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Pro-con: Was Israel's raid on aid flotilla justified?

The phony "peace" flotilla off Gaza was organized and manned by the Foundation for Human Rights and Humanitarian Relief — as bloody-handed a terrorist gang as exists in the Mideast. Known by its Turkish acronym, IHH, the group has strong and enduring ties to Hamas and al-Qaida. And a 2006 report by the Danish Institute for International Studies linked IHH to a foiled al-Qaida bombing plot against Los Angeles International Airport. No surprise, then, that the one vessel whose passengers violently resisted boarding by Israeli commandos seems to have been the IHH flagship — and that most, if not all, of those who died in the ensuing struggle were IHH members. Israel offered to send the flotilla's supplies to Gaza once they'd been inspected for weapons and other contraband. The offer was flatly rejected. As was a similar offer from Egypt, which also maintains a Gaza blockade. All this adds up to sufficient justification for Israel to have intercepted the flotilla. — New York Post

A small Turkish organization, fanatical in its religious views and radically hostile to Israel, recruited to its cause several hundred seekers of peace and justice and managed to lure Israel into a trap, precisely because it knew how Israel would react — knew how Israel is destined and compelled, like a puppet on a string, to react the way it did. How insecure, confused and panicky a country must be to act as Israel acted. With a combination of excessive military force and a fatal failure to anticipate the intensity of the reaction of those aboard the ship, it killed and wounded civilians, and did so — as if it were a band of pirates — outside Israel's territorial waters. Clearly, this assessment does not imply agreement with the motives — overt or hidden, and often malicious — of some participants in the Gaza flotilla. Not all are peace-loving humanitarians, and the declarations of some of them regarding the destruction of the state of Israel are criminal. But such opinions, so far as we know, do not deserve the death penalty. — David Grossman, Los Angeles Times

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