Flotilla watch


Some new videos, starting with footage of flotilla passengers preparing for confrontation:

Members of the U.N. Human Rights Council take aim at Israel. UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer fights back:

Knesset members gone wild:

And on the punditry/commentary front…

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, takes to the pages of The New York Times:

Israel will scrupulously review the events surrounding the Marmara’s interception. But Israel will also persist in denying advanced weaponry to Hamas. At the same time, the Israeli government will vigorously pursue peace with the Palestinian Authority, which shares our need for defense against armed extremists. The real peace activists are those who support our vision of a two-state solution, not those supporting the terrorists bent on destroying it.

Also in the NYT’s op-ed section:

  • Daniel Gordis: Israelis are resigned to the fact that reason will not shake the world’s blatant double standard. Our blockade of Gaza is “criminal”; yet nobody mentions that Egypt has had a blockade of Gaza in place since 2007, and has never hesitated to use lethal force against those trying to break it. Israel’s attempt to enforce a blockade becomes an international crisis, while most of the world shrugs when North Korea sinks a South Korean ship. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his willingness to sit with Fatah leaders any time, anywhere, but they insist on mere “proximity talks,” which they will probably now scuttle, using the flotilla as an excuse.
  • Nicholas Kristoff: President Obama needs to find his voice and push hard for an end to the Gaza blockade. He needs to talk sense to Israel and encourage it to back away from its plans to intercept other flotillas now headed for Gaza —– that would be a catastrophe for Israel and America alike.Above all, he needs to nudge Israel away from its tendency to shoot itself in the foot, and us along with it.

Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now joins the blockade debate with "Top 10 Reasons for Reassessing the Gaza Blockade Strategy."

And a few more:

  • Judith Miller and David Schenker: The flotilla was only the latest Turkish initiative at odds with President Obama’s goals. Ankara has also recently frustrated US policies on Iran and Iraq.
  • John Podhoretz:  Eventually, we will learn what Israel’s military did poorly. But though it may have done what it did poorly, it did not do wrong. Israel’s friends often complain, fairly, that the country is held to a standard of conduct no other nation on earth could possibly meet. One might say in this instance that some of Israel’s friends are insisting on holding Israel’s military to a standard of performance no military force has ever, will ever, or could ever possibly meet.
  • Noam Seizaf: No doubt, the Israeli military will learn tactical lessons from the disastrous encounter with the Mavi Marmara, and will be better prepared for such a scenario moving forward. But as long as the thrust of Israeli policy toward Gaza is both immoral and unreasonable, new disasters will be waiting around the corner. Unfortunately, Israelis and our leaders, trapped by fear and shortsightedness, seem unable to change the course of our own ship.

Plus a special bonus: Glenn Beck with an article titled "The Story of Israel."

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