Haled Mashal said it himself yesterday: Hamas is holding Israelis. And they won’t return the bodies of our dead soldiers from last summer’s war, either. Don’t even think about it, he insinuated.
Co-written with Tamara Upfal
While Hamas rules Gaza, Israel is in a quandry. We’d like to think we don’t negotiate with terrorists, but again and again we face threats on our border that point straight back to them. You can’t choose your neighbors; and Hamas is here to stay, at least for awhile.
Late in the night of June 28th, the IDF’s Naval forces intercepted a Swedish ship heading for the coast of Gaza. The ship, the Marrianne of Gothenberg, was filled with activists trying to break what they propogandized as an Israeli blockade of Gaza. The ship, and its actions, have garnered a lot of world wide media attention and debate. All this in the name of human rights and the beleagured residents.
The boat-riders brand themselves as heroes, and the IDF as pirates, a fictional narrative that our media loves to promote. Activists claim that the ships were carrying crucial humanitarian aid to Gaza and thus their passage was crucial — seems reasonable, right?
Recent reports are bringing to light new details about the ships and their alleged “humanitarian aid”, calling into question the true mission of the ships and the entire propaganda campaign against Israel.
A photo provided by a member aboard the Marrianne shows the aid, precious cargo indeed, consisting of two cardboard boxes, one with a solar panel and another containing inhalers. Was it so crucial to create such a public display in order to bring these materials? Of course not. The entire mission of the Flotilla was not to bring these alleged “crucial supplies” but rather to create public resistance and degrade Israel’s reputation.
Conveniently, the media allows us to ignore and discount the fact that Israel provides great amounts of aid to the Gazan Palestinians, including most of Gaza’s electricity and up to 800 trucks of food and medical supplies each day, according to Prime Minister Netanyahu. An international community with a very specific purpose are portraying Israel in an unfair light by choosing to ignore all that Israel does for Gaza’s civilians.
As if that weren’t enough, the world is crying out over Israel’s blockade as if Israel has no reason to intervene in marine activity around Gaza. The critics of Israel’s actions seem to have selectively short memories. We can all remember when Israel withdrew from Gaza – Jewish IDF soldiers pulling Jewish citizens kicking and screaming from their homes – in hopes that Gaza could become the “Singapore of the Middle East,” which then of course led to Hamas violently taking over Gaza and consolidating its power after a successful election by murdering the Fatah moderates. Since then Hamas has imported Iranian weapons by sea. Israel has an obvious vested interest in monitoring what is being imported into Gaza. Any other country would not be accused of committing a crime and the international community would accept this as a necessary military precaution. It is impossible to watch the double standard set for Israel without seeing traces of anti-Semitism creeping in.
Back to Haled Mashaal’s interview this week in Arabic, clearly referencing captured Israelis and two missing murdered Israeli soldiers from last summer’s war – the world cannot allow itself to remain silent. Israel may be on the front lines now, but the rest of the world is next.
Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, z’l, pronounced dead in battle in Gaza
Tell me honestly, whose moral standards on the sanctity of life, call out louder and clearer than any of their surrounding neighbors?
Media and activists choose to ignore the crucial aid Israel provides Gaza as well as create an unnecessary amount of international protest over an insignificant amount of aid, when compared to the real aid that Israel provides. We witness as international police force that remains silent in the face of atrocities against Israelis, simply for being Jews living in their land.
As supporters of Israel it is our job to bring the double standards and unfair treatment to light. Israel has the right, indeed the moral imperative, to take the necessary military actions to protect Israeli citizens, ignoring scrupulous efforts to deligitimize her, and to defend herself.