Gil Troy is an American academic. He received his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard University and is a professor of History at McGill University.
The author of eleven books, nine of which concern American presidential history, and one of which concerns his own and others' "Jewish identity," he contributes regularly to a variety of publications and appears frequently in the media as a commentator and analyst on subjects relating to history and politics. Twitter: @GilTroy. Website: www.giltroy.com.
Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:49 pm Armed "Peace Activists" versus Paintball Commandos
Middle East Farce Turns Tragic: Armed "Peace Activists" versus Paintball Commandos
By Gil Troy
June 1, 2010
The strange and sobering world of the Middle East conflict has now introduced a new phenomenon, the armed "peace activist," seething with hate, professing pacifism, masquerading as an humanitarian, pounding away at another human being with a metal pole. The American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Amid all the indignant denunciations of Israel, with the Jewish state's flag being burned the world over, it is nevertheless possible to hold two, seemingly opposing, groups of ideas at once. First: Israel's commando raid was ill-conceived and poorly executed. The tragic human casualties and Israel's diplomatic catastrophe should have been avoided. And the party with the greater firepower holds the greater responsibility, especially when it is a democracy. But at the same time, these alleged "peace activists" pulling weapons rather than pulling a Gandhi should give us pause. This was not a humanitarian operation but a power play. And the violence that began " on one boat " was clearly planned and intentional.
The expected street theatre, actually sea theatre, turned violent because of the Turkish activists" ambush. In five of the six boats the Israeli navy boarded, everyone followed the anticipated script. These passive protesters trusted that images of armed commandos deployed against unarmed civilians would achieve their PR goals to embarrass Israel and weaken international support for the Israeli-Egyptian blockade against Hamas's control of Gaza. Yet, as the videos show, the boaters on the Turkish ferry the Marmara swarmed the Israeli soldiers, who initially held their fire. Israel clearly sought to avoid the kind of bloodbath which occurred. Apparently, the soldiers initially were armed with paint ball guns for crowd control. As one soldier later complained, "We went into war, and all we had were toys."
Some of the injured Israelis were stabbed, two were shot, one had his skull crushed. Some rioters had been recorded earlier shouting "Jews, remember Khyabar, the army of Mohammed is returning," referring to the Muslims" seventh-century defeat of Jews. Israelis described the mob scene as an attempted "lynch" " Israelified English for "lynching," evoking the brutal mob murder on October 12, 2000 when two Israeli reservists were killed after making a wrong turn into Palestinian territory. One report suggested that the Israeli soldiers only began shooting thirty minutes into the confrontation " when their lives clearly were endangered.
The pro-Palestinian side's failure once again to "go Gandhi" on the Israelis reflects the great crime of Palestinian nationalism, namely its unrelenting hatred for the Jewish State. This hatred is reflected in the vicious anti-Semitic rhetoric often deployed against Israel, the continuing calls for Israel's destruction, and the violence on the Marmara and elsewhere. This hatred has blocked repeated attempts at compromise. Many Israelis " and well-intentioned outsiders " treat the conflict as a matter of borders to be drawn while too many " but not all " Palestinians treat the conflict as a state that needs to be destroyed.
That hatred looms large in the struggle over Gaza. Israel's blockade of Gaza does not make sense unless you read Hamas's charter, with its anti-Semitic rhetoric and calls for Israel's destruction, or remember Hamas's suicide bombs and Kassam rockets. Israel " along with Egypt " is blockading Gaza because Gaza is run by theocratic terrorists. The fact that Hamas and its supporters use humanitarian rhetoric, that they have hijacked the language of human rights, that they have won over much liberal support, does not make them worthy of those ideals. In fact, this masquerade, legitimized by its international enablers, makes Israel only feel more embattled, just as the harsh rhetoric delegitimizing Israel makes it all the more difficult to nurture the kind of trust and mutual respect necessary for compromise and peace.
Here, then, is the true Middle Eastern farce, which this week turned tragic. With pacifists wielding clubs pitted against naval commandos armed with paintballs both sides dance on the head of pin, seeking to appear virtuous while ultimately trusting power. True peace will not be attained, until both sides trust the power of virtue. The challenge for the international community is to nurture that trust on both sides, rather than siding with the armed peace activists over the paintball commandos.
Gil Troy is Professor of History at McGill University.
First: Israel’s commando raid was ill-conceived and poorly executed.
Apparently, the soldiers initially were armed with paint ball guns for crowd control. As one soldier later complained, “We went into war, and all we had were toys.”
This operation was supposed to be run by our senior military establishment
Painball guns! How stupid can you get!
Probably planning to drop paint cans on Iran
I unequivocably call for the resignation of Ehud Barak wose pomposity is now a farce
This is not the first time he has messed up
It would seem that noone thought to say " what if...?"
Murphy's Law - never heard of it?
I also call for the removal / debarment of the female MK who was on the boat and lied through her teeth.
When will our leaders learn that war is NOT a game and when played one plays for keeps
Barak is a war hero. The most decorated soldier in Israel's history. Yes, he messed up, this time and before, but operation Cast Lead was the best operation in many years, certainly after the second Lebanon war.
We don't know all the details and perhaps it was the Mossad's failure this time. They are the ones who supposed to know about the Turkish activists.
_________________ "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us" - Golda Meir
"Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" - Abba Eban
Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:23 am The weapons that were found
Alert about Weapons Found on Turkish Ship Last Week
In light of some misleading reports and footage circulating on the Internet, The Israel Project would like to clarify the types of weapons found on board the Mavi Marmara, the Gaza-bound ship intercepted by Israel last week on which nine activists – all Turks or of Turkish descent – were killed after self-described human rights activists on board attacked Israeli military personnel.
The weapons and other paraphernalia found on the Mavi Marmara included knives, metal bars, slingshots, smoke bombs, bulletproof vests, gas masks, wrenches, clubs and rocks. In addition, gun sights and rifle cartridges incompatible with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) firearms were reportedly discovered, suggesting passengers may have had guns but threw them overboard.
Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:29 pm I support Israeli force on the flottila !!!
Israel should use real bullets and mean what they say. If they say no
ships, no ships. If these left wing racist morons want to die so be it.
Enough BS from the left wing morons and muslim racists. And Mr. Troy,
quit blaming Israel and nitpicking ,like all the racist countries of the world.