Josh Ruebner’s comparison of the death of Furkan Dogan, one of the activists in the Gaza flotilla affair, to that of the murder of Leon Klinghoffer is outrageous ("Justice for All? A Tale of Two Victims: Leon Klinghoffer and Furkan Dogan," June 4).
Mr. Klinghoffer was an innocent who was traveling with his wife on the Achille Lauro in 1985 when Palestinian terrorists seized the ship, shot him in his wheelchair and threw his body overboard.
Mr. Dogan, on the other hand, was no innocent civilian. He was among a group of extremists on the Mavi Marmara who came aboard with axes, knives and other weapons with intent to attack and kill Israeli personnel when they boarded the ship. Israeli naval forces acted in self-defense when numbers of their group found themselves under vicious assault and their lives in jeopardy.
It cannot be said enough, in light of the distortions being purveyed by people like Ruebner, that on the other five ships interdicted by Israel there was no violence because there were no brutal attacks on the Israelis. Only on the Mavi Marmara were the extremists at work.
Several other points need saying in light of Ruebner’s unfair diatribe against Israel.
• Israel is blockading Gaza because Hamas seeks weapons to attack Israel to fulfill its stated goal to eliminate the Jewish state.
• Israel stops weapons from going into Gaza; it allows basic necessities to go through after inspection. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
• Israel offered to let the goods on the ships of the flotilla to go to Gaza after inspection. This was rejected by the activists, who were not truly interested in humanitarian aid but in making a political statement and, in the case of a few, in confrontation.
Leon Klinghoffer was a true victim of terrorism. Furkan Dogan’s death was tragic but the terrorism was his and his comrades’, not that of Israel.
The Anti-Defamation League