FNC’s Krauthammer Argues Gaza-Bound Ships Intended ‘Provocation,’ Israel Offered to Deliver Aid

On Monday’s Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, during the show’s regular "Fox All Stars" segment, columnist and FNC contributor Charles Krauthammer argued that the group of ships that were raided by Israeli troops were intentionally trying to provoke an incident and weaken Israel’s blockade of Gaza, as he related that Israel not only already allows plenty of aid shipments into Gaza, but had even offered to deliver the aid on the ships so long as the military was allowed to screen the contents to make sure no weapons were being smuggled.

After complaining about the word "humanitarian" being applied to the ships, Krauthammer argued that there is no "humanitarian crisis" that was being addressed by the flotilla: "There's no one starving in Gaza. The Gazans have been supplied with food and social services, education, by the U.N., by UNRWA, for 60 years, in part with American tax money. Second, when there are humanitarian needs, the Israelis allow every day food and medicine overland into Gaza. The reason that it did not want to allow this flotilla is because, as the spokesman for the flotilla said herself, this was not about humanitarian relief, it was about breaking the blockade." He went on to recount that the blockade exists to prevent weapon shipments to the terrorist group Hamas which controls the government in Gaza.

Weekly Standard editor and FNC contributor Bill Kristol argued that the Israelis would have been willing to deliver legitimate aid from the ships: "As Charles said, they can get humanitarian aid into Gaza. If they want more humanitarian aid to Gaza, airlift in five million tons of nice goods, and the Israelis will just take a look and make sure they're not arms and let them go through the checkpoint. This checkpoint is open. Stuff goes through every day."

Krauthammer noted that the Israelis had offered to deliver the aid on the ships, but were turned down, and theorized that the ships were part of an intentional "provocation": "If these people had wanted humanitarian aid, Israel offered to take the ships into Haifa, peacefully, unload all the stuff inside and to allow all the humanitarian aid immediately into Gaza, all the food and medicine. And it was refused because it was meant to be a provocation and to create an incident."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday, May 31, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The fundamental deception here is the use of the word "humanitarian." As we saw, humanitarians don’t wield iron clubs and would have killed the Israelis had the Israelis not drawn their pistols in self-defense. But there’s a larger issue here. What exactly is the humanitarian crisis that the flotilla was actually addressing? There is none. There’s no one starving in Gaza. The Gazans have been supplied with food and social services, education, by the U.N., by UNRWA, for 60 years in part with American tax money. Second, when there are humanitarian needs, the Israelis allow every day food and medicine overland into Gaza.

The reason that it did not want to allow this flotilla is because, as the spokesman for the flotilla said herself, this was not about humanitarian relief, it was about breaking the blockade. And the reason the Israelis have a blockade is because they only want to allow humanitarian supplies and not weaponry. Look, the proof of that is the fact that if you look at a map of Gaza, you’ll see that Israelis only control three sides of this rectangle. There’s a fourth side on the Egyptian side. So it is an Egyptian-Israeli blockade. The Egyptians have the same problem with Gaza. People accuse Israelis of having a blockade because they're racist, they’re anti-Muslim, anti-Arab. The Egyptians are Muslim and Arab, and they’ve gone to war three times on behalf of the Palestinians.

So why do they have exactly the same blockade? Because Gaza is run by Hamas, a terror entity that wants to import weaponry and resume the war against Israel. The man who made the announcement that we saw earlier, explaining the commando raid, is the defense minister of Israel. He’s not right winger. He’s Ehud Barak, who’s the leader of Labor, the party of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, the party of the left, the man who 10 years ago this summer offered the Palestinians a peace agreement that would provide a Palestinian state, division of Jerusalem and an end of the conflict. The Palestinians said no, and Gaza two years ago declared war on Israel. That's why you’ve got a blockade, and the flotilla was not about humanitarian needs. It was about smashing the blockade.

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BILL KRISTOL: The one place that has serious implications, I think, is Turkey. Historically a friend of, or at least a, you know, a country that has had good relations with Israel, a NATO ally of ours that permitted this ship to leave from Turkey. You know, European countries would not permit the flotilla to leave. They knew this was a trouble-making effort. As Charles said, they can get humanitarian aid into Gaza. If they want more humanitarian aid to Gaza, airlift in five million tons of nice goods, and the Israelis will just take a look and make sure they're not arms and let them go through the checkpoint. This checkpoint is open. Stuff goes through every day. Turkey is the question to me. Does this mean a real continuation of a turn against Israel by the Turkish government?

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KRAUTHAMMER: I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that the U.S. has not joined the lynch mob at the U.N. attacking Israel on this and thus far have held off. I hope it will exercise a veto if it has to because Israel clearly is a victim here. If these people had wanted humanitarian aid, Israel offered to take the ships into Haifa, peacefully, unload all the stuff inside and to allow all the humanitarian aid immediately into Gaza, all the food and medicine. And it was refused because it was meant to be a provocation and to create an incident.