Gaza flotilla raid / Israel was justified in its actions

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Position: Israel was justified in its actions

This position addresses the topic Gaza flotilla raid.


For this position


Quotes-start.png "The sponsor of the "activist" armada, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, is regarded by Israel as a radical Islamist organization, part of a global fundraising operation for Hamas. If the Israelis allow such flotillas to deliver supplies to Gaza, other ships will follow, not with rice and beans but with explosives, rifles and long-range Iranian Fajr-5 missiles." Quotes-end.png
From A shocking story of Israeli survival, by Wesley Pruden (The Washington Times, May 31, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "For Israel, it really is lose-lose: Allow Hamas supporters to bring unknown cargo into Gaza, and Israeli civilians will die from the ensuing terror attacks once the weapons are unpacked and assembled. But if Israel forcibly confronts possible smugglers, there’s a chance people will get killed." Quotes-end.png
From Lose-lose for Israel, by Ottawa Citizen editorial board (Ottawa Citizen, May 31, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Meanwhile, is it really the case that Hamas is objectively "good" at public relations? Or Hezbollah? Or Iran? Really? I just don't see it. To me, these PR operations are less "Wag the Dog" and more Baghdad Bob (the Monty Pythonesque spokesman for Saddam Hussein's regime). But instead of laughing at the lies and idiocy, millions nod in agreement." Quotes-end.png
From Gandhi & the Gaza goons, by Jonah Goldberg (New York Post, June 5, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Many other such incidents could be cited — think of the 1968 capture of the Pueblo by North Korea or the 1975 taking of the Mayaguez by the Khmer Rouge. While the details differ, the general playbook remains the same: Some sort of incident is staged at sea, where witnesses and boundaries are often nonexistent, in order to provoke a response that will work to the provoker’s benefit." Quotes-end.png
From The Art of Seaborne Humiliation, by Victor Davis Hanson (National Review, June 4, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It's the point understood by the blockade-busting flotilla of useful idiots and terror sympathizers, by the Turkish front organization that funded it, by the automatic anti-Israel Third World chorus at the United Nations, and by the supine Europeans who've had quite enough of the Jewish problem. What's left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense." Quotes-end.png
From Those troublesome Jews, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, June 4, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "But has this ever happened with respect to operations conducted by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? Have civilians - not even "activists" aimed at confrontation - ever been killed because Americans faced more resistance than they expected with fewer troops than they needed to deal with it? Of course. Does the world gather round to condemn us? Should it?" Quotes-end.png
From The Trouble With Confronting Terrorists, by Susan Estrich (The Arizona Republic, June 4, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The flotilla incident was a tragedy. Policymakers of all nations have a responsibility to work for solutions that minimize harm - especially to innocent people. But people died not because Israel enforced lawful security restrictions on Gaza. They died because Turkey instigated a violent confrontation." Quotes-end.png
From U.S. must hold Turkey to account, by Anthony Weiner (New York Daily News, June 3, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The flotilla was stocked with the usual assemblage of the wilfully naive: a few hundred European and other "do-gooders," including even one Jewish Holocaust survivor. They were invited along as a cosmetic imperative; as "human shields." The violence was, and was intended to be, between the Islamists and the Israeli soldiers they were certain to confront. Those who physically attacked the soldiers were working from the same impulse as suicide bombers; the rest were only there to howl." Quotes-end.png
From The making of 'martyrs', by David Warren (Ottawa Citizen, June 3, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In the recent past, Israeli forces have diverted nine such flotillas, all without incident, and peacefully boarded five of the ships in this week’s convoy. Their cargoes, after proper inspection, were delivered to non-Hamas institutions in Gaza. Only the Marmara, a vessel too large to be neutralized by technical means such as fouling the propeller, violently resisted." Quotes-end.png
From An Assault, Cloaked in Peace, by Michael Oren (The New York Times, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It was long clear the flotilla had the potential to cause a regional ruckus, but Washington watched it unfold like a spectator. That's strange in and of itself, because the US and Europe supported the blockade to force Hamas from power in Gaza, or force it to recognize Israel and renounce violence. They might have stopped the dangerous flotilla simply by making it clear they would support Israel's right to interdict it." Quotes-end.png
From Anti-Israel sharks sniff O's weakness, by Michael Goodwin (New York Post, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel is not at strife with the people of Gaza and goes to great lengths to organize the transfer of some 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid each week. If the organizers of this inciting flotilla were really interested in the Gazans' well-being, they would have accepted Israel's offers to transfer the humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Despite its soldiers sustaining gunshot and stab wounds and other injuries, Israel has already begun transferring the ships' humanitarian contents to Gaza as originally offered." Quotes-end.png
From 'A bloody PR stunt', by Jonathan Peled (USA Today, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel offered to send the flotilla's supplies to Gaza once they'd been inspected for weapons and other contraband. The offer was flatly rejected. As was a similar offer from Egypt, which also maintains a Gaza blockade -- for essentially the same reason: The Islamist lunatics who make up Hamas also pose a mortal threat to Cairo." Quotes-end.png
From Terrorists at the helm, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Still, commentators like Alan Colmes opine: "To speak out against this despicable act isn't to hate Israel, but rather to love it, and peace." So why don't left-wing pundits love Turkey for a while? That nation, after all, not only instigated this event but is home to more than 25 million Kurds living in occupied territories. Kurds who deal with daily human rights abuses: torture, mass disappearances, assaults on their language and culture. No emergency sessions at the United Nations for them." Quotes-end.png
From The rush to judge Israel, by David Harsanyi (The Denver Post, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Again, law and practice are clear. If there is no doubt that the offending ships have made a firm determination to break the blockade, then the blockade may be enforced before the offending ships cross the line into domestic waters. Again the United States and other western countries have frequently boarded ships at high sea in order to assure their security." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Actions Were Entirely Lawful Though Probably Unwise, by Alan Dershowitz (The Huffington Post, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay claimed that the Israeli operation had no legal justification, which only betrays her ignorance of maritime law. Navies routinely stop, board and search suspicious vessels, and Israel has intercepted blockade runners headed to Gaza for years. The difference this time is that the "peace activists" on board were armed and looking for a fight." Quotes-end.png
From The Freedom Flotilla fraud, by The Washington Times editorial board (The Washington Times, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In the case of Monday's raid, the Israeli navy first sought to warn the ships off verbally, then sent in commandos armed with paintball guns, according to Israeli media reports. It was only after the humanitarians aboard the ship assaulted the commandos with clubs and knives that the Israelis used live fire. If the Internet videos of the commandos being viciously attacked as they descended from a helicopter are accurate, they were acting to defend themselves." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Gaza Choices, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The Ankara government -- led by Islamists these days -- sponsored the "aid" operation in a move to position itself as the new champion of the Palestinians. And Turkish decision-makers knew Israel would have to react -- and were waiting to exploit the inevitable clash. The provocation was as cynical as it was carefully orchestrated. The lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, just happened to have an al-Jazeera TV crew on board to film Israel's response. Ironically, the early videos would've been counterproductive, had world leaders and journalists not been programmed to blame everything on Israel." Quotes-end.png
From Turkish (blood)bath, by Ralph Peters (New York Post, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups are conducting a skillful "information war" that is making Israel a pariah state in the international community. Israel, like the United States and other democratic nations, is at a severe disadvantage trying to combat a ruthless foe willing to sacrifice its own people to score propaganda points. There are no perfect counter-tactics available, but whenever Israel does use military force it needs to be more aware of the political ramifications." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Gaza Flotilla Fiasco, by Max Boot (The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The bloody confrontation has prompted international calls for Israel to abandon its embargo of Gaza. Remember, though, why Israel restricts the flow of goods into Gaza. Hamas, which is backed by Iran, controls Gaza and has used that control to lob missiles into Israel. Hamas has pledged never to recognize the Jewish state. Its goal is to destroy Israel." Quotes-end.png
From Israel and the flotilla, by Chicago Tribune editorial board (Chicago Tribune, June 1, 2010) (view)

Against this position


Quotes-start.png "The fatal attacks on humanitarian ships legally registered and bound to the shores of Gaza reflects more than the flaunting of specific laws and covenants. Israeli attempts to solve their problems with Palestinians using only military means, reflects an attitude that rejects the very the concepts for which international humanitarian law is based on today." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's Attacks Reflect Lack of Respect for World Order, by Daoud Kuttab (The Huffington Post, May 31, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The Free Gaza flotilla was not an initiative by the Turkish government. It was an international aid convoy made up of nationals of 32 countries taking food, toys, medical equipment and similar aid to the people of Gaza, who have been deprived of these basic commodities for years. Among the ships' 600 activists were Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, European lawmakers, journalists, business leaders and an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor -- hardly targets who could pose a threat to Israel's well-trained commandos." Quotes-end.png
From Israel owes Turkey an apology for flotilla attack, by Namik Tan (The Washington Post, June 5, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Did passengers on board the Mavi Marmara strike first? Yes. But only with knives, iron pipes and slingshots. And only after armed soldiers boarded and attempted to take over their ship. In response, cornered Israeli troops opened fire in what can only be described as a badly botched military exercise resulting in an unnecessary and excessive use of force." Quotes-end.png
From Piracy on the high seas, by Bill Press (Chicago Tribune, June 4, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "What could have driven Israel to order its navy to attack, in international waters, a flotilla of ships full of human rights activists, MPs from governments around the world, a Nobel Prize winner and two former US diplomats? What was there to gain from killing civilians—at least nine are dead, along with several dozen injured—attempting to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid for the 1.5 million people of Gaza suffering under an Israeli blockade?" Quotes-end.png
From Free Gaza, by The Nation editorial board (The Nation, June 3, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Last November, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued his own report, which also focused on the indiscriminate nature of the blockade and called for it to be lifted. He wrote: "In particular, the Government of Israel should allow unimpeded access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and the non-humanitarian goods needed for the reconstruction of properties and infrastructure." If Goldstone and Ban are right, the Israeli blockade itself is illegal, and so, too, is any attempt to enforce it against ships carrying nothing more than humanitarian aid." Quotes-end.png
From They shouldn't have been there, by Michael Byers (Ottawa Citizen, June 3, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel, however, remained adamant, implausibly casting the flotilla organizers as a mortal threat. The truth is more complicated. The activists' stated core mission — delivering humanitarian aid — was by definition peaceful. But it is also undeniable that they sought a confrontation. What else would one expect of an attempt to break a military blockade?" Quotes-end.png
From Israel's assault on flotilla hands its enemies a victory, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Israel must take steps to own up to the harm it has created. Those responsible for the poorly conceived raid should be disciplined, for the sake of both justice and the Israeli military's future. Israel should reconsider the walled-off world it has made for Gaza, where a corrupt Hamas regime hasn't been dislodged." Quotes-end.png
From Israel's raid on flotilla deepens its isolation, by San Francisco Chronicle editorial board (San Francisco Chronicle, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "With a combination of excessive military force and a fatal failure to anticipate the intensity of the reaction of those aboard the ship, it killed and wounded civilians, and did so — as if it were a band of pirates — outside Israel's territorial waters. Clearly, this assessment does not imply agreement with the motives — overt or hidden, and often malicious — of some participants in the Gaza flotilla. Not all are peace-loving humanitarians, and the declarations of some of them regarding the destruction of the state of Israel are criminal. But these facts are simply not relevant at the moment; such opinions, so far as we know, do not deserve the death penalty." Quotes-end.png
From Israel naval raid a folly foretold, by David Grossman (Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "But unlike 2006, the rhetoric from both sides—as well as the fact that the Insani Yardim Vakfi, a front group for the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood, organized the flotilla—made it clear that any attempt to take control of the vessels would almost certainly result in violent confrontation. This is what makes inexplicable the IDF's decision to have members of the Flotilla 13 commando unit board the Marmara. These men are not trained to deal with civilian protestors. And there were other options available to the IDF, such as disabling the ships at sea and towing them to an Israeli port." Quotes-end.png
From Siege Fatigue and the Flotilla Mistake, by Ronen Bergman (The Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Having placed themselves in a situation where they lost control and provoked a riot, the Israeli navy said they were forced to open fire to avoid being lynched. What did the commandos expect pro-Palestinian activists to do once they boarded the ships – invite them aboard for a cup of tea with the captain on the bridge? One of those shot and severely wounded was a Greek captain, who refused medical aid in Israel and demanded to be flown back to Greece. Presumably he, too, was threatening the lives of Israeli naval commandos." Quotes-end.png
From Gaza: From blockade to bloodshed, by The Guardian editorial board (The Guardian, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "But we cannot allow ourselves to forget for even a moment that force is effective only as a preventative — to prevent the destruction and conquest of Israel, to protect our lives and freedom. Every attempt to use force not as a preventive measure, not in self-defense, but instead as a means of smashing problems and squashing ideas, will lead to more disasters, just like the one we brought on ourselves in international waters, opposite Gaza’s shores." Quotes-end.png
From Israeli Force, Adrift on the Sea, by Amos Oz (The New York Times, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "This is a grievous, self-inflicted wound. It has damaged Israel’s ties with Turkey, once its closest ally in the Muslim world; given the Hamas-led government in Gaza a huge propaganda boost; and complicated peace talks with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank." Quotes-end.png
From Israel and the Blockade, by The New York Times editorial board (The New York Times, June 1, 2010) (view)

Mixed on this position


Quotes-start.png "Five days after Israel's raid on Gaza-bound Turkish ships, two inescapable, but contradictory conclusions can be drawn. The first is that its blockade against Gaza is unsustainable. The second is that the blockade cannot be lifted - at least while the Hamas leadership in Gaza is committed to Israel's destruction and has friends in Tehran ready to supply the arsenal." Quotes-end.png
From Iranian menace must be faced, by The Australian editorial board (The Australian, June 5, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Mr. Netanyahu's aim should have been to prevent the militants from creating the incident they were hoping for. Allowing the boats to dock in Gaza, as Israel had done before, would have been better than sending military commandos to intercept them. The fact that the soldiers who roped down from helicopters to the lead Turkish ferry were unprepared to subdue its passengers without using lethal force only compounded the error." Quotes-end.png
From The flotilla fiasco, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, June 1, 2010) (view)
Quotes-start.png "There is no question that this flotilla was a setup. Israel’s intelligence failed to fully appreciate who was on board, and Israel’s leaders certainly failed to think more creatively about how to avoid the very violent confrontation that the blockade-busters wanted. At the same time, though, the Israeli partial blockade of Hamas and Gaza has been going on for some four years now. [...] It is overwhelmingly in Israel’s interest to bring more diplomatic imagination and energy to ending this Gaza siege." Quotes-end.png
From When Friends Fall Out, by Thomas Friedman (The New York Times, June 1, 2010) (view)