If you only read the MSNBC headline, “10 Die in Israeli raid on Aid Flotilla”, you would think that the Israeli army wantonly arrived to massacre Salvation Army grandmothers trying to reach the Gaza strip. So if you want to be anti-Israel, be sure not to read the small print.
Today, as I arrived at ceramics class, I heard the women talking about 10 foreign aid workers having been killed, and some Israeli soldiers being wounded. Eager to get some information, I called up my soldier-son and asked for details. He mentioned how the soldiers boarding the ships had been met with knives and hatchets, and I understood that an international incident had been created.
But who wanted this incident? Read the small print from the MSNBC article:
“Al-Jazeera earlier reported that the ships initially changed course to try to avoid a nighttime confrontation, preferring a daylight showdown for better publicity…..
Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza and had offered to transfer the aid to Gaza from an Israeli port. Israeli naval commandos raided the ships while they were in international waters after ordering them to stop about 80 miles from Gaza's coast, according to a pro-Palestinian activist in Greece involved in the aid mission.
……Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that after a security check, permitted humanitarian aid confiscated from the boats will be transferred to Gaza through authorized channels. However, Israel would not transfer items it has banned from Gaza under its blockade rules. Palmor said that for example, cement would be allowed only if it is tied to a specific project.
…..Israel had expected the operation to end without bloodshed and had prepared tents in an Israeli port for detainees.”
Unfortunately, we have had experiences that have proven to us that ships to Gaza often carry dangerous weapons. We have a right and a duty to protect our citizens. If the ship organizers were truly interested in humanitarian aid, they had no reason to fear or protest an Israeli inspection. It is too bad that people were killed, but I am sorry, it was their own fault.I wish that Israel did not have to make such inspections, but my wish not to have bombs falling on Israel is even greater.....
PS It COULD be that the situation should have been handled differently, that they should have taken into account the possibility of resistance. However, it is also very easy to say such things after it has happened. Once the Israeli soldiers were in the situation, they had no choice but to defend themselves, and I trust that they did no more than that.
PSPS: The Israeli forces were trying VERY hard not to over-react, and the soldiers kept telling each other "don't fire..." until they returned fire after 40 minutes of being continually assalted.