He hasn’t declared his candidacy yet, but Texas Governor Rick Perry pulled on his cowboy boots and waded into the presidential area of foreign affairs this week, sending a strongly worded letter to Eric Holder urging the attorney general to investigate violations of U. S. law by organizers of the Gaza flotilla.
According to numerous recent media reports,American citizens and organizations, together with a coalition of violent anti-Israel organizations from other countries, have organized efforts to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip as early as this week. According to those reports, as well as information alleged in a lawsuit recently filed by Dr. Alan J. Bauer and his attorney, Robert J. Tolchin, and additional information provided by Shurat HaDin: at least to of the participating ships – The Audacity of Hope (DL 2894 AF) and The Challenger II (DL 8172 AC) – are registered in Delaware;
The Audacity of Hope? What’s going on here? Is Perry challenging Obama and making a direct play for the Jewish vote, where the president every day seems more vulnerable? Or is the Texas governor expressing genuine concern for Israel at a time when the Jewish state is increasingly subject to many forms of attempted delegitimization, including the flotilla?
In a telephone conversation with PJ Media, longtime Perry adviser David Carney insisted the governor’s support of Israel is not politically motivated and comes from deep feelings for the country Perry developed after several visits. On those visits he met with terror victims, including children, and also with the attorneys at Shurat HaDin (the Israel Law Center). He was particularly impressed by the unique approach of those attorneys, who have successfully found ways to fight terror through the legal system.
In his letter to Holder, the governor specifies the U. S. laws which he thinks are being violated by the American individual and corporate participants in the flotilla:
The acts of funding, supporting, organizing and engaging in these efforts appears to constitute participation in a naval expedition against a people with whom the United States is at peace, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 960; the furnishing of a vessel with the intent that it be employed to commit hostilities against a people with whom the United States is at peace, in violation 18 U. S. C. 962; and the provision of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2339. See, e.g., Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 130 S. Ct. 2705 (2010).
As of now, PJ Media has no word of a response by Holder to the letter or whether the attorney general has any intention of launching an investigation into the Delaware registration of the Flotilla boats or any of the other related matters detailed by Perry, such as the role of the Washington D. C.-based Immarsat corporation in providing satellite navigation services for the flotilla boats.
What we do have at this point, via this letter, is a window into how a potential Perry administration would handle the situation in the Middle East. It certainly would be wildly different from the Obama administration. It’s also highly unlikely the prime minister of our most steadfast ally would be left standing humiliated in the White House while the president withdraws for a private dinner.
The full text of the Perry letter is here. (PDF)
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