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Congress Speaks About Israel and the Flotilla

Even though Congress is in recess this week, the statements on the terrorist flotilla (should we call it an armada instead?) are pouring in. The overwhelming number are extremely supportive of Israel. There is a challenge to lawmakers and their staffs after a bunch of these have been issued — how to distinguish yours from the crowd? I’ll pull out two — one Democratic and one Republican in the spirit of bipartisanship (it’s actually “nonpartisanship”) — for special mention.

From Democrat Rep. Steve Israel, a pithy summation: “There is nothing humanitarian about lead pipes and knives. Israel unconditionally left Gaza and was rewarded with rocket fire. Israel established a blockade according to the rules of international law to protect itself from further rocket fire. A group of people chose to violate international law and Israel has the right to defend itself.”

And from Republican Rep. Connie Mack:

Since September 11 here in the United States, we have understood the necessity for increased surveillance of materials coming into our airports, seaports and borders. We recognize that screening for materials that can be used by terrorists to endanger our security must be a top priority. The terrorist regime Hamas rules over Gaza through force and remains a constant military threat to the safety and security of Israel and her people. Just as it is wise for us in the United States to ensure that cargo coming into our country is safe, so is it prudent for Israel to do the same and ensure that only non-military supplies are going into Gaza. However, yesterday’s flotilla was designed to avoid scrutiny. They could have had their materials sent through approved channels like the United Nations or the Red Cross, but instead, they chose to avoid the blockade and ship their materials directly to the terrorist-run regime in Gaza. Like the United States, Israel has every right to ensure its own safety and security. If those who sent the flotilla wanted these materials to go to Gaza for humanitarian aid, as they claimed, then they would have sent them through approved channels. It’s clear that this was a publicity stunt geared to break legitimate port security laws. Israel acted courageously on its own behalf. The Obama Administration should stand with Israel and support their right to keep their nation safe and secure.

He gets credit for making the comparison between Israel and the U.S. crystal clear and for reminding us that we are talking about a “terrorist-run regime in Gaza.”

Alas, at the other end of the spectrum is the loathsome Marcy Winograd, who is second to none in her hatred for Israel and her Cynthia Kinney–like fantastical theories. She posts a picture of the a man dressed in a “Free Gaza” T-shirt. And she cheerfully reports that one of her T-shirts was worn on the flotilla. The candidate from Hamas, I suppose. Then she puts out this drivel:

“I suspect the murders were committed as a warning to others who might want to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. Ironically, the killings are bound to heighten awareness about the brutal blockade and to increase pressure to end the imprisonment of over a million people in Gaza.”

Adds Winograd, “Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. Enough, we must stop this, and adhere to the laws that have been established by the international community. Working for peace and human rights for all is the only way forward. As a Jewish woman of conscience, I invite my opponent, Jane Harman, another Jewish woman, and all of Congress to join me in denouncing this kind of barbaric violence, demanding an end to the blockade, and seeking an international investigation into these murders. I recommit myself to working towards a true, just, and lasting peace.”

One note: so far there has been no statement from Joe Sestak, who signed on to the Gaza 54 letter urging the lifting of the blockade. I imagine he and his staff are trying to figure out which is better: rank hypocrisy (reverse course and stand with Israel) or becoming the Marcy Winograd of the Pennsylvania Senate race.


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