Israel botched this one bad
Israel conducted a raid on ships attempting to run the Gaza blockade this past weekend. In the course of it 9(?) protesters were killed and 30+ wounded, and world opinion is almost unanimously united in condemning Israel. The blockade was already seen as a human rights violation and after this Israel will find no support in maintaining it. Even the US has joined in a Security Council resolution calling for an investigation of the incident. It’s a mess.
Some have attempted to defend Israel, and technically they may have been in the right, but that doesn’t matter now, it’s like the US military saying “We never lost a battle in Vietnam”. True, but so what, we lost the war. Israel lost whatever remaining moral authority it has in dealing with Hamas and Fatah, this past weekend. It alienated it’s strongest Muslim ally (Turkey) the current administration had previously made clear that Israel has no friends in Washington, out of 6 billion people in the world about 5 billion hated Israel before this, it’s about 7 billion now. The best Israel can do is apologize, accept blame and realize after this the rest of the World is going to kiss the Palestinian’s butts and give them whatever they want, so get back to the negotiating table and cut the best deal you can.
Newsweek maintains that drone attacks against Pakistani Taliban are increasing terrorism here in the US. I maintain that if the Taliban would stop supporting terrorism the drone attacks wouldn’t be necessary. Chicken / Egg.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon charged that the mission was simply an attempt to provoke the Israelis. That was certainly the case. The mission was designed to demonstrate that the Israelis were unreasonable and brutal. The hope was that Israel would be provoked to extreme action, further alienating Israel from the global community and possibly driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The operation’s planners also hoped this would trigger a political crisis in Israel.
A logical Israeli response would have been avoiding falling into the provocation trap and suffering the political repercussions the Turkish NGO was trying to trigger. Instead, the Israelis decided to make a show of force. The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza, unraveling the Israeli position vis-à-vis Hamas. In this thinking, a violent interception was a superior strategy to accommodation regardless of political consequences. Thus, the Israelis accepted the bait and were provoked.
The Turkish flotilla aimed to replicate the Exodus story or, more precisely, to define the global image of Israel in the same way the Zionists defined the image that they wanted to project. As with the Zionist portrayal of the situation in 1947, the Gaza situation is far more complicated than as portrayed by the Palestinians. The moral question is also far more ambiguous. But as in 1947, when the Zionist portrayal was not intended to be a scholarly analysis of the situation but a political weapon designed to define perceptions, the Turkish flotilla was not designed to carry out a moral inquest.
Instead, the flotilla was designed to achieve two ends. The first is to divide Israel and Western governments by shifting public opinion against Israel. The second is to create a political crisis inside Israel between those who feel that Israel’s increasing isolation over the Gaza issue is dangerous versus those who think any weakening of resolve is dangerous.
The Israelis will argue that this is all unfair, as they were provoked. Like the British, they seem to think that the issue is whose logic is correct. But the issue actually is, whose logic will be heard? As with a tank battle or an airstrike, this sort of warfare has nothing to do with fairness. It has to do with controlling public perception and using that public perception to shape foreign policy around the world. In this case, the issue will be whether the deaths were necessary. The Israeli argument of provocation will have limited traction.
“This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR“
Better phrasing, but in essence it’s exactly what I said above, Israel screwed up badly. I’m sorry if you disagree, but frankly if you do you are wrong.