Calvin Freiburger

“Israeli Patriot” Right to Feel Shame – But Not for the Reasons She Thinks

Posted on June 3 2010 3:30 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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Left-wing zealots and Ron Paul cultists frequently raise the prospect of dark Jewish conspiracies to bend the free world to Israel’s sinister will, but such conspiracy-mongering is awfully hard to square with the pervasiveness of Jewish support for the anti-Israel Left.  Today’s example is Fania Oz-Salzberger, an Israeli academic who, on The Daily Beast, incredibly enough claims Israelis should hang their heads in shame over their government’s recent skirmish at sea with aspiring Muslim terrorists:

Raiding ships in international waters (bound for Gaza, I know) loaded with food (and a large supply of knives, I know), and shooting a bunch of Israel-haters (who really went for the kill when the soldiers jumped onto the deck, I know), is not a part of my civil contract with my government. Security? No thanks; you have just stretched the concept a few nautical miles too far.

Here’s the thing: Unsavory protesters disguised as humanitarian “peace activists” do not deserve to be shot. If Messrs. Netanyahu and Barak think they can use my taxes and deploy my defense forces in this way, I can only hang my head in genuine embarrassment. The army in which I served, which will soon enlist my children, is only good for one thing: to fight those who are aiming a gun at me. Not those who dislike me, demonize me, or hope to see me dead. Only the gun-wielders.

The author alludes to the not-quite-altruistic motives of the Turkish flotilla crew, but the full extent of their “unsavory” background cannot be understated.  The flotilla had links to known financers of terrorism, and many of the individuals aboard reportedly had their own jihadist ties.  We know they attacked first, and did so viciously.  Oz-Salzberger can pontificate all she wants about how the character of the “victims” is immaterial, but that’s obviously not true; it speaks directly to whether or not the Israelis have a right to control who brings what into Gaza, and whether or not they’re justified in keeping lethal force (and, er, not-so-lethal force) on the table.  Until the professor supplements the hand-wringing with germane facts, the answer remains a resounding “yes” on both counts.

Elsewhere at the The Daily Beast website, Andrew Roberts counterbalances the hysteria with sanity, pointing out that blockades are entirely legitimate military measures (also legal, by the way) and that the Gaza blockade pales in comparison to the devastation imposed by blockades during World War II, and reiterating the magnitude of the threat Israel faces:

Consider that Israel, at a total population of 7.3 million, is under one-fortieth the size of the USA, at over 300 million. Now consider that Hamas and Hizbollah have fired over 6,000 rockets into Israel since 2007. Now multiply 6,000 by 40, and try to consider what any American President—even Barack Obama—would not have done if Canada were to have fired nearly a quarter of a million rickets at America over the past three years, killing tens of thousands of innocent American citizens and ignoring every warning to stop? Blockade? There’d have been a full-scale invasion years ago, and anybody suggesting that under those circumstances America should start dealing “with both wings of the Canadian national movement without preconditions” would be rightly written off as an appeaser or traitor.

This is not, as Israel-hating smear-blogger Andrew Sullivan asserted, a case of Israelis killing people “because they don’t like them.”  Even if the passengers weren’t bad guys, they still made the decision to respond to a known blockade in a war zone with hostility—signs either of a death wish or grade-A Darwin Award material.  Nobody ignorant of the stakes, the dangers, and the potential consequences had any business there to begin with, and the IDF has too much on the line to coddle every idiot who gives indications they might be a threat, however inadvertent (which, again, these guys most certainly were not).  That the commandos were armed with paintball guns demonstrates the pains to which Israel goes to avoid needless deaths.

Never mind; Oz-Salzberger knows who the real victims are:

The Israeli-Egyptian siege of Gaza was wrong, and must end. All civilian goods should be allowed in, the seriously sick should be rushed to Israeli hospitals, and laborers and students must be searched, airport-style, and let through. Rocket-shooters deserve response by kind. The obnoxious Hamas cannot be pressured into disappearance by making Gaza’s hapless denizens suffer. An honest Israeli should apologize to every innocent Gazan, even if Gaza’s leaders and other Palestinian terrorists will never beg pardon for their numerous Israeli victims. Human decency is not a bargaining chip.

It’s an odd sort of “siege” in which the five ships prior to this one get allowed through without incident. The truth is that there’s no dearth of peaceful goods in Gaza (indeed, “When, earlier today, the IDF brought the cargo from the ships to Rafah to transfer it to Gazans, Hamas … refused the shipment”), but they’ve also got plenty of weapons.  (Dennis Prager has more insight on Jewish concern for Palestinian welfare—and how the Palestinians return the favor— that demands widespread attention.)

If this is what passes for an “Israeli patriot” on the Left, I’d hate to see their idea of an Israeli traitor.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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