Tuesday, June 01, 2010

if in doubt, shoot.

As you might imagine, there has been some not inconsiderable anger in our house regarding the botched Israeli raid on the aid flotilla yesterday, and the subsequent fudging and flummery that Israel has stammered out since then. It's like watching a kid holding a bloodied hammer behind his back while standing next to the battered corpse of a kitten, yelping, 'I didn't do it! And anyway, it scratched me!'
There's a dramatic enough image. Honestly, why does the Israeli state do this kind of crap? It's hardly winning friends and influencing people. They could have waited till dawn and until the ships had entered territorial waters, after which they could have boarded entirely legitimately and with maximum visibility, thereby minimising risk for all. By abseiling from bloody helicopters in the middle of the night, they were clearly steaming for a fight. Imagine someone bursts into your house in the darkness - what would your reaction be? The Israeli authorities claim that the people on the ship beat the soldiers with poles, clubs and knives, and admittedly in the video released by them, it is clear that some people are waving and hitting with poles of some kind, but nothing else is evident. What hasn't been released is the moment when the soldiers opened fire and killed.
Now Israel has lost its one Muslim ally in the region, and the one that it really does not want to piss off - Turkey. Turkey, a country with over a million men under arms. Turkey, an important trade partner with Israel. Turkey, a NATO member and thereby a country that can call upon all other NATO members in times of crisis. Turkey, a country with a military hierarchy, gradually having its political influence and ability to interfere with the democratic system removed by the ruling AKP, that is absolutely gagging for a fight.
The best thing that could happen now is that the absolute idiot who was in charge of this operation is arrested and tried, along with a full inquiry. Better for cool heads to calm angry hearts. It would be better if the blockade of Gaza was lifted, but this being Israel, that's probably wishing for too much.When will these bloody-handed politicos realise that people only bite back when they've been pushed into a corner and have got nothing left but anger to keep them alive?

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