While I will be elaborating more on the Israeli attack on the Gaza Flotilla, today I will offer some limited thoughts. First and foremost, and most sadly, the outcome of foreign ships trying to break the Israeli blockade itself would not have reaped such a tragedy. However, once coupled with the Turkish contingent it was clear that both sides were in for a showdown. For me, the weekend was spent thinking about how and when this clash would happen. Like a Greek tragedy, it was clear that there would be no good ending to this story. The activists would fight a victorious battle and not give into Israel occupying their ship. Would they radically fail? No, their lost battle would turn them into heroes. They could not have wished for a better outcome.
The clear loser in all of this is Israel itself and its international legitimacy. What was the Israeli government thinking? Why did they not simply line battleships and literally block the entrance of the ship. Yes, a diplomatic brouhaha would have ensued with serious international negotiations setting in. However, having your soldiers board a civilian ship in International Waters? What a pathetic use of soldiers, placing them in place of negotiations. Thus it needs to be clearly stated: Israel in the end, no matter how they play the cards, is the guilty party. Guilty of killing civilians not in their territory; guilty of sending an ill prepared capture of the ship; guilty of causing irreparable damage to Israel’s image. As eloquently stated by Yossi Sarid, this was the work of “Seven Idiots in the Cabinent.” http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/seven-idiots-in-the-cabinet-1.293418
Also the Turkish government needs to take a share of the blame. Why did they not intervene? While Prime Minister Erdogan and his Foreign Minister were traveling throughout South America, did not think to derail this tragedy. They certainly knew that these ships were full of woman and children and that some sort of clashes would ensue. Once again, Erdogan has failed; how will he defuse the massive wave of anti-Israel protestors? Will he be able to extinguish the fire that has been ignited? Will he be able to progress a peace initiative? Certainly, the worsening of relations with Israel will only make a peace agreement even farther away.
In this article, I have yet to mention criticism of the Free Gaza Campaign. Since I have been writing this blog, I have stated that I am against the blockade of Gaza. The Turkish contingent represented by the radical IHH (Insani Yardim Vakifi) foundation has shown their true colors in the past. The fact that the Free Gaza Campaign joined forces with them also shows what a desperate state of affairs they are in. Indeed, it was a reckless decision by the Campaign.
What is makes this case a Greek Tragedy however is the fact that Israel so willingly entered the trap and proved to the world that like in Gaza, they will use military force when they really should be negotiating.
Stay tuned for more......