Well, I’m sure you’ve heard abut the Israeli attack upon a flotilla of activists supporting the Palestinian cause. I’m guessing the Israelis were upset that North Korea and Iran were getting all the consideration for the title of ‘international pariah’ and decided to raise the stakes a bit. Did they put an ad in Craigslist?
Wanted: Partner in Axis of Evil…should know how to make hummus…previous partner had to leave due to invasion. Should be tone deaf in terms of international relations. Possession of nuclear weapons a plus!
Who came up with this plan? Rather than just stop and demand to inspect the cargo, they decide to drop special forces on the ships. And their plan to establish control of the ships?
Paint ball guns.
‘And tell me general, what will you do if you encounter resistance?’ You’d think someone would have asked that question.
‘Oh…I guess we could kill a bunch of people.’ Was the apparent response.
As the Economist asks:
It’s difficult to fathom some of the decisions taken by the Israel Defense Forces in planning the interdiction. Why board the ship rather than disabling and towing it? Why use helicopters to rappel onto the deck one by one, vulnerable to the mob? If the intent was to surprise and overwhelm the passengers, why not break off the attempt when it was clear they were not surprised or overwhelmed? If the intent was to provoke violence among the protestors and win a propaganda victory, why not board the ship in daylight hours and invite the international media along?
Now, let’s be fair. Israel has a long history of killing the wrong people at sea. What I don’t understand is why we continue to throw billions of dollars to a country which seems intent on undermining our goals at every turn (oh, and let’s not forget an aggressive espionage program against us)?
What the hell are those guys smoking? Israel’s position that the flotilla represented a premeditated act of violence is just ridiculous. These people were clearly trying to provoke the Israeli government to overreact and they did not disappoint. Of course, if your government isn’t interested in a long term peace solution and wants to employ a policy of colonizing the Palestinians out of existence (see The Prince, chapter 3) this might be exactly the sort of thing you would do.
The Israelis seem to have forgotten my new favorite quote:
Don’t let fighting get in the way of winning.
Apparently the head of Mossad understands that Israel is losing it’s strategic value to the United States, so why not use this time to make it clear to Tel Aviv? Come to heel and start figuring out who’s in charge or give up that couple of billion in aid and the international cover we provide.
If you like to indulge in a bit of alternative hypothesis may I recommend Lung Hu who introduces the possibility that a rocket attack on a Turkish base on the same day as the flotilla ‘interdiction’ was perpetrated by Israeli forces.
Likud is furious that the Turkey/Brasil Iranian uranium enrichment proposal has undercut US/Israel sanctions efforts in the United Nations. Turkey’s role in pushing for ‘nuclear-free Middle East’ language in the recent NPT declaration was another straw on the camel’s back. Finally, Israeli intelligence probably has what it thinks is firm evidence of Turkish military support for –or involvement in– organizing the Gaza aid flotilla. In the minds of the beleaguered Israeli government (think of their Masada mindset), this means that Turkey –as a friend of Israel’s enemies– is now also an enemy.
Finally, h/t to Abu Muqawama who asked if this graphic was ‘too soon’. The best response was that no, it was too late…