Unexpected consequences from Israel’s stumbling into an ambush on its mission to interdict a dual-purpose blockade-running/humanitarian aid ship on the high seas continue to proliferate. The most recent is Iran’s offer to provide its own military forces to escort blockade-runners into Gaza. If followed through, such a promise would constitute a dramatic escalation resulting in certain military conflict between Israel and Iran, with the United States very likely to be dragged in as well.
It would strip away the last pretense of “humanitarian aid” from the missions and expose them as what they are — an attempt to open uncontrolled shipping to Hamas. There should be no doubt that once any “humanitarian aid” vessel succeeds in breaching Israel’s blockade, especially with Iranian support, that weapons shipments would immediately follow.
And observers should note with concern the revelation on an NPR radio broadcast today by the leader of the Turkish “humanitarian aid” organization that the shipments mark “the beginning of the end of Israel”. Not the end of the blockade. Not the end of the suffering of Palestinians. The end of Israel is the goal of the “humanitarian” group supporting the blockade-runners. It is certainly the goal of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran. Those defending the alleged “right” of “peace activists” to breach the blockade without interference from Israelis should consider whether they really want to link arms with those openly dedicated to genocide.
Certainly the bipartisan condemnations of Helen Thomas’ indulgence in the crudest themes of “go home” racism indicates that most Americans aren’t willing to go that far. (Though such viciousness should hardly be a surprise from the woman who recently cited her daily motivation as “deciding who do I hate today”.)
There is definitely room to legitimately criticize Israel’s methods and the harsh policies of its government towards Gaza. Contrary to the distortions of many anti-Israel critics, most pro-Israel defenders are willing to concede numerous and manifest flaws in Israeli policy. They are not “uncritical” in their approach, even as a few cherry-picked voices from Christian Zionists might be misrepresented to make it appear as such. But there is no legitimate debate that Israel faces serious threats that emanate, at least in part, from Gaza and that Israel therefore has a legitimate interest in interdicting possible axis of weapons shipments to that area. It is certainly not reasonable to demand, as anti-Israel activists in both the Middle East and the West have done, that Israel simply take the word of groups like IHH when they say that the shipments are only “humanitarian”.
When they link up with genocidal maniacs, they forfeit the presumption of “humanitarian” intentions.