The National Council of Young Israel thinks J Street is doing the work of Israel’s enemies in how it treats the flotilla fiasco. But which group cited the "Rainbow Warrior" sinking as a precedent for Israel’s actions?
NCYI’s release, I think, has a half-point — albeit one that kind of results in an own-goal.
It’s true that J Street jumped the gun in its May 31 statement in calling the flotilla "an effort to bring humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza;" but there’s an updated statement, posted yesterday — a day before NCYI’s — that says:
We harbor no illusions about the motives of those who organized the flotilla. While the cargo they carried was humanitarian in nature, their intent was to force the Israeli government to confront the consequences of the blockade of Gaza – including by using the media coverage to further damage Israel’s standing in world opinion.
J Street can and should be challenged for rushing to print, but then, so should the NCYI when it says that "through its public comments about the incident, J Street assisted in" the portrayal of Israel as "evil." That kind of broadside would be justified only by the totality of J Street’s statements. It’s not.
This is the part of the NCYI statement that jumped out at me, though:
J Street and the anti-Israel media conveniently forgot that in 1985, France sank a Greenpeace boat in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia for violating the law, yet, to this day, France is still considered a democracy.
I was alive in 1985, and living in Australia. I doubt that either circumstance is true of the author of the NCYI statement — the Rainbow Warrior attack is just about the last example any defender of Israel would want to cite.
Murder charges, manslaughter convictions, two years’ imprisonment, world opprobrium, a scandal that brought down the French defense minister…
Who exactly is not doing Israel any favors here?
Full NCYI statement below the jump.
Earlier this week, as Israeli military personnel attempted to peacefully end an attempt to breach Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, they were attacked by the ship’s ‘passengers.’ The ship had ties to Hamas, a terrorist group whose sole mission is to annihilate the State of Israel. Upon facing an unprovoked and premeditated attack, the Israelis opened fire in self-defense in order to save their lives.
J Street views these events through their lenses of moral equivalency. They call the flotilla a ‘naval convoy’ to make it appear as if it belonged to a legitimate ‘navy’ that Israel attacked. They are shocked that several civilians died even though the ‘civilians’ were trying to kill Israeli soldiers. They ‘hope’ that the incident does not lead to broader violence on ‘all sides,’ thereby implying that Israel was in fact the aggressor in this cowardly attack against the State of Israel.
Similar to Israel’s enemies, J Street views the flotilla as necessary to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. The fact is that Israel permits more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza on a regular basis than was on all the ships involved in this incident. The flotilla’s sole purpose was to paint Israel as evil, and through its public comments about the incident, J Street assisted in that portrayal.
The blockade and Israel’s attempt to enforce it were part of an ongoing effort to defend Israel’s Jewish and democratic character. J Street and the anti-Israel media conveniently forgot that in 1985, France sank a Greenpeace boat in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia for violating the law, yet, to this day, France is still considered a democracy. As a democracy, the Israeli government has a right and a duty to protect its people and nation from outside civilian and military aggression.
J Street claims to be pro Israel, yet their actions and words speak for themselves and tell a much different and extremely troubling story.
The National Council of Young Israel prays for the speedy recovery of Israel’s injured troops. We sincerely hope that the international community will take the time to examine the circumstances of what transpired instead of rushing to judgment and condemning Israel for defending itself.