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Czech Republic Supports Israel - Again

Czech Senate head says the Turkish flotilla was a provocation designed to entrap Israel - and adds that others agree, but are afraid to speak out.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/3/2010, 12:50 PM / Last Update: 6/3/2010, 12:11 PM

Knesset Speaker's Office

Is the world waking up? Following U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and others, the President of the Czech Senate, Dr. Přemysl Sobotka, says the Turkish flotilla was a planned provocation designed to entrap Israel.

Dr. Sobotka told Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin on Wednesday, “As a doctor, I certainly regret any loss of life, but there is no doubt that this was a planned provocation designed to drag Israel into a trap.”

“Many in the European community feel as I do,” he added, “but they are afraid to speak out publicly.” 

“Many in the European community feel as I do,” he added, “but they are afraid to speak out publicly.”

Sobotka met with Rivlin in the Knesset, and told him, “I support the position that views Hamas as a terrorist organization… It is too bad that European countries present an unbalanced position on this matter. Unfortunately, the positions of the international community are not always to my taste, particularly in Europe.”

Rivlin took the opportunity to explain once again that “despite the international criticism, the naval blockade on Gaza is in accordance with international law. Israel left Gaza, but it became a terrorist entity supported by Iran. This week, instead of peace activists we found terror activists who endangered our soldiers and left them with no choice. At least 100 out of the 120 Knesset Members support the IDF action.”

Rivlin thanked his guest and the Czech nation for “your warmth towards Israel over the course of decades and the Czech leadership’s support at every opportunity.” During Operation Cast Lead 18 months ago, the Czech foreign minister issued this statement: "I consider it unacceptable that villages in which civilians live have been shelled. Therefore, Israel has an inalienable right to defend itself against such attacks. The shelling from the Hamas side makes it impossible to consider this organization as a partner for negotiations and to lead any political dialogue with it."

Czechoslovakian military support for Israel when it was fighting for its life in 1948, in defiance of a UN embargo, is considered to have played an important role in Israel’s survival. Though the country’s Communist government severed relations with Israel between 1967 and 1990, the relationship has developed and flourished anew since then.

“Hamas displays total mockery of all international norms and law,” MK Rivlin said, “not only with its indiscriminate shooting at Israeli citizens over the course of eight years, but also in its holding of Gilad Shalit for four years without allowing anyone to visit him. This would be inconceivable in any proper society.”