Monday, July 26, 2010

Setting the Record Straight on the Mavi Mamara

These two letters were published in The Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut) on Monday, July 26, 2010.

A few questions remain

To the Editor:

I have a few questions for Aletha and Lynn Carlton, who wrote a letter published July 16 in which they asserted the people on the so-called Free Gaza Flotilla "were not expecting a fight."

If they were not expecting a fight, which did they bring along dozens of armed and trained fighters from IHH?

If they were not expecting a fight, why did they come equipped with bulletproof vests and night vision goggles?

If they were not expecting a fight, why did they cut up the railings on the Mavi Mamara and use them to beat Israelis? In fact, why did they bring aboard tools to enable them to do that?

If they were not expecting a fight, why did they bring weapons?

If they were not expecting a fight, why did they start a fight, attacking the Israelis even before they boarded the ship?

All their actions are well-documented, including video.

The IHH, the primary organizer of the Free Gaza Flotilla, has already been banned by Germany from raising funds there because it promotes terrorism.

Overwhelming evidence has even forced our won State Department to consider officially designating the IHH as what it obviously is, a terrorist organization.

The IHH not only expected a fight, it planned for one and initiated one.

The losers, far more than Israel, are the people in Gaza who are being oppressed by their own government, controlled by Hamas. Particularly oppressed are the Christians in Gaza. Since losing any remaining protection once Israel completely left Gaza in 2005, they have been intimidated, beaten and tortured by fanatical Islamists, who are even oppressing the moderate Muslims in Gaza.

It is sadly ironic that those who are criticizing Israel are helping to perpetuate the enslavement of the moderates in Gaza, who need to be freed from their oppressive rulers.

Jay Jacovitz

Facts out of fabrications

To the Editor:

Regarding the letter "Flotilla was not expecting a fight," written by Aletha and Lynn Carlton ( The Hour July 16) I'm always amazed at how some people seem to be able to write an anti-Israel letter creating "facts" out of fabrications. Here are the proven, factual, and verifiable facts: The IHH operatives involved in the violence on the so-called "Free Gaza Flotilla" boarded at a different port, without being subjected to inspection, separately from others. They brought bulletproof vests, night vision goggles and weapons, including firearms with which they shot Israelis who boarded. Some of the bullets removed from injured Israelis did not come from Israeli weapons and Mavi Mamara crew members testified they saw the IHH attackers throw weapons over board once the Israelis successfully warded off their vicious attack.

This flatly contradicts the Carltons' assertion that those on the flotilla "were not expecting a fight." They not only expected a fight; they started the fight. This is corroborated by audio and video tapes readily available on YouTube and elsewhere. They declared themselves "shaheeds" (martyrs) before even leaving Turkey.

I also find it hard to believe their charge that Dore Gold, a Connecticut native and former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, "assured an American Jewish gathering … They would … make life so miserable for the Palestinians and Christians that they would leave "voluntarily." That charge sounds totally out of character and I've found no evidence to support such a claim.

It is true, on the other hand, that Arab Muslims, in the West Bank and Gaza, are harassing and persecuting their Christian "brethren" and driving them out. Even Bethlehem has turned from being a Christian to a pre dominantly Muslim town since it came under the control of the Palestinian Authority. In the Middle East, only in Israel, do Christians escape severe persecution.

Perhaps I shouldn't really be surprised that those who oppose Israel find it difficult to write against Israel without making up their own, distorted version of the facts. I suggest they do a little research to verify their false claims. After all, if one actually looks at the facts, it's difficult to avoid supporting Israel, the only liberal, Western-oriented democracy in the Middle East and our only reliable and loyal friend in that part of the world.

Murray Bruckel

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