At a time when the most egregious lies about Israel are being devoured eagerly by most of the world, here is a voice of reason. Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, writing in The Times this week, said:
If Israel goes down, we all go down
By José María Aznar
For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.
In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.
In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.
In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN.
Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.
Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.
Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbours using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathisers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.
Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.
For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.
The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfilment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.
The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East.
Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.
Israel is our first line of defence in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down.
To defend Israel’s right to exist in peace, within secure borders, requires a degree of moral and strategic clarity that too often seems to have disappeared in Europe. The United States shows worrying signs of heading in the same direction.
The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world’s future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others; and by a secularism which, irony of ironies, blinds us even when we are confronted by jihadis promoting the most fanatical incarnation of their faith.
To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears.
This cannot be allowed to happen. Motivated by the need to rebuild our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the wave of aggression against Israel, and mindful that Israel’s strength is our strength and Israel’s weakness is our weakness, I have decided to promote a new Friends of Israel initiative with the help of some prominent people, including David Trimble, Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo (the former President of Peru), Marcello Pera (philosopher and former President of the Italian Senate), Fiamma Nirenstein (the Italian author and politician), the financier Robert Agostinelli and the Catholic intellectual George Weigel.
It is not our intention to defend any specific policy or any particular Israeli government. The sponsors of this initiative are certain to disagree at times with decisions taken by Jerusalem. We are democrats, and we believe in diversity.
What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel’s legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel’s vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defence of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.
Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.
José María Aznar was prime minister of Spain between 1996 and 2004.
As I write this, the British media is falling over itself to condemn Israel anew. Yesterday a boat bearing terrorists attempted to reach Israeli shores; Israel managed to reach them first and opened fire. As would the defence forces of any sane, democratic nation on our planet.
Of course, the BBC and the Daily Mail, among others, are horrified at this event – what, Jews, defending themselves against terrorism? Whatever next?!
The Mail suggests that this latest terror threat doesn’t actually exist, while the BBC persists in referring to the Islamic militants on board the flotilla as ‘aid workers’.
The British media should be anti terrorism – and as a result should have the decency to at least put forward Israeli responses. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that Brits themselves were being slaughtered by the same terrorists who this week are so cheerfully running rings about both Israel and the court of world opinion.
Here is Melanie Phillips – do note the edits at the end of her article, both of which are significant.
Peace convoy’? This was an Islamist terror ambush
As the international community rushes to condemn Israel for the violence on board one of the ships in the Gaza flotilla, which left a reported 10 people dead and dozens injured, it is now obvious that the real purpose of this ‘armada of hate’ was not merely the further delegitimisation of Israel but something far worse.
Gaza’s markets are full of produce, thousands of tons of supplies are travelling into Gaza every week through the Israeli-controlled border crossings, and there is no starvation or humanitarian crisis.
It was always obvious that the flotilla was not the humanitarian exercise it was said to be. Here is footage of the IDF offering to dock the Marmara — the main flotilla ship — at Ashdod and transfer its supplies and being told ‘Negative, negative, our destination is Gaza’.
And now we can see that the real purpose of this invasion — backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine — was to incite a violent uprising in the Middle East and across the Islamic world. As I write, reports are coming in of Arab rioting in Jerusalem.
The notion – uncritically swallowed by the lazy, ignorant and bigoted BBC and other western media – that the flotilla organisers are ‘peace activists’ is simply ludicrous. This research by the Danish Institute for International Studies details the part played by the IHH in Islamist terror in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya.
According to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played ‘[a]n important role’ in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport. It was also involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. ‘Peace activists’ these people most certainly are not.
And this flotilla was but the latest jihadi attack, deploying the Islamists’ signature strategy of violence and media manipulation.
Here from MEMRI (via Just Journalism) is a clip showing the hysteria against Israel being whipped up on board before the ships set sail, with the chanting of intifada songs about ‘Khaybar’ – the iconic slaughter of Jews by Muslims in the 7th century which is used as a rallying cry to kill the Jews today — and threats of ‘martyrdom’. This was not merely a propaganda stunt, but a terrorist attack.
This is what the Jerusalem Post reported earlier today about what happened last night:
According to the IDF, the international activists ‘prepared a lynch’ for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after calling on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.
… Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.
Also in the Jerusalem Post, David Horowitz wrote:
Benayahu said soldiers, who had been dispatched to block the flotilla because of fears that it was carrying weaponry and other highly dangerous cargo into the Hamas-controlled Strip, were attacked with knives and bars and sharpened metal implements.
Benayahu said two pistols that had been fired were subsequently found aboard the one ship, the Marmara, on which the violence erupted. And, most dramatically, he said that one IDF soldier had his weapon snatched away by one of the ‘peace activists’ on board, that this weapon was then turned against the IDF soldiers, who came under fire, and that they had no choice but to shoot back in self-defense.
… What seems urgent now is to make publicly available footage that shows exactly what did unfold. In early afternoon, video footage screened on Israel’s Channel 2 appeared to show one of those aboard the Marmara stabbing an IDF soldier. Any such footage should have been made available hours earlier. Critically, if footage showing a soldier’s weapon being snatched and turned on the IDF troops exists, it should be broadcast, and the sooner the better.
Some of this footage is now available on the web but much of it is hard to follow: as ever, the Israelis have been far too slow in making the most telling images and information available in comprehensible form (including in English rather than in Hebrew, for heaven’s sake!).
This clip appears to show masked and armed flotilla activists beating Israeli soldiers (although here is the BBC report accompanying that footage, in which the voiceover appears to be claiming, perversely, that the people in masks were Israeli soldiers. That said, the report on Radio Four’s World at One was fair and balanced).
This clip shows an Israeli soldier being stabbed. This IDF clip and this one show attacks on the commandoes including throwing one off the deck, attacking others with a metal pole and a firebomb and an attempted kidnap of another.
It is also becoming clearer as the day wears on that, far from storming the boats in order to attack those on board, the Israelis were hopelessly ill-prepared for the violence they encountered. Israel’s Channel 10 and IDF radio have reported that the Israeli naval commandos were equipped with paint ball rifles to ensure minimum casualties among the flotilla terrorists, with their hand guns to be used only as a last resort.
The terrorists tried connecting the steel cables from the overhead helicopters to the boat’s antenna, in order to cause the helicopters to crash. Only when the terrorists beat the soldiers with iron rods, stabbed them with knives and tried to lynch them did the soldiers respond. The Israeli commandoes were pushed down stairs, thrown overboard, and shot at.
Here is a report by an Israel army radio reporter on board:
‘The activists had many things ready for an attack on the soldiers,’ Lev-Rom said, ‘including, for instance, a box of 20-30 slingshots with metal balls; these can kill. There were also all sorts of knives and many similar things. These are what they call “cold” weapons, as opposed to live fire. It was quite clear that a lynch had been prepared.’
Lev-Rom said, however, that it appears the army, ‘even though it prepared for many different scenarios, was not ready for this one. The army seems not to have known what type of people were there and what type of weapons they had. It was hard for Israel to conceive that the ship, sponsored by the country of Turkey, would have such weapons. Israel was prepared to deal with anarchists, and instead had to deal with terrorists – that’s the feeling here.’
Here** is an even more vivid account showing how unprepared the Israeli soldiers were:
Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.
However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.
One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot,’ even though they sustained numerous blows.
The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.
The planned rush towards the vessel’s bridge became impossible, even when a second chopper was brought in with another crew of soldiers. ‘Throw stun grenades,’ shouted Flotilla 13’s commander who monitored the operation. The Navy chief was not too far, on board a speedboat belonging to Flotilla 13, along with forces who attempted to climb into the back of the ship.
The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.
Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.
It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments — play an absolutely essential role in the drama.
If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media.
Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves. And so, courtesy of the west’s fifth columnists, yet another nail is driven into the west’s own coffin.
Let’s see whether this time the western elites show any signs of waking from their lethal trance.
Update: I am told that the Jewish Chronicle website was taken down earlier (now restored) by a massive denial of service, apparently to shut down its balanced coverage of the Ashdod flotilla incident. The JC’s teccies, and the server hosts, say this hasn’t been caused by just one or tw908o people — it’s clearly now co-ordinated and growing.
**Update 2: The journalist who wrote this account, Ron Ben-Yishai, cannot be accused of being an Israel government stooge: it was Ben-Yishai who in 1982 was first into the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila in Beirut and blew the whistle on the massacre there that had been perpetrated by the Phalangists while Ariel Sharon looked the other way.
- British naval and counter-terrorism expert Peter Cook on the #flotilla: Israelis with paintball guns were lynched, take a look and. (Channel 4 – UK):
- Footage from the Gaza Flotilla – How Violence Breaks Out:
- Flotilla Passengers Fire Live Ammunition at IDF Soldiers:
- The Turkish boat activists meant violence – watch how they use hoses, stun grenades and metal rods against the Israelis – remember, 5 of the 6 boats docked peacefully – those on the 6th were aggressive:
- “Daniel in the Lions Den”: Violence of Flotilla activist supporters in LA:
And here are some vital facts:
Reproduced from: Standwithus.com
- Israel transfers about 15,000 tons of supplies and humanitarian aid every week to the people of Gaza.
- Lawyers representing the family of Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier held in isolation, had asked the protestors to take aid for him, they refused.
- Israel offered the ship to dock in Ashdod port and they would transfer the aid to Gaza. This offer was made again and again – they refused.
- Israel has said that it will deliver any humanitarian aid that was in the boats to Gaza, as it does daily.
- Israel left Gaza in hopes of peace in 2005 and in return received more than 10,000 rockets and terrorist attacks. Israel has sought peace and compromise with its neighbors for all of its 62 years and it will continue to do so.
- Israel maintains a maritime blockade to ensure that weapons are not brought in by Hamas to use in attacks against Israel.
- In the past, terrorist sympathizers have used aid deliveries to smuggle items like potassium nitrate in sugar sacks and used it to make bombs. Israel cannot afford to let goods get to Hamas unchecked.
- Five boats were boarded, the protestors complied and they were safely let to shore.
- One boat – the Mavi Marmara – did not comply. That is the boat where the violence took place.
- This was meant to provoke – it was funded and organized by a Turkish Islamist organization (IHH) that has links to fundamentalist jihadi groups. The ship was flying under the Turkish flag.
- Those on board carried out pre-planned violence, armed with knives and metal bars, each soldier being attacked by a mob of a dozen extremists. They threw one soldier off the top deck of the ship.
- The Israeli government maintains that allowing the illegal flotilla to reach Hamas would have opened a corridor of smuggling of weapons to Gaza and resulting in civilian deaths.
- Using the Arabic term ‘intifada,’ Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said “We call on all Arabs and Muslims to rise up in front of Zionist embassies across the whole world.
- As the flotilla made its way to meet him in Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said this week: “If the ships reach Gaza it is a victory; if they are intercepted, it will be a victory too”.
- Turkey permitted the Marmara to fly under its flag. Turkey knew that the IHH (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation) had organized the Flotilla, and supports the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas, several Jihadist organizations in Bosina, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere, and has ties with Al Qaeda.
- But Turkey did not prevent the Flotilla from disembarking and attacking Israel’s sovereign right to protect itself from terrorists attempting to enter Gaza.
- Now Turkey is condemning Israel for the unfortunate casualties, and is leading the charge to condemn Israel at the U.N. It is Turkey that should be condemned by the United Nations for its role in this brutal trap set for Israelis.
- Hamas is responsible for the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis. Their racist charter calls for Islamic domination; their stance is unchanged and they repress any Palestinians that try and counter their regime.
- Any police force in the world would respond to aggression; the provocation is the reason for this regrettable outcome. No country would allow illegal entry of any vessel into their waters without a security check.
Please, help to get these FACTS out there!
And so the lunacy continues. As I write this, Israel is now being accused of – wait for it – piracy!
Wouldn’t you love to see what Egypt would have done if faced with a ship full of rabid enemies determined to ram her shores…? But of course, these ‘innocent aid workers’ wouldn’t dream of trying a stunt like this with the Egyptians. And we all know it.
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
Al Bukhari, quoted in the Hamas Charter
Let there be no mistake about it. This is about genocide. This is what it has always been about generations back, when Hamas forefather, Hassan al Banna was writing fan letters to Hitler.
|A Non-violent Gaza Flotilla Activist|
This in a single paragraph is Hamas. This is what it stands for. And this is what anyone who talks about “the People of Gaza” really supports.
The “People of Gaza” is a euphemism for Hamas which won the last PA election and rules with popular support in Gaza. Israel responded to this takeover by a genocidal terrorist group by closing its border with Gaza. Hamas cynically responded by lying and claiming to be out of power and starving. That allowed their supporters to try and pass off their pro-Hamas agenda as a humanitarian agenda.
But real humanitarians don’t sympathize with only one side in a conflict where civilians on both sides are dying. Real humanitarians don’t bring guns and knives on a humanitarian mission. And real humanitarians don’t chant calls for the murder of Jews calling themselves “The Army of Mohammed”.
That’s what the pack of racist Islamist killers hiding behind their Western useful idiots did. And the Western useful idiots conducting a propaganda mission on behalf of a terrorist organization are no better than the murderers who exploited them.
The Hamas charter begins with a quote from Hassan al Banna calling for the destruction of Israel. Hassan al Banna was an ally of Hitler whose movement distributed Arabic translations of Mein KampfGaza Flotilla was as cynical an expedition as if a bunch of Nazi supporters had gotten in a boat to bring supplies to Berlin in 1944.
The Hamas supporters on board the Gaza flotilla called themselves the Freedom Flotilla. A brilliantly Orwellian name, considering that they were headed to support an organization that had eliminated what little freedom there had been in Gaza. Hamas had banned music, outlawing the piano, the flute and the violin because they weren’t in the Koran.
It banned mixed sex music festivals and jeans. It imposed a curfew on public gatherings It banned male hairdressers and women riding on motorcycles. Its morality police have carried out brutal murders of women they decided were immoral. The lack of freedom in Gaza had one common denominator. Hamas. And the Anti-Freedom Flotilla were there to give Hamas a propaganda victory.
Israel sent aboard soldiers armed with paintball guns and stun grenades expecting token resistance from entitled Western left wing protesters. Instead the Westerners were serving as beards for Turkish Islamic radicals.
The IDF force functioned under strict rules of engagement that prevented them from defending themselves until the situation escalated so badly that soldiers were suffering serious injuries including gunshot wounds. Only then did the Israeli soldiers return fire with live ammunition. Long after any military or police force would have done so.
|Hamas leader Haniyeh speaks under Turkish flag|
Turkey’s Islamist regime of Erdogan which recently vowed to repeat the Armenian Genocide, if the Armenians continued to protest about it, lost no time in staging protest rallies and delivering self-righteous condemnations.
Over a violent encounter that their own people deliberately staged with exactly this intended outcome. And the hypocritical double standard of a world community that gave Erdogan a pass for openly threatening ethnic cleansing, even as he seeks to join the EU, will now begin their usual howls of hypocritical outrage. “Massacre”. “Genocide.” “Human Rights.”
The truth is that there is hardly a regime in the Muslim world that could spell “Human Rights” if those magic words weren’t a useful weapon against those damned infidels.
Turkey’s Erdogan in addition to his genocidal threats is busy jailing opposition politicians, raiding synagogues and imposing religiouswhich jailed Western backpackers for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, have done to a ship filled with radicals trying to kill its soldiers?
What would Saudi Arabia do, which doesn’t even allow Westerners into Mecca unless they’re there to suppress a domestic uprising? Both countries are Hamas backers. And this is how Hamas treats resistance. By throwing them off roofs.
But genocide and massacres don’t even merit a sigh when carried out by Muslim regimes. But when those countries arm and fund a genocidal Islamist group inspired by the Nazis, the liars and phonies demand that Israel open up its borders to its terrorists.
And when Israel intercepts a ship carrying out a mission of propaganda for Hamas, those same liars and phonies start shrieking, “Massacre,” “Genocide” and “Human Rights”.
You want to see massacres, genocide and human rights– take a weekend trip to Tehran, try to buy a bus ticket to Mecca, run for office in Ankara or try to be a Christian in Karachi.
|Turkish group on Flotilla burns US flag|
This is about genocide. The Muslim massacre and ethnic cleansing of Jews. A history that goes back to Mohammed, who ethnically cleansed Jews from the Arabian Peninsula.
When the “non-violent killers” on board the flotilla chanted, “Remember Khaibar, Khaibar, Oh Jews. The Army of Mohammed will Return!“, they were invoking an ugly history of over a thousand years of Muslim oppression and butchery of the region’s Jews. Those non-Muslims on board were collaborators in the latest phase of that genocide.
There is no such thing as the non-violent murder of Jews. Supporting the murder of Jews is not a “humanitarian mission“, unless your ideas of humanitarian mission match those of Hitler, Hassan al Banna and Hamas.
This is indeed about our freedom and genocide. Our right to be free of those who carry out their fanatical dreams of mass murder, whether they happen to be Austrian painters, Hamas politicians or Irish Nobel Prize winners.
The State of Israel will not serve the same purpose that Jews have always served for 2000 years, to be the whipping boy of hypocritical moralists. Nor will we apologize for refusing to be murdered. And if you want to kill us, expect us to fight back. Fight us with words, and we will fight back with words. Fight us with knives and guns, and we will do the same. We will not be murdered. We will not be driven into the sea. We will not die. Get used to it.
Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
Neighborhood Bully, Bob Dylan