FROM NCSY COMES ADVICE TO TEENS IN DEFENDING ISRAEL IN FLOTILLA CRISIS
The NCSY Israel Education Department has assembled educational and practical advice for teenagers on how they can counteract anti-Israel protests, both in dealings with people they know and in communications with government representatives and the media.
The advice from NCSY is as follows:
POINTS TO REMEMBER AND TO USE ON THE IDF FLOTILLA RAID
• Israeli sailors, attempting to board the Mavi Marmara en route to Gaza, were attacked by dozens of activists armed with knives, metal bars, and handguns. Video footage clearly shows stun grenades and firebombs being thrown, some even before the IDF boarded the Marmara. As they descended to the deck, the soldiers were clubbed, stabbed, and beaten. Some were thrown overboard. Fearing for their lives, the Israeli soldiers had no choice but to respond. At least four Israeli personnel were wounded by various means, including by gunfire from activists.
• Israel made every effort to provide the flotilla organizers with an opportunity to avoid a confrontation. Well before the flotilla approached Israeli waters, both in the media and through radio and loudspeaker communications at sea, Israel offered to bring the flotilla into the port of Ashdod, and to transfer their aid to Gaza following security checks. The organizers rejected this offer, stating clearly that "this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege." (Greta Berlin, AFP, 27 May 10)
• Israel gave repeated warning of the maritime blockade in effect off the coast of Gaza and that the flotilla would be turned away and brought to an Israeli port to offload their cargo. Given the fact that the flotilla was organized by the IHH, a Turkish Islamist group with court-proven terrorist ties to Hamas and Al Qaeda, there was every reason to suspect the transit of materials of strategic and tactical use to Hamas.
• The organizers of the protest deliberately invited a confrontation with Israeli sailors. This was not an aid mission, but a PR stunt designed to undermine Israel and bolster Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization. Among the protestors were a group of highly-trained extremists with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadist groups in Afghanistan. These extremists came prepared with knives, metal clubs, axes, stun grenades and firebombs. They also grabbed and fired two pistols and a rifle from IDF soldiers as they descended from a helicopter.
• There is no blockade on humanitarian aid to Gaza. Dozens of trucks bring food and medicine into Gaza through Israel every day. Israel delivers 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid -- including medical supplies, food, and water -- to Gaza every week. The blockade exists to prevent unauthorized individuals and unknown cargo from entering Gaza and falling into the hands of its ruling terrorist Hamas regime. This regime continues to order, encourage, and permit the firing of Qassam and larger rockets into Israel.
• Hamas is presently smuggling in massive amounts of military supplies into Gaza to fortify its positions and continue its attacks. Under international law Israel has the right to intercept vehicles that are "believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture." (Section 67A of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea)
• Given the stated political goals of the flotilla organizers and their state backer, Turkey, it is remarkable that they hypocritically set sail on their mission from a port in Occupied Northern Cyprus, an occupation deemed by the EU and the UN as illegal.
NCSY encourages teens to be proactive with the media. They should read and comment on reports and opinion pages, whether in their local newspaper or the major media. They should listen in and comment on radio shows on local and national talk stations. Teens should be empowered to serve as honest journalists by utilizing their email and social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook to circulate supportive articles, videos and messages.
NCSY also encourages teens to contact their local government officials and to express their appreciation if they have demonstrated support for Israel in the crisis.