“Peace Flotilla” Provocation Distracts Attention From Festering M.E. Threats


“Peace Flotilla” Provocation Distracts Attention From Festering M.E. Threats

Jun 3rd, 2010 2 min read
James Phillips

Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

James Phillips is a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

The international hullabaloo over the tragic deaths provoked by violent “peace activists” seeking to undermine the Israeli arms blockade on Gaza has set back efforts to contain and neutralize the threats posed by the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas and its chief foreign bankroller, Iran. The United Nations Security Council, which was focused on intense negotiations over imposing another round of sanctions on Iran due to its nuclear defiance, now has been diverted to focus on Israel’s alleged transgressions against anti-Israel activists who clearly were spoiling for a fight.

Politico’s Laura Rozen reported yesterday that the Security Council vote on Iran sanctions will likely be pushed back because of fallout from the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla. The Obama administration had been pushing for a vote today, but diplomatic sources said the vote is not likely to take place this week.

This delay comes despite the fact that the IAEA reported on Monday that Iran has accumulated enough low enriched uranium to build two nuclear weapons, if it was further enriched.

Turkey, which is one of the prime movers for deflecting the Security Council’s attention from Iran to Israel, also has aided Iran by promoting a deceptive nuclear deal that diverts attention from Iran’s continued defiance of five U.N. Security Council resolutions calling on it to halt its uranium enrichment efforts.

The international uproar over Israel’s interception of the Gaza-bound ships also has undermined support for Israel’s legitimately imposed arms blockade against Hamas, which has smuggled arms, including sophisticated Iranian-supplied rockets, into Gaza by sea and by tunnels under the Egyptian border. Hamas, which is adamantly committed to Israel’s destruction, provoked a 2008 war with Israel by launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians. The well-meaning but naive peace activists who participated in the flotilla and gave cover to the Islamist radicals who apparently provoked the violence, have helped to advance the Hamas agenda, which includes the obstruction of peace negotiations with Israel and relentless attacks on Israeli civilians.

The Turkish Islamist group that helped to organize and finance the flotilla, the Humanitarian Relief Fund, did not bother to hide its glee over the results of the naval incident: “We became famous,” said Omar Faruk, a board member of the group. “We are very thankful to the Israeli authorities.” No doubt, Hamas and Iran’s Islamist dictatorship also are thankful for the efforts of the Humanitarian Relief Fund and to the European leftists and peaceniks that served as “useful idiots” in advancing their interests.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal