Michele Bachmann sides with Israel in attack on humanitarians
Rep. Michele Bachmann, quoting heavily from an AP story and adding her own commentary, sided with Israel today in its attack on a humanitarian flotilla headed for Gaza that resulted in the deaths of nine aid activists, 600 arrests and 45 deportations.
Israel has imposed a military blockade of Gaza's borders and shoreline since the militants of Hamas gained control of the region in 2007. The activists were trying to deliver about 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza when their ships were boarded by Israeli forces in international waters.
Israel has come under attack yet again from several world leaders who are calling the actions taken yesterday by their military "criminal" and "inhuman." The AP reports that Israeli commandos stopped six flotillas headed towards Gaza to make sure that their cargo did not contain weapons. The first five ships abided by the checks peacefully, but on the sixth ship, Israeli commandoes were met with strong resistance.
Some context: As Megan McArdle at The Atlantic writes this morning, the humanitarians "were not the next incarnation of Gandhi; they were on that mission spoiling for a fight. But then I realized that the ships were in international waters, and had every right to attack armed men attempting to board their ship."
George Packer of the New Yorker goes further, writing that, "The purpose of the convoy was not primarily to bring aid to desperate Gazans, but to call attention to the Israeli blockade and turn world opinion overwhelmingly against it."
The UN Security Council condemned the raid, and joined the European Union and Russia in calling for investigation.
While the world decries the actions of Israel, I think it's imperative that the United States stand strong with their ally. I support Israel's position to stop and inspect peace missions headed to Gaza for national security purposes and the U.S. should reiterate our support for Israel and stand by them throughout the peace process in the Middle East.
After news of the attack broke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit with President Barack Obama. The White House readout on Monday:
The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals. The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible."
Here's video of the raid: