Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why I oppose the Gaza flotilla

I know I used this picture before but I like it.

I want to make a few points about the flotilla to Gaza. I oppose it. I think it is wrong and reckless. But I do not oppose it simply out of support for Israel or a dislike of the far left individuals who are orchestrating it. I oppose it on the following grounds. The Israeli blockade of Gaza has been completely distorted both in terms of its objectives and what it actually does. Firstly, the Gaza strip is controlled by Hamas. Hamas is a an organisation that is committed to the destruction of Israel. It is completely natural that Israel would want to prevent the economic development of an entity that wants to destroy it. When a nations' economy grows, its military capacity grows with it. I think that is pretty straight forward. Therefore Israel wants to prevent the economic development of the Hamas controlled Gaza strip. I think they are perfectly entitled to do that. If during the northern troubles, the six counties were under the control of the UVF or UDA, I don't think the Dublin government would have done much trading with them.

It is not true that Israel is trying to starve Gaza into submission. Israel’s stated policy toward Gaza is quite simple, they want to see “no humanitarian crisis and no economic development”. This is why the IDF have been sending in truckloads of humanitarian aid on a regular basis while at the same time, preventing the entry of materials that can be used for construction and trade. This from the Irish embassy in Dublin.

While Israel maintains an arms blockade of Gaza, it has maintained a steady and massive flow of humanitarian aid into the territory.
In the month of May 2011 alone, this totalled some 127,353 tons of goods.
That's almost 80 kg of aid per month – including food, clothing, and other supplies – for every single person in Gaza. Nearly 5,000 truckloads entered Gaza from Israel in May. In terms of food alone, this includes:
• 376 truckloads of flour
• 324 truckloads of wheat
• 225 truckloads of fruit and vegetables
• 142 truckloads of dairy products
• 113 truckloads of meat and fish
• 44 truckloads of milk powder and baby formula
• 65 truckloads of rice
• 59 truckloads of cooking oil
• 492 truckloads of other food products
In the other direction, Israel granted permits to 3,612 Palestinians to enter Israel from Gaza in May 2011. Of these, 1,238 were for business purposes and 1,892 were for medical procedures (986 patients and 906 accompanying individuals).

Probably the most important reason I oppose the flotilla is because it is reckless and dangerous. It is dangerous for the people on board, dangerous for the IDF and dangerous for the Israelis and Palestinians. This effort has the potential to spark a clash between the IDF and Hamas. It could even lead to a renewal of the the 2009 war between the two. These so called peace activists would be much better served promoting reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians instead of this irresponsible action. Instead they appear intent on taking this provocative action which makes me wonder, do these people want to see peace between Israel and Palestine, or victory for Palestine.


Tabloid Scum said...

Interesting post Mr Leddy. Very easy to write though when you're sitting in a cosy chair in your plush pad in comfy chapelizod.
Me thinks the put-upon people in Palestine are not exactly having picnic parties with their generous Israeli supplies.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ted,
Another good post. I, too, oppose the flotilla, and for the reasons you stated.
Thanks for stating those reasons, something I can use to show people.
I believe that most of the participants in the flotilla are sincere, in spite of the facts you state, and I don't believe they are necessarily anti-semitic. The Palestines have problems, but Israel isn't one of them.

The System Works said...

The UN Palmer Report is all set to declare the blockade is in line with international law, also. Turkey has been going crazy, trying to work out a deal behind the scenes with Israel in order for the report to be cancelled. Islamists and leftists would no longer be able to incorrectly scream and shout that the blockade is illegal.

Anonymous said...

Of course if it were the jews being denied basic foodstuffs on the spurious grounds you've presented you'd be whinging and whining. We pray for the realization of the Hamasian dream :)

Ted Leddy said...


I agree. Living in Gaza is no picnic. Some on the pro Israeli side have taken to displaying images of Gaza citizens living in apparent comfort, and supermarket shelves full of stock. I do not approve of this. Gaza is poverty stricken and life there is exceptionally difficult. Massive unemployment due to the blockade, repression by the Hamas authorities and and the threat of a renewed Israeli bombardment make it an all round miserable place to be. Unfortunately, I don't believe this changes the reality that Israel cannot be expected to back down in front of an enemy that wants to destroy it. Hamas wil have to go, or significantly moderate itself.

Ted Leddy said...


Thanks for the kind words. This has troubled me too. I know many people who are pro Palestine. I give most of them the benefit of the doubt that they are people of good will. Many I think believe that by being Pro Palestinian they will improve the image of the west in the Muslim world. This is naive because if Israel were to back down today,it would be attacked and probably defeated. This would be the biggest boost imaginable for Islamist parties throughout the Muslim world. They would likely seize power across the region and then, they would start coming after us all.

Ted Leddy said...


I eagerly await the findings of the Palmer Report.

Ted Leddy said...


The flotilla must be a tough one for you. You obviously want to see the "Hamasian dream" fulfilled but I know you can't stand the Euro lefties behind the foltilla. If only they knew that in the event of an Islamist take over, they would be the first people put to the sword.

Rob Harris said...

I agree with Ted that Gaza is not an easy place to live in but it is not akin to a humanitarian crisis either where Israel is starving the place into submission. That has been shown to be a pro-Palestinian lie. This is a conflict. It is stating the obvious to say that things get unpleasant in conflicts but it seems that it needs repeating to folks on the left. There are competing needs in any conflict and Israel needs to prioritise the safety of its own civilians. The populace of the towns near Gaza have haemorrhaged in the last few years and the possibility of Hamas getting medium range missiles would be devastating.

BTW is Chapelizod comfy? Sounds like it has become the new Dalkey!

Anonymous said...

The leftist fools and extremist right wingers like yourself are simply players on a stage that already has its outcome written. Soon and very soon Leddy, remember 'you have the watches, we have the time'. We look forward to the day when rocks and trees we give up those who seek shelter behind them.

Rob said...

Hi Systemworks,

The legal issues surrounding the blockade are interesting. You might like this article:

The System Works said...

Thanks Rob, will check it out.

I knew the UN was never going to declare the blockade illegal in the Palmer Report. It would set terrible precedent considering other countries have and will engage in the practice (think of the United States in relation to Cuba and Korea).

The System Works said...

Sorry, should have also said there would be no basis in the plain reading of the law to declare the blockade illegal anyway.

Ted Leddy said...


Very Good points !

Chapelizod is a fascinating place. It is one of the oldest towns in Ireland yet most people know very little about it. I might do a post about it some time. There is lots to write about from its gothic aura which influenced Bram stoker in much of his writings to the mystery over where exactly the name comes from. The most popular being the gaelic words Seipeal Isolde, or the chapel of Isolde (ancient Irish princess). I wouldn't quite call it the new Dalkey, but it is a very lovely place to live.

Ted Leddy said...


"already has its outcome written". And that outcome is failure. Other than murder of the innocent, Islamic extremists have not had a single strategic success in 300 years. The Iranian revolution is the closest, but I know how you feel about those deviants. And don't even try telling me about the glorious battles waged by the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan. They were all puppets of Ronald Reagan.