Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The International Community and Terrorism: An Inconvenient Truth

Thanks to videos widely disseminated over the Internet, every fair-minded person now knows what really went on between Israeli soldiers and the so-called peace activists aboard the Gaza freedom flotilla. But for anyone who tuned in late, Mona Charen on NationalReviewOnline provides some essential background information:
The effort to destroy the Jewish state has many fronts. One front is in Iran, where the maniacal regime that has repeatedly promised to “wipe Israel off the map” marches inexorably toward a nuclear bomb. Another is in Gaza, from which Hamas has lobbed 10,000 missiles into Israeli cities. Yet another front, the most insidious, is comprised of the propaganda arm of the Palestinian movement. And this front thrives for only one reason — the complicity of the world press and the so-called “international community.”
Fact: Israel imposed a blockade of Gaza to prevent weapons from reaching the radical Islamic regime there that continues to make war on Israeli civilians. Egypt too has blockaded the strip, hoping to choke off weapons to Hamas, which it views as a threat.
Fact: Humanitarian relief is delivered to Gaza from Israel on a daily basis. During the first three months of this year, 94,500 tons of supplies were transferred to Gaza from Israel, including 48,000 tons of food products; 40,000 tons of wheat; 2,760 tons of rice; 1,987 tons of clothes and footwear; and 553 tons of milk powder and baby food for the strip’s 1.5 million inhabitants. Representatives of international aid groups and the United Nations move freely to and from the Gaza Strip.
Fact: Upon learning of the intentions of the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli government asked the organizers to deliver their humanitarian aid first to an Israeli port where it would be inspected (for weapons) before being forwarded to Gaza. The organizers refused. “There are two possible happy endings,” a Muslim activist on board explained, “either we will reach Gaza or we will achieve martyrdom.”
Fact: The flotilla ignored multiple instructions from Israeli navy ships to change course and follow them to the Israeli port of Ashdod...
Fact: The flotilla’s participants included the IHH, a “humanitarian relief fund” based in Turkey that has close ties to Hamas and to global jihadi groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere, and which has also organized relief to anti-U.S. Islamic radicals in Fallujah, Iraq. A French intelligence report suggests that IHH has provided documents to terrorists, permitting them to pose as relief workers...
Fact: When Israeli commandos rappelled down ropes to the deck of the Mavi Marmara, they were assaulted and beaten with metal poles and baseball bats by the Palestinians on board.
On PajamasMedia, Phyllis Chesler writes the following:
...Yes, I am talking about how our world well has been poisoned by brazen, crazy lies about Israel and about the Israeli Defense Forces. These lies come at us day after day, week after week, year after year, and they do not stop coming. The world is saying, as if in one voice: Jews, Israelis: Stop. Do not defend yourselves. You are defending a state that is not supposed to exist; its extermination or dissolution will alone bring peace to the Middle East, peace between America and the Muslim world, prosperity and the end of civil, tribal, and ethnic wars everywhere....
What an irony. Jews were ceaselessly persecuted when we did not have a state of our own. Today, the continued persecution of Jews everywhere is being justified on the basis of how much “trouble” Israel causes the world...
We now do understand that the passengers on board one ship, the Mavi Marmara, came to fight, to kill, and to die. Some were definitely Turkish mercenaries, hired to do the Turkish prime minister’s bidding—or perhaps Iran’s bidding. Many had ties to known terrorist organizations. We also know that there were important tactical, practical, and life-saving reasons that the IDF stopped the boat while it was still in international waters. And we know that IDF soldiers rappelled onto the boat with paintball guns on their backs, expecting as little resistance as was met on all the other boats. Yes, perhaps Israeli Naval Intelligence failed to factor in the possibility that this boatload was “loaded for bear,” that the IDF soldiers would be met with a fierce battle at sea. Why, and whether this is really so, remains an open question, an open wound, really. But we also know that no Israeli soldier died, or was successfully kidnapped. And we know that only nine of the six hundred or more flotilla passengers were killed.
Chelser's piece also contains what is supposedly a grisly first-hand account from an Israeli commando.

High-profile lawyer (and super liberal) Alan Dershowitz calls out the United Nations for its strange obsession with Israel while turning a blind eye to real atrocities committed around the world:
 There is only one answer - because Israel has long been singled out for public scrutiny and opprobrium by the United Nations in particular and the international community in general.
This is not to say that Israel has always been blameless. It foolishly took the bait and allowed itself to be provoked into overreacting to a well planned provocation by so-called "humanitarians," who love only those who hate the Jewish state. The best proof that the flotilla had little to do with providing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and everything to do with breaking Israel's entirely lawful military blockade of a terrorist enclave, is Hamas' refusal to accept the food and medicine that Israel removed from the captured boats. The leaders of the flotilla admitted that their object was the same as Hamas' - not to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza but rather to break the military blockade that is designed to keep rockets and other anti-personnel weapons from the hands of Hamas terrorists.
Israel should have been smarter in its efforts to enforce its blockade, but it did nothing illegal - and what it did do certainly doesn't warrant being singled out for the stigma of an international investigation.  
If the United Nations is to get into the business of ordering and conducting international investigations, it must establish neutral and objective criteria for when such an investigation is warranted. These criteria must be equally applicable to all nations, and not merely to the Jewish nation.
Primary among the criteria must be "the worst first." Under that rule, investigations must be conducted in the order of the seriousness of the offense, not the unpopularity of the offender...
The second neutral criteria should be the capacity of the accused nation to investigate itself and to be subjected to domestic scrutiny and criticism. Here too Israel fares must better than most. It has an activist Supreme Court, a free and aggressive press and a responsive political system. It doesn't need dictatorial tyrannies telling it how to defend its citizens.
For international law to have any credibility, it must be applied neutrally, objectively and fairly to all nations. Singling out Israel for special scrutiny and investigation, while far more serious offenders and offenses are ignored, is incompatible with the rule of law.
If Helen Thomas and her friends get their way, and Israel (the only functioning democracy in the Middle East where every citizen regardless of ethnicity or religion/non-religion enjoys individual rights) becomes ethnically cleansed, would all the turmoil and instability in the region instantly get resolved? Our gullible and lazy news media seems to think so.

Napolitano, Obama at Odds Over Arizona Licensing Law

Janet Napolitano, the placeholder at the Homeland Security Department, is as you know the former governor of Arizona. While she opposes Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and just about anything else involving actual border security, as governor she signed a law that gave her state the authority to suspend or terminate business licenses of those employers who hire illegal aliens. Federal law does not preempt states from imposing licensing restrictions on those business who hire undocumented workers.

Her new boss, however, wants the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the measure, even though it was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, considered the most far-left appellate panel in the federal system. "The Obama administration apparently worries letting that law stand would leave in place a precedent that states have a legitimate role in enforcing immigration laws – a notion the administration fiercely opposes," reports.