Religion & Beliefs

7 Reasons I’m Conflicted About the Freedom Flotilla

1. The blockade of Gaza is wrong and must end. After several years, I think we can all agree that Israel’s not going to succeed in starving the Palestinian people into rejecting Hamas. It didn’t work in Cuba, it’s not … Read More

By / June 2, 2010

1. The blockade of Gaza is wrong and must end. After several years, I think we can all agree that Israel’s not going to succeed in starving the Palestinian people into rejecting Hamas. It didn’t work in Cuba, it’s not going to work in Gaza. 2. Individuals have a right to protest injustice and an obligation to attempt to circumvent unjust laws. The flotilla participants are therefore justified in their attempt to break the blockade. 3. Whether legally justifiable or not, the IDF had no business sending commandos to board a foreign vessel in international waters under the cover of night, least of all with weapons turned against civilians. The raid on the flotilla demonstrates an inexcusable lack of proper judgment, and our hearts should rend for all victims of this assault.

That said:

4. By engaging in violence against the IDF, the activists aboard the vessel gave Israel plausible deniability that their soldiers were acting in self-defense, thereby turning what would have been a propaganda slam dunk into a rimshot. Worse yet, they have demonstrated succinctly to Israel’s supporters and allies that they, and by extension all Palestinian solidarity activists, are neither non-violent nor pro-peace. This hampers their cause and the greater cause of Palestinian liberation. 5. By partnering with ?nsani Yard?m Vakf?, an Islamic relief organization that has been tied by the CIA and Mossad to al Qaeda and other terror groups, the Free Gaza movement has cast doubts on the credibility of their activities. Worse yet, that a scimitar wielding Islamist aboard the ship was allowed to prance before television cameras while others likened the flotilla to the Battle of Khyber indicates, at best, that the Free Gaza movement’s communications team has a big messaging problem, and at worst, that the floatilla is nothing more than a tool of radical Islamists bent on Israel’s destruction. 6. Because the amount and nature of aid being transferred by the floatilla to Gaza is insignificant considering Gaza’s true needs, the conclusion is inescapable that this activity was merely symbolic and deliberately intended to provoke an IDF response that would evince Israel’s barbarism. Mission accomplished, apparently. But to keep representing this as an honest-to-goodness humanitarian mission focused on the transfer of relief supplies is deceptive and disingenuous. 7. Israel’s reaction to this provocation suggests that the Netanyahu administration is either a) insane, b) incompetent, c) all of the above, or d) working towards a major concession—such as endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state—which requires the political cover of international pressure in order to succeed. However, the end result of this particular interdiction will only be the further isolation of Israel from the international community and a mounting conviction that Israel is operating as a rogue state. This is untenable for Israel’s survival.

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