Archive for June 2010

Winners? Losers?

June 6, 2010

Huh?

This is from the FrumForum:

There are winners from the Gaza flotilla and losers. In human terms, the losses begin with the battered and injured IDF soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara. One may wonder if we should not tally as winners the nine militant blockade runners who gained the martyrdom they sought.

Seriously? The losses begin with the “battered and injured”  IDF soldiers and the winners are the 9 people who were gunned down? Really? If Frum freekin’ nuts? Usually he is far more sensible this but for the right wing Israel is justified in doing anything it feels like doing, no matter what.

Frum continues:

The point of the flotilla was not of course to deliver humanitarian aid — or even to ease the Israeli blockade of Gaza. As is, Gaza receives more humanitarian aid every 24 hours than was contained in the entire flotilla. And of course Hamas could ease the blockade at any time by releasing Gilad Shalit and forswearing violence against Israel.

The point of the flotilla was to end Israeli inspection of Gaza cargoes, so that Hamas could resume importing weapons.

So what? Gaza receives enough aid to keep the population alive on a starvation diet. More aid is desperately needed. I’m sure Hamas would love to start importing weapons. I have no sympathy for them. None of that is the point. It is, in fact, the default straw man argument the right wing always uses when anybody criticizes anything the Israelis do.

The point is the Israelis gunned down 9 people who were no threat to them. They could have easily disabled the ship and towed it to shore where they could inspect it. They chose not to do that. That was wrong.  This incident looks like part of a long moral downward slide of both the Israelis and their right wing supporters.

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More on the Israeli Flotilla Raid

June 4, 2010

I’ve been watching the video of the flotilla raid released by the Israelis – MSNBC has it practically on a 24-hour constant loop – and I don’t see it as exculpatory. In fact it astonishes me that the Israelis think it is. What I see is a bunch of people with clubs and knives being invaded by people with machine guns. Clubs and knives are not long-distance weapons. All they had to do was disable the boat and tow it to shore. They didn’t even need to board the thing at all.

The 19-year-old American who was killed in the raid had a bullet in the chest and four bullets in the head fired at close range. That doesn’t sound like self defense or the heat of battle. It sounds like an execution, a stone cold murder.

Hey, the Israelis were the Victims Here!

June 3, 2010

I heard today that one of the dead from the botched flotilla attack had been shot in the chest once and five times in the head at close range. He was an American citizen and only 19 years old. The conservative blogs are still assuring us that the Israelis were the victims and merely defending themselves. In one report the people on the boat were called “rioters.” George Orwell, call your office.

9 Dead? No Big.

June 1, 2010

This has got to be one of the most morally vile things I’ve read … in at least a week.

A Question of Proportionality   [Michael Rubin]

A lot of the criticism surrounding Israel’s actions against the Free Gaza flotilla center on proportionality. Did Israel apply disproportionate force? The same charges form the basis of the criticism leveled by the Goldstone Report and, indeed, also were leveled against Israel following the 2006 Hezbollah War and, before that, Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.

But why should any democratic government empowered to defend its citizenry accept Europe’s idea of proportion? When attacked, why should not a stronger nation or its representatives try to both protects its own personnel at all costs and, in the wider scheme of things, defeat its adversaries?

Likewise, when terrorists seek to strike at the United States, why should we find ourselves constrained by an artificial notion of proportionality when responding to those terrorists or their state sponsors?

Ultimately, it may be time to recognize that, in the face of growing threats to Western liberalism, strength and disproportionality matter more to security and the protection of democracy than the approval of the chattering class of Europe or the U.N. secretary general, a man whose conciliatory policies as foreign minister of South Korea proved to be a strategic disaster.

One final note on proportionality: Fifteen “peace” activists dead is a tragedy, but they represent only one one-thousandth of the death toll of a French heatwave.

Apparently it’s perfectly ok to slaughter a dozen or so unarmed civilians in the name of, well, whatever. Because you can, that’s why. Only weak Commies like Europe or the UN could possibly think what Israel did was unjustified.

The degeneracy of the far right wing doesn’t seem to have a bottom.

[Edited June 3, 2010: Though the quoted text put the dead at 15, only 9 were killed. The post title is edited to reflect that.]