Tag Archives: Flotilla

Ah well, back to the down & dirty.

GIYUS definitely belongs on my list of truth lovers (and I hope to call your attention to more as time allows), but they get special treatment, being the group that keeps sending me the lists of nasties to act on.  Here is the most recent:

Help Israel and the IDF win the next fight with the Flotilla

 

In the year that passed since the terror organization IHH tried to "break the siege" on Gaza while attacking IDF Navy soldiers, the Turkish group has been plotting a rerun of the event. This time around, IHH plans to have many more ships from all over the world all trying to set sail into Gaza.

There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and Israel delivers all goods through regular channels. If the flotilla was about delivering aid to Gaza Israel would gladly accept the aid and deliver it to the people in Gaza. But this flotilla is not about aid – it’s about hate towards Israel and about trying to create a provocation against Israel. It’s about denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Jewish leaders across the world are pressuring European countries not to allow Flotilla ships to set sail. That pressure seems to be working as the French Flotilla group announced their ship will not sail to Gaza. Even Turkish Foreign Minister acknowledged that in light of the newly opened Rafah crossing the flotilla is not necessary and  urged the flotilla organizers to reconsider. The Turkish IHH group is scheduled to announce their decision within a few days.

While we hope the next flotilla will indeed be smaller, this is an ongoing battle. The battle field is online and social media is the weapon of choice.

If you’d like to help Israel in this time of terrorists provocations and help avoid the next attack on Israel please take a few minutes to look at the individuals listed below. These people are the global support base of the Flotilla movement. Giyus.org took the time to identify those that raise funds for flotilla activities, support terror organizations like IHH and Hamas and blindly act against Israel no matter what. They use their Facebook accounts to spread heir hateful anti Israel message.

These are the faces of the new web 2.0 antisemitism – please log into your facebook account and report these users for abusing Facebook to spread hate and antisemitism.

Click on each NAME link to reach the relevant facebook profile to report. Click on the report link on the bottom left hand side of the profile page. When you click on the report link a small window opens up. Please choose the "Inappropriate profile information" option and then choose the 2nd option in the drop down menu – "contains hate speech".

Time is of the essence here – the more complaints Facebook receives the more they’ll look into the issue and make it harder for these people to spread their anti Israel hate message.

Thank you for your support and for standing up and saying no to hate and antisemitism. To act on more issues and easily support Israel please sign up to our email updates – make a difference to Israel.

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Greta Berlin

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Paul Larudee

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Adam Shapiro

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Kevin Ovenden

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Gharbi Anouar

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Joe Catron

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Richard Reilly

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Kevin Clark

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Mary Hughes Thompson

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Filed under From my mailbox, World against Israel

Hezbollah, Iran and Turkey as they do the hokey-pokey…

hizrally_mn_web So what, exactly, is this all about? We just found out today that Iran is taking away from Hezbollah nearly half of its financial support. If Iran is cutting off Hezbollah, it’s fine with me, but it’s still puzzling when you consider the view that Hezbollah was itself created by Iran not all that long ago, and that Iran is still the terror organization’s main provider. And even though Hezbollah has gained some level of independence from Iran (or at least a degree of autonomy) since that time, it still is difficult to interpret this move as anything short of an amputation at the knees. (No pun intended this time.)

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I haven’t talked about Stuxnet much lately, but it doesn’t appear to have gone away. On the contrary, it’s looking very much like Iran’s nuclear program is still effectively hobbled by the clever little worm, with no early fix in sight.

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Speaking of Stuxnet (sort of), it’s interesting that its apparent effectiveness has become a metaphor for other things—such as Israel’s almost desperate need for an effective way to present its case to the world. UCI has published Prof. Phyllis Chesler’s report from the trenches here.

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Ah yes, Turkey. Last time around we were contemplating the through-the-looking-glass-world notion of an apology by Israel to Turkey for last summer’s attack by Turkish mercenaries on the Egyptian-Israeli naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. Someone had suggested it would be a nice way of reopening an Israeli-Turkish dialogue after the latter’s greatly appreciated assistance in putting out this month’s fires on Mt. Carmel. It all sounded very odd, and by now it has become clear that Israel intends to do no such thing. The suggestion sure did ruffle some feathers, though. I even heard tell that one MK went so far as to offer to apologize for not shooting sooner, but I won’t go there.

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Time for me to go. See y’all down the road a piece.

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A smattering of 140s

Rahm_und_Bibi_Ynet Last week I wrote that so far there didn’t appear to be much substance coming out of Israeli PM Netanyahu’s latest visit to the White House.  Of course, since then there has been ample opportunity for the greatest and the least of pundits and prognosticators to weigh in on the matter. The upshot still seems to be that it was all a jolly good show, but that’s about all.  I’ve seen a few glass-half-empty analyses, and some glass-half-full ones, but the overall consensus appears to be that the whole meeting was about Obama trying to look a little more supportive of America’s only real democratic ally in the Middle East than he has been up to now. A sensible move on his part, realizing both what a miserable failure his policy has been up to this point, and how little domestic support he has in it. Of all the comments I’ve read on the subject this week, I find Barry Rubin’s to have been the most insightful.

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Meanwhile Obama thought he’d try to increase his PR leverage a little by giving an interview on Israel TV. A good idea I suppose, but I can hardly believe a couple of the racist, ill-informed statements he made. I’m still shaking my head.

He seems to think that if there is any “suspicion” of his motives on the part of Israel or American Jews,

some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein.

Nothing to do with anything he’s said. Or with anything he’s done. No, of course not. Just his middle name. Never mind that, as the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs points out, 

More than 76 percent of the Jewish electorate VOTED for him.

And — they should all know he loves Jews because some of his best friends are Jewish; he even has some on staff.

obama-emperor1 There was a very brief time during the sixties when that type of statement wasn’t immediately perceived as the racist sentiment it is (albeit perhaps subconsciously). Oh, but this is the “post racial” presidency… I’m beginning to wonder if he’s really stupid enough to believe that, or just thinks we’re that stupid.

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On a lighter note (depending on how you view it), The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs relates an interview with another Gaza merchant who has become quite wealthy trading in household goods regularly smuggled in through those ubiquitous tunnels. That in itself is not surprising. (In case you weren’t aware of the high level of prosperity ‘suffered’ by the Gazans under the Israeli blockade, check this out.) What I found amusing is that this is yet another complaint of an illicit business being cut into by the abundance of cheaper, better quality goods coming in directly from Israel these past few weeks. Maybe we’re just killing them with kindness?

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Another world-is-upside-down reading coming out last week was that, since Israel is allowing more Palestinian newspapers into Gaza, Hamas feels the need to set up their own blockade of sorts, keeping their own countrymen’s information out.

‘Cutting off their nose to spite their face,’ as the saying goes, seems to be business as usual for these folks. Kind of like when they rejected all that so badly needed “humanitarian aid” Israel allowed in from the blockade runners after they’d been brought into port and offloaded. Maybe the Israelis have cooties or something.

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QDaffy_Flag_Banner_via_AP_JPost Speaking of the flotillas, as of this writing the latest grandstanding effort is a Libyan ship due to be intercepted some time tonight or early tomorrow, having (of course) refused instructions to divert to an Egyptian port. A peaceful, humanitarian ship, doubtless, just like all the others, in spite of at least one of its crew members “having said Muslims ‘love martyrdom,’ and highlighting Libya’s long ties to terrorism,” according to Jerusalem Post.

We’ll likely know by tomorrow.

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A sigh of relief – and a moment of sanity.

yousef_son_of_hamas_1 “Son of Hamas” Mosab Hassan Yousef had his deportation hearing yesterday—and our government had an epiphany. Somehow DHS came to its senses and realized that he is not a terrorist threat, but, as everyone from Israeli Security to the US Congress has been pointing out, an asset in the war on terror. I wish I could say I believe the minions of Napolitano came to realize they’d made an honest mistake, but it’s hard to escape the more likely prospect that they finally knew they couldn’t get away with it—that what perhaps they’d hoped to do in secret was now being shouted from the rooftops. According to the report in The Weekly Standard,

[US] Attorney Kerri Calcador gave no explanation for the government’s change of heart.

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Justice Yaakov Turkel There were a couple of other hints over the past few days that there is still a little sanity in the wide wonderful world of geopolitics. Both an analysis by The Washington Institute and a similar one by JINSA suggest that the Great Gaza Flotilla Affair has been somewhat more of a fiasco than a benefit to Hamas (and thereby to Iran). Maybe that has something to do with why Iran keeps backpedaling on its threats to dispatch more vessels, with or without an armed escort. Last I heard, the deal was off. Then again, with crazy people like ol’ Mahmoud, you just never can tell.

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gazaglut04 Meanwhile, since Israel did go ahead and increase the flow of goods into Gaza via the legitimate crossings, the merchants making a killing (no pun intended) on the sale of goods smuggled in through tunnels have been complaining about the competition. Yes, I know that’s a little hard to believe; maybe the world’s craziness quotient is still at a respectable level.

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And maybe we ourselves are just a little crazy–or at least non-discerning–to swallow whole all the disinformation and downright distortion being fed to us by the more prominent (though less honest) media. Do you remember the thing about Reuters cropping photos from the flotilla confrontation? Well now we find the Daily Telegraph passing off photos from a year and a half ago as current information.

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Palestinian Hamas officers stand guard Wednesday at the deserted port on the second day of a general strike in Gaza City. And speaking of uncovering deception, it turns out that the Free Gaza movement’s own documents, seized in the flotilla raid, make it clear that they had planned from the beginning to deceive the public by shouting one thing through their megaphones while doing something completely different behind the scenes.

Ah well, you knew that, and I knew that, but I keep hoping there are honest people out there who didn’t know that and would like to. So I’ll just keep doing my job here, and I continue to invite others to join in.

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Why did they go in blind? (And a few other belated 140s.)

Regarding the ill-fated interdiction of the Mavi Marmara, I have been wondering since day one why the IDF walked into a trap, when it was public knowledge that the Turkish terrorist organization IHH was behind the blockade running operation. I mean, if anyone who surfs the web to the same extent that I do knew it, surely Israeli intelligence knew.

So I’ve been watching out for anything that might be a clue. Yesterday, Ha’aretz came out with a story quoting Military Intelligence head Amos Gilad as saying, "Turkey has never been included in [our] intelligence coverage." Why do I find that difficult to fathom?

Then today, from Israel National News comes something a bit more credible, though hardly more comforting: that Israel went in practically unarmed in deference to a request from the Obama White House.

Israeli troops avoided the use of non-lethal riot gear against passengers on last week’s Gaza-bound flotilla in order to appease United States President Barack Obama, according to the World Tribune. Quoting “diplomatic sources,” the paper said Obama nixed the use of equipment such as tear gas to stop the flotilla and demanded that Israel “exercise extreme caution and restraint.”

The White House has not commented on the report.

The report claimed that Defense Minister Ehud Barak accepted Obama’s demand, possibly due to his hopes that America will agree to sell advanced weapons to Israel.

It says that the American demand was made despite Israeli intelligence reports indicating possible danger aboard one ship, the Mavi Marmara, which carried primarily Turkish citizens, many of them members of the pro-terrorist IHH organization. Intelligence agents had found that many of the Turkish passengers were trained in weapons use and hand-to-hand combat; their assessments were relayed to the White House…

Is that really what happened, and all that really happened? I somewhat doubt it. As my mother (and probably yours) always said, “we’ll see…”

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20100606ReutersCropSection2_LM One of the more interesting developments – and I wish I could say surprising – is that Reuters news agency was caught red handed (forgive the pun) doctoring photos of the flotilla raid — cropping out weapons in the hands of the mercenaries, little things like that…

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Every once in a while I like to call attention to an excellent piece by a well known commentator. I’ve referred you to Caroline Glick several times; in The plain truth about Israel she pointed out, among other things, that

Israel is the US’s greatest strategic asset in the Middle East.

Indeed, given the strategic importance of the Middle East to US national security, Israel is arguably its greatest strategic asset outside the US military…  “Israel is a democracy that shares virtually all of the same values as the United States.” …As a democracy, unlike every Arab state, the US does not need to worry a change in leadership in Jerusalem will cause it to abandon its alliance with the US. This of course is what happened in Iran, which until 1979 was the US’s most important ally in the Persian Gulf. As Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak ages, the US faces the prospect of a post-Mubarak Egypt led by the Muslim Brotherhood similarly abandoning its alliance with America…

Glick did not use the word “stupid” in reference to what the U.S. would be if we ditched Israel, as we appear to be doing – but I’ll say it. Please, America – don’t be stupid!

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Speaking of stupid, incredibly enough, the Obama administration announced a couple of days ago that it was going to try to help out with the Gaza situation by sending the terrorists another $400 million.

Or, as one Twitter user put it,

Blair: "I’m 100% on Israel’s side." Biden: "Israel has a right to defend itself." Obama: ‘Let’s send Hamas $400 million’

All kidding aside, even if it were the right thing to do,  read the JINSA Report here to find why it’s not all that easy.

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Oh, and regarding the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza? If you’ve been paying attention, you may realize by now that there is no such thing. Even the Palestinians themselves admit that the only real problem is that Hamas is stealing from them. Come on, world, wake up and smell the oranges!

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Gazan_breakdancers_chillin

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It ain’t over until…

WELL, Y’ALL KNOW WHAT Yogi Berra said. And it definitely ain’t over.

Paintballs_ineffective I assume everyone has been at least trying to keep up with the twists and turns in the unfolding tale of what really happened on board the Mavi Marmara and where it all leads. I’ve been holding off on saying anything here until some of the dust has settled, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon.

I’m not even going to try to go over the whole story at this point. That’s been done already in enough places that I would be merely duplicating others’ efforts.  You can get the basics from day one here, and Peace Flotilla is a great place where you can find current updates.

There have also been a number of excellent commentaries made by prominent figures in this arena. Caroline Glick points out several vital points in “Ending Israel’s Losing Streak.”

But I’ll try to recap just a little in order to get on to my main points. Over the weekend, a hodgepodge of leftists calling themselves “Free Gaza” attempted to run Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces interdicted the offending vessels as allowed under international law. Five of the six vessels were boarded peacefully, but mercenary combatants on board the sixth ship, the Mavi Marmara, ambushed the IDF boarding party with metal poles and clubs, electric saws and other crude weapons, and with grenades, knives and firearms. The IDF troops sustained serious wounds but successfully completed their mission. When the smoke had cleared, the IDF had sustained several injuries, including two rated as serious or critical, and the enemy combatants (please, folks, let’s stop calling them “activists” – they were hired soldiers) sustained many more casualties, including nine fatalities.

As details began to emerge over the next few days, several things began to stand out (including a couple of things that I really haven’t heard discussed much elsewhere):

1) Although the leftists were assembled under the umbrella organization “Free Gaza,” the expedition was actually led by (and the Mavi Marmara operated  by) a known terrorist organization headquartered in Turkey known by its initials IHH.

2) The attackers who assaulted the IDF commandos were identified as cash-paid mercenaries, primarily Turkish nationals. (Of the nine fatalities, eight were Turkish citizens and one was a naturalized US citizen from Turkey.)

According to one well-placed source, the cash with which the mercenaries were paid was not passed to them until after they were on board. This would mean they were not quite dedicated enough to the ‘cause’ to be counted on to otherwise show up.

3) Turkey’s role in this affair was, and still is, of very serious concern. It would be distracting here to try to get deeply into the complexities of the Turkey – Iran – Syria axis, but it appears possible that Turkey is vying for a stronger position in that company of thieves. I had issued several “tweets” over the past few days calling attention to the extremity of Turkey’s involvement, but now I’m not so sure it’s a whole lot more than a serious attempt to gain a bigger piece of the pie. To be certain, the Turkish government has recently become a major sponsor of terrorism, but they still haven’t toppled Iran, or even Syria, in that respect.

HaniyaAhmadinejad 4) Most importantly, though, the military blockade of Gaza has been in fact very effective against Hamas, and by extension against Iran’s interests in the area, not only in terms of making war materiel less available, but also by way of restricting Hamas’ finances, and even causing serious internal political pressure on the regime.

This brings up a crucial point: the blockade running attempt was a desperation move by Hamas and Iran. I haven’t heard that part of the matter emphasized in the media, but it is very consistent with the hiring of mercenaries in an attempt to repel the IDF naval interdiction. And it is consistent also with the possession by the mercenaries of huge sums of cash, some of which was payment for their services, but the greater part of which was apparently intended for Haniyeh’s grubby little hands. It would also mean that Hamas is not about to give up – because it can’t afford to give up. The next attempt is already underway as of this writing.

Crop_ BHO_27_May_2010 A further serious implication of this is that those who are advocating removal of the blockade (and there are many, including major players in the UN and in Europe, and perhaps even the current US administration) are in effect allying themselves politically and even militarily with Hamas, and again by extension with Iran. If that bothers you, it does me, too.

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“No Love Boat:” PM Netanyahu’s Statement on Flotilla Incident

In my earlier post today I pointed out that a crucial aspect of this week’s attempt by Islamist forces to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza coast (and Egypt’s blockade also, by the way – another oft neglected component) is the critical interest which Iran has invested in the continued presence of Hamas in that area.

Here is the official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the incident. Notice his references to Iran.

Statement by PM Netanyahu

“No Love Boat”

Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment. I’m afraid this isn’t the first time.

Last year, Israel acted to stop Hamas from firing thousands of rockets into Israel’s towns and cities. Hamas was firing on our civilians while hiding behind civilians. And Israel went to unprecedented lengths to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties. Yet it was Israel, and not Hamas, that was accused by the UN of war crimes.

Now regrettably, the same thing appears to be happening now.

But here are the facts. Hamas is smuggling thousands of Iranian rockets, missiles and other weaponry – smuggling it into Gaza in order to fire on Israel’s cities. These missiles can reach Ashdod and Beer Sheva – these are major Israeli cities. And I regret to say that some of them can reach now Tel Aviv, and very soon, the outskirts of Jerusalem. From the information we have, the planned shipments include weapons that can reach farther, even farther and deeper into Israel.

Under international law, and under common sense and common decency, Israel has every right to interdict this weaponry and to inspect the ships that might be transporting them.

This is not a theoretical challenge or a theoretical threat. We have already interdicted vessels bound for Hezbollah, and for Hamas from Iran, containing hundreds of tons of weapons. In one ship, the Francop, we found hundreds of tons of war materiel and weapons destined for Hezbollah. In another celebrated case, the Karine A, dozens of tons of weapons were destined for Hamas by Iran via a shipment to Gaza. Israel simply cannot permit the free flow of weapons and war materials to Hamas from the sea.

I will go further than that. Israel cannot permit Iran to establish a Mediterranean port a few dozen kilometers from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem. And I would go beyond that too. I say to the responsible leaders of all the nations: The international community cannot afford an Iranian port in the Mediterranean. Fifteen years ago I cautioned about an Iranian development that has come to pass – people now recognize that danger. Today I warn of this impending willingness to enable Iran to establish a naval port right next to Israel, right next to Europe. The same countries that are criticizing us today should know that they will be targeted tomorrow.

For this and for many other reasons, we have a right to inspect cargo heading into Gaza.

And here’s our policy. It’s very simple: Humanitarian and other goods can go in and weapons and war materiel cannot.

And we do let civilian goods into Gaza. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Each week, an average of ten thousand tons of goods enter Gaza. There’s no shortage of food. There’s no shortage of medicine. There’s no shortage of other goods.

On this occasion too, we made several offers – offers to deliver the goods on board the flotilla to Gaza after a security inspection. Egypt made similar offers. And these offers were rejected time and again.

So our naval personnel had no choice but to board these vessels. Now, on five of the vessels, our seamen were not met by any serious violence and as a result, there were no serious injuries aboard those ships. But on the largest ship, something very different happened.

Our naval personnel, just as they landed on the ship – you can see this in the videos – the first soldier – they were met with a vicious mob. They were stabbed, they were clubbed, they were fired upon. I talked to some of these soldiers. One was shot in the stomach, one was shot in the knee. They were going to be killed and they had to act in self-defense.

It is very clear to us that the attackers had prepared their violent action in advance. They were members of an extremist group that has supported international terrorist organizations and today support the terrorist organization called Hamas. They brought with them in advance knives, steel rods, other weapons. They chanted battle cries against the Jews. You can hear this on the tapes that have been released.

This was not a love boat. This was a hate boat. These weren’t pacifists. These weren’t peace activists. These were violent supporters of terrorism.

I think that the evidence that the lives of the Israeli seamen were in danger is crystal clear. If you’re a fair-minded observer and you look at those videos, you know this simple truth. But I regret to say that for many in the international community, no evidence is needed. Israel is guilty until proven guilty.

Once again, Israel is told that it has a right to defend itself but is condemned every time it exercises that right. Now you know that a right that you cannot exercise is meaningless. And you know that the way we exercise it – under these conditions of duress, under the rocketing of our cities, under the impending killing of our soldiers – you know that we exercise it in a way that is commensurate with any international standard. I have spoken to leading leaders of the world, and I say the same thing today to the international community: What would you do? How would you stop thousands of rockets that are destined to attack your cities, your civilians, your children? How would your soldiers behave under similar circumstances? I think in your hearts, you all know the truth.

Israel regrets the loss of life. But we will never apologize for defending ourselves. Israel has every right to prevent deadly weapons from entering into hostile territory. And Israeli soldiers have every right to defend their lives and their country.

This may sound like an impossible plea, or an impossible request, or an impossible demand, but I make it anyway: Israel should not be held to a double standard. The Jewish state has a right to defend itself just like any other state.

Thank you.

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