The Mound city newspaper – The Laker – recently ran a letter on the Gaza flotilla from Tim Goar of Mound, MN. In his letter – titled: Israeli blockade should be condemned – Mr. Goar writes:
The Israeli Defense Forces murdered innocent civilians trying to bring aid to the Gaza Strip which has been under a brutal blockade for almost three years.
This is just one of many atrocities the government of Israel has been involved in. One who studies history and the truth of the Israeli government’s occupation of Gaza and Palestine will know the illegal and apertheid-style nature of this scenario.
In response, I submitted the following letter to The Laker. I don’t know whether they will run my letter, but I wanted to share it with you either way.
To the Editor:
Tim Goar brings up a very important discussion in his letter concerning the flotilla attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, but I think it is important to look at the facts on the ground.
The naval blockade of Gaza is entirely consistent with international law and precedent. This is a standard blockade against a state during active war (and if anyone has any doubt that Israel is at war with Hamas in Gaza, I invite you to look at the thousands of rockets raining down on Israel from Gaza since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005). In fact, President Kennedy enforced a similar blockade of Cuba, without a single rocket ever being fired at the US. All this blockade seeks to do is prevent weapons coming into Gaza for Hamas. All humanitarian aid is inspected and allowed to pass into Gaza. Israel even transports that aid into Gaza on its own trucks, following inspection. Moreover, Egypt is enforcing an identical blockade of Gaza itself. Has Mr. Goar not found it fit to complain about Egypt’s identical blockade?
Now about the specific incident in question. The flotilla’s ships, ostensibly transporting nothing but humanitarian aid, were offered – both by Israel and Egypt – to land in one of their ports, to have their cargo inspected and sent on to Gaza. If their aim had been to deliver aid – they would have taken Israel or Egypt up on their offers. Instead, they explicitly stated that their real aim was to break the lawful blockade. Additionally, they knew that their ships were actually carrying banned substances – including weapons, and concrete used by Hamas for constructing weapon-smuggling tunnels. Peaceful aid, indeed.
Mr. Goar alleges that the Israel Defence Force “murdered innocent civilians.” Now, once again, I urge you to look at the facts. Anyone can see, in the countless videos freely available on the internet, that on the only ship that saw violence, the “peace activists” were waiting on the ship, armed with knives, crowbars, and guns. That’s some peaceful aid workers, indeed. You can easily see the Israeli navy men being pulled off their ropes before even boarding the ship, being beaten to the ground, dragged around bleeding, and being thrown off the ship. Some have gunshot wounds. Under such attack from “aid workers,” what would we have expected our own navy men to do?
Finally, I’d like to address Mr. Goar’s somewhat irrelevant mention of Israel’s “occupation” of Gaza. Let’s not forget that Israel pulled out completely from Gaza back in 2005. There is not a single Israeli soldier or settler left in Gaza. And the response to the end of the “occupation” has been over 8,000 rockets fired on Israeli civilians from Gaza. So much for the hopes for peace and a better life for all that Israel left Gaza for. Thanks to Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, they have been building nothing but violence and terrorism since, and weapons for terrorists must be stopped.
Anyone want to write to The Laker, and encourage them to publish my letter? Their E-mail address is [email protected].
Thank you Jenna for responding to this letter. Well said.
I too recently responded to a similar (front page) story that ran in the Southside Pride. My response very much like yours… (should be in July issue)…
Heartened to know others, YOU, feel compelled to speak up… sometimes i feel like a lone voice… so YAY!
I’ve twice now responded to recent articles in Southside Pride and urge others to be the respondents in the future… Thanx again.
well said… great response
Thanks for attempting to set the record straight. I hope the paper publishes your letter.
Jenna, another great column. One correction. There is a single Israeli soldier in Gaza — Gilad Schalit. Let’s not forget his FOUR years in captivity without even access to any humanitarian aid organizations (e.g., ICRC).