Israel Stations Nuclear Missile Subs off Iran

This is from National Terror Alert boiling down an article in The Times

Israel Stations Nuclear Missile Subs off Iran

May 30, 2010 by national 

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.

The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.

The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.”

Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.

The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal.

Hmmm…. a bit of a trial balloon?

And P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his meeting with President Obama tomorrow.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Global Killer Asteroid Questions. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. RichR says:

    The threat of mutual annihilation has become the only means of defense. How sad our world is.

    To me, this is proof positive that Original Sin still exists, despite what the politicians and utopian sociologists try to make us believe. No matter how much goodwill a political leader tries to sow, there will always be the weeds of renegades and opportunists with ill-intent who seek to advance their own power-mongering agendas.

    We need to advance the Kingship of Christ now more than ever.

  2. pfhawkins says:

    My understanding is that Netanyahu canceled his meeting with Obama to deal with Israel’s politically explosive enforcement of its blockade of Gaza.

  3. Quiet honestly, I don’t blame Natanyahu for canceling with Obama, after all, Obama is in bed with the Hamas terrorists that Israel is at war with right now.

  4. JSBSJ says:

    As a Roman Catholic, it is difficult to sympathize with Hamas’ leadership in the Gaza Strip. Yet, as I write from my office here in Jerusalem, I must say that Catholics need to condemn with the greatest of seriousness the continued use of disproportionate force as well as psychological and physical intimidation abuse of Palestinians. The issue, quite simply, is that many of our Palestinian brothers and sisters are Catholic, yet they too are forced to endure daily the most dehumanizing of situations because of Israeli national policy against the whole Arab population. Christians in Palestine are regularly abused, detained, harassed at checkpoints, denied basic freedoms, and forced to live under miserable conditions. I do not write as someone naive to the Palestinian ways of provocation, but – without any doubt – Israel remains the greatest of apartheid states and their national policies must be condemned. To support Israel and its injust ways of dealing with the Palestinians is to support the continued abuse of Catholics in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip: including nuns and priests. We must speak out against Israel with a loud and unified voice; they must account for these crimes against humanity.

  5. Oleksander says:

    Speaking as someone who comes from eastern europe, when the muslims attacked and occupied that school in russia and murdered so many kids, i have no sympathy for muslims at all. in palestine sad that catholics are detained and have passport troubles, slight inconvenience compared to the suicide/homicide bombers that would get in if these check points did not exist.

    as for the wall, the chinese built a wall to defend against Mongolians, are they to be criticized too? country has to do what it must, unfortunate neutral parties suffer in the process but if i were the jews i would be doing the same thing.

  6. Oleksander says:

    just wanted to add that i hear catholics in particular are discriminated against by the jews, most unfortunate, but the muslims when riled kill both catholics and copts in egypt, id rather be under the jews if choice was given. not to mention the muslim armies that fought against our catholic brothers in Lebanon during 80s, it was the israelis who supplied them, the christian forces, to fight against the muslims.

  7. JSBSJ says:

    Catholics and Muslims have long lived in peace. In Palestine, for example, the Islamic and Catholic populations live very, very well together. There is no violence, there is no hatrid, there is no sense that they are anything except brothers and sisters. To say that Muslims and Catholics naturally do not get along is naive.

  8. Oleksander says:

    Ever been to Lebanon? or Chechnya? In turkey the radicals, who would easily side with the hamas (well the shia ones anyway) kill priests. only place i have found muslims to be politically speaking amicable are in places where they are the minority (save holland i suppose) and Kyrgyzstan where people while self describe as muslim dont practice the religion.

    muslims are not too bad in Malaysia either. in near east however I side with israelis and that is all i have to say in this thread

  9. Oleksander says:


  10. shane says:

    Oleksander, what radicals are you referring to? Turkey has a majority Islamic populace but it is a fairly secular state (head scarves in public buildings and schools are banned). It has always been very pro-Israel, much more so than any European country. The governing centre-right Justice and Development Party is increasingly comparable to the Christian Democratic parties of the west, and only mildly more critical of Israel than the secularist leftist opposition. This incident, along with its treatment of the Turkish ambassador, has outraged Ankara and the Turkish public; it will cost Israel a very valuable ally, which is entirely its own fault.

  11. TJerome says:

    Shane, this is Barack Obama’s fault (nice to turn the tables on the left for whom everything was George Bush’s fault). He is weak, apologizing to our enemies and dissing our friends (generally other democracies). No wonder the forces of darkness in the mideast, asia, and South American are on the move. They know Obama’s a pushover and will NEVER defend American or its interests.

  12. torch621 says:

    If I had to pick between the Israeli government and the psycopaths who govern the Palestinians, I’ll take the Israelis any day.

    That is all. Pax Christi.

  13. JSBSJ says:

    Torch621: Your website says, “All my musings are made with charity and respect for others in mind.” I don’t know if the word psychopath reflects that desire. In any case, I think you need to distinguish between the Gaza strip and the West Bank. The Gaza is one case, but the West Bank, where the majority of Palestinians live, is governed by a balanced democratic government, one that has a fair and active judicial system, an increasingly decent educational system, and a specific mandate to increase tolerance and respect between Arabs and Israelis. They are certainly not psychopaths. In fact, I would say that the Palestinian government in the West Bank is more balanced than a lot of governments I see in the West itself. Let’s be a little more fair in our comments, Torch621.

  14. ray from mn says:

    Israeli subs that can submerge to 1500 feet will find it difficult to stay hidden in the very narrow Persian Gulf that at its deepest is only 300 feet deep and has an average depth of 150 feet.

  15. Scott W. says:

    Lots of people complain about the US support of Israel, but the fact is that support has always come with a very tight leash. This is why a tiny country that could wipe every muslim country in a 2000-mile radius off the map has been ceding territory instead of gaining it. Now the US is sliding anti-Israel, and the more this happens, the more incentive Israel has to take matters into their own hands–and drag us all with it.

  16. Scott W. says:

    Now the US is sliding anti-Israel

    P.S. and is headed by someone utterly unfit for the job.

  17. shane says:

    “Lots of people complain about the US support of Israel, but the fact is that support has always come with a very tight leash. […]This is why a tiny country that could wipe every muslim country in a 2000-mile radius off the map[…]”

    Scott, that is a classic Chicken or Egg dilemma. For good or for ill, Israel would not have that capacity were it not for US ‘support’.

    China and Russia are quite close to Iran and it’s possible that we’ll see a new alliance form from that.

  18. The annihilation of nations is starting to unfold.

  19. Son of Trypho says:


    Come now brother – be fair yourself. As you would well know, what about that mosque (Shihab al-Din) that was being built right near the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth? The one which reputedly was designed to overshadow the basilica? Perhaps I am as naive as the other Palestinian Catholics who opposed its construction?

    As to your views on peace and amity between the communities – yes, as long as the Catholics and Greeks etc recognised their minority and 2nd class status in Palestinian society.

    Since the democratic election of Hamas as the government of Palestine (both Gaza and West Bank btw), the days you are talking about are long gone as you would well know and propagate if honesty concerned you.

  20. gambletrainman says:

    The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary needs to be done NOW!

  21. Son of Trypho says:

    “China and Russia are quite close to Iran and it’s possible that we’ll see a new alliance form from that.”

    They do make a nice match – human rights abusers and despotisms of the 1st class one and all. Far worse than anything Israel, the US, or any EU nation has been involved in.
    Don’t get me wrong, the latter group are not saints, but they aren’t in the same league as these guys.

  22. Igne says:

    The indulgence that American public opinion has up until now given to Israel in international relations has played no small role in radicalizing Islamic fundamentalism. It’s sad, but probably the only good thing that Obama has done is tighten the leash on Israel. I’m not fond of the man, but I have to say the incandescence of some of the Obama-haters who comment on this blog is unhealthy.

  23. Son of Trypho says:

    “The indulgence that American public opinion has up until now given to Israel in international relations has played no small role in radicalizing Islamic fundamentalism.”

    partly true. however the same could be said for:

    Khomeini’s successful Islamic revolution which provided inspiration for fundamentalists across the region,
    Iran’s state sponsored terrorism which has led to chronic destabilisation across the region,
    the abject failure of the regimes in the ME to provide essential services and rights to their citizens combined with the suppression of legitimate moderate opposition except for Islamic parties which have become radicalised because they have no options for accessing power,
    Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship of Wahhabism and Salafism just about everywhere with a strict Islamic/Non-Islamic ideological and social dichotomy with a position of Islamic supremacism,
    the failure of the Islamic world to coherently reconcile their various ethno-religio-state weakness with their faith which advocates their superiority over non-believers, leading to Islamic groups to advocate a stricter interpretation of Islam as the cure for the regions problems rather than healthy introspection and social and political development,

    I would suggest that any of these are probably much more important in the radicalisation than Israel is.

    Remove Israel from the scene and you still don’t address Osama’s rant about lost Andalusia, or the restoration of the Caliphate, or the evils of infidels working in cooperation with Islamic regimes (eg. Saudis) do you?

  24. Igne says:

    Nobody’s saying anything about removing Israel from the scene. I would not wish to countenance such a move and would hate to be associated with it. But the grievances of the Palestinians are engrained, are in many ways legitimate, and must be assuaged or compensated for.

    I would suggest that a not trivial embittered constituency of Arab opinion has witnessed the unfairness of the indulgence that American public opinion has given Israeli claims relative to Palestinian claims and has determined desperately that the kooky eschatology of Osama is the horse to back, because no matter what they say or do the hyperpower [the US] is not interested. It’s tragic.

    So many Israeli spokespeople and diplomats and politicians worship their State above all and would do and say anything to perpetuate its perceived interest in even the smallest things. (It’s sad to see, because it was to the Jews that God’s exhortations against idolatry were first given). And their statements have often been swallowed by the US. A child confronted with the perpetual one-sided favouritism of a parent in cases of disputes with a sibling (even in cases when the sibling is blatantly telling fibs) will grow bitter; their vision will be darkened. Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart.

    The Iranian case is more complex and has an internal history informed by the Shah’s shameful and shameless regime (supported by the West)and its sadistic security forces. Nowadays the best enablers of the hardmen in Iran and Ahmadinegad (who most Iranians I have met hate btw) are the Israeli hawks. And both Iran and Israel indulge in state-sponsored terrorism. Mossad anybody?

    Our Lady of Nazareth, pray for us.

  25. doanli says:

    Agree with Oleksander.

    It isn’t Jews who are sacking and burning churches and murdering Christians simply because they are Christians–it’s the Muslims.

  26. shane says:

    But Israel has confiscated quite a lot of churches. In Jerusalem, Christian clergy (the few lucky enough to be given a visa) are frequently spat on by Jews on the street. Christian converts – ‘Messianic Jews’ – despite their strongly pro-Israeli perspectives, are subject to a lot of harassment and discrimination. There is co-existence between Christians and Muslims in many countries, where church properties are undisturbed. Queen Rania of Jordon even applauded the Pope for Summorum Pontificum!!! The vast majority of Palestinian Christians are fiercly anti-Israel.

  27. shane says:

    I’ve always thought it a great shame that the Ottoman Empire ever collapsed :(

  28. Son of Trypho says:


    A bizarre sentiment re the Ottomans – it was a real shame seeing the end of the seizing of Christian children and their forced conversion and utilisation in the armed forces against other Christians? i.e. the janissary system which conquered Christian Byzantines, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Balkans incl. Serbia, Croatia, Albania and parts of Austria for the Ottoman Empire.

    Or the occasional lynching of Greek Orthodox Archbishops and clergy if they spoke out against the Empire, or the assistance they provided to the Germans in WW1, or the subjugation generally of Christian populations including reducing the See of Constantinople to a rump minority – a real shame to lose all of this.

    As to Jerusalem, the treatment of Christian clergy is despicable – however it would be nice to see a few examples of the quite alot of churches that Israel has seized…


    “Nowadays the best enablers of the hardmen in Iran and Ahmadinegad (who most Iranians I have met hate btw) are the Israeli hawks. And both Iran and Israel indulge in state-sponsored terrorism. Mossad anybody?”

    Ahmadinejad doesn’t run the country. The Ayatollah and the religious clergy ably assisted by the religious-military forces run Iran. They continue the policies put in place by Khomeini resulting from the revolution. Israel has nothing to do with them.

    Probably the best enablers of their rule are those who call for ending sanctions against them, or actually do trade with them and talk about open negotiations etc and permit them to arm to the teeth while trying (and failing) to get UN members to put pressure on them.

    And Iran’s state sponsored terrorism is far more significant than anything the Mossad has done – Iran bankrolls the Hamas govt. in Gaza and supports Hezbollah’s tyranny in Lebanon, the militants in Shi’ite Iraq, have attempted to seize the Kaaba in Mecca and supports Syrian dictatorship.

    Again, not to say that Israel is much better – they are living in a nasty region and are becoming as nasty as those around them – they just aren’t quite there yet.

  29. Dauphin says:

    ….and Iran is the one threatening Israel? What would you do in response to this behavior and the implicit threats of Israel and the U.S. if you were the President of Iran? You’d build a nuclear bomb as a deterrent, is what.

    Israel and the U.S. are giving Iran every incentive to get the bomb.

  30. Son of Trypho says:


    both Iran and Israel threaten each other. Iran through its sponsorship of parties which are directly hostile to Israel at the existential level eg. Hezbollah and Hamas and Israel through its sabre-rattling. The difference is of course that Iran has done far more actual harm to Israel than vice versa through these actions.

    And, the bomb is not merely a deterrent but a strategic goal – I would suggest that people don’t get confused as to the intentions and outcomes – the bomb is to prop up Iran as the dominant power in their sphere of influence and to counterbalance minority Shi’ite status and Pakistan’s bombs. No Iranian seriously envisages an occupation by Israel, or the US – the US can’t even plug an oil leak off their coast let alone invade and occupy Iran (as well as Iraq and Afghanistan).

  31. moon1234 says:

    Boy did this thread get off on a tangent. The reason the meeting had to be called off was because ISREAL ATTACKED AN UNAMRED US FLAGGED SHIP IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS AND KILLED 15 UNARMED CIVILIANS!

    Do a simple google search on Freedom Floatilla. These were AMERICAN flagged ships bringing food, medical equipment, building materials to GAZA to help the people there. There were NO weapons on any of the ships. They were fully searched before leaving the US and certified free of any weapons (Offensive or defensive).

    The ships were still in INTERNATIONAL WATERS. This means that NO COUNTRY had any right to stop them, board them or search them as long as they were not being hostile. ISREAL did not want the let this ship into GAZA. ISREAL purposefully boarded and killed 15 people on an US FLAGGED ship.

    Had this ship been part of the Maritime marine this would have been an act of WAR BY ISREAL on the USA.

    THIS is the reason the meeting was canceled. Had OBAMA kept his appointment with the PM it would have appeard to all of the Arab world that the US approved of the illegal attack. Isreal violated EVERY UN treaty during this attack.

    Isreal deserves to be sanctioned for this action. Had Iranians done this we would be declaring war on them! It is time for the US to STOP supporting Isreal. Killing innocent people on a ship in international waters has a name: PIRACY. Doing it to a US flagged ship should be declared an act of WAR!

  32. Bornacatholic says:

    One has to search the sites of the left for accurate information about Israel because the right is unreliable vis a vis Israel (One can not even imagine Rush, Beck, or Hannity criticising Israel. Ever)

    Well, here is The Daily Kos on how Israel’s actions violate NATO Agreements …

  33. Scott W. says:

    Scott, that is a classic Chicken or Egg dilemma.

    I didn’t suggest it wasn’t.

  34. shane says:

    SOT, all Empires in retrospect can be criticised for aggrandisement and consciption. That applies to the British and French Empires also…who exhibited little scruple in fighting other Christian states. The French and British were conscripting children out of their conquered colonies only a few decades ago. The Janissaries were abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826. The Jinzya on non-Muslims was abolished two decades later, and under the Reform Edict of 1856 non-Muslims were granted full civic equality and protection, but which also guaranteed the millet system of self-rule for the diverse religious systems. Overall the Ottoman Empire was a force for civility, tradition, order and cohesion.

    I don’t have a list of expropriated churches but Israel’s nationalization of Church property is something the Vatican has been in negotiation about. This following link cites* 19 churches in the West Bank and 28 in Jerusalem that were subject to negotiations between the Holy See and Israel in January. According to Haaretz, this list represents “only a handful of sites” that are in dispute. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said: “The Church wishes for safeguards against future ” ‘taking’ by the state of her property,”, as well as “the restitution of certain properties ‘taken’ in the past”.


    According to Wikipedia

    “The roots of Anti-Catholicism in Israel can be traced back to the origin of the Jewish state in 1948 when several villages with majority Catholic populations, such as Kafr Bir’im and Iqrit, were forcibly depopulated by the Israel Defence Forces. Catholic priests have been expelled from the country., and dozens of churches have been occupied, closed or forcibly sold since 1948., . More recently Israel has denied residence status to Catholic clerics and has attempted to block the appointment of Catholic bishops. Israeli government attempts such as the failed 1998 effort to block the Holy See’s appointment of Boutros Mouallem as archbishop of Galilee were condemned by the Vatican and other nations. Suspicion and hostility towards Catholic clerics has led to incidents such as the October 2002 detention and harassment of Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Elias Chacour and Archbishop Boutros Mouallem, who were prevented from leaving Jerusalem to attend an interfaith meeting in London.”

  35. Jordanes says:

    Bornacatholic said: One has to search the sites of the left for accurate information about Israel because the right is unreliable vis a vis Israel.

    The political left is pretty strongly anti-Israel and/or anti-semitic, and thus often purveys inaccurate information about Israel. They’re as prone to believe anti-Israel claims as the right is prone to disbelieve them. You really didn’t have to resort to The Daily Kos, of all places. You could have checked some legitimate sources instead.

    As for moon1234 comments about “Isreal,” I have not been able to find any evidence that evenone of these six ships was sailing under the U.S. flag, but have found several reports that mention thatone of the ship was Turkish and sailing under Turkey’s flag — and that half of the people on the ships were Turkish nationals. I am skeptical that Netanyahu canceled his meeting with Obama because they were U.S. ships.

  36. Jordanes says:

    P.S. “ISREAL purposefully boarded and killed 15 people on an US FLAGGED ship.” That is certainly incorrect, since at least some of the people killed were passengers on a Turkish-flagged ship. Reports are saying no less than nine and as many as 20 or more people were killed, and about 50 others injured.

  37. Harold says:


    Wrong and wrong.

    It was a Turkish flagged ship. And, the “unarmed civilians” attacked the Israeli forces with clubs and chains. When the Israelis responded with paintball guns, the “unarmed civilians” overpowered some of the Israelis, took their real guns, and started shooting at the Israelis.

    If I had been in charge, I would have shot everyone on board and then sunk the ship.

  38. JonM says:

    Attempting to remain on the periphery of this discussion, I will say that the fondness towards the state of Israel is disconcerting and misplaced. It is not at all a righteous country, and I will keep my criticisms at that.

    I think Moon points out a critical point missed in the context of the political situation: Israel has effectively created an open air concentration camp in Gaza. Further, it has, in violation of international law, effectively (and officially in cases) annexed pieces of the West Bank. Life is generally pretty poor in these two places.

    Therefore, it is not any wonder that the populations of these locations have chosen more radical governments.

    But Moon’s point, that Israel has (yet again) attacked first in a wimpy manner (targeting an unarmed vessel), needs to be understood. It conjures up repressed memories of the USS Liberty incident and its conduct during the Lebanon War in 2006.

    To any dispassionate viewer, clearly one side is offering more than just bluster; through active deeds, it appears to this writer that Israel is attempting to ‘stir the pot’ so to speak.

    Now, I believe that Barak Obama is in WAY over his head and this situation is worsened in that he is a fairly typical citizen of post-modernism. Understand though, the GOP is not formed in the Faith either and 99% of the time when GOPers say something that sounds remotely Catholic, it is a contrived statement bereft of true conviction. Just my experience anyway.

    In any event, I think it is counterproductive to blame Obama for this. Frankly, it isn’t his fault. At all. It appears that the Israeli Prime Minister, who is noted for his theatrics and bellicosity, is trying to out maneuver Obama politically: the Jewish population is significantly influential in America and appearing to ‘side with the terrorists’ could end his political career. So, Obama might be induced into letting that leash stretch out – perhaps as far as Iran.

    Anyone who thinks that Israel is truly interested in mutual peace is dreaming a fantasy. Their population is drastically shrinking due to abortion and birth control (much like in Europe and America), so the Arab population (mostly Muslim) is set to wipe out the state of Israel in a matter of a few generations on reproduction alone.

    Israel knows this. And it is guided not by the Holy Spirit, but by neo-tribalism. It is looking for a means to force America to let it bomb Iran, as it is the last significant counter power in the region. This strategy is doomed of course because demographics just do not lie.

    Meanwhile, 200,000+ American troops (plus ~100,000 contractors) are set up in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and across central Asia. The Saudi government already gave Israel permission to use its airspace to attack Iran (bet that news is as welcome as crucifixes in Riyadh) and this latest announcement of dispatching nuclear-armed submarines to the very coastline of Iran can only be seen as intensely provocative.

    With this in mind, this wash-rise-repeat cycle of Tel Aviv has been playing for a while, so it is tough to know when it is just more base politics or an actual war-footing.

    I agree with the other poster, that the Consecration of Russia and social kingship of Christ as needed as ever.

  39. Bornacatholic says:

    You could have checked some legitimate sources instead.

    Dear Jordanes: One has to guard against Argumentum ad hominem as regards the source. The question is whether or not The Daily Kos was right about NATO implications.

    It appears they are.

    It took a long time for the American Media to respond to the events.
    Gee, I can’t imagine why…

  40. Maltese says:

    *To support Israel and its injust ways of dealing with the Palestinians is to support the continued abuse of Catholics in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip*

    Ptooey! The terrorist-Hamas loving Palestinians had a jamboree dancing in the streets after the 9-11 attacks!

  41. shane says:

    Israel is a signatory to the Convention on the High Seas, which has the following to say on these matters:

    Article 22

    1. Except where acts of interference derive from powers conferred by treaty, a warship which encounters a foreign merchant ship on the high seas is not justified in boarding her unless there is reasonable ground for suspecting:

    (a) That the ship is engaged in piracy; or
    (b) That the ship is engaged in the slave trade; or
    (c) That though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the
    ship is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship.

    The flotilla was flying a Turkish flag – which means Israel has attacked what is legally Turkish territory.

    Turkey – a member of NATO – has a a very powerful Navy. Israel’s navy is tiny. Turkey has guaranteed the peace of the next aid flotillas.

    Israel knows it’s no match for Turkey – which is now formerly one its of most valuable strategic allies (now its burns for vengeance). It will have to let these ships access. Its blockade of Gaza is over.

  42. moon1234 says:

    Challenger 1
    The US-flagged Challenger 1 is operated by the Free Gaza Movement.[24]

    Which Israel illegally boarded on the high seas and forced to sail to a US port. This is called Piracy of a US flagged vessel. Israel went too far in this act of Piracy and Murder.

    If I had been in charge, I would have shot everyone on board and then sunk the ship.

    Really? You would have shot and killed everyone on board? For what? Defending themselves from an agressor who attacked at night in international waters? This is no different than someone bursting into your home in the middle of the night with a weapon and killing on of your family members. So you position would then be to kill the rest of the family if they attempt to defend themselves?

    The people on this ship were qualified under the Catechism to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary. The passengers however had no guns, hence why they were using pipes and other things within reach.

    Turkey has now announced that they will provide military escort to the next two ships that are already sailing for Gaza. This could turn ugly very quickly.

    This illegal action by Israel is the exact reason why the meeting with Obama was canceled. The UN has condemed Israel’s actions. It will only get worse for Israel going forward. They have made all of the middle east angry with their actions. They have been condemed by the international community and they now have Turkey using military force to escort ships to Gaza.

    What’s next? Israel detonating a nuke in Iran and calling it a pre-emptive strike? Not too far fetched.

  43. moon1234 says:

    Which Israel illegally boarded on the high seas and forced to sail to a US port.

    This shoudl have read an Israeli port. They also detained all of the crew in prison. Just how would this go down if the Iranians or any other country did this?

  44. Supertradmum says:

    Today’s news-indeed a Turkish flagged ship and people on board were armed and attacked the Israeli navy personnel. Confusion. Who was defending themselves first here? The spin doctors are having a great time and if I had to trust one media over another, it would be the Israeli media over the Turkish media. Sadly, there are anti-Western groups who want Israel and the United States to fail over such horrible incidences.Some of these people are members of the UN security council. and

  45. shane says:

    Supertradmum, navies have no right to enter ships in international waters, except where there is reasonable suspicion…

    (a) That the ship is engaged in piracy; or
    (b) That the ship is engaged in the slave trade; or
    (c) That though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the ship is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship.

    This has nothing to do with being anti-western or anti-Israel (…and I don’t see why the two are linked?), or being right or left wing. It’s about respect for international law – and a Convention to which Israel is a signatory.

  46. MichaelJ says:


    Given the three conditions you listed, I am curious about what right the US Coast Guard has to conduct its drug interdictions in the Carribbean. I assume that “smuggling” is included in the definition of “piracy”, correct?

  47. JonM says:

    Word on the street is that the New Day Co-op (Builderberg Committee) is meeting soon to go over next year’s territory (broad policy initiatives eg banking, foreign policy, public law.)

    A lot happened in the run up to this important annual meeting: East Siders (Koreans) are mobbing up on each other (trading threats over a ship sinking incident) while Omar continues to rob blind West side players (Greece is unable to pay its debts, and rumors are France needs the IMF bailout too.)

    Over at the Projects (America), all new rules are going place to ‘spread the cheese around’ (socialized healthcare, higher taxes.)

    I think everyone wants to get there last positions settled before the big meeting. Just my speculation.

    Apologies to The Wire fans, I just can do politics anymore without adding some levity to the discussion.

    Moon, that’s not inconceivable: Netenyahu gave a cryptic threat that ‘terrorists’ might blow up the Holy Sepulcher if Israel didn’t get the ‘power it needs.’ Not sure I know the motivation of Muslims to blow up a Christian holy site, though I can see benefits to other parties.

  48. shane says:

    Michael, regretfully I’m not up to speed on what the US Coast Guard does, but this page from the Centre for International Policy suggests these drug interdictions in the Caribbean take place in other countries’ territorial waters and are as a result of regional maritime counter-drug agreements.

    The U.S. Coast Guard is part of the Department of Transportation except in time of war, when it passes to the Department of Defense. As the primary enforcer of U.S. law on the high seas and in U.S. territorial waters, the Coast Guard plays a large drug interdiction role, seeking to deter drug traffickers from using maritime routes to transport illegal drugs. The Coast Guard’s anti-drug role also involves combined operations, training and maritime counter-drug arrangements with other countries’ security forces.

    Coast Guard officers are posted in several embassies worldwide to coordinate training assistance to major drug producing and major drug transiting countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, these countries include the Bahamas, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela.

    The U.S. Coast Guard carries out several interdiction operations in the Caribbean and the eastern Pacific, in coordination with other countries’ navies and coast guards. During these activities, which often occur in host countries’ territorial waters, U.S. and host-country personnel monitor and pursue potential drug smugglers. In many cases a host-country officer aboard U.S. Coast Guard craft, known as a “shiprider,” represents the local government and carries out arrests. Often known as “surge” operations because they represent a short-term intensification of interdiction activity, these activities usually take place in the context of maritime counter-drug agreements.

  49. moon1234 says:

    Here is a site that has a ton of videos of what happened. You can WATCH as the Israeli IDF fire weapons on the ships BEFORE they are even on the vessels. The Israelis then send in paratroopers to board the ships. (Keep in mind this is all in international waters. Not Israeli territory)

    What would you do if one of your shipmates was shot and foreign troops are boarding your vessel in international waters? Fight back! That is what the people on the ships did. With pipes and other things around them.

    The agressors here were the Israelis. The people and the ships were NOT in Israeli waters. They did NOT shoot at the Israelis (They had no offensive or defensive weapons). The Israelis then chose to shoot and kill 15-20 people that they invaded. After that they took the ships to an Israeli port under duress. This is Piracy and Murder!

    It won’t happen again though. The next ships will have Turkish naval escourts. Turkey is a NATO member. If the Israelis attempt to attack the Turkish ships it would be the same as an attack on a NATO member nation. All NATO members would be required to defend against an Israeli attack.

    The Israeli’s little concentration camp with 1.5 million people in it needs to be liberated.

    As to the comment of how the Palestinians react towards the US. How would you react if you were stuck in a little hell hole and the country that is oppressing you is being supported by an even larger country many thousands of miles away? Would you not be happy if something bad happened to that country?

    People see the issues from only one side and that blinds them to the suffering of oppressed people.

  50. moon1234 says:

    Sorry, forgot the site:

    I don’t endorse the site. I just found a lot of video links there. The major news sites seems to be putting a spin on the story or ignorning it.

  51. DHippolito says:

    Moon1234, you are ignoring one undeniable fact in the Arab-Israeli conflict: Arab Muslims want to destroy Israel, and have wanted to do so since 1948, and exploit the Palestinians in their efforts. The Arabs will fight Israel down to the last Palestinian, because they know that they cannot defeat Israel with conventional military force (see 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973). If the Palestinians have any reason to revolt, they should revolt against their Arab patrons and their Muslim imams who keep them enslaved to hate and vengeance. If you don’t believe that, then how do you explain children’s programs on Palestinian TV encouraging children to be “martyrs”? How do you explain imams preaching calling Jews and Christians “dogs,” “pigs” and “monkeys” w/o any condemnation or discipline from their superiors or from the PA?

    Moreover, moon1234, why did a fundamentally industrious people like the Palestinians not develop any functioning economy or social structure when they had the chance starting in 2006, when Israel abandoned Gaza? You think Fatah would have done any better?

    As far as 9/11 goes, the people who died in 9/11 had nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They were innocent civilians who were murdered! Now, I know the Church has gone soft on murder and murderers the past three decades (thank you, Pope Wojtyla; may you burn in Hell for your theological revisionism). But let’s not use “oppression” to justify sadism.

  52. DHippolito says:

    JSBSJ, if Israel is one of the greatest “apartheid states,” what do you think would happen if the Palestinian Muslims took over? What do you think would happen to Middle Eastern Christians, let along Jews? Can you say “genocide”? If that were to happen do you think the world would care?

  53. Igne says:

    DHippolyto, You obviously have forgotten that many Palestinians are refugees from areas now in Israel, that they were dispossessed. You have also cursed a Pope’s soul. Seek forgiveness.

  54. moon1234 says:


    People who are suffering deserve food, supplies, medical equipment, etc. I would help my enemy if he were suffering. We may not be friends, but I don’t wish him to die. Israel is starving and oppressing the Palestinians. If Israel wants to have some type of moral high ground they can not go around murdering aid workers on ships carrying relief supplies. They also can not be stealing other peoples property in international waters (committing acts of Piracy).

    This was NOT self defense. It was offensive force on a peaceful relief action. I think even the Pope would support sending aid to the Palestinians.

  55. dcs says:

    Moreover, moon1234, why did a fundamentally industrious people like the Palestinians not develop any functioning economy or social structure when they had the chance starting in 2006, when Israel abandoned Gaza?

    Because Gaza’s borders (including its coastline) are closed by Israel and Egypt? How is Gaza supposed to develop a functioning economy when it is not permitted to trade?

  56. crjs1 says:

    Vatican’s reaction to the attack on the flotilla:
    “, Father Lombardi said: “This is a very painful event, particularly for the useless loss of human life. The situation is being followed in the Vatican with great attention and concern.”

    He said that the Catholic Church is always opposed to violence “no matter where it comes from” because “it always makes efforts for peaceful solutions more difficult.”

    Pope Benedict XVI will “constantly reiterate the message of peace,” especially on his June 4-6 visit to Cyprus, Father Lombardi said. Pope Benedict is expected to address the difficulties of the Christian communities in the Middle East.

    Father Hernandez told the Italian bishops’ news agency, SIR, that it was a tragedy that the attacks occurred during the May 29-June 4 World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, promoted by the World Council of Churches.

    “I do not know how to express our disappointment in such a thing, which should have and could have been avoided,” the priest said. “Israel said that it would block every attempt to reach Gaza. Israel has the means to prevent and control these situations. It was not necessary to arrive at the point of killing, and now the risk is that the violence will lead to more violence. There already are people talking about vengeance and reprisals.”

    Also the Jerusalem Inter-Church Center condemned “in the strongest language possible the irresponsible actions perpetrated by the Israeli forces against civilian participants of the Freedom Flotilla.” It called on people to take action that would see Israel adhere to international norms by ending the siege on Gaza and as well as its military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

    “It is only through ending the unjustifiable ongoing military occupation of another people’s land that true peace can emerge,” they said. “It is tragic that no serious interventions were made from third parties to avoid such a tragic end for a good human action. The result of silence is death.”

  57. DHippolito says:

    Igne, regarding my comments about the late Pope and capital punishment, I suggest you read the following:

    moon1234: If this was a “peaceful mission,” then why did those on the boats attack Israeli soldiers without provocation?

    dcs: The whole rationale behind Israel’s withdraw from Gaza was to give the PA a chance a self-governance. Gaza is a massive failure because Hamas has used the strip for its own nefarious purposes. Interestingly enough, Arab governments and Muslim leaders have never condemned Hamas for this, nor have they demanded better behavior. Why? Because, as I said, the Arabs will fight Israel to the last Palestinian.

    moon1234 and dcs, if you are not willing to hold Arab Muslims and Palestinians accountable for their behavior and attitudes, then you have no moral credibility.

  58. DHippolito says:

    BTW, JSBJ, if Israel is an “apartheid state,” then why do Israeli Arabs have their own political parties and representation in the Knesset, the national parliament? I don’t recall blacks and “coloreds,” as South Africans called mixed-race people, being politically represented during the era of apartheid.

  59. shane says:

    DHippolito, I agree that ‘apartheid’ is often used very loosely in colloquial discourse (…. and btw I’ve always thought that apartheid South Africa has been excessively demonized, but we won’t get into that…). But consider that Iran also accords representation in its parliament to its Jewish and Christian minorities. I don’t think the fact that a state guarantees parliament representation to minorities counts for much in itself.

  60. Kerry says:

    “Catholics need to condemn…the continued use of disproportionate force”. Excuse me, but this is “B” as in ‘B’ and “S” as in ‘S’. One does not stop an existential threat to one’s existence with water balloons and “sugar candy”. When reason fails, and any photo of Hamas and/or Hezbollah terrorists in their black clothes and masked faces should convince one that these are people who will not, and cannot be reasoned with. As they will not stop until smashed to smithereens, a soft blow to the arm, and shooting to wound will not avail. You may believe I am making a case for aggression, and you will be mistaken. What I fear coming is Israel finally saying, “That’s all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more”. Or do you mean to say that Israel should, one of these days, launch some 30 to 40 thousand rockets randomly onto civilians anywhere they please, as has been done to them, for the sake of “proportionality”…?

  61. Jordanes says:

    James Taranto’s commentary on this incident, for what it’s worth:

    When ‘Peace Activists’ Attack

    A flotilla organized by a Turkish Islamist group has failed in its attempt to break the naval blockade Israel and Egypt have imposed on the Gaza Strip. Styling themselves “peace activists” carrying humanitarian aid, the Turks, joined by members of other anti-Israel groups, were invited by the Israelis to dock at Ashdod, an Israeli port, and unload their goods there for delivery to Gaza. When they refused, Israeli sailors boarded the boats.

    According to, the Israelis made a tactical error in assuming that “peace activists” would behave peacefully:

    “To their misfortune, [the Israeli commandos] were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

    “One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows.

    “The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs. They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme circumstances.”

    Such circumstances having materialized, the Israelis did open fire, and nine of the so-called activists were killed.

    Palestinian Media Watch notes that a day earlier, al-Jazeera had reported that the “peace activists” were chanting: “Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!” Explanation:

    “Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor to future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.

    “Al-Jazeera also interviewed a woman who said that the flotilla participants’ goal was “one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza.””

    As the Washington Post reports, “Israel delivers about 15,000 tons of supplies and aid to Gaza every week.” Breaking the blockade was unnecessary to get humanitarian aid to Gaza–but it is necessary if the terror group Hamas, which dominates the strip, is to be rearmed. These “peace activists” seek peace only in the Orwellian sense: “War is peace.”

  62. shane says:

    Kerry, more Israelis have died from bee stings than Hamas rockets.

    But none of this has anything to do with the flotilla incident – which was an attack on Turkish territory, not Gazan.

  63. Son of Trypho says:


    Thanks for replying however I would like to suggest that cribbing together bits and pieces from Wikipedia as evidence does not particularly make a convincing argument in general.

    As to Vatican-Israel relations – this has been historically troubled and remains so for a number of reasons. However, I would suggest that Christians will be better off living within territory under Israeli government than under a Hamas government (which is the valid government for both Gaza and the West Bank btw).

    There has also been a bit of slavering over potential Turkish naval involvement – forgetting of course that Turkey is itself hardly a model of for any civilised nation with its decades-long mistreatment of its own Kurdish minority (amongst others), ongoing denial of Armenian genocide in the early 20th C and criminalisation of its discussion, its Islamist government with its creeping enforcement of political Islam on the state, and best of all – the illegal military occupation and dispossession of Christian Cypriots since the 1970’s…

  64. Son of Trypho says:


    Also – you have made a number of legal opinions on international maritime law. Where did you study this? It is quite a specialised area of jurisprudence and I’m keen, and I’m sure other readers are too, to know where your background in this topic is from.

    btw, I have to deplore your crass comment about the rockets and bee stings. It sort of calls into question your credibility when you don’t take this issue seriously – which is considered a war crime by HRW btw.

  65. dcs says:

    moon1234 and dcs, if you are not willing to hold Arab Muslims and Palestinians accountable for their behavior and attitudes, then you have no moral credibility.

    I hold individuals, not groups, accountable for the actions of individuals. For example, I don’t hold all Israelis accountable for the actions of the IDF or the attitudes of their leaders.

    Apartheid is primarily a system of segregation whose basis is in the “pass laws” imposed by the British in the South African colonies. It has nothing at all to do with legal representation. As long as Israel continues to occupy the West Bank, preventing the free movement of Palestinians, and continues to blockade the Gaza’s coast and keep Gaza’s borders closed, then Israel is an apartheid State.

  66. DHippolito says:

    I hold individuals, not groups, accountable for the actions of individuals.

    That is rhetorical subterfuge, dcs. It’s also a cop-out.

    Regarding apartheid, I challenge you to find instances of blacks and “coloureds” being represented in South Africa’s all-white parliament during apartheid. Unlike Arabs in the Israeli Knesset, they weren’t.

  67. Igne says:

    One does not stop an existential threat to one’s existence with water balloons and “sugar candy”.

    Precisely the argument a Palestinian terrorist would make about Palestine and the Palestinians.

    ‘Or do you mean to say that Israel should, one of these days, launch some 30 to 40 thousand rockets randomly onto civilians anywhere they please, as has been done to them, for the sake of “proportionality”…?’

    They have, except they’re missiles and your tax dollars often pay for them.

    Kerry, go live in Gaza and try it, or go live in the refugee camps in Lebanon where Palestinian refugees have lived for over thirty years and have no right to citizenship of anywhere, or go live in Bethlehem and see how happy you feel about the IDF then.

  68. DHippolito says:

    Igne, why don’t you go live with somebody who’s had a loved one killed or maimed horribly because of a suicide attack from Palestinian “martyrs”?

    You know, Igne, if the Palestinians really cared about their future, they would demand that Hamas stop using them as human shields and stop making war against a sovereign state, and start caring about their real problems.

  69. catholicmidwest says:

    Israel *is* going to protect itself. We would too.

  70. Igne says:

    DHippolito, if you cared about your future you wouldn’t curse a Pope to hell.

    Catholicmidwest, you should talk to some of those who are catholicmideast about what Israel does to protect itself, you would find it enlightening.

  71. dcs says:

    That is rhetorical subterfuge, dcs. It’s also a cop-out.

    No, it isn’t. Only God has the authority to punish a nation for the sins of its members.

    Regarding apartheid, I challenge you to find instances of blacks and “coloureds” being represented in South Africa’s all-white parliament during apartheid. Unlike Arabs in the Israeli Knesset, they weren’t.

    The issue with Israel isn’t what it does to its Arab citizens. The issue with Israel is what it does to the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

    Here is a post from a lawyer on the legal aspects of the Israeli raid:

  72. MichaelJ says:


    While I agree that “Only God has the authority to punish a nation for the sins of its members.”, what is unclear is the mechanism by which He will choose (if He does) to do so. Doesn’t the Catholic faith teach that one nation waging a Just War against another is how God extracts His vengeance?

  73. DHippolito says:

    Only God has the authority to punish a nation for the sins of its members.

    More rhetorical subterfuge, dcs. First, I didn’t bring God into the equation; you did. Second, if you truly believed what you said, then you wouldn’t hold Israel accountable for the behavior of its soldiers, would you?

    DHippolito, if you cared about your future you wouldn’t curse a Pope to hell.

    Igne, Pope Wojtyla’s eternal future is set, one way or the other, regardless of anything I say or don’t say. He has a lot — and I mean a lot — to account for…such as falling asleep on the job during the clerical sex-abuse crisis, trying to appease Islam, engaging in theological revision regarding capital punishment…

  74. DHippolito says:

    The issue with Israel isn’t what it does to its Arab citizens. The issue with Israel is what it does to the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

    Then, dcs, you can’t describe Israel as an “apartheid state” because the whole issue with apartheid in South Africa concerned how that government dealt with native-born South Africans who weren’t white.

    Then again, dcs, you just want to bash Israel. You don’t care about truth.

  75. Girgadis says:

    To those who would defend Israel’s disproportionate use of force and deplorable lack of self restraint: there is NOTHING just about depriving people of the necessities of life, nor is there any foundation in Catholic teaching for assigning a higher value to Israeli life than Palestinian life. Deprivation leads to desperation, which is precisely how groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have come into power. It’s a vicious cycle that the supposedly more reasonable and peaceful Israelis seem intent to perpertuate at the risk of their own demise.

  76. MichaelJ says:

    Limiting the discussion of Israel’s boarding of the vessel that attempted to break the blocade, I am not convinced that it did use a disproportionate amount of force. There seems to be several conflicting news accounts about the specific details, but what seems clear is that those involved in the flotilla deliberatly sought to provoke a confrontation.

  77. Igne says:


    The tally of casualties indicates disproportionate force.

  78. MichaelJ says:


    A simple number of casualties is inadequate to determine if disproportionate force has been used. In the Battle of Lepanto, for example, 15,000 from the Ottoman Empire were killed and 7,500 from the Holy League. Was this a “disproportionate use of force” by the Holy League?

  79. Girgadis says:


    When you prevent the basic necessities from reaching a suffering group of people, and I don’t think there is anyone in their right mind who would dispute the misery of the Palestinians, that is an act of provocation. No arms were found on the Turkish ships, no Israelis were shot or killed, and it was only when Israel made the poor decision to illegally board that ship that the unfortunate deaths resulted, all of them to the activists. This follows Israel’s consistent pattern of using disproportionate force to quell any activity perceived as a threat, including using F-16 fighter jets to fire at rock-throwing teenagers. Please show me where Catholic teaching allows for denying food, water and medicine to one group of people by another group of people who deem themselves more valuable in the eyes of God and their government. If what was contained on those ships was such a threat to Israel, why are the Israelis now saying they will deliver the contents to Gaza themselves?

Comments are closed.