Saturday, June 11, 2011
National Post editorial board: NDP should give Gaza boat supporters the boot
The folks organizing the “Canadian Boat to Gaza” style themselves as humanitarians. In fact, they are radical anti-Israeli activists who have co-opted the language of humanitarianism to further their single-minded campaign against the Jewish state. We know this because these same folks have no interest in sending a “Boat to Syria,” where more than 1,000 protesters have been slaughtered in recent weeks. Nor are they interested in sending boats to Libya or Yemen. Just Israel, where the humanitarian toll has been much lighter. Thankfully, most mainstream Canadian politicians — including, apparently, NDP leader, Jack Layton — recognize such hateful anti-Israel attitudes for what they are.
The Boat to Gaza activists are participating in a boat convoy that will challenge Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Their stated goal is to bring humanitarian aid and “carry exports out of Gaza.” Donors already can send aid to Gaza through both Israel and Egypt, of course. But such transfers are subject to inspections meant to ensure that Hamas does not import armaments and explosives for slaughtering Jews. By seeking to undermine such security measures with their convoy, the Boat to Gaza activists are in effect allying themselves with Hamas terrorists. And no one should be surprised if the Israeli military deals with them in that spirit, even if it means risking a repeat of the lethal episode that unfolded under similar circumstances last year.
It would be a shame if anyone died, of course. But it cannot be denied that the activists are putting themselves in harm’s way intentionally, and for a foolish cause. Nor can they take refuge under international law: Even the UN Secretary-General has criticized the Boat to Gaza. Absent proof of Israeli recklessness or malice, the presumption of responsibility for the activists’ deaths will rest with the activists themselves.
We are pleased to see that the organizers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza have become virtual pariahs among mainstream Canadian politicians. Earlier this week, when it was disclosed that two NDP MPs had endorsed the flotilla, Mr. Layton had words with them. One of them, Quebec’s Alexandre Boulerice, yanked his support. The other, B.C.’s Alex Atamanenko, is still listed as a supporter — but he refuses to talk about the issue, which obviously has put him in Mr. Layton’s doghouse.
As we see it, Mr. Layton should tell Mr. Atamanenko that the NDP caucus has no room for anyone who supports gestures of support for terrorist-run enclaves. If the NDP wants to be taken seriously on foreign-affairs issues, there should be no room for half-measures on this issue.
Sid Ryan digs the Sea Hitler
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