This issue draws some conclusions from Israel”s flotilla episode and reports on the 25th Anniversary Christian Friends of Israel Conference.
OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION
Regarding Israel”s flotilla episode:
The Jerusalem Connection International reports
1. Under international law, Israel has the right to protect the lives of its civilians from Hamas attacks, and, consequently, has undertaken measures to defend itself, including the imposition of a maritime blockade to curb Hamas rearmament. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no vessels can enter the blockaded area.
2. In line with Israel”s obligations under international law, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza and were given due notice of its exact coordinates.
3. Israel repeatedly offered the flotilla organizers permission to land in the port of Ashdod, and to transfer their aid to Gaza through the existing overland crossings, in accordance with established procedures. Thousands of tons of humanitarian supplies are regularly allowed in by Israel through the land crossings. The flotilla 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, 27May10).
4. While the organizers claim to have humanitarian concern for the residents of Gaza they did not have similar concerns for the fate of the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and when asked, refused to even make a public call to allow him to be visited by the Red Cross. Shalit has languished in a Gazan dungeon for over three years.
5. When it became clear that the protest flotilla intended to violate the blockade despite repeated warnings, Israeli Naval personnel boarded the vessels of the flotilla, and redirected them to Ashdod.
6. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, there was an operational need to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.
7. The intention of the flotilla participants to resist Israeli Naval personnel was made clear in numerous television interviews on 30 May given by the head of the IHH, Bulent Yildirim on board the Mavi Marmara (as he held a year-old infant in his arms, in what he called a “message” to any Israelis planning to act against the flotilla).
8. The Israeli Navy was met with violent opposition, two pistols were found in the hands of protesters, and over a dozen Israeli personnel were hospitalized, some in critical condition. One militant snatched a gun from an Israeli commando and opened fire. The Navy described being met by a “lynching” party.
The Jerusalem Prayer Team reports
On the ships the activists/terrorists were chanting slogans such as, “Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews. The army of Mohammed will return.” This was in reference to the slaughter of Jews by Mohammed in the seventh century. They were screaming, “Martyrdom or victory.” Can you imagine any country arming its troops with paintball guns? That”s precisely what Israel did. The boarders were carrying paintball guns solely for crowd control. Israel didn”t want to harm anyone; it wanted to avoid an incident such as the one that evolved last Monday.
The terrorists on the ship beat the IDF troops with pipes, stabbed them with knives and scissors, tossed stun grenades at them, and then disarmed the troops and shot them with their own pistols. One soldier was thrown over the railing to fall headfirst thirty feet to the deck below. The only way the Israelis could hope to survive was to defend themselves.
The terrorist organization behind the flotilla was the IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi) founded in 1992. It has been on the CIA”s watchlist since 1996 because of its fanatical Islamist teachings. Under the guise of a “charity,” it has a record of sending donations to Muslim disaster areas. The IHH is NOT the force for good it purports to be. It is backed by a Saudi-based group known to back terrorism. The chairman of the organization, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, advocates suicide attacks against innocent Israeli civilians, and funnels millions to support Hamas. According to a Danish study, the IHH is also reported to have ties with al-Qaeda and other “global jihadist networks.” French intelligence reports support the Danish study.
My Personal Observations
I was in Israel while all this took place. Israelis were stunned in disbelief at both the events and the worldwide condemnation of Israel. News reports from all over the globe painted Israel as an aggressor engaged in an illegal seige. Only Fox News reported an accurate account.
IT’S NEWS TO ME
I am excited to report that my new book, Islam and the Last Days, is now in at least 12 nations and plans have begun to have it translated and distributed in three Third World countries. The endorsement of Christian Friends of Israel was instrumental in getting things off to a great start. I am so impressed with this ministry. Their selfless dedication and love for the Jewish people have won the admiration of the Israeli government and the people. They assist Jewish immigrants, give aid to the poor, minister to the needs of hurting Jewish believers, help Ethiopian Jews adjust to their new homeland, assist victims of rocket attacks by building bomb shelters, give aid to Israeli soldiers… The list goes on. Eventually, those
receiving the aid will ask why they (Christians) are being so kind to them. The door is then open to share the love of Christ which is their motivation. Only then are Christians seen as people who really care about the Jewish people.
Attendees at the 25th Anniversary Conference represented 40 nations. What a blessing to be among so many lovers of Israel. I was encouraged to learn that Israel has supporters all over the globe. We were all challenged to speak out for Israel and to protest the growing worldwide anti-semitism.
The book is available on my website at www.edrodgers.net.
What is the proper designation for 453.6 graham crackers?
1 pound cake