Another Terrorist Flotilla Headed for Gaza

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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More importantly, former Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as well as Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, helped organize the Free Gaza Movement. They were directly involved in putting together the six-ship flotilla that challenged the Israelis a year ago. According to DiscovertheNetworks.org, it was at least the fourth incident in which the FGM attempted to provoke the Israeli navy. On August 23, 2008, two FGM boats were allowed by Israel to dock in Gaza, which the group’s members celebrated as a symbolic break of the Israeli “siege.” One of those boats, the Dignity, was once again allowed to dock at a Gaza port on October 29, 2008. On December 29, 2009, the Dignity attempted a third docking, but it was diverted due to a major Israeli military offensive taking place in Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks by Hamas against southern Israeli cities. In a different tack last January, Ayers, Dohrn and Evans were involved in an attempt to enter Gaza from Egypt. When the Egyptian government refused, they participated in street demonstrations until the government relented and allowed 100 activists to cross the border.

Ayers and Dohrn have been associates of President Obama for many years. Obama’s first fundraising effort for state senator was held in the couple’s home in 1995, and both men were board members on the leftist Woods Fund from 1998-2001 and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an educational reform group, during the ’90s. Ms. Evans worked as a fundraiser and campaign funds bundler for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Ayers, Dohrn, and Evans are reportedly involved in this upcoming flotilla as well.

Israel’s blockade of Gaza began in 2006, in response to the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid from the territory. Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, when Hamas seized power from the PLO, splitting itself from the government run by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Earlier in April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of European representatives that stopping the second flotilla was “in [Europe's] and our common interest, and I think it’s something that you should…transmit to your governments, that this flotilla must be stopped.”

It is unlikely European governments will respond. In the previous incident with the Mavi Marmara, Israel was largely condemned by the international community, despite the fact that Israel released a video showing that the commandos who boarded the ship acted in self-defense. Photographs by the Israeli government revealed several slingshots, knives, axes, wooden clubs, and gas masks, and ceramic vests imprinted with the Turkish flag were found, despite the captain of the Mavi Marmara‘s claim that he had instructed his crew not to allow any weapons on board the ship.

Possibly complicating European response even further has been a request by Claude Leostic from the pro-Palestinian Association France Palestine Solidarite (AFPS), that top EU officials threaten Israel with economic sanctions if there’s a repeat of last year’s violence. “The EU has been saying for a long time that the blockade is against international law. It has the means to apply economic pressure, to cancel its economic agreement with Israel. If they are serious about their position, they could send such a message. This would be a really good move,” said Leostic.

And so the ships will sail, reportedly from a number of different ports in the Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Tunisia. They are expected to avoid both the NATO blockade of Libya and Israeli territorial waters, heading straight for Gaza. Israel has offered to allow the flotilla to dock in the Israeli port of Ashdod instead. IHH spokesman Oruc said organizers would let the UN, or an international group including Israeli experts, search the boats for weapons. Yet Oruc cautioned that the flotilla will not allow a search by Israelis “on their own.” An unnamed Israeli diplomat, anticipating trouble, referred to the 1994 San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea as legal grounds for either capturing vessels which break a blockade, or in the case of those which have been warned and resist, initiating military action. The Turkel Commission, an internal inquiry by Israel’s government into last year’s incident, exonerated its commandos’ use of deadly force, and despite calls by Turkey for an independent investigation, Israel considers the Mavi Marmara matter closed.

The “X Factor” in this year’s potential confrontation?  The upheavals occurring in the various nations across the region — most of which have been focused inward. It is quite likely that this flotilla is an attempt to turn much of that focus towards Israel, in order to remind those nations that, while they may be going through their respective national dramas, animus for Israel must never be left out of the equation, no matter what power eventually transitions to in Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Libya and possibly even Syria.

It would be wonderful to think the Obama administration anticipates such a strategy, and is formulating plans to either counteract it, or minimize its effects. Yet given the president’s current Middle East strategy, which has been laughingly characterized by The New Yorker magazine’s Ryan Lizza as “leading from behind,” such anticipation may be too much to expect.

Arnold Ahlert is a contributing writer to the conservative website JewishWorldReview.com.

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  • welldoneson

    Ah, yes, the hard left.
    Ignore laws. Quote some BS as "law".
    Deny your intentions while stating them.
    Blame your enemy for what your friends do.
    And, most important, lie like the Devil himself…
    unfortunate that more than a few of these twits
    are likely to be meeting the old liar himself really soon.

  • tullamore

    Code Pink founder Susan Medea Benjamin lives at 1519 Sanchez st., San Francisco, between 28th & Valley sts., middle of the block in a pink ( get it?) wooden house built 1885, with her husband Kevin Danaher, founder of "Global Exchange" and her son Adrian Benjamingomez, leftover from her years in Cuba.

    • Grantman

      Not good posting this personal info no matter how much you dislike her. This is no one's business and certainly not appropriate for a post comment.

  • geez

    I'm shocked the radical and chief won't be on one of the flotilla's. I'm sure he's helping all his friends in some way.

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    We do not know what the government will do with that trash and for what I see not many here are in the least concerned.
    Yet. Lets assume the boats are inspected and let through… How would they refuel those vessels for their trip back?
    Gaza islamics only have the Israeli Ashdod refinery supplied fuel and some small amounts brought in from Egypt via contraband tunels. Hardly a thing that rabble does is legal or up to standards.
    Be that as it may. There is or will be enough fuel to run many large vessel for days. If one of those 15 vessels is a tanker it could spring a leak suddenly…
    Besides the storage tanks could possibly run dry.
    Some folk is playing very dangerous games overseas.

  • Cuban Refugee

    Evil is as evil does … may each and and every communist, useful idiot and anti-Semite aboard the hate-filled ships meet the Palestinian-sympathizer Vittorio Arrigoni's fate. If World War III has already started, this could be one of its defining battles. Let us pray that angel warriors enter every vessel in the name of Israel and its people with fields of resplendent light to defeat the sword of Allah. Although very powerful forces stand behind the flotilla under the guise of "protection," there also is a supreme and transcendent Divine energy operating to protect the innocent.

    • Queen Esther

      Beautiful!! Amen

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    This flotillia is provocative in its intentions.Israel has to stop this ship from
    the start when it comes near to the shores of Israel.The funny thing is,that
    if the,so called free world,did,nt turn its face the other way and leaving Israel
    in most cases totally alone this and a lot of other terrorist acts would never had
    happened. And yes Cuban ref the 3th world war has already started.

  • StephenD

    The radicals have their orders to resist with “[E]xtreme nonviolent noncooperation during captivity” LOLI want to know how they'll resist when the boats are sinking. Israel will make a huge mistake if she tries to placate these folks in any way. The law is clear. If they try to break the blockade Israel has the right to initiate military action. To hell with boarding the vessel. Drop it to the bottom as soon as it crosses the blockade. No more Mr. Nice Guy Israel! Remember the Fogel Family!!

  • Bert

    The danger to Israel is clear and there is ample advanced notice. And yet I suspect that Israel will again bungle this situation. Israel should place the blame directly on the White House and the Europeans for not stopping this in advance. It is time for an Israeli ultimatum: The flotilla must choose either peace or war. If they want peace they must submit to inspection by Israel and dock away from Gaza. If they refuse, the ships will find the waters mined and if they do not turn back they will be sunk. This means Israel will have to finally realize the gravity of the threat and respond with all necessary force. If it is the intention of Europe to back up this aggression against Israel, better to manage it on Israel's terms than to bow to pressure and invite more such events in the future. History shows that Israel's enemies are mostly cowards who back down in those rare times when Israel has shows a little backbone. Israel can win this public relations war but it must show uncharacteristic resolve and act early and put the other nations on the spot.

    • BIG IRISH

      I agree 100 percent Bert – when you are dealing with savage animals (muslims) then you have to act accordingly – treat them as savages – God Bless Israel.

  • Fred Dawes

    No laws no ideals and no nation.

  • JosephWiess

    Sink 'em to the bottom of the sea.

  • Alfonz Shmedlap

    W., 04/27/11 common era

    The IDF should sink the damn boat(s). No more fooling around, terrified of world Gentile opinion! No matter what Israel does or doesn't do, Obama, HIllary, the U.N., the E.U., and the P.A. will get their panties in a bunch and harange Israel about morality.
    No more Mister Nice Guy, Israel. Sink the damn boat. If there happen to be sharks in the water, too damn bad. It's just plain dumb to try to "mess" with HaShem's Chosen People.

  • flyingtiger

    Since other nations are treatening a boycott, Isreal should dink the boats and shoot everyone in the water. What does Isreal have to lose?

  • WilliamJamesWard

    How strange a coincidence that Israel will be having live fire exercises at the
    same time the pirate boats try to slither past the danger zone. Deep Six ring
    a bell with any of these suicidal idiots. If Israel would link it's ships guns and
    torpedoes to the internet and sell a video game 'Sink a Pirate' it could raise
    funds in the hundreds of millions to take back Gaza and the West Bank………
    I'de pay $1,000.00 or more for a shot, up front and personal, Israel must fight
    these leftards……."Once a pirate, always a pirate" Jack Sparrow…………William

  • Mmc

    The US could diffuse the entire Flotilla fiasco by inspecting every ship wishing to cross the blockade. Sadly, I fear instead of preemptive action our leadership is going to let this turn south and use Israel’s right of self-defense against her. God Bless Israel.

  • Queen Esther

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEw8m5HKP0Q

    The above is a link to a video depicting Israel Defense Forces seizing a ship headed for Gaza that was loaded with weapons on 3/14/11. The danger is real for Israel. These ships need to be inspected. The leftists on the flotillas are asking for trouble. They are poking Israel for their own political reasons.
    They are spreading false propaganda about Israel. It wasn't so long ago that the National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany spread false propaganda about the Jews – that didn't end very well. I am not saying that we are heading for such an end – however, these tactics are very dangerous.

    Am Yisrael Chai!!

  • CB Harder

    Maybe this time they(the Dorhn-Ayers) can leave their heads behind!Shaheeds 'r us!

  • Vermont Yid

    Screw world opinion of Israel. And screw Obama too. He's the worst enemy of Israel. Sink the ships that attempt to run the blockade, and don't pull anyone out of the water.

    NEVER AGAIN!

  • NStahl

    If the flotilla sails, sweep the decks with 25 and 40 mike mike. That will cure all attitude problems aboard.

  • Kurt Brusk

    Heads up. It is possibile that some of these militants will have firearms, and will use them to provoke an incident, either up close or ship-to-ship. The worst of them want Israeli blood. May they fail miserably and ignominiously.

  • Detter

    Human rights, eh? So why don’t the Islamic states take them into their country, eh? But noooo they have to make war with the smallest nation in the world…only 8 Million in Israel…and they are not just Jews living in a peaceful nation…

    Get a clue real soon…

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Prevent-the-IHH-Flotilla-Towards-Gaza/117646254988615 Jill

    I am totally shocked that they are sending yet another flotilla over to Gaza, especially after the first flotilla incident was so horrible…..makes you wonder why they would risk it again?? I would like to invite you to check out Prevent the IHH Flotilla Towards Gaza http://www.facebook.com/pages/Prevent-the-IHH-Flo

    I appreciate any support you can give us.