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Israel was right to shoot a few leftist criminals on the boat

In 2007, Hamas took over Gaza.

Because it's a terrorist organization that has harmed lots of people and whose existence is incompatible with the basic human rights, Israel has understandably imposed a blockade. The security of the civil population of Israel isn't compatible with bringing goods to the Hamas-ruled territory - and it's not just weapons that are dangerous.

Whatever the cargo is, it remains unknown unless or until it is checked by the official Israeli forces.

Two weeks ago, Israel warned European nations that their leftist organizations trying to bring aid to Gaza are illegal and won't be allowed to complete their mission.

As you know, today, a boat of this kind - Turkish passenger boat Mavi Marmara - was trying to enter the Israeli waters from the international ones. The mostly Turkish people on the boat were informed once again that what they were trying to do was illegal.

The leading Czech media also offer a horizontal footage of the combative "activists" and their attack on the IDF troops. That includes sound.

They continued to pretend that there was no state of Israel and there was no law that applied to the territory and "Operation Sea Breeze" of the IDF had to begin. This kind of denial, if I can use a popular word, must bring them some extraordinary feelings. It must be as thrilling to deny that Israel is a country as it was for the Nazis to deny that the Jews were people. So the "activists" continued in their journey. Now, just ask a simple question: What should have the Israeli army done? They could have told them:

I see, you are leftist and therefore politically correct activists and you don't want to change your mind. In that case, it's simply OK. Israel will act as if it were invisible. You may do anything you want. We wish you a nice trip and a pleasant stay. Send our best regards to Hamas.
Of course, this is absurd. If Israel or any other country began to be making fun out of its own laws, especially those that are important for its national security, it couldn't last long. On the other hand, if Israel were a straightforward military power that doesn't want to waste any time, it would simply sink the hostile boat.

Instead, Israel is something in between: it is a decent democracy. So it sent a helicopter with soldiers whose task was to re-navigate the boat so that the laws would be obeyed. What would a sensible TRF reader on the boat do if the Israeli army were climbing down from the helicopter? Well, I guess that you would relax. The adventurous game is over; IDF won. Don't move and pray. ;-)

Instead, what happened is seen on the official IDF video above. The troops who climbed down on the rope were beaten by dozens of passengers with metal sticks, knives, grenades, firebombs, and the troops' own guns. The "activists" are not just clones of Mahatma Gandhi. They're latent anti-Israel soldiers. In fact, they were even trying to bring down the helicopter by attaching the rope to an antenna.

Previously, the "activists" screamed "Remember Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews. The army of Mohammed will return." Quite a militant chanting for a "humanitarian team". ;-) Khaybar is an oasis near Medina in Saudi Arabia that was inhabited by Jews before Muhammed conquered it in 629 A.D. Also, I am intrigued by their word "singing" for this uproar that is musically inferior to the most drunken Pilsner ice-hockey fans' chorales.

It's completely obvious that with such a reaction, shooting simply had to begin at some moment. At the beginning, the soldiers were only using paintball rifles but it probably became too obvious to the "activists" that it was just a toy so "real weapons" had to follow. I find it remarkable that only such a small number of the "activists" were shot. Others will be deported and those who don't co-operate will be imprisoned and they should be very grateful if that's everything that happens to them.

Many pundits have explained the subtle and strange coalition between the Islamic fundamentalists and the radical Western leftists. The passengers of this boat were actually hybrids of both groups. They wanted to bring a material aid that would be beneficial for Hamas and they may have ties to Al Qaeda; but they may also be aware of the P.R. issues surrounding similar events, much like the postmodern Western leftists.

If they carry "humanitarian aid", it looks nice, they're the good guys, and they're allowed to violate any laws, aren't they?

It turns out that they can but some of them could only use their freedom to perform this dangerous experiment once in their life. ;-) Independently of their denial, Israel does exist and does control the territory.

They were still violating an important law and whether they also had some humanitarian aid is simply not too important. Given their incredibly aggressive - and stupid - reactions to the orders by the Israeli army, what happened to some of them was inevitable which is why they could deserve the Darwin Award. In this sense, one may include the killed passengers on the boat among the mujahideen - people who are ready to sacrifice their lives if it hurts Israel. As you can see, there's no "qualitative" gap that distinguishes the Islamic terrorists from the Western left-wing activists: there's a continuum.

Benjamin Netanyahu fully endorses the raid and he says that he expects Barack Obama to do the same. Given the radical leftist supporters behind Obama, I have certain doubts that the latter expectation will ever materialize. ;-)

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snail feedback (5) :

reader Ervin Goldfain said...


I commend you for denouncing anti-Israeli terrorism and taking a stand against international condemnation of Israel's right to self-defense.

What is your view on the Obama-Netanyahu wide difference of opinions about peace in the Middle East?



reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Ervin, thanks for your warm feedback.

I am confident that Obama doesn't have any inherent emotional anti-Israeli emotions - and the cooling of the relations during his reign should be linked to the attitudes of his supporters that he has to represent to a certain extent.

Still, he seems to be no real friend with Netanyahu. I guess that when a genuine lethal threat would stand in front of Israel, Obama's America would support Israel.

Otherwise, I expect Obama himself and others to pay infinite lip service to the same largely unworkable comments about a peaceful two-state solution.

If Israel settles a more lasting and sensible arrangement, using its actual knowledge and reflecting its actual interests a little bit more than the U.S. would recommend, I guess that the U.S. may react in an excited way but they won't openly oppose Israel.

reader Norm said...

There is only one issue. Was the ship in international waters? If so, Israel was stupid and wrong. If not their actions are justified.

reader Norm said...

There is only one issue: Was the ship in international waters? If so, then what Israel did was stupid and wrong. If not, their actions were justified.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear norm, your condition is legally incorrect. See the text by Prof Dershowitz that the actions were lawful. It's a standard thing to enforce the blockade before the ships enter the domestic waters if there's no doubt about the intent of the ship. America and many others have done the same thing many times, too.

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