The boat fiasco should never have happened. Israel successfully clogged the propellers of five boats with special nets. Apparently, the sixth boat was too large for the special nets. If there were no other way to stop the sixth boat without a deadly confrontation (which I find hard to believe), my priority, at this singular moment, would have been the avoidance of the confrontation, even at the cost of allowing that one boat to go through. Instead, Israel handed Hamas and the Jihadists their biggest coup to date, on a plate, broiled to perfection, while giving Obama further ammunition in his sustained effort to distance the United States from Israel.
While Israel must employ much more seichel in enforcing the blockade, however, there is no doubt the blockade must be enforced. As Germany elected the Nazis to power, Gaza elected Hamas to power (in Gaza’s first and apparently last election). Gazans knew that Hamas advocates genocide of the Jews and permanent armed conflict with the Jewish state. If the seas are opened to unimpeded shipping to Gaza, we can be certain that Iran, which shares Hamas’ goals, would arm it to the teeth, as Iran has armed Hezbollah. Hamas armaments would be shielded by mosques, hospitals, schools, and civilians, just as they are in Lebanon. At some point, Hamas or Hezbollah would start another conflict, and Israel, finding its cities shelled by Scuds and other, ever more powerful weapons, would be forced to attack the areas from which these deadly rockets emanate. The resulting civilian casualties would make the 2009 Gaza operation look like a mild quarrel by comparison. A blockade is necessary – crucial – to keep the most deadly weapons out of Gaza and thereby prevent a conflagration. Anyone who advocates a complete end to the embargo is therefore, knowingly or not, calling for the creation of conditions that will lead to the worst war in Israel’s history.
The “Israel can do no right” crowd should focus its energy on condemning Hamas. Yes, Gaza should be freed. It should be freed from the fascistic rule and the retrograde tyranny and torture of Hamas. Gaza should be freed from Hamas assassinations of those who dissent; from the degradation, enslavement, and “honor killings” of women and homosexuals; from the slavery of a militant Islam that seeks victory through destruction rather than cooperation and that insists Jews are “the sons of monkeys and pigs” and must be destroyed. Gaza should be freed from a racist government that uses its money for weapons to kill others, rather than food to feed its people. When Gaza is free of the seventh-century warlike retrogression imposed by Hamas, then I will support the end of the Gazan blockade.
Israel is clearly in the right here. But as important as being right is creating the perception of being right. In the perception department, Israel is utterly failing.
Harry J. Reidler