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Tag: Ships

Seizing the Victoria

Last Tuesday, the Israeli Navy seized a German merchant vessel chartered by a French company transporting weapons from Syria to Gaza 200 miles west off the Israeli. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the “Victoria” ship sailed under the Liberian flag and was carrying various types of weapons.

Netanyahu said:

“We had reason to assume the ship carried weapons meant to hurt Israeli citizens. The source of the weapons is Iran…The takeover was carried out mid sea in accordance with international law. The ship is being escorted to Ashdod.”

In addition to weapons, the soldiers that boarded the “Victoria” found a radar used for detecting ships prior to the launch of anti-ship missiles.

At least four anti-ship missiles with a range of roughly 22 miles was found on the vessel. Deputy Navy Commander Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda said the C-704 missiles were a threat to Israeli sea-based strategic installations and navy vessels.

During the Second Lebanon War, in 2006, a Chinese-made C-802 missile struck the INS Hanit off the coast of Beirut, killing four Israeli sailors.

En route to Alexandria, Egypt from Syria, the ship docked at Turkey’s Mersin Port. It is thought that the weapons on board were meant for terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Security officials had been tracking the vessel for several days. It is thought the weapons were intended to pass Rafah’s tunnels en route to Gaza hence avoiding the naval blockade.

Netanyahu authorized the Navy operation Monday night and was briefed on the developments on Tuesday. The PM told a conference in Eilat Tuesday afternoon:

“Iran sends weapons to terrorist organizations in Gaza that would target the heads of our children. It is our right and duty to take action. We will unload the equipment and show it to the world, a world that rushes to blame Israel, which is struggling for the lives of its citizens.”

Also on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the weapons found on the ship. The Foreign Ministry informed German authorities of the arrest as the ship belongs to a German company as well as the government of Liberia.
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Walking on Water

The Israeli Government and the IDF coordinated the delivery of a variety of Humanitarian Aid and Development Assistance to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, whose dire situation is actually questionable and whose peaceful disposition is a fallacy.

The month of August saw a 41% increase in the net volume of truckloads entering Gaza, together with the ongoing discharge of the new policies approved on June 20th.

These are including the establishment of a Joint Project Coordination Team between COGAT and the PA, which has already overseen various development efforts.

In addition there has also been a near doubling of the capacity for imports via the Kerem Shalom Crossing since the month of May.

Gaza aid shipTuesday afternoon, the Irene yacht carrying nine activists from the United States, Israel and Britain – which intended to single-handedly break the Gaza naval blockade was docked at Ashdod Port after being intercepted by the Israeli Navy. Thank God there was no violence.

Despite opposing pressure and the grilling of senior officials throughout the summer the Jewish Country insists that the objective behind the blockade is simply to prevent arms smuggling into the Hamas-run territory.

Since the end of Operation “Cast Lead” in January 2009, 500 projectiles – rockets and mortar shells – have been fired from Gaza at civilian targets in southern Israel.

The Islamic Jihad newspaper, Palestine Today explained that unlike other vessels and flotillas, Hamas has been

“Ambivalent at best towards the entire idea of this particular pseudo-aid ship…”

Therefore you can bet that Israel coordinated aid to the Gaza strip is a lot more effectual than silly Turkish yachts full of anglo-speakers, if what you have in mind or heart is actually the civilians.

A Thought On Zionism

On a side note, I would like to bring to recollection today a few recent instances of Israel demonizing.

Remember when Helen Thomas said this to Rabbi David Nessenoff?

Q: Any comments on Israel?

HT: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Polish.

Q: So where should they go, what should they do?

HT: Go home.

Q: Where is the home?

HT: Poland. Germany.

Q: So you’re saying Jews go back to Poland, Germany?

HT: And America and everywhere else.

And within the same week wrote this on her website:

“I deeply regret the comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Oh and when Jimmy Carter wrote that book, “Israel: Peace Not Apartheid” and then months later told the Anti Defamation League this:

“We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel,”

Continuing:

“As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so…”

Well, right wing Hollywood hunk, Mel Gibson too apologized for his drunken anti-Semitic rant five years ago.

If indeed Zionism is virtuous – the world will not receive apologies from the Jewish Country when nine incognito Turkish Jihadist posing a pantomime peace activism are killed on board the Mavi Marmara.

Nor can Richard Goldstone squeeze out guilt or remorse from the IDF concerning “Operation Cast Lead”.

The answer?

One party is propelled by survival and the other by anti-Semitism.

Virtue does not regret its actions. Virtue does not apologize. And a Jewish State which fights for its survival is virtuous.

Between Hell and Back and an Unlikely Friend


In the days of the Clinton era, Helen Thomas reacted to former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher’s statements to the press concerning arms shipments to Israel.

“Helen Thomas: Where do the Israelis get their arms?

Ari Fleischer: There’s a difference Helen, and that is—.

Helen Thomas: What is the difference?

Ari Fleischer: The targeting of innocents through the use of terror, which is a common enemy for Yasir Arafat and for the people of Israel, as well as—.

Helen Thomas: Palestinian people are fighting for their land…I think that the killing of innocents is a category entirely different. Justifying killing of innocents for land is an argument in support of terrorism”.

But sadly Helen Thomas never got the message. The 89-year-old journalist and author, Dean of the White House Press Corps has retired, leaving behind her a front row seat and a legacy as one of the strongest anti-Israel stances observable in mainstream America, say, right up there with ol’ Jimmy Carter.

On May 27, 2010, outside the Jewish Heritage Celebration Day event at the White House, the following conversation happened between Thomas and Rabbi David Nesenoff:

“Nesenoff: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today, any comments on Israel?

Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

Nesenoff: Oooh. Any better comments on Israel?

Thomas: Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland …

Nesenoff: So where should they go, what should they do?

Thomas: They go home.

Nesenoff: Where’s the home?

Thomas: Poland. Germany.

Nesenoff: So you’re saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?

Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?”

Well, hearing such a powerful American journalist speak such nonsense, these days, is about as shocking as reading José Maria Aznar, former Spanish prime minister, publish an open-editorial in the London Times, saying that the global community needs to support Israel because “if it goes down, we all go down”. Is it flip-flop day?

About the floatilla raid, Aznar writes:

“Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the West’s best ally in a turbulent region…In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.”

“Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology…62 years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.”

Aznar says the real threat to the region is extreme Islamism, “which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfillment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony”.

He added:

“Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large…It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East…Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.”

Moral of the story: Europe is not made up of nothing but anti-Semites and likewise America is not 100% friendly or trustworthy for the Zionist State. We will pray that Helen Thomas’ retirement marks the end of an era and that such fearless friends as José Maria Aznar will create a new trend in support for the Jewish Country, a trend which really needs to begin in Aznar’s own country first.

Theatre of the Absurd: The Next Act

Well as it turned out, the “Activists” were actually “Terrorists“…

As the streets of Ankara are filled with angry protestors on the Palestinian behalf, Ehud Barak or someone in the Israeli Navy must be in serious trouble. Indeed the Jewish Country’s raid on the Turkish sponsored armada was a botched one. The injuries caused to the Israeli commandos is what there is to be regretted – and let’s recall danger foolishly caused to IDF ground troops in Lebanon when they were left flagged out in ominous positions without food or water during the 2006 attempt on the life of Hezbollah.

Now watch the Arab world dance their bellicose folk-dance for blood. Israel has become used to it. It is almost beautiful.
Expecting the truth from Turkey is alas futile. True friends of the Jewish State, they are not remotely close. Primetime television programs presented earlier this year which featured IDF soldiers raping Palestinian women is no different than the propaganda fed to Palestinian children by their own media. Such a veil over the eyes of truth will only result in more deaths.

In the meantime, we shall stay tuned for Turkish and other European Muslim demonstrators to put the Gaza naval blockade question to Egypt – as the operation is partially their’s – we shall stay tuned, though not holding our breath.

Below is a video surveillance of the scuffle – it competes for candor with another version being aired by al-Jazeera.

Help on the Way

The Jewish Country recently unveiled a huge makeshift detention center in Ashdod, the state’s main southern port, announcing the end of intense naval maneuvers, vowing to stop a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who are trying to break a 3-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Masked naval commandos are to greet the eight ships deep out at sea, which was held up in Cyprus on Saturday, to escort the vessels to port and give each activist a choice: either leave the country or go to jail.

750 activists, including a Nobel peace laureate and former U.S. congresswoman, have set sail for the Gaza coast recently, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies. They say they will find a way to succeed, even if faced with Israeli ultimatums.
They are bringing “desperately needed materials to the area,” that has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas began to call the shots in June of 2007.

Hamas Honcho bringing Fascism into fashion, Ismail Haniyeh said:

“If the ships reach Gaza, it’s a victory for Gaza…If they are intercepted and terrorized by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the siege of Gaza.”

Zionist Spokesman Mark Regev said:

“If they were really interested in the well-being of the people of Gaza, they would have accepted the offers of Egypt or Israel to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza…Instead, they have chosen a cheap political stunt.”

This marks the ninth time that the Free Gaza Movement, the pro-Palestinian organization behind the effort, has sent a flotilla of supplies to the strip. Israel permitted five deliveries to reach Gaza, but has not allowed any ships through since the military offensive that ended in January 2009.

(viewer discretion is strongly advised for the video shown below)

Zim Under Attack by Somalian pirates

Zim ShipShiver me timbers and shades of Captain Jack Sparrow! This time those Somalian brigands almost got one of our Zim container ships and the nearly 250 containers on board. This was the first time a Zim Line container ship came so close to getting caught by those little dark guys who chase merchant marine vessels with speed boats and carrying weapons ranging from AK-47’s and RPG’s to 50 caliber machine guns..

The Zim Company seems to have taken at least some precautionary measures, as they had put barbed wire at places where the pirates would usually climb on board. There must have been an element of luck this time as well because this bunch of pirates didn’t seem to be as well armed as others have been – they could have blown the wire away with a well place RGB round.

A German ship that came along afterwards wasn’t so lucky, however, and now it and its luckless crew are “guests” of the Mogadishu Gang.

Modern maritime shipping law seems to want to keep weapons from being carried on these vessels, something that wouldn’t have been approved of in earlier days when all merchant ships had to have an arsenal of weapons on board, including a number of “ten pounders” or larger cannon in the event people like Capt. Sparrow or Blue Beard might just make a “courtesy call”. Most likely, the idea is to prevent mutiny by the crew which is often an assortment of people, from countries like Kenya, the Philippines, and others. Under present maritime agreements, only the ship’s captain is allowed to carry a weapon, and it’s usually only a pistol.

Maritime shipping laws need to be changed to allow weapons and even armed guards aboard merchant vessels, especially those venturing into pirate infested waters. Those pirates might think twice if they find themselves staring into the muzzle of a 20 or 30 m/m rapid fire cannon. After all, armored cars hauling money, commercial aircraft, and many other conveyances have armed guards, so why can’t merchant vessels? It appears that some revisions need to be made in international maritime laws and the sooner the better. Enough is enough!

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