Posted on | May 31, 2010 | 36 Comments
Like a scene straight from the pages of Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints, a group of activists calling themselves the “Freedom Flotilla” have attempted — and evidently, failed — to break the Israeli blockade of Hamas-held Gaza:
The Israeli Navy made its first contact with a flotilla carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists and thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza shortly before midnight on Sunday, surprising the boats in international waters, according to activists on one vessel.
Israel has vowed not to let the flotilla reach the shores of Gaza, where the Islamic militant group Hamas holds sway . . .
Named the Freedom Flotilla, and led by the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi, the convoy of six cargo and passenger boats is the most ambitious attempt yet to break Israel’s three-year blockade of Gaza.
Two television stations reported early Monday that Israeli warships had attacked the ships, killing at least two and wounding an unknown number of people on board, according to The Associated Press. . . .
UPDATE: So, what kind of cargo was aboard the ships in this pro-Hamas flotilla? Brittany Cohan offers a guess on Twitter:
Things that were probably on the boat: rainbows and butterflies. I think world peace was on there too, I am sure.
UPDATE II: Richard Fernandez at PJM:
The Turks, who were heavily represented in the flotilla, have already called in the Israeli ambassador. There is almost certainly going to be an denunciation of Israeli actions from Europe. The incident will mean that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s forthcoming visit to Washington will be even frostier and more difficult than expected.
Well, it was never going to be warm.
[V]iolent resistance to a military seizure of your vessel will lead to violence in return, and PR disaster or no the IDF acted as a professional military force following the civilian policy of two sovereign governments (Egypt’s also maintaining the blockade). But this is all the excuse that an Israel-hater needs to break diplomatic relations with that country.
Which means that we’re about to find out the true extent of this administration’s supposed antipathy to Israel.
And for those who haven’t read The Camp of the Saints, this is from a post I wrote in March 2009:
A few years ago, Phyllis Chesler sent me her book The Death of Feminism, and when I got home with it and started reading, I was shocked to see her citing Jean Raspail’s notorious novel, The Camp of the Saints. (That passage is substantially excerpted in an online essay at her Web site.)
For years, Raspail’s 1973 French novel enjoyed a sort of samizdat cult following among critics of multiculturalism and opponents of open-borders immigration policy (which would be more properly termed a non-policy, but let us not digress.) Raspail himself has said that Le Camp Des Saints could not be published in France today because of the “human rights” nonsense that is slowly strangling free speech in Europe (and Canada). And the book’s reputation as a hateful expression of xenophobic nativism makes it one of those Books You’re Not Supposed to Read.
Thus, I was startled to see Chesler, a liberal feminist all her life, citing Raspail’s book as prophetic. Yet Chesler had been able to see past the superficial text of the novel to comprehend its deeper significance as a metaphor for the demoralization of the West. In this sense, Raspail was describing the same larger phenomenon that Shelby Steele describes in White Guilt, that Pat Buchanan describes in The Death of the West, that Michelle Malkin describes in Invasion, that Thomas Sowell describes in The Vision of the Anointed, and that Peter Brimelow describes in Alien Nation.
These are all very different writers, with different interests, different aims, and different philosophies. However, they all share the fundamental understanding that liberalism is a soul-destroying disease, a sort of intellectual anti-virus that exposes its host to destruction by weakening the individual cells of the national immune system. To the extent that your mind is cluttered with the glittering generalities of modern liberalism — “social justice,” etc. — you will be unable to resist and will inevitably succumb to the agonizing spiritual death that beckons at the end of that road.