Israel blocks leftists — including McKinney — from delivery aid to Gaza

Israel stopped a contingent of Hamas supporters who tried to run a blockade bringing money and supplies into Gaza.  Cynthia McKinney figures prominently in their number:

The Israeli navy intercepted a ship carrying foreign peace activists – including a San Rafael woman – trying to break a blockade of Gaza on Tuesday and forced it to sail to an Israeli port, the military said.

A statement said the Greek-registered freighter Arion ignored a radio message from the Israeli military saying it would not be allowed to enter Gaza waters and ordering it to turn back.


Also on board (in addition to a Marin County resident) is former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and other activists from Britain, Ireland, Bahrain and Jamaica.


Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel was planning to free the crew and passengers. “Nobody wants to keep them here,” he said. “They will be released as soon as they are checked.”

The Free Gaza Movement has organized five boat trips to Gaza since August 2008, defying a blockade imposed by Israel when the militant group Hamas seized control of the territory from its Palestinian rivals in June 2007.

This blockade running is a stunt, of course.  Unlike sieges of old, Israel is not imposing a blockade in order to cause the citizens of Gaza to experience famine and disease.  The amount of government-sanctioned money flowing into Gaza from all points of the world is staggering.   In 2009 alone, Saudi Arabia promised $58.9 million; President Obama (bless his little Leftist heart) promised a staggering $900 million; and, ‘tho I can’t find 2009 figures, as little as two years ago, Europe was giving annual aid at the 500 million Euro level.  None of this, of course, is chump change.  If the Palestinians had spent it wisely, they could have had a true Utopia.  As it is, because they are a mix of corruption and murderous hatred, they’ve created a foul dystopia.

But I digress.  Given the money that pours into Gaza, and given that Israel allows food, water and electricity to flow into that hate-filled territory, why the Israeli blockade?  Only useful idiots would fail to see that the blockade is a desperate effort to prevent arms from flowing into Gaza.  As it is, despite the blockade, Israel deals with thousands of rocket attacks annually.  One only shudders to think what would happen without a blockade.

I’m willing to believe that the useful idiots on that ship have nothing to do with arms smuggling.  Frankly, they’re too dumb to be trusted with what is, after all, a delicate task.  They are cover, pure and simple.  Hamas has discovered that there’s no better way simultaneously to hide and support their murderous agenda than to encourage the belief on the part of the credulous on the Left that Palestinians are victims of a genocidal Israel plot.  One of the hallmarks of Leftists, both those who are informed and committed, and those who are merely stupid, is the inability to realize that not all Goliaths (that is, all big guys) are bad, and not all Davids (that would be the little guys) are good.

As I’ve said time and again in this blog, it’s not enough to be little.  You have to stand for something good to be deserving of the David appellation and the world’s assistance.  Right now, there are Davids in the world, but they are the Iranian citizens facing the guns and axes of their own government in an effort to bring some small measure of freedom to their totalitarian corner of the world.

Somehow, though,  I don’t think I’ll see Cynthia McKinney and her fellow-travelers making a stand for Iranian citizens any time soon.  She takes her cue from our President, who seemingly has never met a totalitarian government he hasn’t liked.

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  • Quite Rightly

    “Nobody wants to keep them here.”

    With Cynthia McKinney on board, it is impossible to believe otherwise!


    Too bad, we don’t have any blockades on this side of the world…I wouldn’t let that ‘sin-thia’ back.

  • BrianE

    I hope I’m wrong, but it looks like Israel is losing the PR war.

  • Mike Devx

    When all the major media outlets are reporting the news in such a way as it favors your opponent, of course you’re going to lose the PR war. I’m completely comfortable in saying that anyone who comes to the issue with an open mind and digs for the truth will end up choosing Israel’s side. (A usual caveat – no, I am not calling them angels; they’re a nation of individuals like anyone else.)

    Few people are really paying close attention; most are busy with their lives, usually in ways I find utterly shallow. So the only information they get is from the MSM, and it’s almost like background noise to them, slipping gently and unnoticed into their brains, a kind of subliminal 24-7 worldview programming. Of course Israel will lose this PR war.


    Better to lose a PR war than a real one.

  • Mike Devx

    In much the same manner, the democratic and constitutional opposition to Zelaya will lose the PR war in Honduras.

    Anyone who digs into the facts in Honduras – and honestly assesses them – will come to the conclusion that there was no coup. In my timeline in a different commenting thread, I missed one thing: Not only did the attorney general in Honduras order that Zelaya be detained and ousted by the military, the Supreme Court did *as well*.

    There is one problem, that Brian E pointed out in that same thread: When the President of Honduras violates the constitution in the way he did, the constitution specifies that he is to immediately cease all functions of his office and leave it. The problem is that it does not specify the legal mechanism by which he is to be removed, if he refuses.

    Therefore, at that point, I guess Honduras will always face a constitutional crisis in this situation. They chose to follow this path: Have the supreme court and the attorney general order the military to oust him, and the military does oust him. Crisis resolved.

    Except there is a new problem: The corrupt leadership within the United States – primarily Obama and H. Clinton, the leaders of the EU, of the UN, and of the OAS, all condemned the legal moves of the anti-Zelaya forces in Honduras. This is not Honduras’ problem, except that they now face international opposition for their legal actions. Sounds a LOT like what Israel faces every day, doesn’t it?

    If you had any hope that Obama and Clinton would follow the rule of law; if you had any hope that international organizations such as the UN, the EU, and the OAS might respect law, abandon all such hope. They are leftists and statists supporting tyrannies. We must proceed forward with open eyes, clear eyes and clear minds, about who the enemies of freedom and democracy are. We see them all on display, *right now*, in the matters at hand in Honduras.

    The obvious enemies of democracy and freedom are easy to see: Chavez in Venezuela, the mad mullahs and Achmadinejad, Putin, all Iranian allies including the Palestinian leadership…

    The secret enemies of democracy, currently, as shown by their stance against the forces of freedom in Honduras, should be clearly identified as well. They are: President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton in the United States of America, and all leadership within the corrupt organizations of the UN, the EU, and the OAS. Until they recognize the legal authority of the forces of freedom and democracy in Honduras, that is.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Don’t forget…tiny, weak, neo-natal and underpopulated Israel also lost the PR war in 1948. It still won against overwhelming odds. On its own. It will again.

  • BrianE

    I think it would be shortsighted for Israel to ignore American opinion.
    US gives $2.5 billion (2006) in military hardware each year to Israel with a total military budget of $7 billion.
    US also guarantees $9 billion in loans.
    US is Israel’s largest trading partner (both imports and exports) by a significant margin.

    Last Thursday, President Obama sent his FY2010 budget outline to Congress and we were pleasantly surprised to see that it contained no mention of military aid to Israel.

    Last Tuesday, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to explain his budget outline. His only reference to Israel was a reiteration of his Administration’s priority “To seek progress toward a secure and lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors”.

    Does this mean that President Obama will not include $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel when he delivers his actual detailed budget request to Congress in April as expected? That’s highly doubtful.

    But the absence of any mention of it in the budget outline or the President’s address to Congress does mean that military aid to Israel is becoming a political liability, something that is now downplayed and no longer trumpeted.

    If our analysis is correct, then what accounts for this shift? Undoubtedly it is our growing movement to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons to commit horrific human rights abuses against Palestinians.

    Granted this perspective is from a anti-Israel viewpoint, but there analysis may be close to the truth. I believe Obama would hold military aid to Israel hostage if he thought public opinion would favor it.

    Would Israel cease to exist if the aid were withheld? Probably not.

    I would suggest that the declining support of Israel by young American Jews is the canary in the coal mine, though.

    Sociologists Stephen Cohen and Ari Kelman have now confirmed what everyone already knew: Young American Jews do not care very much about Israel. They are not just apathetic about Israel, that indifference is “giving way to downright alienation,” write Cohen and Kelman.

    More than half of Jews under 35 said that they would not view the destruction of Israel as a personal tragedy. The death and expulsion of millions is something they could live with. By those standards, they probably would not see the Holocaust as a “personal” tragedy either.

    More than half of Jews under 35 said that they would not view the destruction of Israel as a personal tragedy. “These results are very upsetting,” said Jewish Agency chairman Zev Bielski. He then proceeded to give an inane explanation for those numbers: the comfortable life of most American Jews.

    Cohen and Kelman know better. And their answer is summed up in the demographic they did not interview for their study: Orthodox Jews. A survey of young Orthodox Jews would have yielded a diametrically opposed and highly embarrassing result.

    Among younger Jews, those for whom their Judaism is important — primarily the Orthodox — will remain connected to the fate of their fellow Jews in Israel. Most Orthodox American youth will study in Israel after high school, some for many years. And almost all will visit Israel many times. Eretz Yisrael is not a mere abstraction for them, but the center of the spiritual life of the Jewish people.

    The majority of young American Jews and the majority of young Israelis share in common a lack of interest in their Judaism. But that shared negativity provides little basis for a relationship. Shared gene pools won’t do it either — that smacks of racism. And ethnic identity, it turns out, cannot be passed down, or survive the breakup of ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods.

    What young Jews under 35 feel towards Israel goes beyond apathy to outright resentment. Israel complicates their social lives and muddies their political identity. Only 54% profess to be comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state at all. In Europe and on elite American campuses, internationalism and a world-without-borders are the rage. The Jews of Israel, with their stubborn insistence on protecting their nation-state, are, as always, out-of-sync.

    Young American Jews do not wish to be tarred with their atavisms. On campus and where enlightened folk meet, Israel is scorned as a colonial oppressor. Who wants to be identified as a sympathizer with apartheid? Young American Jews today share fears of being out of step with their enlightened peers.

    Molly Umberger, whose mother is program director of the leftist New Israel Fund (NIF), told the Jerusalem Post that she views both Israel and Palestinians as having made lots of mistakes and the situation as complicated, but generally “tries not to think about [ Israel].” (No wonder when Bruce Temkin, the director of the NIF, describes Israel as a “turn-off.”) Daniel Alperin, 33, describes his interest in Israel as waning when he began to hear “the bad stuff” — probably about the time he entered college.

    Already the trends lines were pointing in this direction forty years ago. In a 1965 Commentary symposium of younger Jewish intellectuals — the least religiously identified segment of American Jewry — only one expressed complete comfort with Israel’s creation and pride in its accomplishments, and he eventually made aliyah. The rest expressed various degrees of discomfort with Israel’s militarism (and this was before 1967 and the “occupation”). The only Jewish identity they acknowledged at all was that of the “Jew” as the perpetually alienated critic of those in power — not exactly one upon which to base a connection to other Jews. Now the rest of American Jewry is catching up to those once young intellectuals.

    The historic bargain linking American Jewry and Israel since the founding of the State is coming to an end. The implications of Cohen and Kelman’s findings for American Jewry are great. The historic bargain linking American Jewry and Israel since the founding of the State is coming to an end. The terms of the deal were unspoken, but clear: Israel would provide American Jews with a sense of pride and identity as Jews, and they, in turn, would shower upon Israel their financial and political support. But Israel is no longer a source of pride for many Jews, and the identity it provides is not one which they wish to share.

    But the survey signals something else as well: a declining understanding on the part of American Jews of Judaism in terms of a national identity that imposes obligations to one’s co-nationals.

    Cohen and Kelman are wrong to argue that ethnic identity is being replaced by religious identity. For when young American Jews say that they view their Judaism as a religious not national identity, the religion they refer to is a pretty tepid affair. Precisely because it is so tepid does it fail to provide them a sense of connection to their fellow Jews, whether in America or abroad. It is a religion largely lacking connection to the Land of Israel, and even more importantly to the defining event in Jewish history the giving of Torah at Sinai. Absent the latter, there is no common mission to link the descendants of those who stood at Sinai.

    The impact of the declining sense of responsibility to one’s fellow Jews is being felt within American Jewry itself, not just in attitudes towards Israel. Already only 6% of giving by mega-Jewish foundations goes to remotely Jewish causes. It is hardly surprising, for instance, that non-Jewish spouses are not eager to contribute to Jewish causes. In time, funding the institutions of American Jewry will become ever more difficult.

    The political implications for Israel are large as well. Fortunately, Professors Walt and Mearsheimer are wrong about an Israel Lobby comprised mostly of those with Jewish-sounding names. It is devout Christians, and not some nefarious Israel Lobby, which is the primary bulwark of American support for Israel today. That we have to rely on Christian support, rather than our fellow Jews, however, is a very mixed blessing indeed.

    Christian support for Israel’s right to exist isn’t contingent on public opinion, since I believe it is a result of an understanding of the Abrahamic covenant, but that doesn’t mean Israel should ignore this war for American opinion.

  • Ymarsakar

    In these days, the PR war is part and parcel of the regular war.

  • Ymarsakar

    Btw, they should just let the supplies in and then blow them up.

  • BrianE

    Is this odd alliance of evangelical Christians and the liberal Jewish lobby the reason Israel enjoys the support of Congress?
    What will be the effect if the left drives Christians from the public square and Jewish support becomes more tepid?

  • BrianE

    Btw, they should just let the supplies in and then blow them up.- Y

    I was thinking of something more technological, like Z rays.

    Reporting from Washington — The Obama administration is prepared to halt North Korean ships on the high seas to carry out the newest United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang’s arms trade, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said Friday.

    Susan Rice said the United States would intensify its scrutiny of North Korea’s trade in banned weapons, and if U.S. commanders suspect a ship is carrying them, “we are prepared to confront that vessel.”- from th LA Times

    It needs to be pointed out that Israel is doing nothing more than what the US says it will do (though I doubt Obama was the fortitude to actually carry out the threat of inspecting NK ships).

  • BrianE

    I ran across this editorial today. I’m not the only one that thinks Israel needs to focus it’s PR war.

    Israel is losing the PR war so badly that even evangelical support is eroding

    …So what can Israel do to win its global PR war, a war for truth?

    One of Judaism’s greatest traits is that, while the rest of world talks, it acts. The government of Israel has beefed up media relations and lobbying efforts to Western countries. It makes a special effort to reach Christians through its Tourism Ministry and the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus.

    Religious Israeli organizations do a first-rate job in taking their case to gentiles. And a host of secular entities, most of them nonprofits, are second to none in telling the truth about Israel and exposing its enemies’ lies.

    But it is not enough. What else can be done? How can Israel be a more effective light that draws the nations to her?

    First, recruit the world of commerce. Independent, for-profit media companies must present the broad canvas of Israeli news. Expanded investments in Israeli technologies will yield medical breakthroughs, unleash alternative energy sources and provide water and food for the world’s population.

    Second, aim directly to inform the potential “grassroot” supporters of the Jewish state. Bring Israel to them and they will come to Israel, both as tourists and supporters of the state.

  • BrianE

    More from the JP editorial:

    The war that Israel keeps losing is the war of world opinion, the war for individual hearts and minds. Consider recent stumbles.

    Israel’s military campaign in Gaza should have been named “8,000 is enough!” This would have communicated a determination to stop the barrage of missiles from Hamas, using surgical precision to destroy its arsenal, but destroying all of it, not just a part. Enough was enough: 8,000 missiles launched on the nation’s civilian population would no longer be tolerated.

    Unfortunately the operation was dubbed, “Cast Lead.” The resulting image in the English-speaking world was not helpful. Lead is a soft metal associated with poison. The implication, then, was an unprofessional plan with ambivalent determination, biased motives and toxic methods.

    Which is exactly how governments and media judge “the Gaza war.” Israel and her defenders respond by arguing, “Israel has the right to defend herself.” This is true, but flawed. Why? Limiting Israel’s self-defense to a right makes it an option. Little wonder, then, that Israel’s enemies portray her as a ruthless bully. In the matter of Gaza, for example, she could have chosen to refrain.

    In fact, Israel has more than a right to defend her citizens and existence. Along with every sovereign state, she has a mandate to defend against invaders, murderers, thieves, poverty and disease. And from enemies who declare war and wage it.

    The Hamas unamended charter of 1988 is a declaration of war. It explicitly calls for destruction of the Jewish state of Israel through jihad – against Jews and Christians (Article 13). Any member who abandons this struggle is guilty of “high treason and cursed” (Article 32). Accordingly, any “initiatives… so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to [these] principles” (Article 13).

    As the article goes on to point out, we may enter negotiations wth this same Hamas.



    This article from just about a year ago, addresses some of your suggestions.

    The State of Israel is something the antisemites can point towards – before she existed as a state, the world just pointed at villages, cities, towns and countries and rounded up the Jewish communities and ghettoized them, killed them, expelled them. The Jews place last in a popularity contest, but if you not in it to be No. 1, well then the issues change. The attached article barely touches on the overall inventions, accomplishments and devices that changed the world. Those, who do not acknowledge and recognize and praise such lists, what’s PR going to do. Evangelical support is a whole other can of worms since their support is in based in their faith and not the Jewish faith.

    You can look at this way…Judaism gave birth to a monolithic G-d – One G-d, which gave way to Christianity and Islam. If we look at Judaism as the Parents, then the children are having relationship problems with them. Until they can resolve why they are so angry and continue to carry this resentment for thousands of years, nothing will change. I realize a good deal of this resentment was not of their doing, certainly Christianity and Islam encouraged this to fortify their own religious positions.
    It will take not be a PR campaign from Israel that will change the course of events/history, it will have to come from the rest of the world and from voices like yours that ask the right questions and offer to help. There are just over 13 millions Jews in the world, a fractional percentage of the world’s population.

    Maybe the question should be: Why do so many people become unglued by such a small community.


    Meaning of Dayenu “ENOUGH”

    Dayenu (or Dayeinu) is a song/poem that is part of the Passover Haggada, which is recited at the Seder.

    The word “dayenu” is Hebrew for “it is enough for us” or “we would have been satisfied.” The song lists the miracles that G-d performed for the Jewish people, and gifts bestowed upon them, during the time of the Exodus from Egypt and immediately after. After each item, we say “dayenu.”

    The song follows the format “If G-d had done x and not done y, dayenu. If G-d had done y and not done z, dayenu,” and so on. This detailed itemizing is an expression of gratitude for blessings received, and it helps to inculcate a mindset of thankfulness that is appropriate outside the confines of the Seder as well.

    I offer up the above because 8,000 rockets was more than enough, but since it is used in liturgy, it’s possible that whomever gives names to military actions thought better of it.