For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Do Peace Activists Care About Syria? Seriously.
02 October '12..
Humanitarians of the world pay special attention to Israel. Self-proclaimed peace “activists” announced this week that a ship called “Estelle” has set sail for Gaza yet again in an attempt to “break Israel’s sea blockade” of Gaza. The ship sailed from Sweden three months ago, and will sail to Gaza from Naples in the beginning of October.
The Foreign Ministry of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, said in a statement that Israel was in contact with the governments whose citizens were passengers on the ship. Israel’s policy has not changed, the Ministry said, and the ship will not be allowed to approach Gaza. Those who pay attention to international news will remember that on May 31, 2010, while en route to Gaza, commandos from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) raided and seized the Mavi Marmara (in the first flotilla) after communicating warnings that a naval blockade of the Gaza area was in force.
The commandos were seemingly unprepared for the dozens of militant terrorists who swarmed around them wielding knives and iron bars. A bloody battle took place, and nine Mavi Marmara passengers were killed in the mêlée, and at least seven IDF soldiers were wounded. It was a major diplomatic debacle for the Israeli government. The incident damaged Israel’s image because initially it appeared that Israeli soldiers were storming the ship violently (when, precisely because of the predictable reaction of the world, the soldiers were carrying paint guns, not actual weapons), and not that they were attacked first.
These “peace” flotillas are intended to harm Israel – and nothing else. And that’s blatantly clear as there is no flotilla to Syria, a country which borders Israel, where the Syrian government has killed thousands of its own citizens, the injured hide in private homes to avoid cold-blooded murder, funeral processions are shot at with many killed at a time when they are bereaving the dead, the detained are tortured and many die and are buried in mass graves. Yet, no flotilla to help the Syrians.
These flotillas are warned not to enter Israeli’s sovereign space, but proceed anyway. Would a group take a flotilla to the borders of Canada if ordered not to? And would anyone be surprised if a sovereign nation fires upon a boat which proceeds despite warnings not to? There is no other country in the world that has the legitimacy of its very existence questioned.
One solution could be that the Israeli military could ensure the flotilla is guided into Syrian waters – and let these protesters help the people of Syria where people are dying like flies on the streets. Anyone have any doubt that these so-called “peace activists” would be slaughtered if they were even to make it to Syrian shore?
And while the people of Gaza do in fact have access to food, medicine and relief supplies, there has been an uprising against President Bashar Assad for the better part of a year – and the silence is deafening from human rights organizations.
Are Gazans better than Syrians or are these flotillas public relations ploys to damage Israel?
There is so much talk constantly about peace from the world – yet little of it comes from or is directed to the Arabs. Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a Zionist leader, once wrote in an essay called “Peace”: “A noisy whining is now being set up by a chorus of ‘peace seekers’ who aim to achieve (by preaching exclusively to Jews) conciliation with the Arabs. It is difficult to free oneself from a feeling of disgust. On the morrow of a slaughter so mean and so foul – let us confess our sins and ask that they not beat us again.”
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"