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Anthony Weiner strongly defends Israeli attack on flotilla

In a sign that some Dems in Congress may rally behind Israel in the face of international condemnation of the attack on the aid flotilla, Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York strongly defended Israel's move in an interview, blaming the bloodshed on Turkey and the activists for instigating the conflict.

"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.

"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."

More along these lines soon.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 1, 2010; 12:19 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House Dems  
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Next: Source: Hillary asking foreign leaders to `dial down' criticism of Israel

Comments

Truly sad.......Israel owns the US Congress and they tell us what we can do. Truly tired of being ruled by another country and being responsible for someone's actions when they are out of control!

Posted by: carolerae48 | June 1, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Did you catch the claims coming out of Israel, yesterday, that their forces that were dropped onto the ship, were armed with Paint Ball Guns?

Does anyone really believe that, and if it were true, wouldn't that make the Israeli armed forces look ridiculous?

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be completely off-topic, but this really surprised me:

"Al and Tipper Gore, whose playful romance enlivened Washington and the campaign trail for a quarter century, have decided to separate after 40 years of marriage, the couple told friends Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38001.html#ixzz0pcUhE4qg

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 1, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING: Politico is reporting that Al and Tipper Gore are separating. The couple has issued a statement asking for privacy and saying the decision came after long and careful consideration.

Posted by: obrier2 | June 1, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

As good as Weiner was on pushing HCR, he is totally, dead wrong on this issue. Blaming the flotilla for being attacked in international waters is beyond bizarre. It's like blaming the protesters at the Pettis bridge for provoking the police.

Somehow we missed the days of warnings that Israel gave to the flotilla, and their offers of different ways to resolve the issue. Only after they killed a bunch of people do we hear about any efforts to diffuse the situation. Seems strange...

If the congress and this administration can't get its collective head out of Israel's a$$ and issue a strong condemnation of what amounts to state supported piracy, they deserve to lose in the court of public opinion. This can't help Dem's efforts to slow the # of losses in November.

I am wondering where Rand Paul and the Republicans are on attacking ships in international waters.


Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Utterly predictable. screw the big banks/Wall Street, we know who really pulls the strings of the UNITED STATES Congress. You can expect to hear either silence or the same kind of rhetoric from all the rest of the Congress critters

I'm personally offended by and ashamed of Weiner's assault on our common sense. But again im not surprised.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I am wondering where Rand Paul and the Republicans are on attacking ships in international waters.

Israel could attack one of our own ships and congress wouldn't do squat, never mind the republicans.

Posted by: obrier2 | June 1, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Greg, for reporting the other side of this incident.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 1, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, Anthony Wiener, Chuck Schumer and the Israel First-ers are ensuring that Americans turn against Israel and that Israel becomes an international pariah. Not really helping the cause when you think about it.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Just because Hamas is in charge, does not give Israel the right to treat the one and half million people who live in the Gaza strip, like residents of Darfur, and that is what Israel has being doing for the past three years. Half the population of Gaza is under the age of eighteen, and most them are much younger than that. Israel has every right to fight terrorists, and no right to malnourish hundreds of thousands of children, in a gigantic open air prison camp.

Aside from being a crime against humanity, it is also counter productive, and only strengthens the hand of the extremists, such as Hamas.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@ sbj3 : What exactly is the other side of civilian ships (carrying relief supplies to a population being denied access to relief supplies by an occupying army) being attacked in international waters by military commandos from helicopters?

Do you ascribe to Newtie's view that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza?

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@srw3: Are you aware that the Israelis deliver relief supplies to Gaza? Do you understand that Hamas-controlled Gaza is under blockade by both Israel and Egypt?

Posted by: sbj3 | June 1, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I know we can't post live links but if you cut and paste this url you can see Juan Cole's take on what's happening including some videos of the actual alteraction. No way in hell any rational person can hear the press accounts and watch the video, especially if you know how terrible the living conditions are on the Gaza strip, and come away in any way shape or form sympathetic to Israel. Hell mostly I just feel disdain for their leadership at this point. But when they elected Bibi this is what they had to expect.

http://www.juancole.com/2010/06/historic-unsc-condemnation-of-israel-and-of-gaza-blockade-world-body-demands-release-of-aid-activists-ships.html

Also in the link, the fact that the US allowed the UN Security council to even release the weaksauce statement that was agreed to might, emphasis on MIGHT signal even the most subtle shift. Normally we would veto any thing that in any remote way held Israel to account but the politics and foreign policy is really really dicey on this one as it involves Turkey one of our most important allies in the Muslim world and somebody we expect to help us when it comes to sanctioning Iran. This is going to continue to get interesting folks, but one thing you will never see is our government coming out and even in the mildest terms rebuking Israel even when the situation obviously calls for it.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh and its worth noting that in response to this aggression Egypt is now openinig their border to Gazans and denouncing the attack. Great job there Israel!

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a dicey diplomatic tight rope walk for the WH and I think Weiner would have been better advised to keep his mouth shut on this subject. Let's see what the Administration comes up with first, although I imagine he was trying to influence their approach. Not something I'm appreciative of.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Tony Weiner has always been the finest member of the Shas Party to represent its interests in Washington.

Weiner's ties to, and long-held admiration of, Liberman - Avigdor Lieberman - remain well known in D.C. and the Big Apple.

Posted by: MarkinJC | June 1, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"when they elected Bibi this is what they had to expect."

YUP.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 1, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

B B Brained Neten-Yahoo behaves like Bush/Cheney.

They think using a sledge hammer, is always the only way to solve problems.

The guy in charge, before, B B Brain, was just as stupid.

When one Israeli soldier was taken captive on the Lebanon border, Israel launched a massive assault, and ended up killing thousands of people in Lebanon. Over a hundred of their own soldiers were killed, and they still did not free the one soldier that had originally been taken captive.

They also carpet bombed Southern Lebanon with cluster bombs, which end up killing many children, years after those bombs have been strewn all over the landscape.

One soldier taken captive, and Israel responds by getting at least a hundred more of it's own soldiers killed.

In recent years, Israeli governments have never missed a chance, to turn a minor challenge into a destructive catastrophe.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

OT:

The economic recovery gained strength on the biggest rise in construction spending in nearly a decade and the 10th straight month of expansion for the manufacturing sector.

Temporary government incentives fueled most of the construction spending increases in April. Industry spending rose 2.7 percent with gains in all major sectors, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

In a separate report Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said its manufacturing index dipped slightly in May from a nearly six-year high in April. But the 59.7 reading for May was well above the 50 level that indicates expansion.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37447476/ns/business-eye_on_the_economy/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 1, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I think we should re-attack Iraq over this.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@ sbj3: I am aware that very basic supplies like cement for rebuilding houses, spare parts, fuel, many kinds of foodstuffs, and other raw materials etc are routinely stopped at the checkpoints by the Israelis and not allowed in.

"The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees Unrwa's list of household items that have been refused entry at various times includes light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, pasta, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts, shampoo and conditioner. Many other items - ranging from cars to fridges to computers - are generally refused entry.
Building materials such as cement, concrete and wood were nearly always refused entry until early 2010, when some glass, wood, cement and aluminium were allowed in...The blockade has taken its toll on Gaza's water and sewage network. Lack of spare parts has made repairs difficult. Intermittent power supplies have made pumps reliant on generators, which in turn have lacked spare parts and fuel.
The WHO says Operation Cast Lead worsened an already bad situation. Before the operation, it says Gazans had only half the water they needed according to international standards, and 80% of water supplied did not meet WHO drinking standards.
"--bbc.

I am not sure why Mubarak's stance is comment worthy as his government only exists because of massive US aid and support. It is unsurprising that Mubarak is toeing Israel's line against Hamas. There are no free elections in Egypt because the pro-US/Israeli Mubarak government would lose to parties that are more sympathetic to lifting the blockade for a start.

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"Israel could attack one of our own ships and congress wouldn't do squat, never mind the republicans."

Not just could. Did. Google "USS Liberty." And yes, they got away with it.

Posted by: npbaseball1 | June 1, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Israel lets supplies into Gaza, in the same manner that the Sudan government let supplies into Darfur.

Just PR token supplies, on a completely inadequate basis, have been allowed in.

All the major global relief agencies have been reporting that the children of Gaza are being malnourished, and punished by Israel, for the sins of Hamas.

Those children are going to grow up radicalized, and will come back to haunt Israel.

B B Brained Neten-Yahoo is too stupid to comprehend what a long term backlash he is creating.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to learn that Weiner is a knee-jerk apologist for the Likud-Shas right-wingers.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 1, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: as I suspected, besides Egypt's client state status to the US, the Egypt/Israel treaty forces Egypt to participate in the blockade...

"Hala Mustafa, editor of the state-funded Al-Ahram Quarterly Democracy Review, says Egypt's role in the blockade is based on its obligations under its peace agreement with Israel. "In this accord, Egypt has to watch its border and should not allow any third party to cross the border in order to attack Israel." As for blocked aid convoys, she says: "This aid has been used as ... a kind of propaganda to bring the attention of the other Arab communities and the international community against Egypt."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1953015,00.html#ixzz0pcknAcez

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: as I suspected, besides Egypt's client state status to the US, the Egypt/Israel treaty forces Egypt to participate in the blockade...

"Hala Mustafa, editor of the state-funded Al-Ahram Quarterly Democracy Review, says Egypt's role in the blockade is based on its obligations under its peace agreement with Israel. "In this accord, Egypt has to watch its border and should not allow any third party to cross the border in order to attack Israel." As for blocked aid convoys, she says: "This aid has been used as ... a kind of propaganda to bring the attention of the other Arab communities and the international community against Egypt."

Read more: www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1953015,00.html#ixzz0pcknAcez

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

srw3 wrote: "It's like blaming the protesters at the Pettis bridge for provoking the police. "

how soon till we here claims that is was all instigated by 'outside agitators'?

the israeli response, as well as weiner's, insult our intelligence.

commandoes repelling down from helicopters 80 miles offshore in international waters are not just some peaceful innocent kids who were attacked for no reason.

the flotilla was designed to bring attention to the inhuman mass punishment of a whole society. unfortunately, as is usually the case when israel's treatment of palistinians is the case, people had to die.


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | June 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Luis Tiant recants: It in't so great to be with a Weiner.

Posted by: jzap | June 1, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

OT, at Kos:

"Leaving aside the horrific timing, let's keep this gem in mind the next time some Republican babbles incessantly about fiscal austerity and budget tightening:

"""Shortly before the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf, the Florida House spent $200,000 for a study of oil drilling off Florida's coast which said any spills would be rare, small and easily contained.

The report by the Willis Group cost $200,000 because it was a “rush job,” according to Jill Chamberlin, spokeswoman for Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul."""

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/6/1/871820/-Report:-Florida-Republicans-dropped-$200K-to-rush-pro-drilling-report

Way to go Rip-off Party of Florida! Heckuva job. Oil spill in the Gulf? Why, our study says no problem!

The source article for this story (linked to by the Tampa Buzz blog) is an absolute MUST-READ for anyone in FL:

"""“This study wasn’t simply tilted or slanted. I would say it’s downright deceptive,” said David Guest, head of the Florida chapter of the environmental law firm Earthjustice. [...]

Guest isn’t the only one questioning the study. So is long-time drilling foe, Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Tampa.

“It’s outrageous that taxpayer money was being used, especially looking back today,” she said. “They have no credibility. I think you can throw that study in the garbage can.”"""

http://www.wusf.usf.edu/news/2010/05/31/florida_house_spent_200000_on_rush-job_oil_drilling_study

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Israel could nuke Cleveland and 98% of Congress would support them.

Posted by: jbentley4 | June 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

David Frum has a column on CNN, that supports the Israeli action.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/06/01/frum.gaza.flotilla.israel/index.html?hpt=T1

The gist of his argument is that the relief ships were carrying cement. He calls it "smuggling cement", even though they were not smuggling. They openly announced their departure and port of destination, well in advance. Frum can not tell smugglers from the hole in his head.

Apparently Israel does not allow Gaza to have any cement for reconstruction, because Israel claims it could be used to build bunkers.

Honestly, that is what Frum says the policy of Israel is. That means that Israel has every intention of bombing the hell out of Gaza in the future. Why else would they be so worried about what cement supplies might be used for.

Does Israel have any cement bunkers? Hmmmm! Why are they allowed to have bunkers, but the Palestinians are not.

Reminds me of the Seinfeld Soup Nazi; No Bunkers For You. Lots Of Bunkers For Us. No Bunkers For You.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Israel could nuke Cleveland and 98% of Congress would support them."

Yup, and then call for a strike on Detroit.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

This is beginning to remind me of the Balkan Wars. People would say, "what should we do?" and the only answer was that through a succession of looking away and stupid moves we had gotten ourselves into a situation where there were no good options.

American governments have coddled the hardliners in Israel for far, far too long. Anthony Weiner is great on health care but a prisoner of this kind of thinking on Israel. Israel has to be restrained and above all Netanyahu and Lieberman have to be restrained or we will be facing the end of the world as we know it. Only the US can restrain Israel by cutting off its support, but the Israel lobby makes that very, very difficult difficult.

It may be hard for people who live in New York or LA to believe it, but Jews, and more importantly right-wing Israel supporters are a very small minority in this country and even if they are outweighed by apocalyptic Christian allies, they should not assume that Americans are willing to suffer and die for them, at least not for long.

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 1, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvS9PXZ3RWM

Video of the weapons cache on board the "peace" flotilla , many of which to even the most casual observer.. were painfully obviously ready well in advance , the organizer of the flotilla has said on American TV that the main objective was to break the blockade .Israel has a right to defend itself. The organizers have no right to sacrifice well meaning do gooders as martyrs .

The blood is alsoon Obamas hands for creating distance and a widening gap of ill feeling between the USA and Israel ; and before he could patch it up , this fake flotilla sailed in...

Posted by: swannie3 | June 1, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

im surprised ONLY 9 people got killed. what were those "activists" (which seems to be becoming a euphemism for terrorists) expecting?

Posted by: dummypants | June 1, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"he blood is alsoon Obamas hands for creating distance and a widening gap of ill feeling between the USA and Israel"

Are you an American?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

""activists" (which seems to be becoming a euphemism for terrorists)"

And "terrorist" long ago became the operative euphemism for people we hate.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It's SO nice to see Rep. Weiner defending those "Brave" IDF troops. I'm sure it probably has NOTHING to do with the large Jewish constituency in his district and he's reacting purely on principle.

After watching both the al Jazeera AND the IDF videos, I wonder what all the fuss was about. Those terrorist Peaceniks were ALL shooting Dirty Looks at the IDF. Then they hit the brave soldiers in the fists with their faces, kicked them in the boots with their groins and some even hit them in the bullets with their chests and heads. Wow! They even managed to float-test one of those valorous soldiers at the cost of only 10 lives that we know about.

Now, as a Native Californian, I got no dog in this hunt. If the Israelis and Palestinians want to heppily slaughter each other, they have a perfect right to do so. I just don't want MY TAX DOLLARS paying for it.

So here's a message to ALL those people over there. If you want to play out your 4000-year-old Dysfunctional Family Feud, DO IT ON YOUR OWN DIME, NOT MINE. You don't have Richard Dawson, you don't have Louie Anderson, you don't have the guy from Seinfeld and you SHOULDN'T have my tax money to help you.

Perhaps we should take a page from the Israeli government itself and build a wall all the way around Israel, the West Bank AND Gaza. Oh, that's right. We don't have any cheap Mexican labor there to do the job for us.

Posted by: Ishmael932 | June 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Amazed frankly at the amount of ignorance on this string( par for the Sargent crew). Netanyahu was the pick of a historically liberal polity for many reasons, not excluding the fact that Isreal's interest is for survival. I find the Jews very tolerant of the Palestinians in that they have not exterminated them yet. The father of Modern Terrorism is Yasser Arafat. A fool whom used the same tactics for over 40 years, in a theatre that if just once he had employed Gandhi's passive resistance doctrines would have stoned cold won.
Oh ye who have selective memories and a metasticized world view (not to mention moral judgement) wish to leave this issue with Isreal being the villain. What could have been the possible outcome of this flotilla's mission? It is and was self evident from the begining. And the Turks (if you lemmings actually read) have switched sides a while ago. They are not anybodies friends, nor are thay at this point western.
As scary as it is I wonder what you guys think of H. Chavez, how many of you lemmings wear Che shirts, and have an affinity for statism. Never mind I think I have a pretty good clue.
Funny what will round two be like? The next flotilla is on the way. Any guesses? So why send them in this way? Just go to Ashdod.

Posted by: bubbahercules | June 1, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I have been a fan of Rep Weiner's outspokeness on HCR. However, not this time. It is time that our support for Israel be conditional on their behavior. It is our unconditional support of Israel when they behave badly that has contributed to the hatred against the U.S. in the Middle East.

Posted by: xargaw1224 | June 1, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@ bubbahercules: The father of Modern Terrorism is Yasser Arafat.

Wrong, the fathers of modern terrorism (using violence to achieve political gains) were Ben Gurion and Begin, who fought the British for control of Palestine (and the right to expel Arabs from parts of Palestine), using terrorist tactics. They were, in current parlance, unlawful combatants.

in 1956, Ben-Gurion stated: "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country ... There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? --Ben Gurion.

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

For the past year or so I've read and heard countless times that Israel may be forced to take military action against Iran's growing nuclear weapons capability, accompanied by the observation that the U.S. will basically accept such action as a proxy action, since the U.S. can't take such actions itself. Well, if this "commmando raid" is any indication of Israel's current military competence, then the Obama administration may want to rethink their calculus as a successful Israeli strike doesn't seem all that credible.

Posted by: MadJack1 | June 1, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

A handful of politicians, paid by AIPAC, allow the far-right wing in Israel to dictate U.S. policy in the Middle East. I am an American citizen. The entire world - except the US - has condemned Israel's act of war. By siding with Israel (now a rogue nation), this handful of politicians have ensured that ALL Americans are tarred with the brush of the Israeli far right. This is insane. How can any self-respecting liberal (whatever his religious beliefs) possibly defend the wacko Israeli right? It's time for politicians to decide if they are Americans or foreign agents.

Posted by: ness2 | June 1, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@ bubbahercules: I find the Jews very tolerant of the Palestinians in that they have not exterminated them yet.

Yep, its mighty white of Israel to only evict Palestinians from their land and continue their illegal occupation and suppression of the Palestinians instead of just nuking them.

Words fail me....

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@mimikatz - two fine and thoughtful posts from you here today. Hoping you'll contribute often.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Why is this such a big deal? Everyone knows Israel is a peace-loving country filled with peace-loving Israeli's. All the Israeli people want to do is live in peace and prosper in the land that they stole, I mean, are biblically entitled to. The Israeli's showed great restraint this time, only murdering, I mean, killing a few civilians. They have promised not to be so kind next time. We as supporters of Israel, should be thank them for being so kind. I have learned everything I know about Israel in the U.S. media, and I trust them to tell the truth. Don't believe what others say about Israel murdering babies and children in Lebanon and Gaza, these are just lies spread by terrorists who want to harm our kind partner Israel. Thank God our government is filled with kind politians and people in power who understand what a loving place Israel is so that the U.S. can continue to provide its $2 billion dollars in military aide to assist our great friend.

Posted by: goytoy | June 1, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

To Anthony Weiner: Please stick to health care and other domestic issues. In other words, please stop talking about Israel. Your comments are offensive, ignorant, idiotic and immature. Of course, most of your colleagues are not any better.

Posted by: quinterius | June 1, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It is understandable that the congressman is doing that which he thinks is necessary to get reelected. It is tinm, however, for our president and congressmen and women to start acting like Americans and not Israelis. Israel should be set loose to do what it wishes without American support, taxpayer funds, or military and political cover.

Posted by: grf67 | June 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@ swannie3 : Yep, those slingshots and pipes definitely out gun the typical Israeli commando...

"The blood is alsoon Obamas hands for creating distance and a widening gap of ill feeling between the USA and Israel "

Gee, I thought the rift had to do with all those new settlements announced when Biden was in Israel, the blockade of Gaza, the apartheid state that Israel is trying to create in the occupied territories, the illegal settlements throughout the occupied territories, destruction of Arab houses all over Jerusalem and the west bank to allow Jews to build there, etc.

Now I know that it's all Obama's fault for, well, everything....

Words fail me.

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

There is no excuse for what Israel has done. The US is morally bankrupt for its uncritical stance toward Israel.

Posted by: YTYT | June 1, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

That says something. Weiner has shown a lot of feistiness and gained kudos in our domestic politics. But..but..when it comes to Israel..he does the standard Congressional tap dance. These people will have a resolution supporting Israel soon. And they will not recall what happened to our own warship and the lives lost: remember the Liberty?

Posted by: bitterpill8 | June 1, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but Israel was wrong on this. The water does not belong to them, nor does Gaza, nor did the ship onto which they boarded and they had no right to kill unarmed civilians. Enough is enough. Cut US funding for Israel. I am disgusted by our government's alliance with these monsters.

Posted by: hotpoet66 | June 1, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Next time Anthony Weiner's re-election comes up. Please remember where his loyalty is. Time to primaried all these likudnicks. Clean the swamp maybe then we can get a real representation of American interest in the ME.

Posted by: bigben1986 | June 1, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Even the shoes,clothes and household items donated by the International agencies did not make it into Gaza untel after 3 years.

Posted by: bigben1986 | June 1, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

We have all seen this before "Remember the Liberty "

Posted by: rjohnston81 | June 1, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Why should the WH walk in a tightrope Who is the benefactor and protector here? America should not be shied away in calling Israel for what it is. I'm glad the Europeans are finally waking up. When do Americans?

Posted by: bigben1986 | June 1, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

How dare those people bring food and medicine and housing! How dare they get shot and die! All Muslims are terrorists. Israel didn't kill anyone, they hurled themselves on Israeli bullets right?

The U.S. and Israeli spin is ridiculous. No, those aren't real guns. We came to play paintball! Orwell isn't spinning in his grave, he's vomiting.

Posted by: bullsmith | June 1, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

will israel also attack the Turkish Navy if they accompany the next flotilla? I guess bibi will order us to kick them out of NATO first.

Posted by: benjoya | June 1, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Israel did not expect the violent resistance they encountered. Their soldiers were authorized to shoot in order to protect their own lives. If an Israeli soldier shot at the guy swinging an iron bar at his buddy's head, I'm not about to blame him. Or Israel.

All the derision in the world about how strong the Israeli military may be and how puny the resistance with the iron bars, iron balls and is does not put the set upon Israeli soldier's life less at risk.

The protesters were the group with the incentive to create martyrs. Not the Israelis.

Posted by: Respectthe9thAmendment | June 1, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the Israelis always take great care not to kill anyone, whereas the Palestinians (or in this case mostly Turks) are wanton instigators trying to kill any and all Jews. And yet the death toll is always 100-1 for the Israeli side. My goodness, what restraint.

Posted by: bullsmith | June 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It seems that it is very hard to be Jewish
and not support Israel, even when it is clearly wrong. This certainly is not unique.
Consider this -- "My country, may it always be right, but my country, right OR wrong."

Posted by: philhicks28 | June 1, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Israel did not expect the violent resistance they encountered.

wait, i thought the boat was filled with terrorists? they didn't expect resistance? from terrorists? f'ing retards.

Posted by: benjoya | June 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Amazed at the chutzpa to blame the victim for the crimes of the criminally insane government of Israel.

The US government is OWNED by the ZIONIST.

Posted by: wowisdabomb | June 1, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I am an AMERICAN and if my Country is going to allow itself to be controlled by a foreign Government, i would prefer that Mexico controlled it rather than Israel. At lest the Mexicans have great food, the Zionist Israelis have matzoh balls and liver pudding.

Posted by: ODDOWL | June 1, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

What I find extremly distrubing is that I have yet to hear a jewish person defend the right of the activist to bring food to the imprisoned Palestinians. Jake Tapper, who is jewish, of ABC told Imus this morning, "An unidentified US spokesperson said...the United States stands behind Israel in this matter. They agree that Israel has a right to protect itself." Imus asked who the unidentified spokeman was and Tapper replied.."I don't know."

This is the kind of comment that really pisses me off. Why would a nuclear super power like Israel be afraid of a ship carrying aid to a beseiged population. Answer...they are trying to starve them out! Cut off aid to Israel and you'll see a new attitude.

Posted by: dsmith994 | June 1, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The people on the other ships didn't resist, but they were still hit with stun guns and rubber bullets. The question that stands out to me and I haven't heard addressed is this: IF THE COMMANDOS ON OTHER SHIPS WERE ARMED WITH STUN GUNS AND RUBBER BULLETS, WHY WERE THE ONES WHO BOARDED THE TURKISH VESSEL ARMED WITH LIVE AMMUNITION?????

If these soldiers had been armed in the same way that the others were, there would be bruises today but no deaths. Rubber bullets hurt like the fury and would have gone far to backing people up if it was needed.

Posted by: karela | June 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Internationally recognized? Man this guy is an Israeli shill if there ever was one...I hope his constituents aren't as blind as he is...

http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/9B63490FFCBE44E5C1257632004EA67B?opendocument

..Allowing the supplies if only they had done it by legitimizing the illegal blockade, more Israeli shill talk:

"The Israeli government's complete blackout of the actual incident has been accompanied by a public relations blitz from Israeli government spokespersons and government-hired private public relations firms, who have continued to repeat already disproven claims that the humanitarian aid would have been allowed through if the activists had only gone through the proper channels to bring the aid. In fact, virtually all of the items on board the ships are banned by the Israeli government as "security risks" – including crayons, pencils, medical equipment and building materials. Because Israel continues to ban these items from entering the Gaza Strip, many of the 30,000 buildings destroyed by Israel during last year's three-week long assault on Gaza cannot be rebuilt."

http://www.israel-palestinenews.org/

Enlighten yourselves, and remember this come election time when these Israeli government Kool-aid drinking politicians that truly endanger our troops are up for re-election...

Posted by: pyradius | June 1, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

All, Eric Cantor becomes first Repubilcan to call on Obama to defend Israel more forcefully:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/cantor_to_obama_stand_up_for_i.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 1, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

It concerns me that so many are accepting the Israelis' version of these events as fact. We haven't heard the other side of the story yet because the people from the boat are being held captive, and away from the press.

Posted by: McBoo | June 1, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Smart people wait until the facts are in before they start opening their mouths and picking sides. Looks like this Congressman is not too smart. Does anyone remember McCain rushing to the defense of the Georgian's aginst the nasty Russians and in the end there was enough blame to go around. However that being said Commandoes being disarmed? Sounds a little strange. If they had paint ball guns, should be some evidence of that unless they were really bad shots.

Posted by: docallen001 | June 1, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

All of this anger towards Israel and sympathy towards the Palestinians is both disgusting and sickening. Israel should not and will not stand down.

For all the people up in arms about Israel's actions on the flotilla, consider for a moment why they are even there. Hamas, Hezbollah, the Syrians and Iranians will only tolerate the complete elimination of Jews and the State of Israel. Why should Israel allow foreign states and terrorists to deliver ammunition and supplies to their doorstep for use against them? If you want to place blame for the situation in Gaza, how about looking at Hamas and Fatah for the way they have run the Palestinian Territories? How many billions were in Arafat's bank account when he died?

And, while we're at it, where is the Arab community in supporting their own "brothers"? Why does Egypt close its own borders to Gaza? How quickly people ignore the launching of bombs from Gaza and Lebanon into Israel. If you want to discuss the possibility of alternative actions to prevent the death of the people on that ship, that is possible. But, don't for a minute claim that Israel has no right to defend itself nor that it has been provoked.

If the Palestinians want peace, then their leaders should learn to act as peaceful leaders. Don't give in to this story the Palestinians and Arabs are trying to paint. The last time major appeasement occurred in the world, 6 million Jews their lives.

Open your eyes people. They don't want to just eliminate Israel. They'll be even happier to take out the US.

Posted by: 4yawkeyway | June 1, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"It concerns me that so many are accepting the Israelis' version of these events as fact."

McBoo,

Why does that surprise you?

If The Sarge doesn't steno the Neo Line on this one, he's back working for that Avigdor Lieberman Discipline, Joshua Micah Marshall.

And The Sarge will have offended the legendary Neocons Hiatt, Charlie The Kraut, Sick Willie Kristol, Cohen, and The Tortured One.

The Sarge will do whatever his paymasters tell him to do.

Posted by: MarkinJC | June 1, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

McBoo,

Always remember that the Sarge did not get to The Post on hard work, ability, or merit.

The Sarge made it to House of Lally Weymouth's Brat courtesy of mommy and his rabbi and most certainly on his knees.

Posted by: MarkinJC | June 1, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Weiner, the "lady of the night" for his Israeli pimps. Let's just forget that Israel broke international law AGAIN by attacking a civilian ship in INTERNATIONAL WATERS. Let's forget that they murdered 10 civilians who were really defending themselves from this vicious attack. No, in Weiner World, Israel is always right, and those bad "moslems" are wrong. This brothel we call a "congress" is filled with traitors like this guy.

POUND SAND WEINER!

Posted by: Desert_Fox | June 1, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It is fascinating to watch all the anti-semites feel free to criticize Israel. I do not hear a single word of criticism of North Korea for killing 49 South Korean sailors with an unprovoked attack on their warship. All the crazies come out of the woodwork to vent their hate, but only for Israel. When Moslems bomb their own mosques, where is the criticism for this wholesale killing of totally innocent people?

Posted by: cigarmaven | June 1, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

What a tool you are, Anthony Weiner. I have enjoyed watching you on the Daily Show, but you showed yourself to be nothing more than a stooge for Likud. If all you can do is represent the Israeli government then perhaps you should emigrate and run for the Knesset.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | June 1, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

To Cigarmaven - I hearby criticize North Korea for killing 49 South Korean sailors. Are you satisfied now? As American citizens we have zero influence upon North Korea. They are our enemy. But when our "friend" Israel says "jump," our Congressmen say "how high?" At this point, I believe it is our patriotic duty to tell our alleged representatives that they are doing a very poor job of representing our interests.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | June 1, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent would not let the facts confuse him. He came here to blacken Israel and ignores any fact. So for those interested in the truth, here are some facts

1) The blockade IS legal and so is the boarding. A country in a state of conflict (such as Israel's International Armed Conflict with Hamas as defined by the Additional Protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions) may impose a blockade around the territorial waters of a party with which it is in conflict. So it was when the US bloackaded Cuba during the missile crisis, so it was when the UK blockaded the Fawklands, so it is with the sanctions and boarding of ships in the Persian Gulf, and so it is with Israel's blockade on Gaza.

2) Israel DID offer to transfer the aid to Gaza through Ashdod under intl. organizations supervision (such as the ICRC and the UN) and after it passed through inspection. Israel cannot allow weapons and fortification materials into Gaza. The fact the "Peace Activists" refused, coupled with the fact the amount of aid they brought was less than half of what Israel transfers to Gaza every day, shows this was all planned as a provocation.

3) These are not Human Rights activists. This can be seen by the fact they refused to demand Hamas allows the ICRC to see Israeli abducted soldier Gilad Shalit after 4 years. Hilarion Cappuci who was an Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Israel, set in Israeli prison for 3 years out of 12, when he was released by personal request from the pope. Cappuci used his diplomatic immunity to transfer weapons to the PLO. Also IHH, the organizer, has known terror links

4) Israel called on the ships to stop and turn back and even offered the activists a free plane ticket tback home on its own expense. Unlike the "Peace Activists", Israel wanted to avoid bloodshed as evident from its soldiers use of paintball rifles (timecode 00:51 in the film). The activists as evident in the film, wanted violence and they got it. As IDF spokesperson announced, it was only after 40 min that the IDF soldiers had to resort to live arms after being brutally attacked (rest of the film, especially timecode 00:35 when a soldier is thrown from the top deck to the lower) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo

IDF reports that at least 50 of the Marmara's people were paid Al-Qaeda mercenaries heavily equipped to tackle the IDF.

That's it. Now you have the facts Sargent tried to hide. Now judge for yourselves and Remember that the same thing can happen in the Gulf and if the US/UK can't stop ships in the Gulf as Israel did here, they will probably stop somewhere at a target in the US/UK...

Posted by: ohadabrahami | June 1, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to instigate a conflict with the Israeli navy it isn't hard to do," Weiner continued.

This is true, all you have to be is a clearly marked American naval vessel flying a big American flag in international waters monitoring things the Israelis dont want you to hear and ....34 United States navy sailors dead. Of course Israel won that confrontation because the traitor in the White House recalled the F4s from the carrier Saratoga that were in route to defend the Liberty. It was so shameful that Capt. McGonagle who won the Medal of Honor that day, was not awarded the medal at the White House by the President, but at the Washington Navy Yard by an Admiral. Sure don't want to embarrass our "Ally". Pollard, the spy that Netanyahu wants released, how much longer will we be the dog wagged by the tail? If Israel wants to ethnically cleanse Palestine, that's their business. But not mine and my tax dollars! To paraphrase Helen Thomas, " Israel get out of my wallet!"

Posted by: Jeb60 | June 7, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

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