POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY PATRICK MARTIN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
"No mention here of the fact that the Israelis tried to negotiate a peaceful boarding, were refused"
And would you or anyone in their right mind permit scores of heavily armed soldiers aboard your boat on the high seas, at night moreover?
Of course not.
But I say that assuming the correctness of the writer's assertion.
We already have many reports that the Israelis muscled their way on board, indeed started shooting while some people slept in their bunks. And anyone who knows how commandos or SWAT teams work knows which version is more likely.
We have several hundred eye witnesses. Let's see what they say.
I would be surprised if one word agrees with the assertions of Netanyahu or the Israeli Ministry of Truth or Israel's apologists writing here.
The history of Israel's dissimulation is so vast - from the truth about the Six Day War and Israel's attack on the USS Liberty spy ship, at the time, to the work of spies like Jonathon Pollard against its chief benefactor or Israel’s current president’s agreeing to sell nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa - that no one can ever believe the official word on anything.
You earn your reputation in this world, and Israel has certainly worked hard to earn hers.
Attacking every neighbor, abusing millions, assassinations, illegal mass arrests, blockades, regular theft of the property of others, building atomic weapons, lying, spying on friends, etc, etc.
Just look at Netanyahu’s words on cutting short his trip to Ottawa: the man slurred the humanitarians by asserting reports of gunfire when there were absolutely no guns on that ship, a fact ascertained in Turkey.
You work hard for a reputation the way Israel has, it seems to me you should enjoy what you've earned.
"Israel can not give Hamas what it wants; the total destruction of Israel."
Surely, those qualify as the most ridiculous words written here, but they are not just here, they are repeated mindlessly everywhere.
But they are utterly false, pure rhetoric.
Hamas has never attempted to destroy Israel, nor would it even be remotely capable of doing so if that were its desire. Yes, it has anti-Israel propaganda, but what else does it have, other than abuse and frustration?
Hamas has the military capacity of a mid-sized town's police force, at best.
Facing it is a garrison state equipped with sophisticated jet fighters, sophisticated guided missiles, sophisticated tanks and artillery, advanced radars, access to spy satellites, a vast spy network, poison gas supplies, even nuclear weapons, plus a guarantee from the world's superpower.
To get just a notion of Israel’s overwhelming position, see this image of one of the radar-controlled Gatling gun towers which surround Gaza, ready to riddle anything that moves:
Except for those pathetic homemade rockets fired out of frustration and hopelessness, Hamas has no record of in any way attacking Israel.
To see just how pathetic those homemade rockets are, see this:
Now, what is Israel’s record by comparison? It has assassinated many leaders of Hamas, often wiping out families and neighbors in the process. It illegally arrested a major part of an elected government. It refuses even to talk with reasonable men, for many of the leaders of Hamas are genuinely professional people, not guerilla fighters.
Indeed, the measure of Hamas is Israel’s own past treatment of it. Israel’s secret services helped nurture it as a potential opposition to Fatah, Arafat’s party. You don’t subsidize what you are afraid of.
Well, the policy worked in achieving destructive in-fighting between Fatah and Hamas, and Israel just stands back and says look what bad people they are.
Hamas was elected for clean government. Palestinians were tired of Fatah’s corruption, but Israel never gave it so much as an opportunity to talk. Does that sound like an honest desire for peace?
Israel’s extreme response to the election actually caused Hamas to enter into a national unity government with two other parties in 2007. All Israel has done is impose an inhumane and illegal blockade, always yapping about “terrorists.” You never get peace that way, as Northern Ireland and many other examples prove.
But Israel does not want peace as most people understand that word. Israel wants more of other people’s property, minus the people. There is no other rational explanation for its whole set of behaviors.
They don’t deal with Hamas in the West Bank, do they? But do we see peace, or even decent treatment there? No, we see homes and farms seized week after week.
"Didn't the author say that Olmert had negotiated to lift the blockade very quickly, in return for a cessation of hostilities, but was refused when he asked for Hamas to return a kidnapped soldier as part of the deal???”
That is a perfect example of the kind of poor information and deliberately incomplete information which Israel's apologists repeat and repeat.
The Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire: Israel broke the agreement.
No, the Palestinians would not include the return the one valuable asset they hold, the Israeli soldier. But they are perfectly ready to release him for reciprocal Israeli action as is widely known.
Remember, Israel holds somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 to 10 thousand Palestinian prisoners, most improperly arrested, some held in secret facilities, and many tortured. Even members of the cleanly-elected Hamas government were arrested shortly after the election.
The soldier is the only possession the Palestinians hold valued enough by Israel to trade for the release of a small portion of its illegal prisoners. There is nothing irrational or improper about that desire.