April 27, 2009, - 11:12 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Despite Israel’s waning economy–which, like the rest of the world, is in the doldrums–Israelis, this weekend, showed why they are very employable and desirable, at least to those on the high seas.
The captain of an Italian cruise ship with 1,527 people on board described yesterday how his ship fought a running battle with pirates.
Commander Ciro Pinto of the MSC Melody, carrying 991 passengers and 536 crew, said the ship was left with smashed windows and bullet holes on its port side after six pirates trying to board the vessel fired at least 200 rounds with assault rifles from their dinghy.
Israeli security guards on the ship responded by firing pistols into the air and spraying them with a firehose.
“They started firing like crazy at the ship,” Commander Pinto said of the attackers, who struck in international waters 200 miles north of Victoria in the Seychelles and 600 miles off the Somali coast.
No passengers were injured but there were reports that some attempted to repel the pirates by hurling chairs overboard at the dinghy, before being ordered below decks by the captain. . . .
Some cruise lines refuse to equip guards with small arms because it is forbidden in some of the ports where they dock. However, industry sources said guards were often used “discreetly” and cruise line security work was popular with young Israelis who had recently completed army service.
Domenico Pellegrino, the managing director of MSC, confirmed that the ship was protected by Israeli security guards. “We use them because they are the best – and we have just had a demonstration of that,” he said.
Yes, they are the best. And maybe some day, we will take advice from “the best” on how to do airport screening, instead of the dumb “search granny” and “no liquids over 3 ounces” BS that we do here. The Israelis look at people (ie., Muslims and Arabs and their buddies), not objects.