Gaza Flotilla Incident

We usually stay away from commenting on politics. However, the Gaza Flotilla incident which occurred last night (March 31st, 2010) has sparked an outcry around the world.

With critiques of the actual blockade aside, members of a foreign military are allowed to board any ship entering a militarized zone. And international understanding is that peaceful activists must not respond violently. After all, according to JPost, the first 5 of the 9 vessels were allowed to proceed peacefully after consenting to searches by the Israeli Navy. Why did this ship (the 6th one) react differently?

Although the details are still being released (and we reserve the right to change our own minds as new evidence comes forth) we feel it is vitally important to watch exactly what happened.

The IDF gave warnings to the Gaza Flotilla prior to their being boarded:

Here is up-close footage of IDF Navy soldiers being attacked as they board the vessel:

Here is an aerial view of the same situation (the ‘peace activists’ attacking soldiers as they board the vessel):

Points to Consider:

1) Not expecting the level of violence, Israeli soldiers were armed with paint-ball guns (they were also carrying small side-arms in case things got out of hand). But NO machine guns! They were not prepared for a battle, but crowd control.

2) The first 5 vessels were allowed to proceed peacefully after consenting to being searched by the Israeli Navy.

3) Many passengers aboard the ship were already riled-up and singing about killing Jews BEFORE the soldiers arrived.

4) If this was an attack by Israel against the ship, shouldn’t there be even more casualties than only 10? (Sounds like IDF soldiers actually did a good job controlling the situation after they were attacked)

So decide for yourself. Did Israel overreact?

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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3 Responses to Gaza Flotilla Incident

  1. Gene Shlomovich says:

    The facts about the peacefulness of these demonstrators speak for themselves. I think Israel, once again, showed more restraint than ANY nation in the same situation would have shown. I am not surprised at the world's reaction. On one U.K. news site I read an incredulous comment/lament by some anti-Israel reader, "how can this nation of 7.5 million single-handedly drive the world of 6.7 billion towards Armageddon". A mere 65 years after the Holocaust, that would has not really grown to be a much safer place for those Jews who were permitted to survive and live – such sentiment is to be expected.

  2. Gene Shlomovich says:

    "that would" = "the world"

  3. Roman says:

    The media calls the activist "Humanitarians", insane! I was unaware humanitarians used battons, knifes, mace, and stole handguns from soldiers.

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