The Exodus docked at Haifa, July, 1947 (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Last night, Israel’s leaders and commandos forgot the past Leon Uris drew upon for his fictionalized celebration of their nation’s creation. The IDF’s witless, merciless repetition of their nation’s pre-history ensured predictably tragic consequences for the humanitarian flotilla attempting to penetrate Israel’s deadly Gaza blockade. As of this writing, the IDF are reported to have killed up to twenty and wounded scores more civilians aboard the unarmed flotilla. In this lethal campaign of attacks on unarmed vessels in international waters, Israel’s leaders and armed forces aped the the British Navy’s attack on the Exodus’ attempt to break the British blockade of Palestine in 1947.

When the passengers of the Exodus challenged the Brits’ blockade in that era, the British responded with violence. Three shipmates died from bludgeoning, and several dozen others were injured. In this faster electronic era, media aboard the flotilla this weekend reported that Israeli forces fired live ammunition at passengers before they even boarded the NATO-flagged vessels. In 1947, the Brits justified their murders and violence against crewmen and Jewish refugees by claiming the Zionists were “terrorists”. This weekend, in all apparent sincerity, Israel’s mouthpieces at home and abroad leaped to justify the IDF’s murders and assaults by claiming Israel’s victims are – you guessed it – “terrorists”.

Today – Memorial Day – Obama’s White House observed Memorial Day by forgetting the Marine Hymn. You know that part about “The Shores of Tripoli”? That’s not about the hundreds of Marines who were blown up after Reagan defied his Defense Secretary and ordered the Marines deployed to Beirut for political reasons. Nope – the “Shores of Tripoli” is about the First Barbary War. What does that have to do with the US Marines? In the First Barbary War, President Jefferson sent American forces to war against lawless pirates plaguing the Mediterranean.

The turning point in the war came with the Battle of Derna (April-May 1805). Ex-consul William Eaton, who went by the rank of general, and US Marine First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led a mixed force of eight United States Marines[7] and 500 Greek, Arab, and Berber mercenaries on a march across the desert from Alexandria, Egypt to assault and to capture the Tripolitan city of Derna. This is the first time in history that the United States flag was raised in victory on foreign soil. This action was memorialized in a line from the Marines’ Hymn — “the shores of Tripoli.” [8]

After Israel’s murderous attack on the humanitarian convoy last night, what did Obama’s White House say today?

Bill Burton, a deputy press secretary for the White House, said, “The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.”

Earth to Bill: Americans have understood piracy since before the First Barbary War started in 1801. It’s that whole “Shores of Tripoli” thing.

If you and your boss hadn’t been sucking up to AIPAC and the Lobby long enough to forget their hands are over your ears and your worldview consists of a face full of pubes, perhaps you’d have figured this out on your own.

Bill, when your boss has caught up with the last two hundred and nine years, what will he do about the 21st Century pirates plaguing the Mediterranean and illegally blockading Gaza? You know – the pirates who last night committed multiple acts of war against six unarmed NATO flagged vessels in international waters. The pirates who this minute still hold nearly all the survivors hostage in IDF camps. Will your boss defend NATO and the rule of law, or will the Nobel Peace Laureate keep studying the IDF’s acts of war – and keep his silence?