90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Gaza, Israel, and Flotilla Fallout

Gaza’s and Israel’s bloody encounter with a relief flotilla in the Mediterranean. We look at the clash and the fallout.

Palestinian Hamas supporters gather in Gaza's seaport to protest Israel's interception of Gaza-bound ships near the seaport in Gaza City, Monday, May 31, 2010. (AP)

Israel’s raid early Monday morning on a relief flotilla headed to break the blockade of Gaza left nine or ten dead and a world of uproar.

Now, more ships are being readied, and Israel has said they’ll get the same reception. But the diplomatic cost to Israel – and to its ally the United States – is running high.

International support for sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program may be on the line. A majority of Israelis say in a new poll the flotilla should have been stopped some other way.

And Palestinians in Gaza still face the blockade.

This Hour, On Point: a bloody raid at sea, and its aftermath.


Joining us from Jerusalem is Janine Zacharia, staff writer and Middle East reporter for the Washington Post.

Christopher Dickey, Paris bureau chief and Middle East regional editor for Newsweek.

Joining us from Ramallah in the West Bank, is Diana Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer, professor at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, and former spokesperson with the Palestine Liberation Organization. She is best known for her work as a legal adviser and negotiator on peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian organizations.

Ehud Eiran, research fellow at the Belfer Center’s International Security Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served as an officer in the Israeli Army and is currently a Reserve Major. He was a legal clerk for two Israeli Attorney Generals and Assistant to Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s Foreign Policy Advisor.

Edward Peck, retired American career diplomat and ambassador. He was part of the flotilla, aboard the ship Sfendoni, that attempted to break the Gaza blockade.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Michael

    Hello Onpoint, Tom, and Staff,

    Thank you for covering this show, and the the tragic deaths of civilian protesting Israel grotesque treatment of the people in gaza as well as the west bank,I wish that you also point out statements like this stated my Dov Weisglass that in facted israel gazan blockade was more to collectively punish the Palestinian(against international law)than just hamas.

    The below is the statement

    “”The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, told the Israeli media.”

    As well i hope in your reporting you will mention(of course after your israeli guest calls the people on these ships terrorist) that the ships were inspected before it left, our U.S. former Ambassador Edward Peck was on board one of the ships along with Norman Paech(who is a German politician) as well as the clear violation of the San Remo Manual of the ICRC by israel.

    Please note that communications were cut and a black out of journalist reported on the bbc and salon please include these quotes
    “Activist Bayram Kalyon, arriving back in Istanbul, had also been a passenger on the Mavi Marmara.

    “The captain… told us ‘They are firing randomly, they are breaking the windows and entering inside. So you should get out of here as soon as possible’. That was our last conversation with him.” ”

    “Meanwhile, in Nazareth, Israeli Arab MP Haneen Zuabi – who was on the flotilla – told a press conference that Israeli forces began firing while still in the helicopters hovering over the ships. ”


    the below is a link of eyewitness account of the incident provided by the bbc, i do hope that you can possible have one on since israel is refusing access to the civilians being detained. These witness talk about the abuses received and not allowed to show on the other boats (note not the one in the IDF video) by IDF troops.


    I find it interesting that a country supposedly democratic has gone to the extreme to prevent journalist from reporting and questioning the civilians and witness, even going so far as to call them all terrorist and hamas terrorist supporters (of course the definition of terrorist in the Israeli government eyes are anyone Palestinians) no factual or evidential proof to back such claim except that cement could be used to wipe israel off the face of the map and israel must be defended from cement at all cost, i’m sure the gazans could always build there houses out of clay and mud but ill bet israel would ban that as well.

  • Michael

    Please also talk about the black out and videos before/after the incident, i recall the IDF stating the event took 90 minutes yet they only released about 2minutes and many of the other videos show gun shots fired before the confrontation with the Commandos and civilians, it would be helpful for you online readers if you posted some of the videos by the activist(that were not taken of course) along with the IDF’s take.

    The Huntington post has a few on there website easily able to view, i’m sure with a crack team about BUR they would be able to provide you with such if asked.

    As well as to the counter arguments made by israel if the supplies were sent to the israeli port they would have given it to the gazans, yet also reported in the news along with the bbc that only 25% make it, report also indicate some of the ban items have nothing to do with armament or weapons.

    For a tiny county that denies rights to people born in Palestinian, and denial of 99% of immigrants unless of course they were born Jewish or converted Israel Right WIng government (who still refused to sign the NPT,actually funded Hamas in the late 1970′s to weaken Arfat and the PLO, both indirectly and directly, It’s FM and former PM under criminal investigation, and Current president found to be trying to provide South Africa Apartheid government Nuclear arms,using UK and other Europeans allies to assassinate others, who our generals state it’s actions are endangering U.S. troops, who embarrassed our VP, take temples once peace talks start, and attacked gaza before elections were to take place in israel) Sure does get itself in alot of trouble.

    Luckily enough it has the U.S. to blindly support it as well as the U.S. veto power, Just think it only took 12 to make a statement that the U.S was sad about the loss of life.

    “Thomas Jefferson said it best about israel refusal to allow the government to do it’s job Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.”

    Salon had a great post about press freedom

    I can only assume Mrs Clinton wears the Pants on this one, since she made her asinine statement that israel could actually do a investigation on itself.

  • Michael

    Lastly i always hear about the extremist Palestinians side but never the ones in the israel government (esp. in it’s F.M. office)

    I understand many Israeli don’t agree with what their government is doing along with many others worldwide please included some of there views as well. I’m sure some of the posters will call them every name in the book.

    Can you ask Ehud Eiran his views on this comment made and the meaning of such below

    ““”The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, told the Israeli media.”

  • Michael


    were born Jewish or converted. The Israel Right Wing government
    12 should be 12 hours

    ““Thomas Jefferson said it best about israel refusal to allow the media to do it’s job Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to them all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.

  • sally
  • sally
  • sally

    you all need to do it manually because wbur won’t accept my link .

  • Angie O’Gorman

    Israeli commandos attack a aid flotilla in international waters. Don’t the people on those boats have a right to self-denfense?

  • Ilan Fisher

    I saw the Turkish Ambassador speak to the UN. I though he was a bit one sided and sent this email to him, the Turkish embassy, and copied the White House.

    “Dear Ambassadors:

    The Government of Turkey bears primary responsibility for the confrontation and deaths of those activists at sea.

    Turkey was the prime mover and agent provocateur for the flotilla. Turkey supplied the ships and passengers knowing that they planned to enter a war zone and confront a major naval force. Turkey encouraged that confrontation and encouraged its citizens to participate and put themselves in harms way.

    Now that the deadly consequence Turkey authored and sponsored has occurred, the Turkish government bleats its innocence, points its finger of blame, and tries to shift the primary responsibility away from itself.

    When the facts and history of this incident see the light of day through a comprehensive investigation, Turkey will be understood to bear most of the responsibility for these unfortunate and unnecessary deaths.

    -Ilan Fisher”

  • Later

    For listeners of a radio program, the people right here on this comments page are absolutely ignoring each others’ interesting sounding points. How boring.

  • cory

    I dread topics involving Israel as they invariably become a breeding ground for harsh anti Israeli rhetoric.

    By the way, I’m no particular fan of Israel or its policies. I just get turned off by the over zealous wackadoos.

  • Janet

    Is this in our future too? With radicals from South of the Border making illegal crossings demanding “rights”, “citizenship” for illegal immigrants in the USA?

  • Moderate

    Does anyone remember how we got here?

    (1) Israel left Gaza. This was a perfect opportunity for the Palestinians to show they were ready for peace.

    (2) In return they elected Hamas which pledged the destruction of Israel and rained 10,000 rockets down on Israeli citizens.

    (3) Israel had to launch a defensive operation to stop the rockets and stop the Iranian-funded smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Remember, this is after (1) above. Of course, the world condemned Israel for this, since the world does not care about the security of the Jewish State.

    (4) Israeli is blockading Gaza to avoid the smuggling of more weapons to be used against its citizens. Period.

    (5) Israel can not allow random boats to open a corridor through this blockade. Period.

    So that is how we got there.

    Maybe FOR ONCE the Palestinians could turn their attention from war with Israel to accepting any one of many reasonable offers Israel has put on the table for peace, including return of over 90% of the West Bank.
    Maybe they could work on building schools and preaching tolerance instead of manufacturing terrorism.

    I can tell you for sure that if they did there would be peace there in five minutes.

  • jeffe

    I’m not sure what the deal is with the flotilla and I am sure they had a clear political agenda attached to the aid they were trying too bring to Gaza. However, the Israeli government is wrong, period. You don’t board ships of sovereign nations in international waters. There were other ways that they could have handled this in relation to the blockade. I think one should question the legality of the blockade as well.

    This is a clear sign to me that the government of Israel has lost all credibility.

  • Moderate

    Response to Angie:

    Once we get to the point where Israeli commandos have to board these boats, nothing good is going to happen.
    It should never have gotten there. The Palestinians should not have converted Gaza into a terror state after Israel left. They should have not smuggled all those weapons. Then there would be no need for a blockade.

    There would be no need for (probably) well-intentioned civilians to try to organize a flotilla. There would be no need for Israel to figure out how to stop these boats.
    They would not have to drop 20-something olds onto the boats with paintball guns and pistols…

    This is all unnecessary. When will the Palestinians truly embrace peace?

  • Damien

    Ships in international waters have the right to self defense against piracy. In another context were Somali gunmen to have killed 9 members of an oil rig in the Indian Ocean, then it would be murder.

    What Israel did is murder and there is no need for context. The call for context only obfuscates the blatantly obvious — that this was an act of piracy and murder.

  • Moderate

    Damien: The notion that anything in the Middle East can be taken without context does not make any sense.

    These were not civilian ships out for a joyride. These were politically-financed ships preparing to run a military blockade on a terrorist entity. They had been warned and they (the flotilla) were clear about their intentions.

    The context is enormously important, indispensable.

    Further, please note that on the 5 ships that did not resist there were no deaths and no major injuries.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    I saw the Video last night and the Commandos were REALLY ATTACKED WHEN THEY BOARDED the ship. It was aweful scene they got down from the chopper and the radicals started pounding the Israeli soldiers with Pipe tubes. I saw even on soldier was pushed off the boat. the shooting didn’t begun on the first raid but the second raid they started shooting in defense from those radicals hitting the Israeli soldiers with pipe tubes.

    It was self-defense.

  • JP

    For Pete’s sake!

    All of these people are nuts!

    Why do we have anything to do with any of it?!!!

    Get the U.S. the hell out of the Middle East and stop giving Israel money!

    If we stopped insisting on forcing our resource interests on these countries and let them sell what they have at free-market prices… sure, we’d have to pay higher prices for oil and such, and deal with occasional shortages due to instability… but we’d probably save at least a trillion dollars a year by not needing such a bloated military, and by not incurring all of the expenses involved in propping up illegitimate regimes we deem “favorable” to our interests.

    In the long run, we’d save much more money than we’d incur in higher resource costs, we’d probably be a lot less dependent on those resources in the first place, we’d be more secure without having to spend so much on U.S. internal and external security, and our society and markets could be more free and open.

    The U.S. does not need to be the world’s police force!
    The only real benefactor of our insane policies is the industrial-military complex, and we’d be so much better off if we wised up.

    People should have listened to our Commander-in-Chief, General Dwight David Eisenhower, when he warned us about this insanity sixty years ago.

  • JP

    … Israel would not be needed as a “buffer zone” if we just smartened up!

  • jeffe

    Ilan you make some valid points. I agree that this was a politically motivated event hiding behind the mask of “aid”. However I think the Israeli government overreacted and boarding the ships in the way that they did was a clear violation of international law.


    It is not about where the boat was located International water or not if those were Hamas soldiers or Terrorists they can just dock at harbor or pier and start shooting innocent people.

    It was a big ship. If I was Israel I would do the same. You can never ever trust anyone know a days especially with terrorists. Remember Mumbai and Bali attacks. Those were innocent looking Terrorist.

    They look like Angels but terror within.


    We can never stop USA from helping Israel the 2 countries are unseparable just like the relationship with Israel and the Philippines.

    Israel, Philippines and United States of America are unseparable, 3 great nations fighting against terror.

    Israel can and will always win a War against the Arab Nations. It is the will of the Jewish people to defend their mother land.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    ONE POINT is great place to express everyone’s Opinion.

    I wish Palestinian, Israeli, Arabs, Mexicans and other nationality will express their ideas on One Point.

    I should put the One Point link on my blog so the whole world knows about NPR radio show – One Point.

  • informed American

    At least Barack Obama can take comfort in the fact that the current Israeli goverment is even more incompetent than his own inept cabinet.

  • Brigid

    I don’t expect anything but bias news against Israel from WBUR , NPR and BBC.

  • superf88

    Many thanks Tom and staff for putting together an informative and fair-minded show so quickly on this subject.

  • superf88

    (I should say, “what I expect to be…” ;-) )

  • jeffe

    I’m with you cory, it seems the above comments are unfortunately proving your point.

  • aj
  • Todd

    “…this was an act of piracy and murder.”
    Posted by Damien

    Agreed! There is no “context” that changes the unbiased fact that Israel had no authority to preemptively board that ship in international waters. The vessel posed NO direct threat to Israel at the point it was boarded.

    Israel’s actions fit the definition of piracy and murder.

  • Scott

    They were in international waters! what right did the Israeli military have to board the boats in the first place?

  • Heidi Wilson

    The core issue is the fact that Israel is committing collective punishment against the Gazan population in the hope that they will rise against Hamas. The result has been the exact opposite. U.S. aid and diplomatic cover are permitting this to happen; therefore, it is the duty of every American citizen to work for a change in U.S. policy. We must treat the Israeli government like any other, and the Israel Lobby be damned.

    BTW: very good and calm article on the legal situation in today’s London Times:

  • Jason

    The IDF showed great restraint. I’m surprised they did not take out more of the terrorists.

  • Boston Resident

    It is odd how Israeli soldiers, police, commandos, etc wade into a fight only to find themselves outnumbers and under assault by deadly weapons that “threaten their lives” and yet some how it is always the other side that ends up slaughtered. A miracle of Israeli bravado and fighting skill I guess…

    The only democracy in the Middle East. Really? It looks much more like a thuggish theocracy concerned with maintaining control over land it took by force. Israel is hurtling down the road of religious extremism fueling racist policies while America is paying the bill and bearing the consequences.


    Oh PLEASE!!!

    You don’t know What is Terror! You haven’t seen the eyes of a terrorist looking at innocent children they are going to murder.

    Israel is a very important ally in the war against Terror. I will support Israel 100% when it comes to defending their land.

    Remember Israeli soldiers are composed of Christian, Muslim and Jewish volunteers even Palestinian are Israeli soldiers.

    Not all Israeli soldiers are Jewish. Remember that in your life time.

    Remember if that ship had TNT and blew up in the Israeli or Palestinian sector. Israel is still going to be blame for everything including USA.

    It is a damn if you do and damn if you don’t situation. How you didn’t do these and how you did these kind of world.

    There is a peaceful way to distribute food to the Palestinian people. Egypt is just right across the other boarder. Those people should went to the Egyptian boarder and distribute their Humanitarian help on the other side of Saharan boarder.
    Provoked a nervous and exhausted Israeli Army is intentionally asking for death.

  • JP

    I love this guy!

    Edward Peck tells it like it is!

    … just the kind of guest On Point should always have for this sort of discussion!

  • Boston Resident

    Next you will extolling the purity of arms B.S. How Israel is the most moral army in the world. Did you not see what happened in Gaza? No. Oh then perhaps you need to take a walk through the history of the intifada or Lebanon. Please.

  • John

    I think most Americans know where the Middle East is. Ambassador Peck is a arrogant jackass.

  • Grace F.

    Please do not be superficial or naive, one expects better, somehow and that you will see that this was no pacifist situation. There were infiltrations of serious political operatives and this was not a peace group. There was a woman from Turkey who took her infant son there. Now, really, who does that in a potentially dangerous situation, and make no mistake, this was a seriously potentially situation. Israel gave up Gaza, walked away and still have to watch every minute for scud missiles and infiltrations of war materiel smuggled among the humanitarian supplies. Israel is not stupid, although it may look to the dewy-eyed naifs of the world that they are stupid and malevolent. Israel wants to exist and the Muslim states do not want Israel to exist. Israel does what it has to to survive under these circumstances, notwithstanding all the leftist intellectuals and others, in the world, And this is not being written by a rightist person at all, just by one who is pro the existence of the viable state of Israel. Full stop, as the Brits say.

  • Mehmet

    Current Israel government is the one doing the worst damage to the reputation of their country, their legitimate existence in the region. They are losing sympathy of the world.

    I cannot comprehend why the children of a nation who survived Holocaust can commit such aggression.

  • Boston Resident

    Dianna Buttu will rock your world. She is an awesome intellect. Good job getting her on.

  • BHA

    Mr. Peck is a bit disingenuous. The people in the flotilla are knowingly and intentionally attempting to bring goods through a known blockade. They should not be surprised if those holding the blockade try to stop them.

    Certainly the loss of life was unnecessary.

    Is there not some way for the contents of these ships to be checked, and guaranteed clean of military equipment meant for Hamas, at a port outside Gaza then be escorted to the Gaza port?

  • http://justicesofthepeace.blogspot Joseph A. Mustich

    Tom: To board a vessel in international waters in the middle of the night causing the loss of life is simply outrageous.

    It’s time for Judge Goldstone to investigate this tragedy.

    Onward, Joe Mustich, Washington, CT

    Tom: Stop walking on eggs. People were killed. Why is your primary focus on how it effects Israel. I think Ambassador Peck is right on with his comments. Why was he on for such a short time?

  • JP


    The abused often grow up to be abusers… it is not a good excuse, but most of humanity’s vile nature should not be excused. Nonetheless, it’s to be expected.

    All the more reason the U.S. should not support Israel or its dysfunctional behavior.

  • Todd

    “I think most Americans know where the Middle East is. Ambassador Peck is a arrogant jackass.”
    Posted by John

    Yes, I also thought that comment by Peck was unnecessary—he kind of undermined his own cred by saying that. I agreed with the balance of his statement though.

  • Boston Resident

    Yes – Israel is justified in murdering “serious political operatives” because it threatens their existence. You forgot to mention that all these people also deserve death because they are obviously anti-semitic. Let’s put that on the table now because it is your fall back position after all.

  • http://gothamist.com/2010/06/01/cooper_union_student_loses_eye_in_w.php ed

    American student looses eye protesting flotilla attack protest:

    “A 21-year old American student at Cooper Union lost an eye after getting hit in the face with a tear gas projectile fired by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration at a crowded checkpoint between Israel and the West Bank yesterday. Emily Henochowicz (here’s her blog) was part of a group protesting the deaths of at least nine pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. According to her fellow activists, Henochowicz is undergoing surgery to remove her left eye, and one protester, Sören Johanssen, says Israeli soldiers intentionally fired at her face:

    “They clearly saw us,” says Johanssen. “They clearly saw that we were internationals and it really looked as though they were trying to hit us. They fired many canisters at us in rapid succession. One landed on either side of Emily, then the third one hit her in the face.” Israeli soldiers have previously killed and injured demonstrators with tear gas canisters…”

  • JP

    Mr. Peck was exactly correct in his statement about Americans… a reading of many comments here clearly make his point.

  • Marion Leeds Carroll

    It has long been well known that Palestinian activists will put themselves and innocent fellow-citizens at risk in order to defame Israel. I believe this flotilla was an example: the extremists gathered innocent people around them, and set up a situation where Israel couldn’t avoid harming those people.

    If people who want to provide non-military aid to Gaza had used the paths generously provided by Israel and Egypt, this catastrophe would not have occurred.

  • stewart McGaw

    In the event that no one has already mentioned this:
    But golly don’t it look like exodus all over again.
    stewart mcgaw

  • Andrew

    It seems that there is growing parody between the US/Israel relationship and the China/North Korea relationship. Israel/North Korea does some G-d awful thing then ducks under the skirt of their big guardian country/supplier. Then America/China tells everyone to calm down and chides Israel/North Korea with a stern talking to, and maybe a waggling finger of dissuasion.

  • Boston Resident

    Tom – Ask your Israeli guest why the government of Israel refuses to publish a list of goods that are under embargo. Why? Because if they did we would see the true nature of the blockade – to punish the population.

  • Fred

    a certain radio commentator was hostile (to put it mildly) toward President Obama for offering condolances to Turkey regarding the Turks who had been killed. Reality check–is this true? (I haven’t been able to follow up on this matter.) If so, was the President’s action appropriate? Or…?

  • Jim

    The press and leaders use words like raid and massacre and deport. How do these apply to this situation? Israel brought these people into their country because they did not act peacefully. Why did these people attack the soldiers if they were on a mission to prove they were peace loving and Israel was a terror nation? Israel messed up, but all countries do and many regularly. Turkey does not have a reputation of being a model of tolerance and humanitarian actions.

    Anyhow, why does Israel have to obey the laws of the UN or humane laws? Israel protects its citizens. Britain does, Russia does, Germany does, the USA does, Turkey does and the Muslims do. They all create their own rules and guidelines for what is humane and what is not humane? They try to make strategic kills and they try to make strategic captures. They lie, steal and cheat. They take bribes and corruption is their way of life. They commit genocides and then deny it. The truth of the matter is all the countries try to exist and the individuals (including the leaders) try to stay out of prison.

    It is also true that Israel is one tough cookie. If they were not they would be wiped out by lots of countries because they are such a sore to so many nations. Israel has the intelligence, the weapons and the fortitude to wipe out many nations. It is also true that the rest of the world does not all see Israel in the wrong. It is true that many governments do, but many individuals do not.

    If you don’t believe in God then you probably believe in the survival of the fittest. Well, folks, Israel is the fittest. I would rather be on their side than against them. (I am not a Jew.) They became a nation again after almost 2000 years. They are the only democratic nation in the Mideast, they are the only nation in the Mideast that gives women rights, and they are the only nation in the Mideast where Christians, Muslims and Jews live in relative harmony. They are the only nation in the Mideast that allows freedom of religion. People should read what Isaac Newton wrote about the nation of Israel and the 21st century. Isaac did believe in God and read the Bible religiously, but belonged to no organized religion.

    James Madison wrote that if men were angels we would not need a government. He also wrote about how vile government is. Governments cause many of these problems. Greed is a factor, also.

  • Todd

    “Mr. Peck was exactly correct in his statement about Americans… a reading of many comments here clearly make his point.”
    Posted by JP

    So, which of the many comments above lead you to believe that Peck’s statement was “exactly correct”?

  • David

    Just want to take issue with one of the Christopher Dickey’s points. I would argue that the operations in Lebanon and Gaza were successful. The intervention in Lebanon stopped attacks by Hezbollah and got a muscular peace keeping force to protect its border. The operation in Gaza stopped the rocket attacks. One can argue that they were not done as well as say, Entebbe, but they did achieve their objectives.

  • Dan

    If Ambassador Peck cares about humanitarian aid, why didn’t he just go down the road to Baltimore?

  • brian

    why is israel able to rely so heavily on the bible to justify their claim to those lands? are any other nations given such liberal terms or lease? it seems like ‘god gave it to us’ is a pretty weak claim.

  • William

    Mr. Dickey’s points were so typical of his magazine, Newsweek.

  • http://shulmandesign.net Alan Shulman

    There have been some reports that the flotilla had some children on board its boats. To what effect would that be if it were true? Can anyone corroborate?

  • justin

    This is just another well funded publicity stunt by Saudi Arabia against Israel .

  • BHA

    brian, the Palestinians use the same argument. That is why the conflict will never be resolved.

  • David

    Christopher Dickey was right in his observation that the operation was done incompetently. Ehud Barak should resign.

  • Charles Gessner

    Another totally unbalanced hour on Israel. Is the “blockade” of North Korea illegal? When callers are wrong on the facts and the law they are unchallenged by the biased host. When North Korea kills 46 South Korean sailors in an unprovoked – but carefully called “alleged” – attack it is essentially ignored by On Point. But Israel’s efforts to keep their civilian population safe from rocket firing neighbors is worth endless hours of condemnation – which many would call “anti-Semitic” broadcasting.

    WBUR and the BBC have not been even handed in covering conflicts involving Israel. Why never mention that the Palestinians have cried out for aid and the opportunity to resettle in surrounding Arab countries but they have not been allowed to move because it is much better for the surrounding countries to have this “festering”
    wound to point to when their own economies fail to perform. And the aid has been stolen by the leadership and/or diverted to military arms.

    Step back and ask yourself if your coverage is fair…


    My very old Egyptian friend said to me The land belongs to Israel.

    The Philistine (Palestinian) don’t belong in Egypt or the Middle East they are Nomadic people only settled in Israel. The Israelites (Israelis) are the true owner of Israel.

    The Palestinians took over when God booted the Israelites out from the middle east. They started building Pyramids in Egypt before Moses saved them and even settled all over the world including in the Philippines.

    The Israeli and Palestinian conflict is older than Jesus Christ. It is unstoppable.

  • John

    The bible is not a reliable historical document.

  • Sean

    its a lie that the palestinians are starving .

  • Denise Allen

    A point just raised is that Netenyahou is a war monger and oicks these fights. His older brother was the only one killed at Entebee. I cannot imagine he cares greatly for Palestiians. I am usure why everyone is so surprised that he picks fights with the group that killed his brother. I think this has shaped a large part of his policy and feeling toward these people.

  • JR

    I guess it’s too bad these people weren’t killed in a surprise unprovoked attack on a clearly civilian target by some entity claiming to act on behalf of a militant Islamic group. Then nobody, including the United Nations, would care.

  • Michael Lynne

    Tom, this bloody Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid mission raises a number of deeper issues:

    1. Israel maintains a colonial occupation and enforces an officially-sanctioned aparteid regime in both Gaza and the West Bank despite repeated United Nations resolutions and myriad international protests opposing such a policy.

    2. A decades-long Israeli practice of supporting Jewish settlement in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem is clearly aimed at destroying any possibility of the formation of a contiguous Palestinian state.

    3. The influence of the AIPAC lobby and its ilk in the United States has hijacked American foreign policy to support or ignore Israeli transgressions.

    4. US support, including billions of dollars of aid each year, inflames Arab and other international opinion against the United States, putting this country and its citizens at great risk of terrorism and contributing greatly to our defense costs in both blood and treasure.

    I question what, exactly, is the benefit to the US of having Israel as an ally.

  • Sally Strange

    Mr. Akilez, you are rapidly becoming a troll. We get it. You are on Israel’s side.

    Myself, I wonder what Israel’s intention was. The blockade is clearly not furthering its security goals. Nor is the botched raids attempting to enforce it. Whatever the justification for the use of force, the fact remains that Israel violated international law in order to board those ships. It would be unacceptable if any other country did it, full stop.

  • David

    The Turk’s are hypocrites. Why not ask them about how they treat their Kurdish Minority?

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    Questions to the Arab Nations.

    1. How come Saudi Arabia does not help the Palestinian people on food,shelter and money? One of The Richest country on earth cannot help the poor Palestinian.

    2. How about Egypt,Jordan,Turkey,Kuwait,Iran,UAE,Quatar etc. These are countries are Muslims Countries were are the Food,Shelter and Money to help the Palestinian people.

    I don’t see them helping the Palestinian people.

    If they do help. The only help those countries are providing is HATE to destroy the Jewish State The Religion of Jesus Christ.

  • truth

    miss sally strange , why are you insulting people ?

  • jeffe

    AKILEZ Where do you get this stuff?

    Israel blew it, period. The current government under Netanyahu is pretty extremist and right wing.

    I’m not a fan of Peck but he is right about the recent blunders in Southern Lebanon and Gaza.

    I have family in Israel and I know for a fact that Israeli forces used an extreme amount of force to gain nothing.
    My cousin was their, he is a paratrooper, a lifer in the IDF. As far as know he would not tell anyone exactly what his unit did, ever. This is the first time to my knowledge that he was compelled to talk about a mission. His statement and I am paraphrasing was that in all the years that he has been in the military that this was the first time he questioned the motives of his government.

    One must understand that this guy is pretty intense, a professional solder and an officer. So for him to even say this is indeed a sign that things are falling apart.

  • jeffe

    Good point David. The Turks or for that matter most countries do have checkered histories with minorities.

    Look at our country!

    However that still does excuse the Israeli actions.
    Something went wrong here, and it’s played right into the hands of those who are looking for any excuse to condemn Israel.

  • William

    The IDF were held by, like our troops in Afghanistan, by dumb Rules of Engagement (ROE). They, like us, should do what General Sherman did to the South.

  • truth

    yes David and how about the Armanian Genocide . One will go to prison for recognizing it. When will Turkey recognize it?

  • tim moss

    Seems the so called “Flotila” was a botched operation! How does anyone claim ignorance or pretend he or she doesn’t realize the consequence of such action. I think the Flotila was a political statment and had nothing to do with peace or help!

  • Arturo Dalmau

    Since Grace F. cares about the critics of Israeli policies in the occupied territories, including Gaza – which Israel made cosmetic changes to the situation, but never really left, – I would like to ask Grace F. the following questions:

    Was Emily Henochnowicz (a name that, incidentally, sounds very Semitic to me) ‘an infiltrated terrorist’ as well?

    For her to lost an eye, and being disfigured by a tear gas shell, she should have been shot directly at the face. This account is sustained by a witness.

    Was it necessary to attack a young disarmed women, who was protesting peacefully, so viciously necessary? Who is the terrorist here? These actions by the so-called IDF, and many other unreported by the press, suggest to me that Norman Finkelstein is correct when he claims that Israel has become a lunatic state.

    Because as a child I learned about the Shoah, I grew up as a strong supporter of Israel. Now, I take my leads today from Tony Judt, Norman Finkelstein, and Emily Henochnowicz. These people truly remember.

  • Roger J

    The Gaza attack is deeply disturbing. There has been much hatred of Jews and Israel over the years. Hamas and Muslims around the world are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The U.S. has little choice but to maintain strong relations with this important ally in the Middle East.

    BUT, even as a parent loves a child, there are times when disappointment must be communicated. This is such a time. We must continue to love and care for Israel. That is a given and will not be renounced. (Israel is not our child, but the analogy is helpful in conveying a permanent relationship.) Now, however, we must be emphatic in conveying that behavior like this with the relief ships cannot be tolerated. Let’s bring home our ambassador for a symbolic 9 days. The messages must be clear to the entire world: We are committed to peace and humane treatment of Palestinians and Israelis. We do not tolerate acts of aggression even when one side or the other believes they are justified. Israel has legitimate reason to fear and suspect smuggling of weapons into Palestine. International agents from the UN or a neutral country could meet relief ships to transport legitimate aid and supplies to Gaza.

    The tension and trampled hopes of Palestinians and Israelis feeds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as terrorist threats across the world. We must lead the way in demonstrating firm commitment to the hopes of both peoples, and in denouncing acts of violence against those hopes. Failure to unequivocally voice those commitments will injure us and detract from our symbolic value to the world as a beacon of hope – a nation dedicated to democracy and justice.

    We cannot let right wing extremists in Israel, in the Muslim world, or in the U.S. force their hatred onto the whole world.

  • John

    yes David and how about the Armanian Genocide . One will go to prison for recognizing it. When will Turkey recognize it? – Posted by truth,

    – Isreal also doesn’t classify the Armenian Genocide as “genocide.”

  • Boston Resident

    Got to love the “Iranian” racist spewing hatred and lies – violence is all these people understand, right? Leave it to one of the Shah’s Bastard Children “forced” to leave Iran in 1979 to shine a light on the only democracy in the Middle East. What, the Iranian people didn’t want to keep your Shabak lieutenant daddy on the pay role?

  • informed American

    It’s interesting that this happened when Obama’s Chief of Staff (Rahm Emanuel) is in Israel on an extended “vacation”.


    Where I get my stuff?

    I get my stuff since I was 12 years old when I started following the Israeli and Arab conflicts on the news Time magazines and newspaper issues about the conflict.

    It took time for me to understand the conflict it is not a Overnight sensation to understand.

    When the Intifada occured in the 80′s.

    I know some of you commentors only started following the Jewish and Arab conflict recently. It is obvious.

    It took me 30 years to understand who is right or wrong.

    Israel for the past 30 years always wanted PEACE.

    But that Peace ultimately collapsed when the Egyptian President was assassinated. I bet you know him well?

  • jeffe

    Boston Resident how do your remarks inform this difficult topic?

    informed American, or should we call you misinformed American, do get off on posting these remarks?

  • jeffe

    AKILEZ I’m Jewish and have had family in Israel before it was a state. I have relatives in the IDF, I also have Israeli friends. You post things that are based on your own ideas on politics. Somehow the politics of the Philippines comes into this argument, as it always does when you post on political subjects.

  • roy

    the lack of objectivity by the host was really unprofessional
    you are supposed to be able to listen to a reporter and not know where he lies on the issue.
    i will be certain my wife no longer contributes to you fundraiser

  • Arturo

    There are messages that I consider too important to be spoiled by a typo, by previous message is one. Instead of ‘to lost’, I should have written ‘to lose’. Dixi


    Jeffe I am Roman Catholic educated by Augustinian and Dominican orders. Roman Catholics schools never teach Israel in schools not only in the Philippines but even in America.

    It is my own opinion and research that I did for 30 years as 12 year old.

    Just like the Conflict in Mindanao. Christians versus the Moro (Moors)of Mindanao. I know the Moors have the right for their land just like the Israeli who have the right to fight for their land.

    Israel is always on war since they declared independence 60 years ago not against the world but Against the Arab nations. Arabs that been trying to kill YOUR KIND FOR past 60 years.


  • http://www.mepeace.org/profile/HayyimFeldman Hayyim Feldman

    It’s heartbreaking to see my Israeli brothers and sisters flailing around so miserably, without moral compass, without concern for standards of international law or decency, without even any strategic sensibility of what they are doing as they increasingly turn toward escalating violence as their only response to any uncomfortable situation. Even democracy within Israel itself is seriously challenged by what is becoming almost routine physical attacks on Israelis and others who peacefully protest against the occupation.

    The current Likud-Labor government is willing to jeopardize Israel’s important alliance with Turkey and the delicately growing international consensus regarding sanctions to prevent Iran’s nuclear weaponization, just to stop Palestinians in Gaza from getting hold of the materials they need to rebuild what Israel pummeled into the ground last year (rather than renewing what had been a successful cease fire).

    The flailing extends to such a point that Netanyahu is unable to tell the Obama administration – or even the Israelis – what outcome he and his government seek. The reason is not so mysterious.

    On top of the recent historical trauma that has left many Jews in Israel and elsewhere feeling isolated and beleaguered by what they perceive as a uniformly uncaring world, there is the present-time dilemma that, yes, the Israeli political leadership knows what they want, but they cannot resign themselves to what they know equally well: They cannot have it. That is, they cannot have a homeland that is not shared by another people (any more than the Palestinians can do so).

    But they are willing neither to share the land of Israel/Palestine as neighbors within a single country, nor to fully withdraw from the territories they’ve occupied militarily for over 40 years and let a truly independent Palestinian state arise there. So they try to hold both the whole land and their exclusive sovereignty, and find themselves in denial about the fact that they are, willy nilly, headed toward a state of Israel that is neither democratic nor Jewish – all the while lashing out at anyone, from the Free Gaza Movement to J Street, who dares to call the emperor naked.

    As an American Jew, what I’m most concerned about is our government continuing to act as an enabler for Israel’s headlong rush into its own demise. Friends don’t feed their friends’ addictions. Instead, they offer tough and steady love.

    It’s time for the Obama administration to put forward its own view of what a final status agreement should look like, and begin to use its substantial leverage to move the parties toward it. If the parties don’t like it, let them ally against it to create a mutually agreeable alternative of their own. A bit of anti-U.S. resentment from friends would be a more than fair price to pay for a stable and reasonably just peace in the Middle East.

  • Michael

    Israel has deported more than 120 of the nearly 700 foreign activists detained after a deadly raid on an aid flotilla trying to break its blockade of Gaza


    Ban listed of goods, recently released last week


    Prohibited Items* Permitted Items
    Sage flour
    Cardamom sugar
    cumin sweetener
    coriander rice
    ginger salt
    jam cooking oil
    halva semolina
    vinegar yeast
    nutmeg pasta
    chocolate chickpeas
    fruit preserves beans
    seeds and nuts kidney beans
    biscuits and sweets lentils
    potato chips peas
    gas for soft drinks Burgul wheat
    dried fruit corn
    fresh meat lupini beans
    plaster powdered milk
    tar dairy products
    wood for construction margarine
    cement hummus paste
    iron frozen meat, fish, and vegetables
    glucose vitamins and oil for animal feed
    industrial salt empty bags for flour
    plastic/glass/metal containers medicine and medical equipment
    industrial margarine diapers
    tarpaulin sheets for huts feminine hygiene products
    fabric (for clothing) toilet paper
    flavor and smell enhancers baby wipes
    fishing rods shampoo & conditioner
    various fishing nets soap & liquid soap
    buoys toothpaste
    ropes for fishing laundry detergent
    nylon nets for greenhouses fabric softener
    hatcheries and spare parts for hatcheries dish soap
    spare parts for tractors glass cleaner
    dairies for cowsheds floor cleaning fluid
    irrigation pipe systems cleaning liquid for bathroom use
    ropes to tie greenhouses chlorine
    planters for saplings insecticide for household use
    heaters for chicken farms coffee
    musical instruments tea
    size A4 paper salami meat
    writing implements canned meat
    notebooks canned fish
    newspapers sponges for cleaning dishes
    toys sponges for washing
    razors mopping rags
    sewing machines and spare parts cleaning rags
    heaters all canned food except canned fruit
    horses za’atar spice
    donkeys black pepper
    goats sesame
    cattle powdered chicken stock
    chicks blankets

  • Salma

    A single dialysis machine exists for 1.5 million people living in the Gaza strip. Papers, notebooks, jams, dry fruits, toys are banned from entering due to this _illegal_ blockade.

    Don’t be fooled by looking at the list of things that can be imported. They cannot be imported in sizes that would be proportionate for such a large population. Consequently there is a constant shortage of simple medical supplies like pain killers. So if a child shows up with a cut in his cheek, he is stitched up without any local anesthesia, simply because they must save it for more important situations. Cement and building materials are not allowed (atleast in a straight forward way) so the houses that are bombed during the war can never be rebuilt, and families have settle to living in tents or refugee camps.

    All of this under the pretext of punishing the Hamas, which is a democratically elected Government by the people of Gaza. The freedom fighters for the oppressed have always been the terrorists for the oppressors throughout history.

    Should such an aggressive country have nuclear weapons?

  • Salma

    1. The only reason “Israel” left Gaza is so that they could inflict collective punishment on the Palestinians in Gaza without endangering any Israeli lives.
    2. 10,000 rockets? How many Israelis died? About 400 children of Gaza were killed within a month in Dec08-Jan09.
    3. Israel launched a “disproportionate” defense operation where they murdered 400 children after making sure no Israelis would be killed (Point 1). In most contexts this is referred to a genocide.
    4. Israel is blockading Gaza? With what right? The blockade is illegal. If Israel is only eager to ban weapons why are books, pens and chocolate not allowed to be imported?
    5. In international waters Israel has no say about who does what. In this matter they are no different than the Somali pirates. The boats had every right to defend themselves with knives or whatever they had. Obviously they had no bombs that Israel was claiming they did.

    That’s how you justify you got there, but your explanations are foolish.

    Maybe for once Israel could revert back to it’s original boundaries, not MURDER children and commit genocide, not attack disproportionately and be the terrorist state that they have become.

  • jeffe

    AKILEZ I know Muslims here in the US and not one has tired to kill me for being Jewish. As far as your own studies on this conflict as I said you have a very skewed view of it.

    What is happening between the Christian and Muslims on your country has no baring on the geopolitical problems in Middle East. I’m not going to blindly follow the idea that Israel has the right to whatever it wants to exist.

    I know a few Israelis who are under 40 who think that Israel will self destruct if it keeps this kind of Likud based right wing political ideology going. It can’t, it is just not possible and the cost is to much. At the same time the Palestinians need to make some choices as well. Hamas’s extremist ideology is also not a way to peace.


    Selma if these are actually TRUE. Al Jazeera will be all over Israel, but the Al Jazeera news never ever reported such a thing.

    Israel never intentionally killed Palestinian children. if you saw the Suicide bombings in the 80s on Jewish Buses. Children were also killed not only Jews but also muslims and christians too.

    HAMAS IS A TERRORIST Organization disguise as a political party. Fatah should be in power but it failed when Arafat died.

  • elise

    Arturo Dalmau, you play with fire , you are going to get burned , If she lost her eye that’s too bad but that ‘s the price for being a useful idiot in a situation she can’t understand . If she wants to help , there’s plenty to be done here in the US.so many poor people suffering .But I know her kind ….looking for adventure across the world ….maybe ….a boyfriend!!!! …typical ………..



    What? the problems in my Country has nothing to with the ‘Middle East” Actually they all connected. I am actually American Citizen now my Filipino citizen is passe.

    How do you know Muslims in America does not want to “Kill American Jews” Fort Hood,Failed Airplane bombings etc etc.

    Those were your Muslims friends(if you really telling the truth you know Internet you can make stories or fairytales this and that).

    As a Jew you should be with your People not Against them.

    How can you be sure your Muslims friends will never back stab you?

    How can you be sure you will never be attack for being a Jew in America?

    I don’t have a SKEWED view of the Problems in the middle east. It is the facts what I saw and read since I was 12 years old.

    Tell me if the A 10 year old muslim girl from Indonisia meet you and said you that Genocide never happened in World War 2. that is all a hoax by the Western world

    How do you feel?

  • trudy

    Salma go tell all that to hamas ..see if they care .

  • Salma

    Akilez, forget about AlJazeera, here is Richard Goldstone on the war crimes in Gaza:


    Intention is a tricky thing and verifiable only with actions. If murdering these children was not intentional, why was an inquiry not conducted to conclusion and why were the generals responsible for these deaths not brought to task.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    To tell you frankly Israel wants peace and I bet majority of Palestinians want peace in Israel.

    The problem with the Muslim religion, we will never know who are against the extreme Islamic belief to kill innocent people.
    A muslim that will never kill innocent people in the name of Islam but we will never know who they are.

    It could be your neighbor for 50 years or your best friend since grade school. It is a fact and it is unpredictable.

    If there is Christian Terrorist Organization that wants to kill Muslims it should be happening by now but there is NO Christian terrorist or Jewish terrorist that are blowing up people into pieces.

    The act of Israeli soldiers are the act of the Fog of War.

    Israel has been peaceful lately until the incident last week. We cannot blame a Nation that had been terrorized for decades.

    1972 Olympic Games Massacre
    The Entebbe hostages
    Carlos the Jackal situation
    Jews killed in Africa
    Jews killed in Germany
    Jews killed in USA
    Jews killed in Egypt
    Jews killed in name of Islam.

  • jeffe

    I’m not bothered by idiots who deny that the Holocaust never happened. It’s absurd, and arguing with them is a waste of time as it is with people who believe in creationism.

    Fort Hood was not about Jews as far as remember.
    That’s a cheap shot don’t you think?

    I can’t be sure of never being attacked, I never said that. Stop putting words in my mouth. I said I have not met any Muslims who wished me harm for being Jewish anymore than me wishing them harm. It’s an absurd notion for me. Funny you should mention being attacked for being a Jew. The only time I ever had any this happen to me was when I was about 14 and I beaten up by rather bigger 16 year old Irish kid who called me a whole lot of names all based on me being Jewish. So there you go.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    After all these years since I was 12 years old from what I learned from the middle east crisis.

    The problem is unsolvable until the Jewish and Arab people will come together in the name of Peace.

    Hold hands like brothers and sisters put Religion on the side and start believing each other for the better of each others future or for our world

    If the Jews and Arabs are in Peace.

    Terrorism will be eradicated through peaceful means. I know friendship is more mightier than a barrel of a gun.


  • wavre

    Let’s stick to real History, Please.
    God,Yavhe,Jeovah,Allah… didn’t give the land!

    The united nations did…(wrongly?)

    Most countries are multi-ethnics,seculars and garantees freedom of religions for all.

    What is the justification for an exclusively jewish state?
    South-Africa gave up on a similar modele and so should Israel.

    Separatism,Racial sense of superiority,unwillingness to share or compromise, talking peace while settling territories…The right wing in Israel is taking the country on the path to hell, it’s just a mater of time. The israelites and the Palestineans can not wipe each other off the map. They need to find a way to live together as brothers(semites) in the same geographical space.

  • D

    No matter what somebody says on this topic, it is going to be offensive to the other side. I choose to offend both sides.

    Turkey, our NATO partner, has a responsibility to prevent conflicts among NATO partners. Unfortunately, there is are Turkish versions of Limbaugh and Beck that serve to create public religious outrage against international cooperation. Why didn’t the religious leaders prevent this?

    Israel, in particular, the conservative government of Netanyahu, is a total failure. They fail to predict the problems of a flotilla they knew was coming. They fail to prevent increased settlements on Palestinian areas. They fail to leverage a US president who is willing to help make peace and a two state solution. Netanyahu is a total failure in life.

    Hamas, is a disaster. They also failed to take their moment of power and become statesmen. They choose to remain terrorists. They could have become more mature with power and become like Ireland. Instead, they increase their hostility and want to be rewarded for it like a small child throwing a tantrum instead of missiles.

    American conservatives, pander to the worst of Israeli impulses. They *seem* to have unlimited support for Israel. But they love oil more.

    American liberals, including President Obama, are caught off guard and are afraid of offending anybody. Why didn’t he remind Turkey of their NATO responsibilities BEFORE the flotilla went out. I find it hard to believe that he knew nothing of this.

    The only folks who seem to get it right this time are the Egyptians who opened the gate for aid.

    Anti-semitism is not simply hatred of Jews, but also of Palestinians. If we Americans don’t get this right, and if the world gives up hope for the middle east, that is the worst form of anti-semitism.

    Our previous administration of President Bush, simply ignored everything in Israel and gave the message everything was hopeless for peace in the middle east. Now that we have President Obama, who is willing to work for a two-state solution, we as a whole world had better get this right and make it work.

  • Janet

    I like it when some people accuse the IDF of “disproportionate” response to attacks on them. Is there a UN Guide on what is considered “disproportionate”? Or you just guess? Hamas sends over a dozen rockets and you send what back?

  • Salma

    Janet, maybe Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would know what a “disproportionate response” would mean since he mentioned this word:

    Another example of a disproportionate response would be boarding a ship carrying humanitarian aid through a blockade you imposed illegaly in international waters. Then when the members aboard attack you for boarding the ship without their consent (like the Somalian pirates people vilify) you use tasers, guns, grenades and kill nine of them in cold blood.

  • Alex

    Jeffe wrote: “However, the Israeli government is wrong, period. You don’t board ships of sovereign nations in international waters.”

    You don’t bomb a nuclear reactor of an independent nation, either. But they did and were right to do so. I am with Israel all the way so no objectivity is possible on my part. Sometimes you just have to take sides.

  • Alex

    wavre wrote: “Let’s stick to real History, Please. … Most countries are multi-ethnics,seculars and garantees freedom of religions for all. … What is the justification for an exclusively jewish state?
    South-Africa gave up on a similar modele and so should Israel.”

    You really don’t know what the justification for a Jewish state is? So much for sticking to real history. So that they stop running.

  • Jack Shultz

    Here in Canada we now get Al Jezeera English on cable.
    Al Jezeera had a number of reporters on board some of the flotilla’s ships,
    I happened to be watch a live report on Al Jezeera at the time that the Israeli commandos were boarding the vessels, and shooting from the Israeli helicopters could clearly be heard in the background before the commandos came on board. At that point, the Al Jazereera reporter announced that the captain had ordered the crew to raise a white flag.
    All this happened BEFORE the 9 passengers aboard the ship were killed.

  • sue

    Peaceful humanitarians don’t attack soldiers with knives and metal sticks . There is no starving in Gaza . The arabs are being fed and living on welfare by the UN for the past 60 years and teaching their children to hate jews. Why won’t their rich brothers from saudi arabia (where there is real apartheid) and the rest of the muslim world let them travel and work in their countries? The pallywood stories are getting boring. The radical left and the islamist are allied together in this flotilla …what strange bed fellows? what’s next radical feminists wearing burkas?

  • Michael

    Response to sue comments,

    Starving the bbc, and HR says they are, even not getting enough water,

    Again, 25 % of aid needed gets to gaza,

    Folks if you not aware of this, Pallywood is a term used by folks like Sue to dismiss abuses, deaths and killing of Pallies be it women, children, Saudi A is pretty bad as well, but since both our the U.S. allies it’s overlooked much like Israel treatment.

    Since Sue is defending the Right-wing government of Israel, I’m sure she one of the folks claiming all the people on the aid ships are terrorist and the boats should have been sunk.

    The video Jack Shultz, talks about leads up to the boarding of the Israeli troops, and yes gun shots could be heard and towards the end it shows the IDF trooping on board and the fighting,

    To make the Point Israel cut all communications, and taken videos and lap tops, I’m sure this was most likely done to prevent videos (which did happen to come out) from proving the IDF was being untruthful.

    I read the comments on foxs and there pretty nasty many wishing the IDF sunk the ships and killed all, I’m sure sue and her ilk comments would reflect her views.

    Pallywood lol,

    Equally funny the attacks on jeffe who by all means is moderately even on the gazans and Israeli. I believe there should be a focus on the Radicals in the Israeli government as well as the ones in Gaza, but the treatment of the pallies in the west bank is pretty bad and there the ones peacefully protesting with a moderate Fatah government.

  • Zinovy Vayman

    Gaza Strip is a creation of the Egyptian military which attacked Jewish Palestine in 1948, occupied the coastal territory, ethnically cleansed it from Jews and proclaimed it the part of an Arab nation (see Egyptian postage stamps). Gaza is a restricted area now, they are in a process of building a viable state–separate from Ramallah’s rule or Amman’s dictatorship. Palestinian Kingdom of “Jordan is a dictatorship” according to Noam Chomsky. Hamas government in Gaza uses confrontation with the Palestinian State of Israel (dominated by Jews) as a cementing idea for 1.5 million people who elected Hamas into office. Gaza can become a prosperous state—it got the sea coast, it got a hi-tech neighbor Israel and it got a good border with the mother-nation Egypt. Many people want to help Gazans. They should deliver all goods to Egypt and haul the much needed cargo to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. However the goal of Gaza supporters is to harm Palestinian Jews in Israel and thus they want to risk more money and people. There is a glimmer of hope though—people did not lose their limbs and LIVES in vain—the Egyptian government did open its border with Gaza after the bloodshed.

  • Alex

    They keep mentioning “collective punishment.” I am wondering if there is such a thing as a collective crime. If the entire people are driven by hate and teach their children to hate their neighbors which leads to terrorism is it not a collective crime?

  • Michael

    “They keep mentioning “collective punishment.” I am wondering if there is such a thing as a collective crime. If the entire people are driven by hate and teach their children to hate their neighbors which leads to terrorism is it not a collective crime?”

    Ask the the folks in arizona and talk radio or the folks in west bank settlements, all would probably give you the same reasoning as some in hamas would. Or the American South, or American vs perceived Commies.

  • al

    the peaceful humanitarian activists


  • al
  • Christopher

    I have my brother to thank for getting me hooked on NPR, even though subjects like these make my mild mannered blood boil, I continue to listen? Why? When was the last time Bridgette Gabriel or Walid Shoebat were invited as panelists for subjects like this one? My guess, NEVER! Here is a sample of fair and balanced from Walid’s web site.

    Hypocrisy and Insanity from all sides

    It is shameful to watch Turkey lead the chants and propaganda of the world against Israel with concern to the “peace activist” Gaza flotilla. The rhetoric from the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the UN on June 1 2010, – “Another member state has committed a crime against all the values upheld since the establishment of the UN,” “Grave breach of International law,” and “It is murder conducted by a State.” These words of outrage coming from the same country that committed Genocide against the Armenian Christians, murdering between 1.5 and 2 million during World War 1. Yet even today in this “model of secular Islamic democracy” it is a crime in Turkey to even mention this event of history. This is the same country that has the nerve to lecture the world on human rights. As Walid Shoebat says “confession is the beginning of healing.” There is no confession in Turkey, unlike in Germany who have confessed their sin of the Holocaust and have made it a
    crime to deny the Holocaust yet in the Islamic country of Turkey it is a crime to even mention the Armenian Genocide and if any country should point this out including the United States it causes a major diplomatic embarrassment, not for Turkey but for the Dhimmi Western country.

    Turkey’s government has now been taken over by the Islamist movement and hangs on as a secular country by a thread. It is only the secular Generals of the Turkish military that continue to hold on to its secular nature, but it is inevitable that this will soon change, and when it does Turkey will be a similar thorn to world peace as Iran is today but ten times worse. The latest incident is just the start of a very hostile and expert Islamist propaganda machine. Up to recently Turkey has steered clear of championing the Palestinian cause but now has jumped in to the fray with both feet. By using the Palestinian cause, the objective is clear; to capture the hearts and minds of the Arab street, take the lead in the Muslim world by rejuvenating the dream of a restored Caliphate with the usual Islamic dogma of the destruction of world Jewry, Israel and taking over the world. The cat is now out of the bag but the world is oblivious to the obvious.

    What does the leader of the Jewish Anti Defamation League Abe Foxman, the so-called champion of peace and tolerance have to say about Turkey and the Armenian genocide? Nothing! Not only does he have nothing to say but advocated the U.S. Congress to take a neutral stand and not condemn Turkey. What a disgraceful, shameful and cowardly position from the usual bunch of useful idiots that call themselves leaders of the Jewish community. The only redeeming feature is that many of his underlings at the ADL showed their disgust and resigned.

    It is also shocking to see in the Israeli media and their misguided assessment over the 182 million dollar contract to supply drones (unmanned military aircraft) to Turkey. The concern was not that it should be cancelled but that they were celebrating that it would not be affected based on the Gaza Flotilla incident, Wow! Of course it won’t be affected, the Islamic mindset says ‘this will be the means to help destroy Israel down the road, why not take the weapons from Israel.’ Did the Jews not dig their own graves in the forests of Poland and Russia before the Nazis shot them; a few years before the death camps were able to murder them more efficiently? The many recent diplomatic rejections of Israel by Turkey as well as this latest propaganda ploy to champion the Palestinian cause should be a wake up call to understand the new Islamist regime of Turkey is now an existential threat to Israel. The Israeli government needs to cancel all its military contracts as well as cut
    military dealings with Turkey immediately. This policy of doing business with Turkey based on the old regime in Ankara is very misguided and tantamount to doing business with Nazi Germany.

    The biggest tragedy of this Gaza Flotilla incident was the failure of the IDF’s leadership in using bad military strategy and tactics, which led to them having to use deadly force against the Islamists who if we are honest have no concern for human life. The IDF’s failure to bring about a non-violent close to the attempted break of the Gaza blockade has handed a huge PR victory to the Islamists.

    As for the US administration’s policies and its weakness; this has also been a contributing factor to this incident, in that the Islamic world senses that the US is not as supportive of Israel and smells blood. The incident is just another test to see if America will abandon its ally or not. We will see if the Obama administration will lean to the thinking of its radical left base or towards the traditional and righteous support of its number one ally in the Middle East.

    Thank G-D for “Lake Wobegone” and “Car Talk”

  • Janet

    Salma – It’s legal for a nation to stop a ship trying to break a blockade. The USA stopped Russian ships at sea carrying missile parts for Cuba back in the 1960′s is a good example. The video tape shows the IDF personnel being attacked as they landed. Israel and Egypt both offered to let these ships land in their ports rather than run the blockade but the terrorists refused. You can’t run from the truth..the terrorists were wrong and the IDF showed great restraint.

  • Mia Venster

    I am listening to On Point and reading BBC World News simultaneously, where it is announced that Mr. Ban Ki Moon has demanded an immediate lift of the Gaza blockade. What is the UN’s power in this matter? Also, I am expecting more from my President, Mr. Obama, at this point. Please comment.

  • Michael

    yes salma,

    just take a look, 6minutes before the first israeli troop are seen dropping on the boat there were gun shots and people injured, just look at the israeli attempt to stop broadcasting of the event


    Wow Janet Nukes to Cuba is the same as humanitarian aid to gaza, talk about twisted

    gotta love the IDF treatment toward children great restraint.

  • Joe

    How one-sided can one get? In the entire hour not once was there any mention of the thousands of rockets fired at Israel from within Gazain the past few years, killing and wounding hundreds. Where is the outrage when children are killed by these means? Despite protests to the contrary this program was nothing short of a diatribe against a country that simply wants to live in peace.

  • Michael

    some more restraint,


    Even more restraint by the IDF, watch how the soldiers hold the man down and try and break his arm.


    After questions about this some of the soldiers later insisted there were carrying out official policies

  • Michael

    Israeli Soldiers using Palestinians as Human Shields, got on filmed by British news


    Now yet again the IDF yet again using Palestinians as human shields


  • Michael

    Israeli troops charged over use of boy as human shield

    The Israeli military has charged two of its soldiers with endangering the life of a Palestinian boy during Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

    Friday, 12 March 2010


    The army says its “operations in the Gaza Strip were carried out in compliance with the rules of warfare under international law”. It says it took “numerous measures to avoid causing harm to the civilian population”.

    18 February 2009

    I’m sure the IDF would never lie about it’s actions

    “The Israeli military last night denied using phosphorus, but refused to say what had been deployed. “Israel uses munitions that are allowed for under international law,” said Captain Ishai David, spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces. “We are pressing ahead with the second stage of operations, entering troops in the Gaza Strip to seize areas from which rockets are being launched into Israel.””

    January 5, 2008

    Israel admits using white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza

    January 24, 2009

    “After weeks of denying that it used white phosphorus in the heavily populated Gaza Strip, Israel finally admitted yesterday that the weapon was deployed in its offensive.

    The army’s use of white phosphorus – which makes a distinctive shellburst of dozens of smoke trails – was reported first by The Times on January 5, when it was strenuously denied by the army. Now, in the face of mounting evidence and international outcry, Israel has been forced to backtrack on that initial denial. “Yes, phosphorus was used but not in any illegal manner,” Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told The Times. “Some practices could be illegal but we are going into that. The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is holding an investigation concerning one specific incident.” ”

    There goes the creditability of the IDF

  • Michael

    As i listed above items such as
    jam, ginger, chocolate, fresh meat, potato chips,fabric (for clothing), biscuits and sweets, are banned.

    Oh man, i guess those items can be used for bunkers, and rockets.

    As well as
    irrigation pipe systems
    planters for saplings
    musical instruments
    ropes for fishing


    It seems like they don’t want them to rebuild, one could try to explain away the violence toward the gazans, but the people in the West Bank face brutal treatment, murders and deaths as well and there the moderate ones who often receive such peacefully protesting.

    Man but i do think the price of our U.S. Politicians have gone up. And as America becomes more diverse people in the U.S. one day wouldn’t stand by the Right Wing Israeli government actions.

  • madge

    Listening to the show now. So much nonsense. The leaders of the ships KNOW there is a blockade. They decided to ignore the warnings. So, there are consequences.

    Remarkable how everybody is so appalled at Israeli behaviour. When will someone acknowledge that Isreal’s right to defend itself needs to be respected and taken seriously.

    The organizers of the flotilla put their ships in danger. They chose to leave from Turkey for a reason, as Erdogan’s position politically veers toward the right, his Islamic brothers.

    No independent investigation? By whom? The UN Human Rights Commission made up of countries who know nothing of human rights in their own countries? The hypocracy is astounding.

    Why does Diana talk about a massacre? Has she no sense of proportion. She is clearly anti-Israel.

  • wong nye

    Netanyahu and co are making supporting Israel ever more difficult…What’s even more troubling to me is that they end up dragging the USA…After the Flotilla fiasco I saw a sign in Indonesia that says “Crash Israel: Reject Obama”…the general is right what Israel does really affects our national security

  • ben d

    Tom Ashbrook is garbage on any topic. “Ok got it, we’ll pick it up!… how about it?…is my rectum wide enough to insert the middle east into it?”

  • Armidalm

    I am simply appalled by the lack of logic of the defenders of Isreal’s oppression. So tell me, did someone in the Mavi Marmara shoot misseles at Isreal. Since we are in the topic, wise people, explain to me how do you turn a toy or a notebook into a missele. Is there any way to shoot goats and make them hit civilian popuklatiojns. Let’s get real for once, count how many men, women, and children the IDF have killed in ‘self-defense’ and how many the torrist have killed with their improvised misseles. Plain and simple, Gaza does not represent a serious threat to Israel, but Israel does represent a threat to Gaza. When the defenders of oppression talk about hypocrisy, first they should look themselves at the mirror to see the image of a sanctimonious bigot.

  • david

    Maybe everyone here is missing the real point or objective to be accomplished here.

    The objective of the Islamic world as clearly stated by Iran’s little Hitler, Exterminate Israel from the face of the earth!!!!

    How do you do this when America is a good Ally????
    You can not blow them off the earth, because USA will intervene.
    What you do is change the minds of People!!
    Create a bleeding heart senario. Results, condemnation of Israel across the globe. Hillary Clinton even condemned Israel, mission is starting to work.
    Americans are even turning against Israel. Mission working once again.

    Notice when the group IHH was brought up how quickly one of the quest slammed the door on the suggestion!!!!
    Who is the IHH?????
    They were one of the sponsors of this flotilla of so called peace loving people. Ships come out of Turkey.
    Turkey is becoming more radical Islamic.
    IHH is affliated with the Union of the Good.
    IHH is affliated with Hamas, a terrorists group.
    IHH is linked to Al-Qaida.
    1996 declassified CIA documents after 911, a report on abuse of charities by terrorist, stated IHH had ties to, Quess who?????? Iran and Algeria.

    This could be a well orchestrated propaganda PR move by those who want Israel gone.
    This was staged by them to provoke Israel into reacting.
    They knew what would happen and they got the results they wanted.
    The world and the USA is turning against Israel.
    Consider this just another thought!!!
    This in no way excuses Israel of any wrong doings if they are guilty, past or present.
    Israeli Defense Forces Used Paintball Guns Against Blockade Runners.

  • Alex

    “Remarkable how everybody is so appalled at Israeli behaviour.”

    Not everybody.

  • informed American

    Gaza is a concentration camp for Palestinians.

  • Peter

    Why haven’t I heard anyone mention the suicide bomber tactic used by Hamas, and how it could relate to this situation? Al Jazeera had a video of a “pep rally” on the lead ship chanting their hate for Israel, and an interview with a woman on board saying, “either we will soon be in Gaza, or we will be martyrs.”

    Hamas has access to people who would gladly be “martyred.” Doesn’t it make sense that the 10 who died could have been “Suicide Attackers”–determined to attack continuously and violently with the intention not just to hurt/kill Israelis, but to not stop until they themselves are killed? By doing so, they could have far greater impact on Israel than any suicide bomber ever had. As bad as 10 dead may seem, it may have been their goal and deepest desire, and a completely unavoidable trap, rather than the commandos “panicking” as described by one of your guests.

  • Corey

    I have no patience for those who, like Ambassador Peck, draw a perfect moral equivalent between the passengers on board the ship, and individuals exercising their right to defend themselves in their own homes. In fairness, the situation is not that clear. And those who make this analogy are guilty of the same kind of moral rigidity that they often accuse Israel of.

    Let’s say I’m here in the States engaging in non-violent protest over some issue. I may believe that the police lack jurisdiction to arrest me. I may believe that they lack any moral standing whatsoever (which is how the passengers perceive the Israeli soldiers in this incident). But, even though I believe this, I still recognize, as a good faith actor, that those police view themselves as having jurisdiction. I know that they view themselves as having a job to do.

    So, I enter into this arena, knowing that there are different perceptions. I do so as a non-violent protestor. Then the police come to arrest me, and I stab them. That is wrong. And it is wrong even though I believe they lack jurisdiction or moral standing! It is not the moral equivalent of ordinary self-defense. And I am not in the moral equivalent of my own home. And the analogy does not somehow become supportable just because I believe that the police lack jurisdiction.

    If the argument is being made that the passengers’ technique was a legitimate tactic against an evil force, then that might be internally consistent (even though I may disagree with it). But that is not the argument being made. The argument I’m hearing is that this was the same as someone being attacked in their own home.

    In the same way, it is not supportable to say that the passengers were engaging in normal self-defense just because the boat was in international waters and the soldiers lacked jurisdiction.

    If I venture into difficult political waters, where I know others have different views, under the guise of a non-violent protester, wait for police to do something which I well know they may do, and then later claim that it was ordinary self-defense, that is just not legitimate.

    I can anticipate the protests: “You’re blaming the victims.” “The situation is clear.” “The boat was in international waters, therefore this was like an act of piracy.”

    All false, I’m sorry.

  • Jen in Cambridge

    How Is Israel Supposed to Stop Hamas from Re-arming? -

    Israel is once again at the receiving end of broad international condemnation after its naval commandos boarded a flotilla of ships headed for Gaza on Monday. Before this chorus of indignation grows louder, it might be worth asking whether Israel had any other choice except to act as it did. The flotilla was organized by a radical Turkish group with close ties to Hamas, the terrorist group that illegally seized power in Gaza in 2007. Since then, both Israel and Egypt have imposed a partial blockade, mainly to prevent Hamas from arming itself with the kinds of weapons it used to spark a war with Israel in December 2008. Food, medicine and electricity continue to flow to Gaza.
    The Gaza war also elicited international protests against Israel, which time and again is told what it can do in its own self-defense, with its critics deeming nearly every effective military action “disproportionate.” (Wall Street Journal)
    The Flotilla Fiasco – Editorial
    The Israeli commandos who landed on the deck of the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara were totally unprepared for what they encountered: dozens of militants who swarmed around them with knives and iron bars. We have no sympathy for the motives of the participants in the flotilla – a motley collection that included European sympathizers with the Palestinian cause, Israeli Arab leaders and Turkish Islamic activists. Israel says that some of the organizers have ties to Hamas and al-Qaeda. What’s plain is that the group’s nominal purpose, delivering “humanitarian” supplies to Gaza, was secondary to the aim of provoking a confrontation.
    The White House has been properly cautious so far in responding to the incident; it should be careful to distinguish itself in the coming days from the anti-Israeli chorus. U.S. diplomacy should aim at ensuring that the inevitable calls for an international investigation do not lead to another one-sided setup like the UN’s Goldstone commission, whose report on Israel’s 2008 invasion of Gaza has become another weapon in the international campaign to de-legitimize the Jewish state. (Washington Post)


  • Michael

    Sorry to point this out over again,

    1. The IDF stated the event took about 90 minutes along with starting around 4am in the morning,yet only a few minutes were produced by the IDF,

    1. Civilians were injured and attacked not just on the Mavi Marmara by the IDF but the other 5 ships Reported by activist to be electro shock by IDF troops.

    2.(Fact) Even the police have jurisdiction, and to were they have control, and/or legal power.
    (The reason that it is important that an officer arrests within his jurisdiction is that an arrest outside his jurisdiction is considered unlawful. The state generally will not be successful in prosecuting a defendant where the underlying arrest was unlawful.

    The general rule is that an officer only has jurisdiction to effect an arrest within the geographical boundaries of the municipality for which he works)

    3.(Fact as is) It is reported that four were Turkish. The nationality of the others has yet to be made public. Which means the others are( not Turkish)
    reported 12:34 June 2 BBC.

    4 (Fact)Israel intentionally cut communications to all the boats to stop any broadcasting that would counter the IDF statement.

    5.(Fact) Israel has on it list on banned items, chocolate, fresh meat, potato chips,fabric (for clothing), biscuits and sweets, irrigation pipe systems,planters for saplings,musical instruments,notebooks,newspapers,toys,goats,cattle,chicks,ropes for fishing. Factually this items have nothing to do with Rockets.

    6. (Fact)The IDF have been Known to lie in the past(example) Jan 5th 09 never used white Phosphorous, Jan 24th 09 admitting to using it, IDF stated they committed no war crimes Feb 18th,10 After pressure from the U.N. it turns out on March 12th 10 two soldier were charged.

    7.(Fact) There were no arm shipments on any of the 6 ships

    8.(Fact) Some type of shots were fired before the IDF came on board,(say it paintball guns, or Assault weapons) something was fired

    9.(Fact) Civilians died from the IDF

    10.(Fact) there is no evidential proof the ones died were Terrorist

    11(Fact) Israel did not allow journalist or reporters to interview the civilians while held in detention, as well as attempting to create media black out

    12. (Fact) HRG as well as the U.N. have reported only 25% of aid needed makes it to gaza.

    13. (Fact)the Israeli government created strain ties when A. it summon the Turkish ambassador and made him sit in a small chair while being lectured and than played in the media to embarrassed turkey.

    14.(Fact) Israel did not go to the NPT meeting because Turkey and other nations were going to bring up its Nukes.

    15.(Fact) Last week israel refused to sign on to the Nuke Free middle east agreement and refused to sign the NPT.

    16.(Fact) the Current Israel Government is to the Far Right and have made statment equally has nasty as Hamas.

    17.(Fact) Both Abbas and Fatah are moderate and have displayed instead of violent protesting peaceful ones and in return, each year there territory gets smaller.

    18(Fact) Israeli settlers refused to live the west bank and refused to be under Fatah’s control.

    19.(Fact) the U.S. coverage along with NPR of death is return of israeli deaths at70- 90% but Palestinians deaths at 20%(fair.org)


    20.(Fact) The allegiance between both the U.S. and Israel were only beneficial to the U.S. during the Cold War.

  • Michael

    As well as some information to know,much like the U.S. and the mujaheddin Israel supported its own radicals

    starting late 1970 to early 1980

    The Washington Post has finally acknowledged—albeit buried in an “analysis” on its back pages—the explosive and little-known point first made by American Free Press as long ago as Oct. 29, 2001 (and later on July 8, 2002 and Feb. 13, 2006): that Israel had a secret agenda vis-�-vis Islamic fundamentalist groups such as Hamas, that Israel had a long, well-documented history of propping up Islamic fundamentalism (including terrorist organizations) for its own purposes.

    In short, behind-the-scenes schemers in Israel saw Hamas in its earliest days as a counter-balance against any Palestinian moves for peace. In other words, as long as Hamas had enough influence, it might prevent the peace process with the “moderate” forces of secular Palestinian statesman Yasser Arafat (leader of Fatah) from going forward.

    While many good people do not understand why Israel would not want peace, Israel’s intrigues serve at least three purposes: 1) preserving internal conflict within the Palestinian movement; 2) giving Israel the opportunity to claim that the peace process could not go forward because “Arafat and the PLO control the extremist elements” and 3) perpetuating overall Middle East conflict, which has always been Israel’s motivation, preferring to see its Arab neighbors divided—quarreling with one another—thereby unable to check Israel’s regional desires.

    All of this is not to suggest that Hamas is somehow a secret “tool” of Israel—as some na�ve folks have suggested. Far from it. In fact, Hamas clearly captured the support of many Palestinians (Muslim and Christian alike) who do not necessarily share Hamas’ Islamic focus. And after Hamas won a democratic election in taking control of the Palestinian Authority in 2002, Israel saw the proverbial “blowback.”

    On June 28, 2002, veteran UPI correspondent Richard Sale confirmed what AFP had already reported regarding Israel’s manipulation of Islamic fundamentalist forces.

    Sale focused on Israel’s intrigues regarding Hamas. Sale cited not only a variety of named and un-named past and present U.S. government officials but also documents obtained by UPI from the Israel-based Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

    Noting that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was vowing to fight “Palestinian terror” and declaring Hamas as “the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face,” Sale noted wryly that “Sharon left something out.”

    That “something,” according to Sale, was that while Israel and Hamas were then currently locked in deadly combat, “according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.”

    So the fact is that Israel’s activities laid the groundwork for the crisis that now rages in Gaza. Sale pointed out that Hamas was actually legally registered as an Islamic social and religious entity in Israel in 1978 and that U.S. administration officials said that funding for Hamas came from not just the oil-producing Arab states but “directly and indirectly from Israel.”

    While the PLO itself was secular, promoting Palestinian nationalism, Hamas was intent upon setting up a transnational state ruled by the tenets of Islam. Sale also cited an unnamed former senior CIA official saying that Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative.”

    Sale cited Tony Cordesman, a respected veteran Mideast analyst associated with the Center for Strategic Studies, who said that Israel “aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO.”

    Then, when the PLO moved its base of operations to Beirut, Hamas began growing in influence in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

    All of these elements converged at exactly the time when Israel was funding Hamas. However, even the growing strength and independence of Hamas did not deter the Israelis from supporting them.

    A U.S. government official—who asked not to be named—told Sale that “The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place. Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the U.S. to deal with.”

    In other words, Israel wanted to prop up and promote Hamas as a means of undermining the influence of Yasser Arafat and the PLO and thereby disrupting the very real peace initiatives being made by Arafat.

    Israel wanted an unending state of war in order to be able to continue to justify its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and—inevitably—expand Israel’s borders into what is known as “Greater Israel.”


  • Bob

    It is just curious that Netanyanhu staged this attack on the very day before he was to meet Obama in the Whitehouse. What was he trying to do? Embarrass Obama, stick a finger in his eye? This reminds me of the treatment of our VP when visiting Israel while new building was announced. They are not helping, they are making things more difficult and trying to put our government in a difficult position.

  • Michael

    “Israeli settlers refused to move from the west bank and refused to be under Fatah’s control.”

    “(Fact) the Current Israel Government is to the Far Right and have made statment equally as nasty as Hamas. ”

    This is from the U.S. State Department, Israel’s number one ally

    ” the US state department’s annual report on Israel documents a long list of human-rights abuses of the Arab minority, and a report by the Mossawa advocacy organisation assesses the current Israeli parliament as the most racist in the country’s history. ”


  • steve t

    Next discussion on Israel-Palestine-USA bring in Glenn Greenwald as one of the panelists, an American voice that should be heard by a wider audience.

  • Ishmael

    Israel has taken a page from the US war notebook: “…attack on whim …..don’t be intimidated by trivialities like ‘the necessity for provocation’ ….. for goodness’ sake, don’t wait for reasonable justification….send commandoes and assume they’ll be perceived as social workers …..’”

    The “Bush Doctrine”, indeed. Hey, thanks, Dubya. You’re a heck of a great teacher. Another Confucius. Another Buddha. One of the great intellects of the 21st.

  • Jill

    I have been a contributing member to NPR and have generally found On-Point to be an informative and interesting show. However, I am deeply disappointed with your very biased coverage of the “Gaza, Israel and Flotilla” fall-out. Your guests included a former Ambassador who was a part of the effort to break the blockade and clearly sympathetic to the Palestinians, a Palestinian Canadian who is a former spokesperson for the PLO, Newsweek’s Paris bureau chief who repeatedly described the IDF as incompetent and clearly sympathizes with the Palestinians, and an Israeli who when given the opportunity to speak quietly made it clear that he does not personally support his government’s policies. I am all for healthy debate, but healthy debate requires 2 sides. How about having Israel’s Ambassador to Washington as a guest on your show, or a member of the IDF or Israeli government who supports the Israeli government’s policies and has lived with the daily threat of missiles landing on his or her home and children?

    While this flotilla may only have carried much needed humanitarian supplies, it is quite clear that its intent was to break the blockade. If the primary intent was to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza, why not go through Egypt or land in Israel’s port as requested by the IDF prior to its boarding the vessels? Former Ambassador Peck’s analogy to a home invasion is absolutely ludicrous. The IDF did not land in anyone’s home; they landed on ships that were approaching Israel, carrying allegedly, but unconfirmed humanitarian supplies, and carrying allegedly, but again unconfirmed humanitarian aid volunteers. While I abhor the conditions under which the Gazans live, I also abhor Gaza’s “freely elected” terrorist government that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, has not renounced violence against Israeli civilians, does not accept previous accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and has made its clearly stated mission one of driving Israel into the sea.

    I fully agree that there needs to be a way to ensure that Gaza’s civilians receive the supplies that they need to build schools,hospitals and generally improve their quality of life, but this must be accomplished in a way that ensures Israel’s security and right to exist and permits the inspection of the goods going into Gaza, their appropriate use and ensures that terrorists are not accompanying them.

  • Michael


    as for your questions read above i pretty much answered all of them

    “If the primary intent was to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza, why not go through Egypt or land in Israel’s port as requested by the IDF prior to its boarding the vessels? ”

    Reported by both the BBC, U.N. and Human rights groups

    “only 25% of aid needed get to gaza” banned items, chocolate, fresh meat, potato chips,fabric (for clothing), biscuits and sweets, irrigation pipe systems,planters for saplings,musical instruments,notebooks,newspapers,toys,goats,cattle,chicks,ropes for fishing.

    These are not made or used for rockets, or bunkers, and there is NO reason to ban such.

    Again only 25% of aid makes it to gaza is the reason they did not wish to go through israel, Again the ships were checked prior, again the Ban many if not all the ban items have nothing to do with Israeli self defense.

    I hope this helps you. :)

    have a not unwell day :)

  • steve

    I notice how so many of the anti-Israel commenters fall back on false claims and present them as conventional wisdom. Like the claim that Israel had no right to board the ship in international waters. International law is clear and that is why the UN will scream and make resolutions but will not be able to make the charge stick. Israel was acting in accordance with international law to board the ship. International law allows for boarding in international waters when a nation at war (which it is with Hamas) has reason to believe a ship is attempting to run its legally established blockade and convey weapons or related war materials.

  • Michael

    lol, only thing anti is anti human rights by its supporters ,

    “International law is clear and that is why the UN will scream and make resolutions but will not be able to make the charge stick. ”

    No it’s called U.S. veto Power.

    “International law allows for boarding in international waters when a nation at war (which it is with Hamas) has reason to believe a ship is attempting to run its legally established blockade and convey weapons or related war materials.”

    False if the blockade is considered illgel, which is by U.N. resolutions and the world,

    as well as if people under the blockade are not getting the humantian aid needed,which reported the gazan’s are only getting 25% of the aid needed.

    “false claims” like terrorist being on the ships, or like not using white P. gas in gaza, than admitting to it a few weeks later, like not injuring people on the other 5 ships yet, reports show that people on the other ships were injuried.

  • Michael

    Don’t forge the “false claim” the blockade is against hamas not the Palestine people,

    I must of missed the part how chocolate, fresh meat, and potato chips are used as a weapon and must be stopped for Israel’s self defense.

    Wasn’t a bag of potato chips found at the scene of the gazan doctor family house after it was destroyed, left after the IDF destroyed it?

    I did see Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, where the French shot cattle at the crusaders.

    I guessing someone in the government has been watching the movie to come up with such an ban on animals in Gaza

  • Salma

    You are terribly ill-informed. The blockade amounts to inflicting mass-punishment on the people of Gaza hence is illegal. Israel has no right to defend its illegal blockade in such a violent, bloody manner, just as it had not right to kill 400 children of Palestinians in Dec08-Jan09, attack ambulances, hospitals, schools, UN Shelters and even a zoo!

    Israel should have behaved like the democratic country that it claims to be and opened dialogue before sending their violent troops on the ship that opened fire on civilians carrying humanitarian aid on international waters. How dare they!

    Read the Goldstone Report about the war crimes committed by Israel before you say anything in its defense.

    And yes, this report was by a UN mandated fact-finding mission, so this is certainly no false claim. Everything Michael said is correct, I challenge you to prove otherwise.

  • Salma

    “International law is clear and that is why the UN will scream and make resolutions but will not be able to make the charge stick. ”

    You reason backwards. UN not being able to do something about this does not make the act legal. The UN was also able to do anything about UN shelters that have been bombed by Israel through history! Does that make the bombing of the shelters justified to you?

  • Ishmael

    Israel has a formal declaration of war against Hamas? Must have missed that one on the news, but that’s possible and wouldn’t be the first time. Didn’t know a nation could be at war with a political party, but again, maybe that’s possible.

    The world at large is awaiting the inventory of contraband materials that were on the ships, and justificiation for sending an elite military group rather than a diplomatic envoy. Why not just send a person with credentials and request permission to board?

    The whole thing sounds rather unbalanced (asymmetrical), which underlies a good deal of the “malatov cocktail vs. state-of-art military capability” nature of the whole conflict.

  • Janet

    Too bad they already put the nine dead terrorists in their graves. It would have been interesting to see if they were shot by the IDF personnel or their fellow terrorists.

  • Jill

    In response too Salma, Ishmael and Michael’s comments…

    I have not seen the list of items that are kept out of Gaza. Assuming that you are correct, I completely agree that there is no conceivable reason for chocolate, fabric, potato chips, sweets, etc. to be on the list of forbidden items. I even agree that the blockade results in punishment to the Gazans at large and even agree that it has been ineffective and probably counterproductive in its intent to get the people of Gaza to oust Hamas. However, while Hamas is in power, Israel needs a way to protect itself and to ensure that humanitarian aid shipments do not include weapons, materials Hamas has historically used as weapons, or terrorists. What would you suggest as an alternative?

    You repeatedly comment on the loss of Palestinian civilians’ lives but seem to omit the fact that many, many Israeli civilians – including many children and elderly people – have been ruthlessly murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Again, what would you suggest? That Israel simply “turn the other cheek” and allow its citizens to be murdered?

    Sadly, the bottom line is that neither side trusts the other, with good reasons. The real question is, how can trust be built and peace be reached? We just keep restating the same things over and over again. Perhaps a better use of this space would be discussion of what might work to both improve the quality of Gazans’ lives and ensure Israel’s security. A formal acknowledgement by HAMAS that Israel has a right to exist might be a great start as would cessation of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

    Let us not forget that HAMAS’ charter continues to include the following principles:

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

    Please tell me how Israel can trust or negotiate a with people who elected a government that is dedicated to its annihilation?? How can they trust sympathizers of this government?


  • Ishmael

    Jill, a lot of that is great.
    People who believe in “Judgment Day” aren’t the most tightly wrapped individuals, so obviously negotiations will have to be delicate. But then, religion is usually just a pretext for political machination, as it obviously is in this situation.
    Here are some interesting questions:

    – Why did the Israelis send “commandos” instead of credential-crrying diplomats?
    – What was on the ships?
    – How can the “asymmetrical nature” of the conflict be resolved?

  • jill

    Hi Ishmael,

    All good questions and so many more to answer. The biggest question remains how can the Palestinians and Israels begin to build a relationship of trust? I’m sure that this involves babysteps that prove successful and have no negative repercussions. I’ve often wondered what would happen if Israel took the lead in an international effort to build schools, hospitals, homes in a gigantic Habit for Humanity type of project or if they provided food and other humanity supplies that they knew did not contain potentially dangerous goods? Would this change things and plant the first seeds of positive change? Would the Palestinians begin to reject HAMAS as the terrorist organization that it is and begin to see Israel as friendly neighbor who supports a two state solution and is willing to help its neighbor become a modern, democratic society? Or would the fundamentalist Islamic nations and terrorist organizations find yet new ways to continue to sow the seeds of hatred in order to use the Palestinian people as pawns in their mission of Jihad and the total destruction of Israel?

    I do not pretend to know the answers to any of these complicated questions, and as a Westerner certainly do not begin to understand the cultures and ideologies that underpin the inability to reach peaceful solutions. I’m certain though that it’s much easier for us to come to solutions when we’re not worried about missiles landing in our bedrooms and bulldozers destroying our homes. I’m also certain that someone has to do something different and am all for Israel being “the bigger person” and talking the first proactive step by initiating humanitarian effort to improve the living conditions in Gaza. At least the world could not criticize this, but sometimes I think they’d find a way. I always tell my children that they cannot make other people change; all they can do is make changes themselves and in doing so, perhaps they will indirectly change the way others react. Can you kill hatred with kindness? I don’t know, but certainly it’s worth a shot.

    b’shalom (in peace),

  • Salma


    Israel needs to take the first step towards peace. Stopping to make settlements on grabbed land and lifting the illegal blockade on Gaza should be among the first. If they don’t then all actions of Hamas can be qualified as a freedom struggle.

    There is 44% unemployment in Gaza, and 300,000 people live in abject poverty (do not have food to eat). People have described the conditions in Gaza to be worse than Haiti.


    And yet a peaceful, humanitarian mission carrying aid to Gaza gets viciously attacked by Israeli state sponsored pirates. You have to see things for what they are, really.

    How many children have died in Israel because of the 10,000 rockets seemingly launched, and how many children died in Gaza. In that answer you will find out who the aggressor is.

    “Too bad they already put the nine dead terrorists in their graves. It would have been interesting to see if they were shot by the IDF personnel or their fellow terrorists.”
    Janet, as soon as Israel returns recording media that they stole from the journalists on board, we can see what exactly happened and debunk your ridiculous, baseless claims.

  • Soubie

    Thank you Tom for being honest about how Rachel Corrie died.

    Jesse is 100% correct – we are funding this, don’t forget.

    BS, Israel did not want to check the ships – they fired upon the ships in the middle of the night.

  • Ishmael

    Jill, you have to answer those small questions before you can tackle the bigger ones. If Israel really values peace, why do they limit goods and resources for the Palestinians, and why did they send military people with the potential for guns blazing instead of diplomats? A simple straightforward answer would suffice but evidently isn’t forthcoming from anyone at all. You and I can speculate all we want but that doesn’t provide closer for the issue. Someone gave an order.
    Maybe the UN needs to go on a babysitting mission in the region until the children decide to behave themselves. Neither side is blame-freem that’s for sure.

  • Christopher

    Just a few weeks ago, in April, North Korea, for no apparent reason, torpedoed and sunk a South Korean submarine, killing all 48 sailors aboard. There have been no peace demonstrations against this act of war, and the U.N. Security Council has not met on the issue.

    This is because the single greatest focus of the U.N. Security Council is one of the tiniest, most beleaguered countries in the world—Israel. Indeed, despite the murderous actions of Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and China, more than 90 percent of all U.N. Security Council resolutions have been leveled against Israel, whose greatest crime is self-defense.

    This week the Security Council convened, prior to any investigation of last weekend’s Gaza flotilla incident, and condemned Israel, yet again—this time for exercising her sovereign right to deter a ship that was blatantly, intentionally attempting to violate the Jewish state’s blockade of Gaza, territory controlled by the internationally recognized Islamic terrorist group, Hamas.

    As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman states, “I have a big problem when people get so agitated by Israel’s actions in Gaza but are unmoved by Syria’s involvement in the murder of the prime minister of Lebanon, by the Iranian regime’s killing of its own citizens demonstrating for the right to have their votes counted, by Muslim suicide bombers murdering nearly 100 Ahmadi Muslims in mosques in Pakistan on Friday and by pro-Hamas gunmen destroying a U.N.-sponsored summer camp in Gaza because it wouldn’t force Islamic fundamentalism down the throats of children.”
    Jim Sinkinson
    Director, FLAME

  • Christopher
  • Michael

    “There have been no peace demonstrations against this act of war, and the U.N. Security Council has not met on the issue.”

    Of course your wrong

    Seoul has complained to the U.N. Security Council over the sinking of the corvette Cheonan in March, killing 46 sailors. South Korea and its main ally, the United States, blame the shadowy North for torpedoing the ship, although it is unclear what concrete action, if any, the U.N. will take.

    Gates said the United States would conduct more joint military exercises with South Korea and support “action” by the Security Council in response to the Cheonan attack.

    “At the same time, we are assessing additional options to hold North Korea accountable,” he said, suggesting the United States and its allies could act unilaterally or in concert.

    Officials said Washington was looking at a range of options, which could include tightening economic sanctions, expanding searches of North Korean vessels and holding more large-scale shows of military force to try to deter future attacks.

    Now for israel

    Turkey calls for meeting of UN Security Council, condemns Israel after Gaza incident

    “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton supported a Security Council statement that condemned the “acts” that cost the lives of the pro-Palestinian activists off the Gaza coast. But U.S. officials did not say whether they blamed Israel or the activists for the bloodshed.

    In remarks to reporters at the State Department, Clinton did not call for an end to the blockade, but she pressed Israel to allow greater access for humanitarian relief supplies, “including reconstruction and building supplies.” ”

    oh the horror,

    So the facts so far S.K. more U.S. support and joint excises, more sanctions on the way for NK, So the facts for israel, S.O.S. Clinton ask for them to kindly remove the blockade(illegal in all accounts by the U.N. and HRG)

    Facts and Logic my a@@, When starts getting sanctions for it’s actions than you can starty complaining until than you really got nothing. or does words hurt that much, if so than the Right Wing government should be apologizing to the civilians killed they called terrorist.

  • jill

    Dear Ishmael,

    I quite agree with what you say. It is so very tragic that siblings cannot find a way to live in peace and after thousands of years still cannot grow up. Everyone, including many on this blog, seem far more committed to finger-pointing and blame than finding ways for peace. It is sad that 2 peoples who in reality have much in common, cannot live in harmony. Perhaps a family therapist would have more luck than the politicians have!! They’d have to be extraordinarily talented though!! LOL.

    I hope that we have the chance to see peace in our lifetimes. I have enjoyed our dialogue and will continue to pray and work for moderation and peace.

    Best wishes,


  • suzi


    never mind . victory is coming


Sep 2, 2014
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with Mark Wilson, event political speaker chairperson, with his wife Elain Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, August 4, 2012. (AP)

Nine weeks counting now to the midterm elections. We’ll look at the key races and the stakes.

Sep 2, 2014
Confederate spymaster Rose O'Neal Greenhow, pictured with her daughter "Little" Rose in Washington, D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison in 1862. (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

True stories of daring women during the Civil War. Best-selling author Karen Abbott shares their exploits in a new book: “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy.”

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment