The Day In Israel: Sunday Feb 7th, 2010

The Arab media reported that two Israeli missile boats passed through the Suez Canal Thursday morning, with the Egyptians adopting strict security measures (such as preventing any vessels from passing through the Canal) to ensure the ships’ safety.

The sources did not provide the exact ultimate destination of the missile boats. However, Egyptian maritime sources quoted in the Arab media estimated that both ships were headed to the Persian Gulf and may reach it within four days. The veracity of these estimates is unclear.

According to the reports, one Israeli missile boat already passed through the Suez Canal in June and July of last year. In one case, the Israeli ship was said to have been accompanied by an Israeli submarine.

Last week, Egyptian newspaper al-Shuruq reported that the US has been holding extensive maneuvers in the Persian Gulf, including some across Iran’s shores. The report was based on information provided by senior Egyptian sources.

In addition, the newspaper reported that Israeli vessels have been mapping the Persian Gulf’s waters in the past six months in cooperation with American forces belonging to the Fifth Fleet. However, it appears the report regarding Israel was baseless, and that it was leaked in an attempt to gauge Jerusalem’s response.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

8:20PM: Tree three hugging hippies.

FILE- In this File photo taken on July 15, 2005, foreign activists huddle together to prevent Israeli army soldiers from arresting them, during a protest against the construction of Israel’s separation barrier in the Palestinian village of Bilin near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The Israeli army says its forces entered the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010, and arrested two pro-Palestinian activists from Australia and Spain. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)

That priceless expression on their faces is either due to fear of the gun, or the realization that none of them had showered in a week.

8:15PM: Dirty Harry Dorktator to Israel: Go ahead, make my day.

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday vowed to stand by Lebanon’s side against any Israeli “aggression,” in an escalating war of words between Damascus and Jerusalem.

Assad’s remarks to Lebanon Parliament Speaker Nabil Beri were the latest in a renewed round of threats and counter-threats that began last week.

6:00PM: The Jewish Ledger discusses the word “blockade” and its application to Gaza.

In the classic novel “1984,” author George Orwell gives this famous example of how language is manipulated:. “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” What then would Orwell call “blockade”?

A generally accepted definition of a blockade might be “the isolating of a place…. preventing entrance or exit…” (Random House).

That would mean that there is no blockade on a border where:

724,925 tons of humanitarian aid travels from one side of the border to another. (January 19 2009 and January 16 2010.)

It would also not be a blockade if 29 millions gallons of diesel fuel is shipped from one side of a border to another to provide a generating station with the energy to produce electricity. (same dates)

It also isn’t a blockade if 18,500 people went from one side of a border to another to travel overseas.

Nor would there be a blockade in place if 1.3 million flowers were shipped over the border to European markets where they were sold along with 41 tons of strawberries and other commodities sent with them.

It also couldn’t be a place that was ‘blockaded’ if 10,346 residents from one place traveled to the other to receive hospital care not available to them on their side of the border.

Monetary payments would also likely not flow between a place blockaded and one doing the blockade. Yet $6.7 million passed from one place to the other on January 24th of this year in the same way other funds have been distributed before. In the main they were social security type payments and pensions.

All of this and more is happening on the border between Gaza and Israel. And all the while rockets from Gaza fly into Israel every single day, while the Israeli military works hard every day to prevent militant Gaza’s terrorists from penetrating into Israel to kill her people.

So what would Orwell call what is going on between Gaza and Israel today? We’re not sure, but “blockade” is not the right word for it. He would probably note again that when one controls the language, words can be made to say things that aren’t true.

Those who choose to demonize, delegitimize and eliminate Israel call this a “blockade.” There might not be a precise word for what Israel is doing on the borders surrounding Gaza while they contain the threat to their people from Hamas. But we do know that they try to do it as humanely as possible.

We note that 54 members of Congress, including Jim Himes from Greenwich, have chosen to ignore what is happening on the border between Israel and Gaza, and use the word “blockade” instead. Orwell would not be surprised.

5:38PM: Here is footage of Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon shaking hands with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal.

I think you’ll agree Ayalon seemed more pleased about it than al-Faisal, who wasted no time in moving away from Ayalon as the latter patted him on the back. In other words, al-Faisal looked about as comfortable as an entertainment reporter during a Mel Gibson interview.

He confirmed his lack of enthusiasm after the handshake when he said.

“This event should not be taken out of context or misunderstood.”

11:48AM: 70 palestinian were caught in the cooling container of a truck near Modiin yesterday.

(No, they were not female virgins waiting for their beloved martyrs, but rather illegal aliens).

6:15AM: Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon shook hands with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal during a security conference in Munich.

The Turkish ambassador to Israel was not available for comment.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media