“This wasn’t a love boat. This was a hate boat.” Insult number one? “These weren’t peace activists. These were violent supporters of terrorism.” Insult number two? “Israel regrets the loss of life…but we will never apologise for defending ourselves.” Insult number three? Lack of sincerity and just five words to compensate for the dead and wounded.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel held a press conference in order to justify Israel’s ‘defensive’ actions on the unarmed Flotilla. It was the usual ‘speech of justification’. It is this very speech that comes under question. It is the reliability, the sincerity, the implications, the validity and finally, the regrets that one begins to consider. Indeed, Israel has caught herself in a slightly bigger predicament than she perhaps would have wished.
When Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasised the amount of aid sent into Gaza on a weekly basis, “ten thousand tonnes,” one would assume that this was more than enough for the Palestinian population in Gaza to accept. However, Netanyahu seems to have forgotten the beauty of the World Wide Web; Gaza consists of a population totalling over 1.4 million people. Now let us ask, is “ten thousand tonnes of goods” entering Gaza on a weekly basis enough? Was it sensible to emphasise such a meagre amount of goods as though it was more than enough? Has the ‘speech of justification’ failed?
“Our naval personnel, just as they landed on the ship…they were met with a vicious mob.” This accusation can certainly come under scrutiny and, indeed, the validity can be questioned. Osama Qashoo, a famous documentary maker and a Coordinator of one of the many organisations on the Mavi Marmara, contradicted Israel’s account of the horrifying event. Qashoo stated that “bullets were coming out of everywhere…it was like an American Hollywood movie but it was real. It was really chaotic, it was madness!” As one is aware, bullets were fired ONLY by the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) and, as Qashoo claimed, the bullets were raining down even before the soldiers landed on the ship. Should not this individual, of who was used as a human shield, be considered as telling the truth? Or does the international community accept this ‘speech of justification’ once again?
As this event becomes ‘old news’ and the public attention shifts elsewhere, let us look at the facts once more and decide whether to accept this ‘speech of justification’ or consider it as a ‘speech of mockery’.
For the past three years, the world has stood by whilst Israel imposed her illegal blockade on Gaza. For the past three years, the international community chose to close one eye and watch quietly with the other. And for these same past three years, the international community turned her back and slept on, indeed with the occasional mutterings of disapproval, whilst Israel exercised her strength by strangling the other half of Palestine; Gaza. However, now The atrocious attack, in the early hours of 31st May, on the Mavi Marmara, along with five other ships, carrying much needed humanitarian aid and building materials, on International waters, has drawn both eyes of the International Community.
How long this condemnation will be voiced still remains a question.