Biden on flotilla raid: What else was Israel supposed to do?
posted at 6:07 pm on June 2, 2010 by Allahpundit
I can’t believe I’m asking this, but: Second look at Biden?
“They’ve said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship — if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza,'”, he said. “So what’s the big deal here? What’s the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it’s legitimate for Israel to say, ‘I don’t know what’s on that ship. These guys are dropping… 3,000 rockets on my people.
“Look, you can argue whether Israel should have dropped people onto that ship or not — but the truth of the matter is, Israel has a right to know — they’re at war with Hamas — has a right to know whether or not arms are being smuggled in.”
During the interview, Biden also blamed Hamas for the crisis that has wracked the coastal territory and for the ongoing state of conflict with Israel.
“As we put pressure, and the world put pressure on Israel to let material go into Gaza to help those people who are suffering, the ordinary Palestinians there, what happened? Hamas would confiscate it, put it in a warehouse [and] sell it.
Consider this a reminder that, for all the heat we give national Democrats on terrorism, the party’s leadership is vastly better on Israel than the lefty base is. Steny Hoyer reportedly said earlier today that the Israelis had “rightfully” defended themselves and Anthony Weiner came out swinging yesterday on the IDF’s behalf. Whether top Dems feel genuinely protective of Israel or whether they’re merely pandering from fear of losing Jewish votes to the GOP is known only to them, but if you believe Peter Beinart, most young Jewish liberals don’t have any special affection for Israel these days so any pandering is destined to produce diminishing electoral returns. Actually, I guess Beinart’s larger point is that one of the reasons Jewish liberals have lost affection for Israel is due to operations like the Gaza blockade and flotilla raid, but in that case I’m not sure why: According to a piece just published by Reuters(!!), both appear to be legal. Nor is that the only surprising fact-check on the wires tonight. The AP decided to chat with a terrorism expert about the Turkish group that organized the flotilla and came up with this humdinger:
The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, known by its Turkish acronym IHH, had “clear, long-standing ties to terrorism and Jihad,” former investigating judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere told The Associated Press in a telephone interview…
“They were basically helping al-Qaida when (Osama) bin Laden started to want to target U.S. soil,” he said…
The former judge, renowned for tracking down convicted terrorist Carlos the Jackal, said he didn’t believe the IHH could have been infiltrated by terrorists without its knowledge.
“It’s hard to prove, but all elements of the investigation showed that part of the NGO served to hide jihad-type activities,” Bruguiere said. “I’m convinced this was a clear strategy, known by IHH.”
One of the followers of a jihadi who worked for IHH in the 90s was Ahmed Ressam, whom you’ll remember from trying to bomb LAX in the Millennium Plot. Oh, and if you read the whole thing, you’ll find this line too: “[I]t seemed clear at the time [in the 1990s] that it was thanks to a measure of political backing within the Turkish government that it (IHH) could continue to operate.” That’s the most damning line I’ve read yet about the Turkish government’s willful blindness towards the jihadist elements behind the flotilla, and it comes from … an Associated Press interview? We’re through the looking glass here, people.
Say this for the Turks, though: They know what they’re doing. Thanks to the uproar over the flotilla, the UN vote on sanctions against their pals in Tehran has now been postponed for three weeks. Tick tock.