Sanity and truth against rising international hysteria, from Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. From IsraelPolitik, May 31 (thanks to Bob):
Israel regrets the casualties on both sides of this tragic incident, although responsibility rests solely with Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, and the participants who organized this flotilla. Israel labored intensely to persuade the demonstrators to convey the flotilla’s cargo to Israel where, after proper screening, it would be transferred to responsible parties in Gaza. Unfortunately, the organizers were not interested in providing humanitarian aid to the civilians of Gaza, but rather in staging a premeditated and highly publicized provocation of Israel.
Each day some 100 trucks, laden with food and medicine, enter Gaza from Israel. Israel has never banned such food and medicine from Gaza, but rather only those items that can assist Hamas in reinforcing its illegal rule, or enabling it to achieve its stated goal of destroying Israel. If Hamas, which has fired more than 7,000 rockets at Israeli civilians, would renounce violence and join the peace process, then Israel would gladly remove all such restrictions.
Israel regrets having to make these tough decisions and run the risk of incurring casualties. In intercepting the flotilla, Israel acted as any state, including the United States, would. But given the option of either running such risks or endangering the lives of its citizens, Israel has no choice.