The Mavi Marmara – Does Israel Really Deserve All the Criticism?

I realise that what I write here may be extremely contentious and many people will not agree, but I feel it has to be said by someone, and before anyone thinks it, I am not Jewish, nor am I an Israeli sympathiser. I just take my time, sit back, and look at events from all angles.

Mavi Marmara

Since the ‘attack’ on the aid ships last week in which 9 people died, Israel has come under a storm of criticism from all over the world. Country after country has condemned the action, bemoaning the fate of the Palestinian people in Gaza and praising Hamas.

We have all heard the stories from activists of people being shot without provocation, but you would not really expect them to say anything else would you. They would never admit to being wrong. I am sure each of them will tell you about Israeli atrocities aboard the ship. But I have to ask, why fight in the first place, because they must have known what the outcome would be.

From Turkish doctors we heard of the dead being ‘riddled‘ with bullets and shot in the head from close range ‘many times‘, but there again, you cannot expect a country with a Muslim majority to say anything that would back Israel’s claim of their soldiers being attacked, and the evidence has been conveniently buried.

The Israeli Military insist their men were attacked with knives and clubs, and shots were fired at them. Insofar as the knives and clubs are concerned, there is video evidence enough. In their words they were defending themselves. So who do you believe?

Firstly, I have to say the entire ‘aid’ operation was in my opinion, designed as a deliberate provocation intended to force the Israeli government into taking some form of action and thereby generate negative press for Israel while providing much needed propaganda for the Palestinians. In this it succeeded, far beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. The actual aid was I believe, of secondary importance.

Soldiers on Board

The activists must have known before they set out that the Israeli government would never allow their ships to reach a port in Gaza, and they expected to be boarded and diverted to an Israeli port. It would seem they did not take into account some hot-heads among their ranks who thought they could battle it out with the military.

From the casualty list it would seem many Turkish Muslims got into the fight, but from the video it is obvious almost everyone had a go, and who can categorically deny that among the activists were a couple of insurgents, there for the sole purpose of initiating the shooting by firing at the soldiers as they landed? It’s not rocket science to work out that possibility.

Secondly, no-one in Israel would be stupid enough to deliberately board those ships with guns blazing, knowing they would face a storm of condemnation from the rest of the world. That would be political suicide for any government from whatever country. The Israeli’s are tough and nobody’s fool, and lets face it, Israel gets blamed for just about everything that goes wrong in the Middle East. It just doesn’t add up.

Something did prompt the shooting, but I doubt very much it was a purely Israeli action. As in any military operation, the soldiers would have been briefed, and probably told to expect little resistance. I am positive they were told in no uncertain terms to avoid civilian casualties for fear of just such condemnation as they are now receiving, but it is a soldiers natural instinct to open fire when threatened. It’s what all soldiers are trained to do, world-wide. If someone came at me with a knife I would certainly open fire, and so would you! You do not try and negotiate under those circumstances.

Terrorist Disguised as a Politician

My last point is the Israeli justification for the blockade. There is no doubt Hamas has been a source of torment to the people of Israel, especially since winning the elections in 2006, for they have ensured a steady rain of explosive rockets onto towns and villages near the border with Gaza, killing indiscriminately men, women, and children on the Israeli side. But when that happens it may get a by-line on the back page in the press, whereas anything to do with the ‘poor’ Palestinians means banner headlines.

There can be no doubt arms were being smuggled into Gaza by Hamas on a regular basis, and for that reason Israel closed the border. It is noticeable that since the blockade has been rigourously enforced the rockets on Israel have practically ceased. That I think proves a valuable point.

Hamas Rocket Destined For Israel

Much is said about the Israeli embargo on building materials for Gaza, but yet again I believe this is justified. I agree that the Palestinians do not have cement and bricks to re-build houses, but neither does Hamas have the materials to build tunnels with which to smuggle in arms. Even insurgents cannot fight without weapons and explosives, as is evident by the recent lack of action against Israel by Hamas.

So is the blockade justified? If you look at all the facts, and are not swayed by the biased rhetoric coming from the anti-Israel brigade or the “We love Hamas” army, you cannot escape the truth; It is!

Yes, I agree, the Palestinian people are suffering, but to a great extent they have no-one to blame but themselves. I am convinced the pain of these people, while shocking, is to a great extent self-inflicted, for the longer they allow themselves to be represented by a hard-line Hamas, so much longer will be their misery. It was after all the people of Gaza who voted in Hamas, who are let’s face it, nothing more than terrorists in suits. It was a bold experiment, but as events have shown, achieved nothing.

Hamas still refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist, despite the fact the more moderate Fatah faction on the West Bank have agreed. You only have to compare the living standards of the West Bank with Gaza to see who is right.

The time for armed resistance to Israel is long over and a waste of effort that only causes suffering among the people Hamas are supposed to represent. Proper negotiation is long overdue. If Hamas were willing to come to the table for constructive peace talks without an AK47 in their hands they may well achieve far more than in all the years of struggle.

On the Receiving End of Hamas Rockets

At this point I would also like to say that not all the fault is with the Palestinians for Israel has made many mistakes, chief among them the contentious settlements they insist on building on Palestinian land. For a fair and just settlement of the conflict they must all be torn down or handed over to the Palestinians.

It is certain that no country will intervene militarily on their behalf against the Israeli’s. The surrounding Arab nations tried it twice and were heavily defeated and I doubt they feel like trying it again. This is evident by the years of silence on the part of Syria, Jordan and Egypt on the matter of the Palestinian question.

No! The solution must come from within Gaza if the suffering is to end and ultimately it is up to the Palestinian people to decide their future, not a terrorist group calling itself a government.

Roy.


2 Responses to “The Mavi Marmara – Does Israel Really Deserve All the Criticism?”

  1. atg141 Says:

    I must say, this post is much more balanced than the post I read about the Israeli use of human shields; you seem much more willing to distrubute blame. I will say, however, that Israeli actions in the West Bank hurt the chances of peace in the Gaza strip, as well. You mention that Fatah is willing to negotiate with Israel, but where has it gotten them? Israel continues to disregard Palestinian territory by building and expanding in the WB. This easily turns into fuel for Hamas’ fire, as they can argue that the moderate course (i.e., Fatah’s stance) has done nothing to help the Palestinian cause. Furthermore, the Israeli embargo should prohibit the import of weapons, and only weapons, it is not fair to the people living in Gaza otherwise, and only increases local support for Hamas.

    Like

    • Hi ATG,
      I see you have been busy. Welcome!
      I have always endeavoured to give my views in a balanced and unbiased way, and I write so many blogs about the Middle East it would be boring to repeat views on a particular facet of the current subject that had already appeared in an earlier blog.
      Suffice it to say, that I have covered the subject of Israeli expansion in the occupied territories in the following blog which I invite you to read:
      https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/the-israeli-timebomb/
      Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

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