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Israel: A mixed bag of reactions to the flotilla raid

The following post is an assortment of blog entries translated from Hebrew, all taken from the ‘hot-topic’ page dealing with the flotilla raid, on the Israeli blogging platform Israblog. The bloggers on this platform are quite mixed, though leaning towards a younger crowd. There are many anonymous and pen names, not high visibility outside of the platform, but lots of cross commenting between the community.

In her post, Ilya asks who is guilty?

The fighters are not guilty, I would also shoot to defend my life. But who sent them to capture a Turkish boat in the midst of international waters, when resistance was an obvious fact?? That person has to pay the price. This person is called our Defense Minister and the other Government ministers. How could they send our fighters to this operation?

Ilya was certainly not the only one blaming Ehud Barak for the outcome of the operation. Amitai posted the following photo of protesters around Israel have been calling for his resignation:

Vika, a 19-year-old Israeli currently serving in the IDF asks what other countries would have done under the circumstances:

Before other countries around the world open their mouth, they need to think what they would do in our situation. Would they let unchecked boats dock, unload aid, and in the aid receive bombs day and night? Or would these countries have also stopped the boats, checked them and attacked if it were necessary?

ygurvitz writes an angry critique against the IDF generals:

Coordinate your lies, you are pathetic! All day yesterday the Navy commanding officer, major general Eli Marom, the defense minister, IDF communication corps and others wined about how they were really surprised, that they didn't think this will turn out this way, that the foragers expected to get a cup of refreshing tea once on board the boat, and all of a sudden – boom! clubs, knives, an iron rod that looked like a gun, and – Blast! Nine killed and many wounded.

And that was done strenuously to sound convincing, except the fact that last week the same group of commanders warned that on board the Marmara there are people who belong to terrorist organizations, supporters of Al-Qaeda, clingons, Hamas and other bad spirits – this was published last Thursday!!! – “there is big threat that a terrorist activity will be triggered from the boats” and that “we want to avoid using force but if there's a life threatening situation for our forces we will need to use live fire, as a means of last resort.”

Another blogger is highly critical of what Israeli society is becoming:

…The real worrying issue, is the fact that such a pathetic failure (for IDF) can raise such strong empathetic feelings for Israelis. There are people who falsely define operation “cast lead” as a war, because they think that a military operation in which we crush citizen infrastructure and are hurt from our own fire is an event we must feel proud of. I'm not against “cast lead”, but talking about our national pride, about the love and hugs we send to soldiers who are dragged into these events. These are not real wars, and not battles. They are a demonstration of power by the strongest thug in the neighborhood. Sometimes this is necessary and justified, and sometimes it is wild behavior, like an attacking dog that has no owner.

Israeli society is becoming fascist, and everyone knows this. If you haven't noticed that you live under a semi-militaristic regime, It is probably because you like it, or that you are not interested in what's going on outside your bubble. Everyone knows that violence has been chewing at the basis of Israeli democracy for many years. Like a neglected gum infection, the day when teeth begin to drop out is coming closer. Everyone knows that for many to be suspected of supporting the left is almost enough to be placed on trial, and soon supporting the left will be outlawed. And I'm even not a supporter of the left! I'm merely a worried citizen. Worried for the future of freedom in our country, the future of sanity. And in days like these I ask myself what future does Israel hold for normal people? People with simple ambitions: freedom, knowledge and quality of life. And then I think about what future they have outside of Israel, and understand there is none. Because this country made sure that all the world's most violent hooligans will hate us to their bones.

Once, in order to keep people in a country, you would set them up with a mortgage.
Now they are set up with a pool of alligators.

Uri Heitner points a blaming finger at Egypt, who has also been supporting the blockade on Gaza:

Today, like every day, there's no blockade over Gaza. Tens of trucks from Israel provide supplies, food and medicine. There is a marine seige, meant to prevent the transfer of weapons and artillery to Hamas. One can argue about the effectiveness of the blockade. I've recently thought about its effectiveness. There's no doubt that morally, the siege is justified. There's no doubt that it should not be called a “blockade”.

If there is truly a blockade on Gaza, we must blame Egypt. The Egyptians are Arabs – brothers of Gaza residents. There's no kidnapped Egyptian soldier held by Hamas. Hamas does not launch missiles towards Egyptian cities. If Egypt closes its borders with Gaza (unreasonably supported by Israel), why do they come to Israel with complaints? As if Israel's duty is to support the enemy that's harming it?

The one that launched the flotilla knew very well that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However they did know that a “humanitarian” flotilla by “peace activists” aimed at “breaking the siege” is a provocation that will harm Israel's international legitimacy. In a wholly wrong decision, Israel played to the hands of its proponents and was dragged to a provocation, and so damaged itself. There's a place for a public conversation about that decision.

Lior, a 15-year-old high school student describes her frustration with the Israeli lack of ability to acknowledge just how wrong the operation was:

No, I'm not leftist. I don't want to argue about all the racist right-wing opinions that are happening here now. I also watched TV and saw a protester shout and threaten that someone needs to destroy Israel. I was also shocked and stressed. But again, I think no one here came our just. Especially not us. And we need to cope with this bitter truth. Our reaction was out of line. They were also violent. But this whole event could've been avoided.

So difficult to acknowledge that we were simply wrong? That we “fell to our low”? We proved to other countries just how baldy we handle this. Every person here thinks they know more than the other, but nobody will tell me exactly what happened that day.

LittleD thinks otherwise:

I'm immersed all day reading articles about what happened on the Marmara. If until today I thought myself to be center to right wing supporter, then today I say without hesitation that extreme right suits me much better.
The storm that came after the events on the Marmara simply opened my eyes.
What we did there, on that boat, was totally justified. Every democratic country would have done the exact same thing. The difference is that the Soldier's intentions were not to use violence, but just stop the boat from reaching its target. But they were confronted with violence, and protecting their lives, had to react.

According to 17-year-old ‘Melodrama’ the thing that Israelis really seek is peace and quiet:

People around the world don't understand that all we want is to live in peace and quiet, just like them.
But we can't. Because we have, unlike them, terrorist actions, wars and missiles aimed at us.
People here don't know what quiet is.
And they (outsiders) don't know what the army is like. When at 18, they go to college parties to hookup with girls, they will never ever grasp what we do here at that age.
Never.
Because they didn't grow up with it.
Didn't grow up within it.
And they need to be quiet and say thank you for having what we will never have – quiet!!

And last but not least, a poetic post by a blogger named Bakster:

I've experience peace within my skin.
And I want everyone to feel it.
I experienced it with music, but it was peace.
I felt it.

I talked with a Palestinian girl, who was listening to Orphaned Land (Israeli metal band),
Their situation was much worse than ours.
But we talked.
And she explained her situation, and I told her about my land.
And we talked about music.

Not once and not twice in the midst of our conversation we said “to think that I'm supposed to hate you!”

I don't know what's going on with her, haven't heard from her for a while,
But I've understood that the situation there is dire.

We need peace.
I'm not asking left/right if they want,
I'm setting a fact.
And it has been engraved on the rocks for many years now.
We need peace.
Need it here.
Right here.

Keep sending links our way.
And thanks for your support!

6 comments

  • Mohammed Al-Busaidi

    I admire that there’s a conversation happening. I may lean towards those who were against this operation, and I see the justification in those who are against it.

    However, if these are the discussions that Israel is engaging in, then I see no evident end to the real problem. The questions that need to be addressed by the Israeli public are not those of operations, but the underlying strategy in which these operations are deemed necessary or expected. Operations (sadly) are commonplace, and they will not cease to happen in the proximate or foreseeable future. Political response or process, although not unreasonable or improper, is not the suitable basis to tackle an issue like Israel-Palestine, and this is fault of both ends. There needs to be a broadcasting of ideals which both countries seek to protect, and how they aim that they’re future is based or dependant on those ideals.

    It’s impossible for the current Israeli public to truly address these issues. Government or public refusing to allow emotional political response to occur is an unacceptable premise for both citizens and government. The same happens in Palestine, but when Palestinians cry for the ability to ‘eat food when I want to’ or ‘build a house for my family’, these statement although political are closer to the principles which Palestinians (or anyone really) would hold dear.

    Maybe impossible for the current generation, it is not so for the next generations. Difficult, yes, but when political mandate becomes less of an acceptable excuse, and the need arises to examine the overlying mandate that there is a possibility for true resolve.

    Maybe we are two or three generations away from that. We’ll certainly not be alive to see any of it, but I, personally, disagree with anyone fouling the forseeability, or necessity, of that point in history in the Israel-Palestine problem.

  • ALABA70X7

    Hagar bore a son to Abram, Ishmael
    Sarah bore a son to Abraham, Isaac

    Sarah said to Abraham, Drive away this slave-girl and her son, for the son of this slave-girl shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac. and Abraham drove away Hagar and her son Ishmael, so Isaac Inherit the Land of Israel and in Isaac his Seed shall be called. This was the will of their parents and Ishmael the Arabs Inherit the land out site Israel, In fact much more land then Isaac but now the insist to go against their parents will, that’s all, now it has escalated to a point in which is more than just land , is about survival, The typical story of the stronger older bother that even when it has much more doesn’t feel like is enough and also wants what his Father gave to his younger and weaker bother
    I didn’t made this up is History Facts and the bigger picture here that some won’t like to look is that Ishmael The bigger bother has sent one of the youngest of the family a little boy still, Gaza to fight the entire family of Isaac an now looks like Isaac is abusing that child, his family when asked says this child belongs to a family called Palestinians that long a go departed from our land and they acting on their own but in their backs though their main land stones are smuggle that the Palestinian family through this child Gaza is using to throw then to the family of Isaac, Palestine is part of one the twelve the smallest chief of Ishmael and now on this days this doesn’t look like is about land, still is but to the eye is about survival , I got nothing against neither one, both are sons, Ishmael from Abram and Isaac from Abraham and a life is more precious on either side than the piece of land they may own.

  • Mahmoud Kefaya Punk

    I support Israel against the outlaws, the terrorists & the ones who support terrorism

  • I support Israel. I think if other countries had to put up with what they have to, they would soon realize just how reasonable and restrained the Israeli people really are when they defend themselves.

    That said, I think they made a grave mistake on the Flotilla. Better the soldiers, who have pledged to give their lives if necessary in defence of their country, had died than firing on the activists. Or if they had fired, they should have shot to kill LAST. The American activist, for instance, that was shot 4 times in the head, and once in the chest, looks very very bad.

    THAT said, how many of you realize 140 Uighurs (Muslims) were shot to death in China a month ago? When the Jews kill Muslims, they are vile and evil… but when China kills peacefully protesting Muslims (time and time again)? Does it even make the news?

  • I support anyone against the outlaws, terrorists and the ones who support terrorism – including Israel. By definition, they have already branded themselves as such.

  • we ought to cognizant of Israel’s legality in its actions. remember that this “siege” is really a fantastical myth
    The Myth of the Siege of Gaza
    by: 
    Jonathan D. Halevi
     
    • Since 2007, Israel has maintained a legal maritime blockade around Gaza whose purpose is to keep rockets and other weapons out of the hands of Hamas, while letting food and other humanitarian aid in. Yet there have been a wide variety of officials and commentators who insist that Gaza is starving, setting the stage for the repeated efforts of “humanitarian” ships to break the Gaza blockade.

    • Gaza is not cut off from the outside world. In the last year, the markets of Gaza have been flooded with produce and merchandise. In fact, in 2009, a total of 7,233 truckloads of humanitarian aid from the international community passed from Israel into Gaza. From June 2007 (the date of the Hamas military takeover of Gaza), overall monetary transfers to Gaza have totaled over $5 billion from governmental and extragovernmental sources. The governor of the Central Bank of the Palestinian Authority, Jihad al-Wazir, confirmed that 56 percent of the PA budget is designated for Gaza. Gaza receives additional aid funds directly from Iran and the Arab countries.

    • There is also an established economic system of Palestinian imports from Egypt via hundreds of tunnels operating under the control of a Hamas government that grants approval for operating them and collects taxes from their owners. The tunnel network has increased imports from Egypt to Gaza from $30 million annually during the years 1994-2006 to more than $650 million annually. Given the abundance of supply, the price of diesel fuel and gasoline, delivered to Gaza through pipes from Egypt, is half that of the price in Israel.

    • Farid Zakout, director of the Gaza Construction Association, told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam that the price of a ton of cement now stands at NIS 800 as opposed to NIS 1,200 two months ago, and over NIS 3,000 more than a year ago. Cement prices fell after some 80 percent of tunnel owners began to import cement. The renewed surge in construction activity has fostered a rise of 25 percent in the number of those employed in the industry.

    To read the complete article click: http://www.jcpa.org

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