GAZA FLOTILLA: Am I the only one asking ‘what was on the ship?’

What any objective observer of these most recent Middle Eastern
events should want to see is evidence

Benjamin Netanyahu has tonight claimed that Israel “wants to see humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza…..but not weapons and missiles that can be used against our civilians”.

That seems fair enough. It’s just that I’ve been watching the news coverage of this series of events all evening, and I’m left asking one blindingly obvious thing: what cargo was on board the flotilla that Israel attacked?

I’m too long in the tooth now to be taken in by Palestinian protests of total innocence, and accusations of unprovoked Israeli aggression. I’m sorry, but I refuse to see Israel as the fount of all evil, and wicked instigators of aggression in the Middle East. Israel does not, after all, have delusions of imperial grandeur in the region. Israel does not want to see any Arab nation ‘wiped from the surface of the Earth’. Israel is a democracy, with proper elections that aren’t fixed – and then awarded to security chiefs. Israel has a thriving economy – as opposed to an anarchy of rifles being fired in the air, or an economy being sacrificed to the aim of producing atomic missiles to be used in support of Islamism’s crazy, misogynist principles. Israel does not have any international terrorist organisations harboured within its borders.

So all I want to ask is one thing: can we please get a UN force to board the flotillas and search them thoroughly? Then at least we will know whether Israel has committed an act of international piracy…or, as so often during its troubled history, merely a desperate act of self-defence.

And yet, and yet – I see the reactions of everyone over here – William Hague, The Independent, The Guardian, and the endlessly demonstrating masses we seem to allow into Britain – then I feel impelled to ask three further questions: if you could choose to have one neighbour on your border as a sovereign State, which would you rather have – Iran or Israel? If you could choose the ruling body of that State, what would it be – Hamas or the Knesset? How would we in Britain like it if the French lobbed scud missiles into the Home Counties day in, day out – and then 25 EU States took their side when we chose to search French vessels crossing the Channel?

These are all reasonable questions. Why can’t we apply it our judgement of heroes and villains in the Middle East?