Israel's legal blockade

Israel's legal blockade

October 24th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

There was a lot of angry criticism of Israel in 2010 when a group of ships illegally bound for Palestinian-controlled Gaza was boarded and stopped by Israel. Violently attacked the moment they boarded the ships, Israeli troops had no choice but to use force, and nine passengers in the flotilla died.

Surprisingly, even the U.N. -- which is no friend of Israel -- recently admitted in a report on the matter that Israel's naval blockade is both legal and necessary to keep weapons from flowing to terrorists in Palestinian-held areas. Israel is regularly showered with rockets from those areas.

Not surprisingly, the U.N. called Israel's use of force in the raid "excessive." But the passengers' violent response to the boarding showed that Israeli soldiers had little alternative.

The ships bound for Gaza had come from Turkey, which is taking a disturbing turn toward Islamic radicalism. Relations between Turkey and Israel are deteriorating, and that has worsened since the U.N. issued its report declaring Israel's naval blockade justified.

But sadly, the threats to Israel's very existence make firm defensive measures necessary.