Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel's attack on a flotilla, new post

I quote from this New York Times report about today's assault by Israeli Defense Forces of a flotilla purportedly delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza:

Mr. Netanyahu defended the Israeli military’s actions, saying the commandos were set upon by passengers on the ship and fired only in self-defense. The military released a video of the early moments of the raid to support that claim.

The Israeli Defense Forces said the naval personnel boarding the largest of the six ships in the aid convoy met with “live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs.” The naval forces then “employed riot dispersal means, including live fire,” the military said in a statement.

Let's set aside whether this is the series of events that took place. (Comments from Israeli forces that took part in the raid, not surprisingly, have endorsed this claim.) Instead, I ask this -- if you had a weapon, considered Israel an enemy and saw its military raiding a ship you were might you react?

Returning to the more important issues:
1. Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Israel, a strong indicator that relations between the two nations are in free fall

2. Turkey also was the scene of intense protests in the hours after the raid; there were an estimated 400 Turkish citizens on the flotilla, according to al-Jazeera

3. President Obama and Mr. Netanyahu will not meet tomorrow and the Israeli prime minister has left Canada and returned home

4. The U-S led peace effort in the region also is under stress

5. The lead ship has arrived in Israel and the remaining people on board will be arrested or deported, according to Israeli media

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