"This was about instigating an altercation and they succeeded," Weiner, one of Israel's leading allies in Congress, told me. He insisted that the activists piloting the flotilla were offered other alternatives by Israel, such as docking the ship and transporting the supplies to Gaza by land.It's all Turkey's fault. They made Israel kill people, you see. As I said yesterday, Congress has made Obama's decision for him. He has no choice but to fully back Israel and throw Turkey under the bus, and unless he can stop the next aid flotilla, the Middle East may come apart at the seams.
"If you want to instigate a conflict with the Israeli navy it isn't hard to do," Weiner continued. "They were offered alternatives. Instead they chose to sail into the teeth of an internationally recognized blockade."
Pushed on whether the Israeli response, which killed at least nine, was disproportionate, Weiner wouldn't acknowledge it. "It's always easy to criticize the response to a hostile act, but for a week at least the Israelis were trying to prevent this altercation," Weiner said, adding that the Israelis had been "set upon."
"It's very easy now to say they should have come in using water cannons and harsh language," Weiner said, speaking of the Israeli commandos.
When I asked Weiner whether it was legit for the activists to use the flotilla to draw global attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, he suggested that wasn't the real motive. "If they were truly interested in providing aid, there were ways," Weiner said. "This was about instigating an altercation and they succeeded."
Pressed on whether it was defensible for Israel to authorize the boarding of the flotilla, given that such a move was certain to provoke an international outcry, Weiner again turned the blame back on Turkey and the activists.
"Anything that israel does would create an international outcry," Weiner said. "This entire effort was intended to create an international outrcry."
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
And So It Begins
Posted by Zandar
Expect an overwhelming majority of Congress to respond to the Israel/Turkey situation like Dem Rep. Anthony Weiner.