In Rabbi’s Turn on June 25 (“Just a bit too interesting”), Rabbi Jonathan Singer referred to “Israel’s attack on the ‘peace’ activists” and wrote that “Israel treated the approaching Gaza flotilla convoy as giants.”
To characterize what happened at sea as an “Israeli attack” is a misrepresentation: If anything, Israeli naval personnel landed on the Mavi Marmara with too little force. They were entirely within their legal right and moral obligation to board the ship. The U.S. Coast Guard boards ships entering U.S. waters every day to inspect for contraband. This is standard procedure. In Israel’s case, the inspections are a matter of life and death, since weaponry and war materiel smuggled into Gaza are used for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.
The reality is that the so-called “peace activists” on board the Mavi Marmara were bound and determined to provoke an incident, as their use of knives and clubs proves. If Israel really considered the Mavi Marmara a “giant” it would have used far more force, for example, by disabling the ship.
Incidentally, creating a provocation was the chief purpose of the activists, not bringing in humanitarian aid. Indeed, more aid enters Gaza from Israel as a matter of course each week than was on the entire flotilla. And as for the actual aid on the flotilla? Hamas refused to accept it.