Yesterday the media certainly did go against Israel in a way they had not expected. I tried to think of how I would have handled this, and feel that Israel did what they had to do.
Gaza is controlled by Hamas terrorists, though the newspapers now call them a group. They most likely terrorized their people to vote them into power and certainly have terrorized Israel for over 3 years now by shooting missiles into Israel and constantly saying that they will not make peace with Israel but intend to destoy Israel.
Because of this, Israel has had to stop all ships from going into Gaza with supplies as they usually carry weapons for them. Gaza has more goods in it than most USA towns. They are well supplied. All sorts of relief agencies have been servicing Gaza. The only shortages there are would be in the line of cement for tunnels for receiving contraband like missiles and other weapons.
Every ambassador of the many countries represented on the flotilla were notified of Israel's ruling and what would happen if they disregarded their expectations. They were all warned of the reprocussions. The flotilla people were warned and told that they could bring in the goods but that they had to go to Ashdod's port first for a security check. Israel even had a tourist guide book about Gaza ready to give to them. I have a copy of it, and it is humorous but appropo. Israel had tents ready in Ashdod ready to receive these people. They knew that about 350 of them were Turkish. If I could know about this flotilla and all the problems surrounding it here in Oregon, certainly the ones involved knew as much as I did.
The flotilla was expected to arrive on Saturday, on the Jewish Sabbath, but was held up in Cyprus. From 9 ships it was pared down to 6. Yesterday, on the 31st, they were outside of Gaza in international waters when Israeli soldiers were dropped from a helicopter on the ship with all the people.
Now Turkey is acting so surprised, and of course condemning Israel, which was the original intention. Truly, they were not surprised at all, except they may have been surprised at how successful they had been. They got the negative publicity about Israel that they wanted.
Israelis are shocked and wonder about their defense minister and if he did the right thing. I say he did. Israel could not let such a ship or flotilla come in with so many supplies without being checked for weapons. They are still being shot at with missiles and they're coming in somehow. After this incident another one was shot into Israel. A week before this they were shot at. They have continued to be shot at by missiles ever since the end of Operation Cast Lead. The only difference is that they have lesssened as they were coming in fast and furious before.
The question is how to stop a flotilla to check it. They had been told to go to Ashdod and before they even started, they had replied that they would not. In American movies we would have seen our Coast Guard out chasing the ships and board from their own ship. I suppose that would have had its own problems, so they chose a helicopter. These soldiers really were not prepared for this type of resistence. They were not armed for it at all. Paint ball guns were what they boarded with and a hand pistol. They were attacked, one thrown overboard, and they got scared when their own pistols were taken from them and they were shot, so they managed to fight back with their pistols. I believe it was 15 soldiers who had boarded and were attacked. One soldier was very seriously wounded and about 3 or 4 more were wounded in the attack. They feared they would be killed! That's not what they boarded for. So they shot back in order to live. They didn't shoot first. There was no reason to board and start shooting. Remember, the odds were 800 to 15.
It was a bad scene, somewhat like Mrs. O'Leary's cow that kicked over the lantern in the barn. I imagine there were some very naive people amidst that 800 who thought they were doing a good deed and also had no idea what was going to happen, but they should have. The Turkish organizers of this group knew what they were going to do and why. Turkey hasn't been friendly with Israel lately. They're going along with their Muslim neighbors in regards to Israel. I suppose this was their contribution to the cause.
What happened in Portland? Muslims demonstrated in our square downtown. I know they demonstrated in Turkey, and probably in other cities as well. They got what was most important to them. Again, Israel tries to protect its citizens and gets shot down for doing so. You know, all this wouldn't have happened if Gaza would make nice with Israel.