TORONTO, May 31, 2010 – B’nai Brith Canada has expressed its regret for the loss of life and several casualties, including Israeli personnel, that took place when a ship from the Free Gaza Flotilla refused to enter safe harbour in Israel for customary cargo inspection procedures, and Israel was forced to intercept it.
The Free Gaza Flotilla was organized by the International Humanitaire Hilfs organization (IHH), a radical Islamist organization based in Turkey. Numerous reports have linked the IHH to terrorist organizations across the globe, including Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Participants of the Gaza flotilla have been recorded chanting “Jews, remember Khyabar, the army of Mohammed is returning,” a slogan referring to a seventh-century massacre of Jews in Arabia.
“The kangaroo courts of NGOs and countries hostile to Israel have already joined the stampede to condemn the Jewish State and her supporters across the globe,” said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada. “The truth is irrelevant for those whose prejudice against Israel as a Jewish State is uppermost. This very sad incident gives hate mongers one more chance to spew their venom against Israel and the Jewish people.
“We commend both the Canadian and American governments who have demonstrated wisdom and compassion with their statements expressing sorrow for the dead while awaiting all of the facts before rushing to judgment. We also await the facts and urge rational Canadians not to jump to conclusions, even though there are many who are trying hard to seize this obviously-staged opportunity for the purpose of spreading hateful propaganda.
“No one should be fooled that the Gaza flotilla was part of some docile humanitarian mission. This was an action organized primarily by Islamists with ties to various terrorist groups across the globe whose obvious goal was to provoke Israel into a response.”
Key Points for Consideration
1. Israeli sailors, attempting to board one of the six ships of the protest flotilla en route to Gaza, were attacked by dozens of activists armed with knives, metal bars, and handguns. Fearing for their lives, the Israeli soldiers had no choice but to respond. At least four Israeli personnel were wounded by various means, including by gunfire from activists.
2. Israel made every effort to provide the flotilla organizers with an opportunity to avoid a confrontation. Israel offered to bring the flotilla into the port of Ashdod, and to transfer their aid to Gaza following appropriate security checks. The organizers rejected this offer, stating clearly that “this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.” (Greta Berlin, AFP, 27 May 10).
3. Israel gave repeated warning of the maritime blockade in effect off the coast of Gaza and that the flotilla would be turned away and brought to an Israeli port to offload their cargo.
4. The organizers of the protest deliberately invited a confrontation with Israeli sailors. This was not an aid mission, but a PR stunt designed to undermine Israel and bolster Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization. Among the protestors were a group of highly-trained extremists with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadist groups in Afghanistan.
5. There is no blockade on humanitarian aid to Gaza. In fact, Israel delivers 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid – including medical supplies, food, and water – to Gaza every week. The blockade exists to prevent unauthorized individuals and unknown cargo from entering Gaza and falling into the hands of its ruling Hamas regime.
6. Hamas is presently smuggling in massive amounts of military supplies into Gaza to fortify its positions and continue its attacks. Under international law Israel has the right to intercept vehicles that are “believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.” (Section 67A of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea).
Close-Up Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Attacking IDF Soldiers
Floatzilla! Jenin on the high seas
“For most of the world, of course, these facts won’t matter: Like the bogus Jenin massacre, this episode will be used as just another stick to beat the Jewish state — even by those same pundits and activists who can’t be roused to say a single word when genuine “massacres” unfold in other parts of the world, such as the slaughter of more than 90 members of the Ahmadi sect in Pakistan. On sea, as on land, this is the double-standard that Israel always must battle when it acts to defend itself against terrorists and their media-savvy enablers.”