The organizers of the Gaza flotilla knew full well they were sailing into troubled waters when they embarked on a mission to break Israel's blockade of the enclave controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. The cries of outrage following the raid on the Marmara by Israeli commandos ring hollow given that the organizers clearly intended to cause an international incident.
Once again, Israel has been placed in the preposterous position of having to defend itself for defending itself. For that it should never have to apologize.
The maritime blockade was imposed by Israel because it has repeatedly been attacked by Hamas from Gaza with rockets and other weapons smuggled in by sea. The blockade is supported by Egypt and has the de facto recognition of virtually every country in the world. It is a legitimate maneuver under international law and fully justified as an effective counter-measure to stop Hamas' aggression.
The ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned from the outset that a blockade was in effect and that they would be denied access to Gaza. Israeli officials offered to deliver their aid -- after being duly inspected for weapons -- by overland routes already used to supply Gaza. In recent months, Israel has been quietly easing the blockade to allow more goods into Gaza.
The refusal of the flotilla's organizers to comply suggests that beneath their avowed "humanitarian" purpose, the larger aim was to provoke international outrage so that Israel would be forced to drop the blockade altogether -- allowing weapons to pour into Hamas' territory.
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