Monday, April 27, 2009

Israeli Security Guards Thwart Hijacking

An Italian cruise ship narrowly avoided being hijacked this last weekend. According to the Guardian, a well trained Israeli security team and a captain who fired his pistol at the would be hijackers were credited with thwarting a hostage situation.

The Guardian reported on the incident as follows.

"Security guards aboard an Italian cruise ship 500 miles off the coast of Somalia traded gunfire with pirates this weekend as almost 1,000 passengers waited anxiously in their cabins to know whether they would continue their journey as holidaymakers or hostages.

The pirates drew alongside the liner in a small speedboat on Saturday night and sprayed the bridge with automatic rifle fire. But as they attempted to board the vessel, Israeli security guards on board opened fire with pistols, forcing the pirates to retreat."

Although the ship's owners praised the move, other sources in the shipping industry were quoted as being critical of the decision. Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarer's Assistance Programme actually said according to Reuters (I'm not making this up.)

" They should have used other means to shake off the pirates, like a loud acoustic device." Yeah right... Bang on a drum and blast rap music at them.

Anyone reading the short account on CNN News will be entirely unaware that an Israeli security team was involved in thwarting the hijacking. Associated Press did mention the Israeli participation as well as the criticism by some in the shipping industry of "escalating the violence".

Most news sources followed Al Jazeera in airbrushing Israeli participation out of the news accounts. The image of Israelis sharing their hard earned knowledge to spare others the pain of falling victim to terrorism is apparently an angle to the news story that is politically inconvenient to Al Jazeera, CNN and many other news sources.

The flawed conventional wisdom that has thus far been used has brought little peace to the coast of Somalia. The new fresh approach of shooting back deserves consideration. Let's hope that the timid voices of criticism do not overrule toughness and common sense.

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