Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Gaza aid flotilla attack: Israel is always shooting... and fast losing friends

For Israel, a garrison state, almost every challenge is framed as a threat to its existence, just as the Battle of Britain threatened the survival of these islands. That the latest existential challenge, as Israel saw it, took the form of an aid flotilla, possibly infiltrated by extremists but seemingly packed with civilian Turks and Western intellectuals, is an indication of the growing gap in understanding between Israel and its friends.

Amos Harel, a military and defence commentator, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz yesterday: "No matter how much effort it invests, Israel will never be able to explain to the world how ... civilians were killed, without a single death on our side – and the dead are citizens of the country [Turkey] that was until recently our best friend in the region."

Gaza was the intended destination of the flotilla. Israel holds to its blockade of Gaza, a sliver of land from which it withdrew forces in 2005, because it wants to stop the flow of weapons to Hamas, an extremist Palestinian organisation that rules Gaza and is among those that really do question Israel's right to exist. Hamas is weak and corrupt, though it launches crude and terrorising rocket attacks on Israeli citizens. And Israel demonstrated clearly with its bombardment of Gaza at the end of 2008 that it can blow the militants to smithereens. None the less, Hamas is seen as a deadly threat, and the maintenance of the siege is viewed as crucial to Israel's existence.
Read the rest here.


mike said...

have you seen videos of the incident, john?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Yes I have.

David said...

I am sad that it happened but good for Israel. I have met some of those "Activist" types. They are not peaceful or loving. They hate Israel and they often hate America (except in a version where we become a third world state).