By Peter Wehner
Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
ARTICLE Commentary Web Exclusive
Publication Date: June 2, 2010
Like a rock emerging in a sea of lies, we know important facts about the confrontation that took place on Monday between Israel and a flotilla of ships making its way to the Gaza strip.
The blockade was justified by international law. (Egypt, by the way, had also imposed a blockade on Gaza because of the threat from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which illegally seized control of Gaza in 2007.) The Israeli navy first tried to warn the ships off verbally. The "peace activist" on board assaulted Israeli commandos (who were armed with paintball guns) with clubs, knives, metal pipes, stun grenades, and handguns; it turns out that many of them were recruited specifically to attack Israeli soldiers. The "humanitarian relief" the flotilla was supposedly bringing to Palestinians in Gaza was in fact no such thing (food, medicine, relief supplies, and electricity continue to pour into Gaza on a daily basis). And the "charity" that helped organize the flotilla was in fact the radical Turkish group IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi), which has longstanding ties to Hamas and the global jihadist movement. Yet somehow, some way, it is Israel that is condemned when it acts in its own self-defense.
This is not the first time the early narrative of an incident is heavily biased against Israel. Recall the "Jenin Massacre." Jenin was a refugee camp in the West Bank that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered in 2002 in response to Yasir Arafat's second intifada and because it served as a launch site for terrorist attacks against Israeli towns and villages. But the supposed "massacre" by the IDF, which dominated much of the outraged attention of the world -- and of course the United Nations, organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and the BBC -- turned out to be nothing of the kind. In fact, what we learned is how careful and conscientious Israel was, with the IDF going door to door rather than destroying Jenin by air in order to keep civilian casualties at a minimum. (The Israeli army lost 23 soldiers in the process; for more, see this.) Yet the truth about Jenin never caught up to the lies. That will undoubtedly be the case with the confrontation that occurred on the Mediterranean Sea earlier this week.
Yet now, as then, some friends of Israel describe what its military did as a "fiasco" that will further damage Israel's "already tattered reputation." Their point (as John comments on here) is that the standard Israel is held to is higher than that of other nations. That may be unfair, and Israel may even be fully justified in the actions it took, but that is just the way it is. Those are the rules of the diplomatic road; Israel needs to accept them and abide by them. So in the case of the commandos boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmaraf, Israel should have done more of this and less of that. It should have acted sooner, or later, or not at all. Israel, after all, needs to avoid the traps and snares that its enemies have set in order to keep from becoming even more of a pariah state.
I get all that. And yet on a deeper level, what is being recommended is that Israel (and the rest of us) participate in a game that is rigged from the outset, the Middle East version of Plato's Cave, where we mistake shadows for reality.
Sometimes it is the duty of responsible people to reject the shadows in favor of reality. And in the case of Israel -- not always, but often enough -- the reality is this: it is being condemned not because of its actions; it is being condemned because of its very existence, because of its very nature, and yes, because of its Jewishness. The objections against Israel are not specific to this or that act; they are existential.
I say that in full recognition that many fine and intelligent people, including close friends of mine, view Israel in a far more critical light than do I. Reasonable people can certainly interpret facts and just causes in different ways. But for others, there is more, much more, going on than simply that.
Read more here/Leia mais aqui: EPPC
Por, para e com Israel, sempre!