First came the bragging. Ever since the flotilla incident last summer, Israel-haters have boasted that next time they were going to really show the world what they are made of. With their chests even more puffed-out than usual, they vowed that this summer they were going to send an even bigger flotilla to Gaza. It would be at least 30-ships strong, led by the Mavi Marmara, and it would arrive on the exact anniversary of last May’s confrontation.
Then, it all started to unravel. Amid rumours they were having trouble getting sufficient sign-ups, the organisers postponed the sail until June, ‘because of the Turkish election’. Then a French ship pulled-out of the flotilla. A few days after that, the Mavi Marmara also withdrew. Yup, they’re showing us what they’re made of, all right.
Despite this, there do still seem to be plans for a flotilla of sorts to set sail towards Gaza in the coming weeks. The IDF ran a drill a few days ago in preparation. While I’m glad the IDF is preparing to intercept these vessels of fools, it really saddens me that it has to. The navy should not be forced to waste its time and dignity on combating such a dishonest and self-indulgent exercise as the flotilla.
News of the drill reminded me of the symbolism of the flotilla issue and that of similar ventures, such as the recent border protests: the bigoted children of the world provocatively forcing Israel to be the sole moral adult. It also brought back memories of the reaction to last year’s flotilla, when Israel-haters rushed to judgement before a single fact was known. Even once we were shown harrowing footage of mobs of thugs descending on the IDF and attacking them with iron bars and knives, the verdicts of many did not change. It was the Jews who were guilty, they should have just lain still and allowed themselves to be clubbed to death by the peaceful humanitarians.
That they defended their lives was internationally-condemned. But since when was self-defence a war crime? Since May 1948, when the modern state of Israel was founded, it seems.
I pray that all Israeli naval commandoes return home safe and unharmed from any confrontation that might arise in the coming weeks. This blog is actually sometimes read by one of the guys who got hurt last year. He sent a very kind message to me via a mutual friend. Once again, I send him and the other commandoes my deepest admiration and best wishes.
What a vacuous project the flotilla is. Heaven forbid these ‘human rights’ folk ever pay a moment’s attention to any other country on the planet. To the slaughtered and terrorised of Darfur, the oppressed of China, the suffering Tamils and Chechens, the starving Africans, the oppressed women of the world, the gays being executed in the Middle East and Caribbean, the Arabs being slaughtered on the street by their own governments.
All of these issues are overlooked, mostly because they allow no scope for Jew-bashing. Over and over these bigots ignore the cries of people who are really suffering, in preference of focusing obsessively on the cause of the Palestinians, who they patronisingly use as a tool with which to bash Israel. It is quite true that some who campaign for the Palestinians do so sincerely, with the most noble of motivations. However, their voices are drowned out by the haters and the hateful who forever wish to harm and destroy the Jewish state.
And yet, how impotent their efforts are. This year, Israel celebrated her 63rd birthday and the 44th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Jewish life is thriving there, including in Judaea and Samaria, where around a quarter of a million residents now live. The month of May saw yet another record set in the number of tourists visiting Israel – a 33 percent increase on the same month in 2009. What a ball visitors have there, it’s a beautiful place. Israeli inventions and innovations are being snapped-up around the world, prompting an economic climate in Israel that is much more healthy than most of the rest of the world’s.
I still think it is vital to defend Israel from the hate and lies the world throws at her, and to take absolutely seriously the many threats she faces. The coming weeks and months could be busy that way, with the flotilla, the declaration plans and other challenges. But I also allow myself a chuckle that, while there are plenty of people who get-up each day determined to harm Israel, they go to bed every night knowing they are failing. I expect it is an emotion they are rather familiar with in their lives.