Muslim world, Turkey. The more we learn about this incident, though, the more it looks like a setup designed to provoke or embarrass Israel..."

Provoking violence

By Boston Herald Editorial Staff - June 1, 2010 
"An act designed to be a provocation has, in fact, provoked violence and the world is shocked, simply shocked. At least 600 “activists,” more than half of them from Turkey, boarded six boats with the express purpose of breaking through an Israeli blockade of Gaza that has existed since Hamas terrorists murdered their way into power nearly three years ago. Some, such as the European legislators on board the flotilla, came to make a statement. Others, such as the members of Turkey’s IHH, which helped organize the flotilla may not have had such pure motives..."

The Freedom Flotilla fraud
Washington Times editorials - June 1, 2010
"What was supposed to be a routine Israeli maritime boarding and inspection operation is turning into a propaganda victory for the Islamist terror group Hamas. The main lesson learned from the incident on the ship Mavi Marmara is: Don't bring a paintball gun to a knife fight..."

Israel had no choice over Gaza flotilla
by Seth Freedman
The Guardian - 1 June 2010
"The tragic events of Monday morning are, rightly, sending shockwaves around the world – but blaming the IDF alone for the carnage flies in the face of the facts. Video footage from an on-board news agency clearly shows a premeditated attack on Israeli soldiers, with activists using iron bars and other weapons to assault the troops and giving the IDF carte blanche to respond with force against them..."

In The Great Flotilla Debate, The Facts Are On Israel's Side
by Marty Peretz
The New Republic - June 1, 2010
"Look, I wish the Israeli raid on the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” had ended differently. Why, I ask, didn’t Israel’s navy disable the engine of the Mavi Marmara and drag the ship into port? Who knows? The engines of the other boats were apparently disabled - or so reliable sources say. But, frankly, when some 800 men and women, distributed over six boats after weeks and weeks of preparation, are headed towards Gaza on the wings of slogan and hysteria, you don’t take that many chances. Somebody has trouble in mind..."

Arab Media Reports on Flotilla Participants: Writing Wills, Preparing for Martyrdom, Determined to Reach Gaza or Die
MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2990 - June 1, 2010
"Following is information from the Arab media about some of the flotilla participants. It should be noted that many of these were from the Muslim Brotherhood across the Muslim world."

Israel Was Right
by Leslie H. Gelb
The Daily Beast, May 31, 2010
"Israel had every right under international law to stop and board ships bound for the Gaza war zone late Sunday. Only knee-jerk left-wingers and the usual legion of poseurs around the world would dispute this. And it is pretty clear that this "humanitarian" flotilla headed for Gaza aimed to provoke a confrontation with Israel..."
'Peace convoy'? This was an Islamist terror ambush
Spectator - May 31, 2010
As the international community rushes to condemn Israel for the violence on board one of the ships in the Gaza flotilla, which left a reported 10 people dead and dozens injured, it is now obvious that the real purpose of this ‘armada of hate’ was not merely the further delegitimisation of Israel but something far worse. 

Jenin on the High Seas
by Jonathan Kay 
National Post - May 31, 2010
"If Israel truly had wanted to “massacre” the Hamas sympathizers and fellow travellers aboard a six-ship Gaza-bound flotilla, the operation would not have been complicated. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would have used the trusty North Korean solution: Torpedo the ships and watch them sink to the bottom of the sea..."
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