Are Members of the Flotilla Terrorists?

The New York Times has a good article today on the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi), one of the organizations involved with funding the Free Gaza movement. Although it runs numerous charities worldwide, it is alleged to have close connections to Hamas and possibly other terrorist organizations. If the article is correct, it sounds as though it clearly played a pretty big role in funding this operation.

It is important, however, to keep in mind that this was not a Turkish operation, or an Arab operation, or anything of that nature. It was, indeed, an international coalition made up of over 600 people from all parts of the world. I heard a great interview today on NPR’s Morning Edition with Edward Peck, a retired American diplomat who was aboard one of the ships in the flotilla. The interview can be heard here, and I highly recommend listening to it in full. I just want to comment on a few of the things he said.

As he notes, this mission was made up of 30 countries and he calls it a “European mission.” He admits that he wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were indeed Hamas sympathizers aboard the flotilla, but makes the point that the intent of the group was not to somehow support or bolster Hamas. The fact that there may have been some individuals or organizations aboard the flotilla that had some connection with the enemies of Israel is entirely¬†irrelevant. The mission of the flotilla was humanitarian and that is what needs to be focused on. They weren’t carrying weapons as even the Israeli military has admitted.

The charge that the members of the flotilla are “terrorists” is false and needs to stop. There are bigger questions that need answering at this time.

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