Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Counterproductive Raid

Even the most pro-Israel person in the world had to admit that this current Israeli government has been nothing short of a disaster for the country of Israel. After humiliating the Turkish ambassador (their only Arab ally) on national television, we had the incident where the U.S. Vice-President was insulted while on a visit to Israel, and now to top them all, we have an incident when Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of aid ships trying to reach the Gaza Strip.

Pro-Palestinian activists from various countries were carrying aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip when a predawn raid by Israel stopped them. Only 2 big problems; the raid happened in international waters outside Israel and the raid ended up killing at least 10 passengers in the flotilla. Immediate worldwide condemnation follows and Israel are now in a political and diplomatic dilemma on how to explain this most stupid of moves.

So far, the explanations from Israel ranged from stupid to crazy.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who seems to be Israel’s pointman, blamed the organizers of the Gaza aid flotilla for the incident, even going so far as to say they have connections to international terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Al-Qaida.

The problem with this is that these are aid ships carrying wheelchairs and schoolbooks to Gaza and the pro-Palestinian activists were not suicide bombers.

Israel also said that they had found weapons onboard the Gaza flotilla, which were used against Israeli troops.

When all they found were 2 handguns, a few knives, and batons against Israeli naval commandos rappelling down from Israeli helicopters? Where do I start with this one?

Mr. Ayalon also says that no sovereign country would have allowed such a provocation to take place.

Only problem is the raid happened in international waters outside Israel! What? Can’t Israel wait till the aid ships enter Israeli waters before raiding them?

This last question is perhaps the most troubling aspect of the incident. The raid happened a day before a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama who were to meet at the White House to discuss the Middle East peace process.

Prime Minister Netanyahu had to cancel the meeting to return home. Coincidence or excellent timing? The timing of the raid gives me an impression there is a political aspect to the whole incident.

One thing for sure; Israel's tough response will hurt it more than it helps. And all this to maintain a counterproductive blockade of Gaza that help their enemies more than Israel!

No comments: