You may recall the Mavi Marmara incident last year when Israeli soldiers and navy intercepted a flotilla of ships on what they called a ‘humanitarian’ mission to break the maritime blockade of Gaza.

There was an almighty row with Turkey and the UN and almost universal condemnation because Israel exercised its right to search ships intent on breaking its maritime blockade, redirect them to an Israeli port, inspect them and then ship the aid themsleves.

Nine jihadi ‘activists’ were killed when the Israelis boarded the lead vessel, a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara. The activists had laid a well organised ambush and were killed when they attacked the Israelis with lethal force.

The accusations were many, but one was that because Israel had intercepted in international waters they were ‘pirates’ and had no legal right to do so. This is just plain false; any country has a right to intercept ships where there is a genuine belief it may be smugglings arms to its enemy or breaking a legally declared blockade.

The legal niceties were of no concern to those who rushed to judge the Israelis who later admitted operational mistakes.

Those who criticised and pilloried Israel already judged that Israel had no rights to intercept the Mavi Marmara – period.

The fact that the Mavi Marmara was ostensibly a lead ship carrying humanitarian aid proved to be convincing evidence that Israel is a rogue state that attacks innocent humanitarians.

I have already dealt with the incident at length last year. However, I’ll repeat one interesting point that went all but unnoticed internationally and it was this: on board were dozens of battery-powered wheelchairs. Innocent enough? But no, Hamas were disappointed that these were the wrong type of wheelchair with the wrong type of battery. Why? Because the right type of battery could be used to lay explosive devices.

The above proved to me that even innocent items of aid can be a cover for nefarious ends.

Today, the IDF intercepted the Victoria, a Liberian-flagged container ship which had set sail from Latakia in Syria, sailed to Turkey and was then bound for Alexandria in Egypt.

Someone, or good intelligence, had tipped off the Israelis and they boarded without incident 200 miles off the coast of Israel, much further from Israeli waters than the Mavi Marmara.

On board they discovered a huge cache of arms from Iran. Who would have guessed, eh?

You can see the photos on Flickr here

The ultimate destination of these arms was Gaza and Hamas.

This is not the first time Israel has intercepted illegal arms destined for a terrorist group.

So I ask you: where is all the outrage this time that Israel has boarded a vessel in International waters? If it was piracy with the Mavi Marmara, then it’s piracy with the Victoria, no?

But here’s the difference: the Mavi Marmara had huge publicity behind it, was bent on directly challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and had people on board intent on confronting and killing Israelis.

The captain of Victoria did not object and stopped to allow inspection. Result: no violence, no inuries, no death and tonnes of illegal arms.

Iran is in clear breach of international law, but no-one will censor her in the UN.

Why is there such silence and indifference to the Israeli boarding? Answer: the culprits were caught in flagrante delicto there were no representatives aboard from numerous anti-Israel or anti-Zionist groups, no cameras, no TV, no opportunity to demonise Israel and no propaganda victory to be won.

A couple of weeks ago Iranian war ships penetrated the Mediterranean for the first time since the Islamic revolution. They passed through the Suez canal and ended up… yes, you guessed it, in Syria.

It does not take much more than simple arithmetic to come to the conclusion that one or both of these ships were bringing the very arms which were aboard the Victoria.

This time, Israeli intelligence was spot on, and maybe they had some help from the Turks, who knows, because the Israeli government were at pains to make it known that Turkey was not involved in any way.

This whole incident exposes  why Israel has the right to intercept shipping, as our own Prime Minister prophetically (or was he tipped off) declared last week. Maybe he was aware that it was coming and so prepared the way to be able to say that the UK was, this time, in support of the action in a ‘humanitarian’ free zone.

It also shows very clearly that Israel had the exactly identical right to intercept the Mavi Marmara rather than to trust virulently hostile passengers and jihadis intent on confrontation.

Such is worldwide hypocrisy and cant when it comes to Israel’s right to defend itself.


See ore here: