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Friday, March 18, 2011

Wisdom of Israel's much-criticized Gaza blockade proven when it bagged ship laden with Iranian arms


Remember that much-maligned Israeli embargo of Gaza-bound ships, the one in which commandos boarded vessels - consistent with international law - to prevent weapons shipments under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid?

Try maligning the operation again today: The Israeli Navy checked out a Liberian-flagged ship headed from Syria to Egypt and found roughly 2,500 mortar shells, nearly 75,000 bullets and six C-704 anti-ship missiles.

In all, the vessel was hauling 50 tons of armaments capable of vast destruction. Many were in locked crates registered as containing lentils and cotton. Apparently, the plans were to get the goodies into Egypt, then smuggle them into Gaza.

Oh, and in case you doubted which kind neighbor was behind the mischief: Israeli officials turned up Farsi instruction manuals and other Iranian documentation.

The only thing missing was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's business card.

The arms were intended to help Palestinian rejectionists, led by Hamas, and perhaps their friends in Hezbollah, wage their long war against Israel's very existence, even as Israel's leadership repeatedly looks for well-intentioned partners to restart the peace process.

It was the fourth major arms cache seized in the last decade, more than enough to make any believer in negotiations take a hard turn toward realism, if not cynicism.

The only thing more predictable than the attempt by Israel's enemies to put weapons in the hands of terrorists was the laughable response by the Iranian regime.

Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi insisted the whole thing was a lie, dismissing the incontrovertible evidence as "Zionist propaganda."

Who are you going to believe, Iran or your own two eyes?

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