By Joseph A. Klein Friday, June 4, 2010
The Obama Administration Sides With Hamas
Hamas’ allies have achieved what theyset out to do – to push Israel into a corner by provoking aconfrontation against the blockade-breaker flotilla of ships and thenusing Israel’s response to force an end to the blockade against theHamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
If the humanitarian needs of thepeople of Gaza were the first concern of the Free Gaza Movement andtheir co-sponsors from Turkey and elsewhere, they wouldhave accepted Israel’s repeated offers to allow their cargoto be delivered to Gaza after the Israelis had an opportunity toinspect to ensure that there were no weapons aboard. They refusedbecause embarrassing Israel was their primary objective.
Israel’s blockade, which Egypt wasalso instituting at its border, is perfectly legal under internationallaw according to the law of blockade which was derived from customaryinternational law, codified in the 1909 Declaration of London andupdated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San RemoManual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.” Asrequired by this international law, Israel declared the blockade,notified it to all belligerents and neutral states, and blockaded onlythe area under enemy control. Hamas rules Gaza and is engaged in armedhostilities with Israel, which it has vowed to destroy.
Under international law, Israel canuse force when boarding a ship headed for the belligerent areacontrolled by its enemy Hamas even if the ship’s passengers and cargowere truly all peace-loving humanitarians. In this case, the so-calledhumanitarian flotilla included a number of non-humanitarian Islamicjihadists, some of whom were armed and ready for a fight.
According to information quoted byMEMRI, the Egyptian flotilla delegation included two members of theMuslim Brotherhood bloc in the Egyptian parliament: Muhammad Al-Baltajiand Hazem Farouq. Two of the Jordanian participants in the flotilla,according to MEMRI, were Wael Al-Saka, a Muslim Brotherhood member, andSalam Al-Falahat, who was general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood inJordan from 2006 to 2008. The Lebanese flotilla delegation was headedby attorney Dr. Hani Suleiman, who also participated in a February 2009Gaza flotilla. In 2006, he signed a communiqué supporting armedresistance in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.
The Free Gaza Movement, which hadorganized smaller efforts to break Israel’s blockade in the past,teamed up this time with a Turkish group, Insani Yardim Vakfi (known asIHH), to raise money and assemble the larger flotilla, whichprecipitated the confrontation. IHH has connections with Hamasand other radical Islamic groups.
Israel was acting lawfully inimposing and enforcing its blockade against Hamas. However, in theinternational community - reflected at the United Nations -international law is regularly stood on its head. Unfortunately,Israel took the bait, and the propaganda machinery of the UnitedNations was immediately put into the service of the Palestinian“victims” of Israeli “aggression.”
At the United Nations SecurityCouncil this past weekend, the Obama administration sidedwith Israel’s enemies in putting Israel on the defensive over itsblockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The UN Security Council unanimouslyagreed on a Presidential Statement that placed all of the blame onIsrael for the fatalities that occurred during the latestattempt by Hamas supporters to break the Israeli blockade. The Obama administration gave the Lebanese representative who wasserving as the rotating president of the Security Council, and hisIslamic ally from Turkey who also sits on the Security Council,its blessing. As usual, the UN document contains no contextbehind the tragic incident.
After the Security Council acted, therabidly anti-Semitic UN Human Rights followed up on June 2nd with adecision to dispatch a “fact-finding” mission to investigate Israel’sinterdiction, having already declared Israel guilty. That sameday at UN headquarters in New York, I witnessed first-hand the blatantincendiary propaganda of the Libyan UN ambassador and the PalestinianUN observer as they attacked Israel and demanded another“international” investigation of Israel’s conduct by UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon. But they must have known something about the Obamaadministration’s intentions, because they indicated that the UnitedStates was now in line with the other members of the Mideast quartet -the European Union, United Nations, Russia - in demanding an immediateend to Israel’s blockade.
Sure enough, senior administrationofficials were quoted the next day in the New York Times as declaringthat the Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be“untenable” and “plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’ssecurity while allowing more supplies” into Gaza.
How exactly does the Obamaadministration intend to “ensure Israel’s security” if the Israeliblockade is lifted? Will it dare cross its Islamicallies including Turkey, a member of NATO and one of the more“moderate” Islamic states until taken over by an Islamic ruling party,which is leading the charge against Israel? I’m quite certain that theanswer is resounding “no.”
Will Obama press for a UNSecurity Council resolution prohibiting the transport of arms and oftrained jihadist fighters to Gaza? Even if such a resolutioncould be passed over the objections of the Council’s Islamic membersTurkey and Lebanon, it will be no more effective than its ban on armsto Hezbollah that Iran and Syria regularly violate.
Could some sort of multinationalnaval and land contingent be put into place to inspect for arms inplace of Israel’s blockade? Unlikely, to put it mildly. Doesanyone seriously think that the Obama administration, much less anyEuropean or non-aligned country, would risk putting its ownstanding with the “international community” at risk by replacing Israelas an enforcer and confronting another Free Gaza activist ship?Again I think not.
Israel gave peace a chance five yearsago when it withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza. Extensive imports into Gaza and exports out of Gaza wereallowed until Hamas forcibly took the Gaza Strip over and kickedout the Palestinian Authority. Humanitarian supplies, includingfood and medicines, continue to be allowed in, despite repeatedprovocations from Hamas.
Nothing has changed on Hamas’side. It is still dedicated to destroying the Jewish state. It smuggles arms to use in carrying out its threat, how andwhenever it can. It continues to hold Israeli soldier StaffSgt. Gilad Shalit in captivity.
It is Hamas, not Israel, that mustfundamentally change, before the blockade can be safely lifted. Withthe Obama administration’s willingness to reward Hamas for itsintransigence by continuing to pressure Israel for more and moreunilateral concessions, Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groupswill only become more emboldened. And that should worry Israelis andfreedom loving Westerners alike.
The Obama Administration Sides With Hamas
Joseph A. Klein Bio
|Joseph A. Klein Mostrecent columnsJoseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s StealthAssault on America’s Freedom.
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