Politicians from both sides of the coalition-opposition divide welcomed Wednesday's announcement regarding the IDF's seizure of an Iranian arms shipment destined for Hizbullah, with a number of them drawing ties between the operation and the ongoing United Nations discussion of the Goldstone Report.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, who is set to depart next week for the United States on an official mission together with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said that he planned on using Wednesday's incident as an example in his attempts to explain Israel's position to Americans.
"This proves that our claim that the Goldstone Report and the mood surrounding it encourage terror was not merely a nice argument, but was backed up by real-world actions," said Edelstein. "In the weapons ship, we saw a real embodiment of the phenomenon in that this appears to be an attempt, unprecedented in its scale, to deliver an arms shipment to our enemies."
"All those who still think that as soon as we stop building in settlements peace will come received their millionth reminder that this is not the case," he continued. "The incident should teach us that with all respect to Goldstone and [the] hearing in the UN we must first act to protect our citizens - and that is what we did."
Edelstein said that he planned on "using this case as an example. It is too bad that things like this happen, but in this case, I think that the terrorists' timing worked to our advantage."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) was also quick to capitalize on the early-morning seizure. Speaking with his Croatian counterpart, Luca Babik, Rivlin said that "the ship that was caught last night teaches once again that terror groups have not ceased for an instant attempting to undermine Israel's existence. Whatever the final destination was for the weapons, it is a reminder that we are in the midst of an eternal existential struggle." But, he warned, "The hearing today in the UN on the Goldstone Report makes it harder for us and for the states of the free world to maintain this struggle."
The congratulations were not confined to the coalition. Opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni (Kadima) said, "We all congratulate the Navy and the IDF on catching the ship - this is not a subject of controversy. There are topics upon which there is no coalition or opposition. We are all partners in the nation of Israel's war on terror, whether it is sponsored by Hamas, Hizbullah, or any of the other groups that support them."
From the other side of the opposition spectrum, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) also congratulated the security and intelligence forces, but added that "today it is already known that Turkey enables weapons to flow overland from Iran to Syria, and Egypt serves as an open bridge without anyone interfering with the transfer of rockets that can hit Tel Aviv and Dimona."
"The state of Israel cannot ignore [the fact] that those who are considered our friends openly support terror against us," Eldad added.