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When paintballs weren't enough


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Power Line:

Paul Mirengoff
5/31/10

According to this report, which Scott linked to below, the Israeli commandos who were attacked as they boarded the Marmara initially used paintball rifles, the kind used to disperse minor protests, to fight off the attackers. The commandos also had hand-guns, but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. According to the same report, the commandos kept shouting, "don't shoot, don't shoot" even as they were attacked.

When the paintball rifles proved ineffective, the Israelis reportedly used stun-grenades. These too had little effect. According to the same report, the Israelis resorted to using their handguns only after the attackers seized one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. At that point, the commandos began shooting at the legs of their attackers.

Noah Pollak is outraged that the israelis boarded the boat armed with paintball guns, and, to be sure, there is a "bring a toy gun to a knife fight" quality to the story as reported. Noah writes:

Armed with the proper equipment, the naval commandos could have done precisely what they are trained to do -- take command of a ship decisively and with great speed. This can only be done when the men boarding the ship are able to immediately neutralize their opponents and establish complete control.


On the other hand, if the Israelis had immediately neutralized their opponents by shooting them before the attacks had clearly put the commandos in danger, they would be susceptible to rational claims (as opposed to the claims that have been lodged) that they vioatled the concept of "proportionality." That concept, though invariably misused by anti-Israelis, should not be entirely without force.

(Snip)

f the report cited above is accurate, this looks like another instance of the IDF erring on the side of trying to avoid bloodshed, perhaps in the hope of avoiding condemnation, and ending up with both the bloodshed and the condemnation.

SCOTT adds: Via Daniel Halper's round-up at the the Weekly Standard blog, I find that Melanie Phillips lucidly explains what happened here: "This was an Ismalmist terror ambush."

JOHN adds: Phillips' account assembles the most detailed information I've seen so far. For a broader assessment of the flotilla's purpose, see William Jacobson:

The flotilla was organized by the Islamist government in Turkey to aid Hamas with the goal of opening up shipping channels for Turkey's new friend, Iran, to ship more and better weapons as it is doing to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is busy turning Lebanon and Syria into one large missile launching pad against Israel, and a southern base in Gaza will complete the encirclement of Israel for the coming crisis over Iran's nuclear program.

The Europeans on the ships were cover, and the placement of an 18-month old child on these ships was the utmost cynical use of a human shield.

If getting humanitarian supplies to Gaza really was the goal, this flotilla was not necessary. The supplies would have been off-loaded in Eqypt or Israel and then shipped in by land after being checked for hidden weapons.

And that is the rub, only sea-based shipping would provide Iran with the mechanism for almost unlimited armament of Hamas. There is a limit to the quantity and size of missiles and other armaments which can be smuggled through tunnels from Egypt. That is why the sea blockade must be broken for Iran to get what it wants.


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Guest AnneV

I see the UN (useless nincompoops) have done what they always do...rush to defend the wrong-doers and slam Israel.

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I see the UN (useless nincompoops) have done what they always do...rush to defend the wrong-doers and slam Israel.

 

 

Rule #1 Israel is always in the wrong

Rule #2 In the (highly unlikely) event that Israel is not wrong.....see Rule #1.

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Guest AnneV

I see the UN (useless nincompoops) have done what they always do...rush to defend the wrong-doers and slam Israel.

 

 

Rule #1 Israel is always in the wrong

Rule #2 In the (highly unlikely) event that Israel is not wrong.....see Rule #1.

 

Worse still -- everyone seems to be perfectly happy to bow to the Arabs, and/or kiss their arses!

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I am very concerned that this event is going to have some very bad long term consequences.

 

 

I agree, if Israel is not careful the Arabs will say bad things about them, and Hamas might fire rockets into Israel.

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pollyannaish

I am very concerned that this event is going to have some very bad long term consequences.

 

 

I agree, if Israel is not careful the Arabs will say bad things about them, and Hamas might fire rockets into Israel.

 

 

LOL. Yes, there are those. But I was thinking (and obviously should have said so!) more in terms of the tepid response the Obama administration has had to this and the general weakness we are displaying in relationship to Israel. And I really don't like our President's policies and reactions to world events. But then, I'm probably alone in that. :rolleyes:

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