Flotilla Megilla

OK, it's time for me to put in my own $.02. I'll try to stay away from what has already been beaten to death.
  • Shockingly, Israel has yet to be condemned by Haiti.
  • There have been a bunch of comparisons between the flotilla and the Exodus, pointing out that the roles were reversed 63 years ago, with Jews running a British blockade of Mandatory Palestine. Interestingly, not (yet) much discussion of Turkey's ongoing - for almost 20 years now - blockade of Armenia (it's not a naval blockade as Armenia is landlocked). Without justifying or vilifying Israel's current actions, I think we can agree that Israel has a long, long way to go before it even gets into the same league as the Brits in the 1940s. Their blockade caused the death of 1,600 Jewish Holocaust refugees and the deportation of over 50,000 to prison camps. A small minority of Jews trying to enter Palestine illegally actually made it. And the UN (UNSCOP) watched it all happen.
  • There are 2 distinct but related issues, as many are beginning to note: the blockade in general and the handling of the flotilla in particular. Someone who thinks that the blockade is illegal and/or idiotic obviously will have a very negative reaction to the flotilla business. Obviously, a good many people around the globe were strongly opposed to the blockade for various reasons. Those who explicitly or implicitly recognized the legitimacy of the blockade - and this includes the US, the EU, and Egypt, inter alia - can take a much wider variety of positions. I am in favor of the blockade for the same reason that VP Joe Biden is - it allows Israel to inhibit the flow of arms into Gaza.
  • This would have looked very different before the Disengagement, when Israel could inspect cargoes after they docked. 
  • It is definitely ironic that both the flotilla fiasco and Cast Lead, the two issues for which Israel has faced unprecedented criticism, are the direct result of the Disengagement, which was essentially a PR move to improve Israel's international standing.
  • In hindsight, Israel's best course of action - in my opinion - would have been to let one boat through as a "goodwill gesture" - not the Mavi Marmara - and force the others to Ashdod for offloading. There's a reason it's called "hindsight," though.
  • There's a certain disrespect to the Gaza boat people when we focus on what Israel did wrong. They won. They beat us. Given the cards dealt, they played their hand much better than we played ours, lulling Israel into thinking that the boat was populated by peaceniks and then putting Israel in a situation where it would be forced to open fire (the fact that the body count was in Israel's favor is due, in my opinion, to superior training, not superior weaponry). I agree that it's a bit disingenuous for Israel to say that they were "ambushed," but the soldiers were completely surprised, taken off guard, and unprepared. Let's tip our hats to the Turks here and say, you beat us. I don't like it when the favored team says at the post game press conference "we beat ourselves." In this case, the underdog visiting team clearly outprepared and outplayed the home team. So Israel should stop acting like the Yankees.
  • That said, it seems that Israel is really starting to understand the power of YouTube. Several videos have gone viral in a big, big way, each generating over a million views. That has been lacking in the past.
On to today's Flotilla Megilla:
Janine Zacharia on the complex reality in Gaza – lots of amenities, no infrastructure.

Spencer Ackerman – Israel is alienating everyone but Evangelicals and technophiles.

Those troublesome Jews - Washington Post

Eric Posner: The Gaza Blockade and International Law - WSJ

Yossi Klein Halevi: Israelis Wonder: Has the World Lost Its Mind? - WSJ

Nudging Israel on a Gaza fix - Washington Post – Ignatius


Look what Israel John Podhoretz, NY Post


Israel’s naval blockade pitches and rolls with the Law of the Sea Ed Morgan, Globe and Mail (impartial analysis of the legal issues)


Israel From 10,000 Feet Joe Conasson, RealClearPolitics


Singling Out Israel is Nothing New David Warren, RealClearPolitics


Why Did Israel Commit the Crime? Asharq Alawsat


Don’t Save Israel this Time! Asharq Alawsat


Israel's action Miami Herald (pro-Israel)


The Rush to Judge Israel David Hasaranyi, RealClearPolitics


The Sinking Feeling Off Gaza David Ignatius, RealClearPolitics


Theater of War Mona Charen, RealClearPolitics


Is it a Coincidence? Asharq Alawsat on why this happens whenever there are peace talks


Disproportionate force feeds propaganda against Israel

Globe and Mail


End the Gaza blockade? If only it were that simple | Toby Greene Guardian


Gaza flotilla: What should Obama do? | Michael Tomasky Guardian


Why Iran is quiet on the flotilla | Meir Javedanfar Guardian


Gaza flotilla: Sarah Colborne's account - Guardian


Carlo Strenger: Israel's Bunker Mentality HuffPost


Heather Robinson: War and "Peace," Gaza-Style HuffPost


Alon Ben-Meir: When Reason is Forsaken HuffPost


Shayan Ghajar: Israel's Gift to Iran: The Flotilla Disaster HuffPost


Robert Koehler: David's Slingshot HuffPost


Success through nonviolence - Al-Arabiya


Dangerous and endangering - Jordan Times


Israel's 'mad dog' diplomacy doesn't make it more secure - Al-Arabiya


Jerome Slater: The Irresponsibiity of the New York Times, Exhibit Who Knows How Many? HuffPost


Danna Harman: Dispatch From an Israeli Journalist in Turkey HuffPost


Flotilla raid could be fatal blow to Turkey-Israel friendship - Globe and Mail


Israel's only friend - Los Angeles Times


Surprise!!!! American Jewish "Leaders" Leap to Defend Israel - Huffington Post Warren Goldstein


Israel: The Truth is Coming - Huffington Post Jodie Evans


From talk to action - Economist


Henninger: Beating Up on Israel - Wall Street Journal


Turkey's Calculated Concern - Forbes


NATO & Israel - The National Interest Online


The Israeli Raid and Questions About Israel's Continued Statehood - Huffington Post Sam Sedaei


US Plays Counselor With Turkey, Israel - Wall Street Journal


When Israel Goes Rogue - Newsweek


Hamas, Israel, and the Gaza flotilla: seven facts you need to know - Christian Science Monitor


Not quite as it was - Economist


Israel, disarmed - Washington Post - Krauthammer


Is Israel playing American Jews for saps? - Jewish Telegraphic Agency


The Jewish State Under Siege - Intellectual Conservative


The Middle East does not make sense and never will - Crikey


When doing what you need to do goes badly - Belleville News Democrat


When Israel Trusts Others to Stop Arms Going to Terrorists Barry Rubin


Prime Minister Netanyahu's Speech on the Gaza Flotilla Issue


Why Israel is unlikely to get a fair press in Europe Miriam Shaviv, The JC


No Direction Home Tablet


The question Israel's accusers have failed to answer Miriam Shaviv, The JC


Islamist Extremists Hit Israeli Soldiers with Iron Bars, West Surrenders? Barry Rubin


Operation Make the World Hate Us, Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic


http://forward.com/articles/128501/ Erdogan’s Turkey is Not a Friend, Michael Rubin

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3897639,00.html A new approach to Gaza - Giora Eiland
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=177310 Candidly speaking: time to get our act together - Isi Leibler

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=177312 Blundering into harm's way - D. Bloomfield

Rattling the cage: I blame my country - Larry Derfner

http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/Sharkansky/entry/for_shame_posted_by_ira Window on Israel: for shame - Ira Sharkansky
http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=177334 'Don't submit to outside probe of raid' - Ilan Evyatar and Yaakov Katz

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/who-s-really-under-siege-1.294147 Anat Lapidot-Firilla

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/exit-strategy-lifting-the-gaza-blockade-1.293883 Ha'aretz editorial

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-just-decision-badly-executed-1.293882 Yehuda Ben Meir

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