Once again we find ourselves confronted with the obligatory "if you're not a slavish sycophant to the greatness of Israel" you're an anti-semite. A mutated combination of Godwin's Law and 'my country, right or wrong'.......and the bane of any intellectual discourse regarding Middle East policy. The 'freedom flotilla' event raises a tricky question for three [possibly more] reasons. The first is the legality of Israel blockading Gaza and the second is that the event took place in international waters and thirdly, at least the main ship in question was a Turkish flagged ship. Depending upon how one wishes to interpret the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea in light of the two aforementioned issues, Israel may or may not have been acting in accordance with international law.
Now if you were on a ship in international waters, violating a possibly illegal blockade, and defended a forced and hostile entry upon your ship....could you not be perceived as acting in your self defense?
Israel which is the undisputed military superpower of the region; Israel who treats American support as if it were their birthright. Israel who's American myrmidons lambast anyone not sufficiently supportive as anti-semite. I'm not even against Israel preventing weapons from entering Gaza, per se. Israel preventing humanitarian items and common goods is another matter entirely.
Neither side should be awarded the assumption of truth and righteousness, but to proclaim the aid convoy as an aggressive move is a stretch, even for propagandists.
Though the Palestinians are no better at coming to an amicable compromise.......Israel habitually is just as obstinate and meets minor threats with overwhelming response, thus only exacerbating and perpetuating the conflict.If Hamas and Hezbollah were fervently intent on annihilating Israel, they would have made the attempt and perished in the process. The only comparison now is a feeble attempt at death by a thousand paper cuts. The rhetoric spouted by these groups is intended for their own people; it is an attempt at face saving and internal incitement-for-support.
I'm continually amazed at how sheep are so easily led by the nose. The same effect occurs in our own country in regards to terrorism: the threat becomes a defining political force, yet the threat is always insanely disproportionate to reality. Hamas has as much chance at annihilating Israel as Al Qaeda has establishing Sha'ria law in the US. Hamas and Hezbollah have already started down the path taken by other terrorist/insurgent/guerrilla groups......politics. They are starting to realize that the ballot box is a stronger means to an end than the cartridge box. The calls for annihilation of Israel are intended for their ignorant masses just as scaremongering of terrorism is intended for our own lemmings.
This does not mean capitulation in the meantime, it means that vulgar rhetoric and disproportionate retaliation by the forces which are theoretically supporting democracy, only prolongs the eventual process - taking needless lives on all sides.