Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Liberal Flotilla Reaction: Marty Peretz

He was AWOL until late last night, but lefty, liberal, Gore supporter, Martin Peretz has finally posted about the flotilla debacle, under the headline "In The Great Flotilla Debate, The Facts Are On Israel's Side"; naturally, this man of the left is 1000 percent in support of the raid. Highlights follow (and don't miss the praise for Obama) (for some reason those honest RWers can't find it in their hearts to praise Obama, but.. whatever:) Here's Marty:
Look, I wish the Israeli raid on the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” had ended differently. Why, I ask, didn’t Israel’s navy disable the engine of the Mavi Marmara and drag the ship into port? Who knows? The engines of the other boats were apparently disabled—or so reliable sources say.

But, frankly, when some 800 men and women, distributed over six boats after weeks and weeks of preparation, are headed towards Gaza on the wings of slogan and hysteria, you don’t take that many chances. Somebody has trouble in mind.

The first five vessels were steered quietly to the Israeli port city of Ashdod, which means that neither their passengers nor the Israeli commandos were especially provocative. The sixth ship, which had 600 activist Turkish voyeurs on board, is an entirely different story. Sponsored by an organization labeled the Humanitarian Relief Fund (I.H.H.), it is said to have ties to Al Qaeda. Which would be logical since Al Qaeda is an ally of Hamas. An intriguing tripartite liaison.

But I.H.H. is also a satrap of the ever-more-Islamist government in Istanbul, which seems, in turn, to have volunteered itself as a front for jihadism everywhere, most especially in dealing with Iran and its nuclear ambitions. There is hardly a Muslim cause that the Erdogan regime in Ankara has not taken to heart and under its belt. (Recall that Turkey kept U.S. forces from traversing Turkish soil in 2003.)

Turkey was also once an important ally of Israel, which protected it from Syrian ambitions and gave it a non-Arab friend in a sea of Arabism. Israeli commerce and Israeli military cooperation—that is, modernizing Turkish armaments and units—will not continue much longer with this still-backward country. The Israelis will be sad to lose this friend, but, in fact, they have lost it already. And this is a reciprocal loss.

It wasn’t so long ago that Turkey—Erdogan’s Turkey—aspired to membership in the European Union. They can kiss that goodbye. The Turks may now be heroes on the Arab street, but they certainly aren’t heroes in Europe’s chancelleries, which prefer controversies on paper. And, much as some E.U. states have huffed and puffed about Israel, the Union is not anxious to add nearly 80 million Muslims to what would no longer be Europe.


The propaganda for the flotilla has been in the works for months. Most of it was simply false. The poverty in Gaza is not qualitatively greater than that of your average Arab city. (Take Cairo. Or Amman, for that matter.) The markets are full of fruit and vegetables ... and flowers. Persistent pockets of deprivation exist in the historic refugee concentrations, which the Palestinian political class maintains as evidence of the ancient wrong. And, no, nobody is building big houses ... except again the elites, to the extent that they can smuggle materiel through the hundreds of tunnels which are perhaps less corrupt than the ordinary channels of commerce.

Who is behind this overhyped mission of mercy? And who is its beneficiary? It is none other than Hamas, the Gazan outpost of the global jihad, cousin of the Taliban, second cousin once-removed of Hezbollah. Wishing Hamas well, laboring for its success, is actually a crime against the Palestinians themselves.


Sympathy for Hamas is an odd reality in the Western world, and Israel needs to puzzle over how it has lost so much ground in its struggle against Arab and Muslim barbarism. I understand that the revival of a certain chic anti-Semitism has paved the way for the grosser anti-Semites and for the Muslim phantasts who deal in torment and salvation. Among these were the voyagers on the ship of fools who, a clip from Al Jazeera demonstrates, awaited the shores of Gaza ... or martyrdom.


And I must admit that this marks a turning point in the Obama administration’s attitude to Israel. Although it made some de rigeur criticisms, it was not about to make Jerusalem a sacrificial lamb for a faltering foreign policy. Susan Rice, with whom you know I have many problems, made all the appropriate visits and phone calls—bravely, conscientiously, and wisely. Maybe it was at least as much for the Palestinian Authority as it was for the Jewish state. Or for ultimate peace, unlikely as it is. But it was. Neither did anyone walk out of the “proximity talks,” non-talks as these are. And, for this, I assume the president is responsible. Mazel tov.

In fact, many people are having second thoughts … or are freeing their initial thoughts from the tiresome orthodoxies in smart parlors.

The law is on Israel’s side. Ethics and history are on Israel’s side. Those who are on the side of Hamas are actually enemies of civilization.

Search for more information about flotilla at


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