Netanyahu Lashes Out at Iran and Hamas
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the opportunity, while greeting Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, to mock and castigate Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas for exploiting women and others - while organizing a "human rights" boat to Gaza of women.
Chancellor Faymann, on an official two-day visit to Israel, met Wednesday night with Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and others. He is the first government leader to visit Israel since the flotilla incident nearly four weeks ago.
Faymann has been a friend of Israel, recently describing a Vienna city council resolution that unilaterally condemned Israel’s seizure of the Gaza-bound flotilla as “unbalanced.” He also resisted internal Austrian pressures to call off his visit to Israel.
Netanyahu greeted Faymann at a joint press conference, and praised his country for voting for sanctions against Iran in the UN and other steps. He then took the opportunity to describe Israel’s new Gaza policy – and explained harshly that continuing “flotilla” attempts to break Israel’s blockade are hypocritical and anti-peace.
“From now on,” Netanyahu said, “all civilian goods will be able to enter Gaza. Weapons and war materiel will not be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip… We are already seeing a significant increase in the scope of civilian goods entering Gaza, and this trend will continue.”
No Reason or Justification
“I have learned of Iran and Hizbullah's plans to dispatch additional flotillas to Gaza,” Netanyahu continued. “If anyone had any doubts before, it is now clear that there is no reason or justification in organizing these flotillas. Whoever wishes to bring genuine civilian goods to Gaza – food, toys and medicine – will be able to do so via the Port of Ashdod. Therefore, the claims that were made in the past are no longer relevant. These flotillas are not organized by peace supporters but by those who oppose peace – Iran and Hizbullah.”
“Their real goal,” he said, “is to instigate a provocation against Israel in order to disrupt the security blockade - not the civilian blockade, but the blockade against importing missiles, rockets and other weapons.”
Cynical Use of Women
“I just heard of a new method they have. They intend to make cynical use of women in order to cover up their hostile activities. My friends, I want to show you the extent of the absurdity. The darkest forces in the world – Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, who want to return the world to the Middle Ages, who prevent their women from dressing, working and expressing themselves freely, where their women live in slavery and oppression, frequently without their basic rights, often subject to violence; they dare to organize a boat of women as propaganda against Israel?!
“The time has come to put a stop to this hypocrisy and work towards genuine women's rights and human rights in our region. I call upon all peace and human rights activists in the enlightened world: Go to the places where they oppress women; Go to the places where they hang homosexuals in town squares and deny the rights of minorities; Go to the places where there is no freedom of expression, no freedom of the press, no independent courts, no human rights organizations and no human rights. Go to Teheran. Go to Gaza.
“Anyone for whom human rights are truly important needs to support the democratic and liberal Israel against these dark forces. This is the change that will help us advance peace together and to push aside the forces opposed to it.
“If someone is really concerned with human rights, they should concern themselves with Gilad Shalit's most basic rights. He has been in captivity for four years, in darkness, with no visit from the Red Cross, with his family's terrible suffering, that of his parents and of his grandfather with whom I had a heart-wrenching conversation yesterday. The international community needs to stand beside Israel in firmly demanding Gilad Shalit's immediate release.”