Everyone knows about the Turkish Mavi Marmara flotilla ship that attempted to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. If the intentions of all of those on board had been peaceful, the episode would, of course, have ended entirely differently without any loss of life.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan reacted to the outcome by demanding an immediate apology and compensation from Israel, while President Obama supported a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the acts that had led to civilian deaths.
It should be recalled that the protesters aboard the Mavi Marmara resisted attempts by Israeli naval commandos to board the vessel and attacked them with fire hoses, knives and crowbars – hardly the acts of peaceful human rights demonstrators.
Contrast their actions with those of the captain of the cargo vessel Victoria, which was intercepted last week some 200 miles west of the coast of Israel. In this case, the crew co-operated with the instructions they received from the Israeli navy, and even lowered a pilot’s ladder to enable forces to board the ship peacefully and inspect its cargo.
Given the current political turbulence in the Middle East and the tragic events unfolding in Japan, the boarding of the Victoria received relatively little media attention. However, concealed within its innocent cargo of lentils and cotton, were some 50 tons of weapons, including some 2,500 mortar shells and anti-ship radar equipped missiles with a range of 20 miles.
For the IDF video of the incident, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk
Those who question the legality of the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip should understand why such measures are essential when not a day passes without mortar shells and rockets raining down on Israel’s towns and villages.