“What has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The biblical truism applies only too well to Israel and her enemies today—as it did yesterday. How has Satan manipulated world weapons of deceit against the Jews? The father of lies, lies.”
The above is an excerpt from my 2004 book, Why Care about Israel? The book includes a section describing and documenting Satan’s timeless weapon of deceit about the Jewish people and Israel. From the era of the Egyptian pharaohs, to the days of Queen Esther, to the rebuilding of Jerusalem under Ezra and Nehemiah, and up through the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Nazi regime, and today, the father of lies, lies.
Sadly, On May 31, 2010, we awoke to the news that early that morning, Israeli naval troops were forced to respond to an armed attack against them aboard a convoy of ships illegally attempting to “break Israel’s blockade” against Gaza.
Purpose of the Flotilla
Rather than repeat fabrications already circling the globe, this article describes today’s conflict off the coast of Gaza according to Israeli reports. Bear in mind that not all the facts are yet in. But one thing is certain: The purpose of the flotilla convoy was not primarily humanitarian and not primarily peaceful. This is evidenced by the following: (1) Leftist extremists, jihadist Muslims and terrorists calling for the destruction of Israel were aboard, heading toward Israeli territorial waters. (2) The flotilla of ships was loaded with humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza—but also with weapons. (3) The Israeli navy issued numerous warnings to the flotilla to turn back and offered to peacefully unload and distribute all the humanitarian aid aboard. If their true aim had been to alleviate suffering in Gaza, the “peace actibvists” would have followed this simple procedure. (In fact, this is the same procedure we had to follow as Israeli citizens when we shipped our personal belongings here from America.) (4) As seen on video, the ship’s passengers then opened fire on the Israeli navy. (5) Israel already allows a daily influx of tons of aid into Gaza. Tragically, this aid is regularly stolen by the Hamas-run Gazan government, which now boasts a small but very wealthy class of individuals. The media does not depict the flourishing businesses, including upscale restaurants, large department stores, luxurious homes and Olympic size swimming pools that exist in Gaza amid the more widespread squalor. (The Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2010, p. 19)
The main purpose of the flotilla was to stage a media event to make Israel look bad. Accordingly, Israel was placed in a dilemma no other nation would be forced to tolerate. On the one hand, had Israel let the ships into Gaza, our national sovereignty and security would have been breached by terrorists—-not just peaceful protestors. On the other hand, it was known in advance that by stopping the flotilla, the international media would inevitably falsely assail Israel, with serious consequences in the political realm. Israeli commentators described the matter a few days ago, before the confrontation, as a “lose, lose situation.”
The flotilla was organized, in part by Turkey, in the wake of Amnesty International’s recently released annual report. The report alleged Israel’s blockade of Gaza has created a humanitarian crisis. (The organization has a long history of undue focus and attack on Israel.) The Israeli government replied that Amnesty International’s report was false, was compiled without credible evidence, and rested on hearsay testimony. (The Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2010, p. 19) The Israeli government then released the following statement:
|“Over a million tons of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from Israel “over the last 18 months, equaling nearly a ton of aid for every man, woman and child in Gaza. … Food and supplies are shipped from Israel to Gaza six days a week. … In a typical week the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] coordinates the transfer of hundreds of trucks containing about 15,000 tons of supplies. … No Palestinian is denied medical care in Israel. However, if the Hamas regime does not grant permits for medical care, the Israeli government can do nothing to help the patient. … In 2009 alone, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israel. … Palestinians exploited medical care arrangements more than 20 times to carry out terror attacks.”|
The report also addresses issues such as building materials brought in to Gaza, school supplies provided, electrical and water infrastructures, and more. It points out that certain building materials are prohibited only because they are used to construct weapons for ongoing terror attacks against Israel, mostly in or near Sderot. (www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/)
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs justified the Gaza blockade on its web site last week: “Israel has imposed a maritime blockade on Gaza because Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza. According to Sarah Weiss Maudi, the Israel Foreign Ministry’s expert on maritime and humanitarian law: “Hamas has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza by various routes, including the sea….Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law, and may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea….The naval manuals of the US and UK recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure that can be implemented in times of armed conflict.” In fact, Egypt has agreed to, and also participates, in the blockade regarding Gaza. (www.mfa.gov.il/MFA)
Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel explained the legality of the IDF action in international waters. In time of conflict, a state can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters. Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo, and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention, then that force has every right to act in self-defense. Sabel added there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters. (Independent Media Review Analysis, www.imra.org.il, May 31, 2010)
Events On Board
As reported today by the Jerusalem Post, based largely on information directly from the IDF, violence erupted this morning when “activists aboard the flotilla of ships on their way to the Gaza Strip opened fire on IDF soldiers who boarded the ships to prevent them from breaking the Israeli-imposed sea blockade. … The international activists ‘prepared a lynch’ for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after warning them to leave, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier. [Click here to see videos of this warning and other aspects of the incident.]…At least 10 activists were killed during the ensuing clashes as well as 6 navy commandos, some of them from gunfire and at least one in serious condition with a head wound. … 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 succeeded in stealing the weapon from one of the IDF’s soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence. ‘It was like a well-planned lynch,’ one IDF officer said. ‘These people were anything but peace activists.’
“The IDF said the ships would be taken to the Ashdod Port where, despite the violence, the cargo that they are carrying will be inspected and then transferred to the Gaza Strip via land crossings.” (www.jpost.com, May 31, 2010) Indeed, as of this writing, the ships are en route to Ashdod.
According to the IDF’s web site earlier today, “[Israeli naval] forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail. … All of the injured parties, Israelis and foreigners, are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.”
Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome. He described the convoy as a “premeditated and outrageous provocation,” calling it an “armada of hate”.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, international leaders, and global bodies are quickly condemning Israel’s actions, alleging we have committed a massacre and act of terror. Palestinians are rioting in protest today in various locations in Israel. Will the world ever hear the truth?
Please join us in praying intently for this situation. Pray protection and wisdom for the Israeli navy, police and government officials. Pray for the salvation of all involved and for the wounded. Pray for truth to emerge. May even this tragic conflict be used for God’s ultimate kingdom purposes.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem …” Psalm 122:6
UPDATE POSTED JUNE 2, 2010
NOON, ISRAELI TIME
At this writing, reports indicate two additional ships plan to leave Turkey for Gaza. Iran is calling for an international confrontation with Israel to break the blockade. Please pray the Israeli military and government will respond in God’s wisdom. Pray with us for Israelis to cry out to Him for mercy on our nation.
Listed below are concise video clips documenting events aboard the “humanitarian aid” ship intercepted by Israel on May 31.
Evidence disclosed over past days has confirmed the information presented in the following article.