June 2nd, 2010
02:05 PM ET

Netanyahu defends response, says flotilla not a 'love boat'

Speaking defiantly in the face of worldwide criticism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Israeli commando raid on the aid-bound vessels for Gaza, saying the troops acted properly in the bloody raid.

Netanyahu said the goal of the international flotilla was to penetrate Israel's blockade of ships headed to Gaza, necessary to halt weaponry being shipped to militants into Gaza from Iran, and the troops comported themselves in keeping with Israeli policy.

"We continue to protect our civilians, we will continue to allow our soldiers to protect their lives, and the state of Israel will continue to practice its right for self-defense," he said, asserting the aim of the flotilla wasn't to carry aid "because we do send assistance to the Gaza Strip."

Speaking in a brief and frank nationally televised, Netanyahu said a port at Gaza open to militants will pose a grave danger to Israel and the state has the responsibility to stop every vessel, including the flotilla that was targeted Monday.

"That was not a love boat. That was a boat of hatred. It was not a peaceful flotilla. The soldiers who boarded the ships were attacked by clubs, batons and knives. They had the weapons kidnapped from them and shot at them," he said, calling the behavior of the people on the one ship where violence occurred an attempted lynching.

The prime minister said that if the blockade had been penetrated, dozens or hundreds of ships would have eventually converged on Gaza carrying war materiel. And he pointed out that the amount would be greater than that being smuggled through the Gaza-Egyptian tunnels.

"They can bring hundreds of rockets and hundreds of missiles. We have already stopped two ships. One of them was one we stopped in the middle of the sea where there were hundreds of tons of ammunition and weapons that Iran sent to Gaza," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said Iran continues to smuggle weapons into Gaza and Hamas - which controls the territory - continues to arm itself.

"The rockets and missiles that Iran has smuggled into Gaza are now likely to hit areas surrounding Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and some of those are already in Gaza. Therefore, it is our duty and our responsibility according to the international law and according to the logic, common sense, to prevent by air, sea and land smuggling of weapons into Gaza."

Netanyahu said Israel is sorry for the loss of lives during the flotilla raid but emphasized its soldiers were facing "a life-threatening situation."

"I forward my questions to the international community. ... What would you have done if you were in our place and what would you have done in order to protect your civilians who are attacked by hundreds of rockets and missiles? We know the facts. We all know the reality," he said.

The prime minister said that if Israel didn't take the steps it did, the result would be an Iranian regime in Gaza just kilometers away from Jerusalem.

"This is a destructive scenario, and this a very immediate threat to Israel. I'm telling you and I'm telling my friends in the countries that criticize us that an Iranian port in the Mediterranean" will be a threat.

"We will stop and check and examine every ship that is coming to Gaza," he said.

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Filed under: Gaza • Israel • Middle East • Uncategorized
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Damiao

    My answer to you is we would search and check....hey guy, does this statment are correct or my answer to you are we would search and check....http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com

    June 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • klocin'D

      I support this action by Israel. Start letting these boats through and in a few weeks – BOOM! Buses exploding in Tel Aviv. You people need to pull your heads out of your A__es. Considering what Israel has been through over the last 3K years, they can do anything they damn well please to protect themselves.!

      June 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • STOP BEING hypocrisy AND naivete -KNOW THE TRUTH !

      THIS IS THE truth : ISRAEL IS inspecting EVERY BOAT ONLY BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO STOP FROM TERRORISTS TO GET WEAPON OF ANY KIND ! before israel done that there was suicide bomber every day killing innocent women and childrens ! even today they launch daily rockets over civilians.
      every other country would have sunk a boat that enter by force to her border .

      June 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ED FROM LI

      The problem here is that Isreal boarded a ship on international waters ... they have no jurisdiction here ... they should have waited for the ships to enter Isreali Waters ... Only Pirates and Navies with intent to harm engage other ships in international waters. Who ever made the decision in Isreal to board the ships should be firec.

      June 5, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • lirper

      @ED FROM LI every blockade is carried out on international water. israel blockade is legal and decided after two ships from iran was caught by the israeli commando. carrying tons of weapons including new missiles that can reach from gaza to tel aviv and jerusalem. it is israel right to demand that the aid will go throgh by land after inspection. learn the facts


      June 8, 2010 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Josh

    The prime minster of Israel is not fooling anyone, try again sir.

    June 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Hamas Equals Peace

      you realize your Country supported this blockade. He is not wrong at all.

      June 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • wise oul

      for objective info & clips visit this site:


      June 3, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
    • wise owl that is...

      long day....

      June 3, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Damiao

    My answer to you is we would search and check....hey guy, does this statment are correct or my answer to you are we would search and check.... http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com

    June 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Logan9773

    Lol, Das Hate Boot!

    June 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Susie

    I agree with Netanyahu-–he is protecting Israel

    Those Who Bless Israel Will Be Blessed, and Those Who Curse Israel Will Be Cursed
    In the Book of Genesis, Chapter 12, Verse 1-3, we see what God says about His response to how people treat Israel:
    And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
    In the Book of Numbers, where the Bible is telling us about the Nation of Israel that God delivers out of bondage in Egypt, it tells us:
    He crouched. He lay down as a lion, and as a great lion. Who shall stir him up? Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.

    June 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bon

      You are a religeous moron Susie.
      And to all others: the ship was in international waters.
      Isreal has a right to self protection, but they seem to be the only ones that regularly violate intenrational law while the United States looks the other way.

      June 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Hamas Equals Peace

      You realize That 17 Miles From The Beach Is Not Really "INTERNATIONAL WATERS" but you believe what you believe for your own purpose. don't nit pick, they didn't follow UN protocol and then Israel did what they had to.. grow up. This has ZERO to do with religion. Its all policy. religion.....lol

      June 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      On board those ships were many terrorists looking for a fight!

      "...passengers attested to more than a hundred members of terrorist organizations aboard acting like a quasi-military group with a command hierarchy, whose leader forced the other four or five hundred passengers to fall into line behind them. The group was split into sub-sections, each in charge of a section of the ship before and after it set sail from Istanbul. Its members were all armed with an assortment of chains, iron bars and knives as well as night goggles and gas masks.

      Although they appeared to hail from different terrorist organizations from various countries, they were all ordered to say they belonged to the IHH."

      This was reported on Debkafile, an Israel-based news organization respected by many major international news organizations worldwide for the accuracy of its reporting. See: http://www.debka.com/article/8827/

      June 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • RaaR

      HAHAHAHAHA thats so funnnnyyyyyyyyy,,,,,,,,...genesis my ass,

      June 4, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • RaaR

      HAHAHAHAHA thats so funnnnyyyyyyyyy,,,,,,,,...genesis my ass, like you are any different from other people. if not worst

      June 4, 2010 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. mendrys

    I think such acts are deliberate attempts by Israel tofurther imflame the situation and nothing more. A well calculated exercise meant to intimidate and nothing more.

    June 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • lerom

      yeah thats what they want to do... board other ships with no issue but chose to make a problem on this one specifically – i mean they were just peaceful protestors...never mind they were armed with knives, guns and gas masks.. never mind they were trying to port illegally... HAMAS uses its own people as human sheilds during the raids. You want to open the blockade.. then play nice instead of instantly attacking and bombing. Do the palestenians want peace??? THEY ALWAYS ANSWER NO. What do you expect Isreal to do?

      June 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Support Israel

      If you are right, what do you think Israel had to gain buy inflaming the situation?

      June 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Hamas Equals Peace

      A Blockade To Prevent Weapons Smuggling Is Not Anything More Than That...

      June 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Morgan

      your own answer is in the question, it is exactly that, israel has nothing to gain by fueling this war, they go into unforseable amounts of debt, lose soldiers mostly around 18 years of age, and are constantly bombarded by the media and the global bleeding hearts, not to mention the countless amounts of young children that the "palestinians" murder every year. For these reasons alone they would not want to continue this bloody war. I doubt you know the power of the IDF as if they wanted to with their nuclear capabilities and having one of the best air forces in the world ( in the six day war they took down almost 500 arab fighter jets while loosing only 12 on their side) they could easily carpet bomb the arab nations and put a rest to this fighting. However, that would result in the loss of more civilians which is not what the Israelis want. I suggest you look further into the military and political aspects of Israel's power before you make such nieve comments.

      June 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Support Israel

    Israel did what was necessary. The Flotilla had every opportunity to get to the people of Gaza through the proper channels. They had every opportunity to accomplish their stated goal peacefully but chose instead to provoke the soldiers by shooting first, and lynch them with chains and clubs. If they cared more about the people of Gaza than the destruction of Israel, they wouldn't have chosen the path which led to their ass getting kicked.

    June 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jed

    There's no way highly trained Israeli soldiers hopped on this boat and just started firing away. As has been mentioned, they were attacked and shot at. It is highly hypocritical of you to stand in judgment of both their right to defend themselves, and their right to check all vessels entering their country. You don't have to be Jewish or even side with Israeli policy to see that this whole thing has been twisted. Extremists are hell-bent on destroying Israel, but don't think they'll stop there ...

    June 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • KB

      Wow. Post of the Century. I do not believe I could have said it any better myself. Thank You Sir.

      June 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JP Nolan

    Back off and let Israel do her job! Israel has issues nobody else could POSSIBLY recognize because hers is a fight for survival! Where were the condemnations when North Korea torpedoed a democratic country's ship (S. Korea)? Where were the cries of foul play and over zealous actions? We don't want to offend there... but when it is Israel!??!? Let's wait and we will see the truth come out! Terrorists died on that ship...

    June 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Nolan you are a complete tool. Its quite obvious you are a either mentally retarded or a zionist by making such idiotic comments. "The people on the boat were terrorists". Go kill yourself, thanks.

      June 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Support Israel

      Good comparison! Justin's comment is sadly reveling about character of a world against Israel.

      June 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why

      Dear Support Israel: What does the world have to gain by being 'against Israel'?

      June 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. slkwrm

    I am disappointed by your half way reporting of the address and this issue. I cannot believe that tuning into the accursed FOX network gave me a more accurate and less biased reporting of this event. The choice of words that your reporters used slapped me in the face with their imbalance and therefore their misleading reporting. Maybe you are having the people that are the face of the station, for example Ali Velshi this afternoon, have to react to news before they have actually heard or absorbed the entire story and the small yet oh so important facts. Are you sacrificing truthful, unbiased reporting in the name of 'up to the minute updates' facts
    would rather have heard the Prime Minister in English and not a possibly biased translation, especially since Netanyahu was worldly enough to provide the message in English minutes latter.
    would have rather had a reaction from an American reporter in Jerusalem, if you are going to be biased I would rather hear the American version and not the British, for that I happily listen to BBC.
    Ali Velshi had obviously taken a, probably much needed, break during the segment, (even reporters have human needs), because his reaction was not that of a totally informed man, which I found to atypical of him, and surprising.
    Don't report based only on the sources that present themselves to you easily, INVESTIGATE DEEPLY and then report.

    Thank you

    June 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rolando

    Mr. Netanyahu makes a compelling argument, as do those in opposition. The complexities of Gaza are of such long standing and deep root that no one knows where the truth and virtue are – and those who claim to know are only fooling themselves. Fact is the Israeli government has a duty to protect its people from the militants who launch rockets at civilians; in turn, the people of Gaza have a right to fight for their believes and self determination – unfortunately the interests of the Israelis and people of Gaza are diametrically opposed and the result of that equation is almost always blood shed. And the saga continues . . . our grandchildren are certain to be reading these same headlines in 100 years.

    June 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike Bush

    CNN Lies, don't look twice at Israel, we are here to stay.

    June 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    The more I watch Israel's actions, the more it smacks of South African apartheid. And the US supports it because of politics at home.

    June 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Support Israel

      Frank, You've already chosen a side and I can tell you now it's the loosing one.

      Just curious, what smacks your mind when Hammas shoots a rocket into an elementary school? How do you feel about the stated goal of the Palestinians, Iranian's, and the Muslim Brotherhood is to destroy Israel? Have you seen the video's of the soldiers being shot at before they boarded the Flotilla? Your comparison is weak, your spine is weak, and your understanding of politics and history are weak. Study up on the threat to Israel, and watch all of the video from both perspectives. The world will come against Israel, and Israel will NOT be defeated. They will be hated, but they will not be destroyed.

      June 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. aslii

    F Israel and F netanyahu

    June 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Bush

      F you and F yo mama too and F every enemy of israel. Suck em fool!!!!

      June 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Bush

      F yo mama too and F every enemy of israel. Suck em fool!!!!

      June 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larmeister

      Very Intelligent response......must have taken you all of 3 seconds to think that one up.........it's people like you (the uninformed/unintelligent of the world) that can't possibly understand what it might be like to have rockets fired into your back yard on a regular basis......I can tell you that if any country tried to float a ship into the US w/out authorization, they wouldn't even get the courtesy of a boarding...they would be sunk in minutes!!!

      June 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Steve Powell

    Using Occam's razor it is hard to believe that the violent event was calculated by Israel. Israel had everything to lose by a violent event and those in the flotila everything to gain. So far everyone who has a reason to hate Israel is using this event as an excuse to see what they expect to see.

    So for those who claim that the IDF shot innocent unarmed people, what would they have to gain? You can claim the Israelis evil. But the one thing they are not is stupid. A tiny country that I could ride my bike across has somehow held off a quarter billion Arabs. They did not do this by doing foolish things. When Israel does something it is premeditated and well thought out.

    And conversely why do we assume that the members of the flotila who had everything to gain by a violent event would not initiate a provocation of some sort? It is assumed as fact they are completely innocent.

    So in summary why should I believe the IDF initated hostilities when logically it was advantagous for those in the flotila to initiate hostilites?

    June 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kam

      I couldnt agree more with steve!! Arabs are the root of all evil in the world and they deserve whatever they get. I pray they continue killing each other until they are all dead.

      June 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stew

      I agree that the actions of Israel were premeditated but I disagree that they were well thought out. There are a number of ways to board a ship at sea, but dropping a few soldiers into a bunch of angry demonstrators in international waters is a sure way to provoke the kind of violence that occurred. Israel certainly has the right to defend itself, but with this action they looked unprofessional.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
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