To underscore the value of the flotillas launched against Israel, the terrorist organization, Aziz Dweik, a leading Hamas lawmaker in the West Bank. said “The Gaza flotilla has done more for Gaza than 10,000 rockets.”
Officials from Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, point to the recent Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, in which Israeli troops killed nine activists, as evidence there is more to gain by getting Israel to draw international condemnation through its own use of force, rather than by attacking the country.
Hamas and Hezbollah, the Islamist movement in Lebanon that has been fighting Israel since the early 1980s, haven’t renounced violence and both groups continue to amass arms. Hamas still abides by a charter that calls for Israel’s destruction; Palestinian youths still hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers across the West Bank separation barrier. And the flotilla incident didn’t fall into conventional standards of peaceful protest: While most activists passively resisted Israeli soldiers, some on the boat where protesters were killed attacked commandos as they boarded, according to video footage released by Israel and soldiers’ accounts.
The incident triggered international condemnation and plunged Israel into one of its worst diplomatic crises in years. In response, Israel said it would take some steps to ease its blockade on the Gaza Strip.
After the incident, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on supporters to participate in the next flotilla bound for Gaza. Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, a member of the Hezbollah politburo in Beirut, said it was the first time Mr. Nasrallah had forcefully and publicly embraced such tactics against Israel.
“We saw that this kind of resistance has driven the Israelis into a big plight,” he said. Organizers in Lebanon say they have two ships ready to sail, but no departure date has been set.
A senior Israeli foreign ministry official said Israel recognizes “changes in the tactical thinking of Hamas and other resistance movements.” The official said the groups are no less committed to Israel’s destruction, but have simply concluded they are more likely to defeat Israel by encouraging its international isolation instead of through military force.
“People who are provoking violence are using peaceful protest as a cover,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.
The Palestinian protest movement picked up steam in the past year, spearheaded by activists in the West Bank and a coalition of pro-Palestinian international human-rights groups.
Said Amy Goodman, the famous self-hating Jewish journalist, ” It’s so in today to screw Israel.” She worked overtime promoting the flotilla on her daily hate America show.
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For her, hating Israel is synonymous with hating America.