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Old 06-02-2010, 04:41 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Earnie Shavers View Post
And, similar to the boxing in of pro/anti Iraq arguments back in the day (or still today sometimes), trying to polarise classification of opinions into either black or white when most would exist in grey, is wrong and goes nowhere. Anti-Iraq was not pro-Saddam. Anti Israeli action is not anti-Israel, or pro-Hamas, or pro or anti anything else except pro-middle ground, pro-solution, or whatever.
I briefly mentioned that most of the posters in here tend to be anti-Israel as in anti-Israel policy. I think thats fairly obvious and that Actung Bono's views on the issue are in the minority here. While being against the invasion of Iraq is certainly not pro-Saddam, it is opposition to the only realistic way of removing Saddam from power as the facts on the ground and the history of his time in power had shown.

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It’s perfectly possible, and reasonable, to agree with Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself – and to recognise how difficult and complex the challenges involved with that actually are - while also believing that they are going about it the wrong way.
So in regards to the blockade, yes, I think it is perfectly reasonable and totally understandable for Israel to want to control what is being transported into Gaza, by land or sea. But it is totally unreasonable for Israel to use this as an excuse to hold a boot on the throat of the Palestinian people in Gaza (a people that Netanyahu does not believe actually exist, in a land he believes is not actually theirs.)
Well, exactly how would you go about it?

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Israel could easily – easily – have gone about this a different way. First of all, a pre-dawn commando raid so far beyond the actual blockade line, well into international waters, is a mistake of stupefying proportions. Either they truly do not give a fuck, or they’ve lost control of reasonable judgement. But from the beginning this was handled poorly. There was an aggressive (and so challenge setting) message from before the flotilla even set float. Image was everything, compromise necessary, and Egypt, Turkey and the US held the solution. I don’t understand how Israel could have fucked this up so brilliantly. The right way seems fairly simple to me?
Well, if they had waited until the ship reached the blockade line, how would the reaction the troops received have been any different? Do you think the people on the boat would have been less hostile at noon as opposed to a few hours earlier?

Lets not forget that protesters were already outside Israel's embassy in Turkey before these events actually happened which possibly shows this group was actually planning for a confrontation.

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Some suggest that Israel under the current leadership has lost all sense of perspective and proportion. That it’s totally ‘us’ versus ‘them’ (everyone else) and that everything must be a message of strength and force against ‘them’, and so, while obviously not wanting the result they got, the show of force was perhaps the only option on the table from the beginning. Forgetting the rights and wrongs of it for a moment, beyond that, just in terms of pure strategy, I can’t understand where they see any kind of future with that kind of thinking. They might as well just jump to what most of us would consider the worst-case-scenario end game right now and get it out of the way.
Israel is trying to prevent weapons from going into Gaza that are used to murder Israeli civilians. In order to do that, Israeli troops had to inspect the boat at some point. Because those on the boat were interested in a confrontation instead of cooperating, the same thing would have happened miles closer to the coast line and a few hours later.

There were five other boats that were boarded WITHOUT any incidents at all in the same group!!!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #62
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Israel is trying to prevent weapons from going into Gaza that are used to murder Israeli civilians.
In addition to putting the people of Gaza on a "diet" as has been admitted by Israeli leadership time and time again.

From Ha'aretz:

Quote:
Several months ago, ministry officials approached the United Nations to
consult with them about their dietary plan for the Gaza Strip. The UN
officials – as one might guess – politely told them to go to hell,
refusing to have anything to do with such a policy. The Israelis then
turned to a Health Ministry dietician, whose advice might have led to
the present policy according to which, as Israeli officials have
stated, "the minimal requirements for the sustenance of Gaza Strip
residents are being observed without inflicting a humanitarian
disaster."
More on this:

Quote:
BBC News has seen documents, submitted to an Israeli Court, which give more detail than ever before about how and why Israel maintains its Gaza blockade.

...

The overall rationale is set out, in bold type: "The limitation on the transfer of goods is a central pillar in the means at the disposal of the State of Israel in the armed conflict between it and Hamas."

The Israeli authorities also confirm the existence of four documents related to how the blockade works: how they process requests for imports into Gaza, how they monitor the shortages within Gaza, their approved list of what is allowed in, and a document entitled "Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip - Red Lines" which sets out the minimum calorie intake needed by Gaza's million and a half inhabitants, according to their age and sex.
This is utterly shameful, though unsurprising. Some of the dangerous weapons that are banned include:

Quote:
Canned fruit
chocolate
fruit juice
jam
children's toys
sage
cardamom
vinegar
seeds and nuts
biscuits and candy
fresh meat
fabric for clothing
fishing rods
horses, donkeys, cattle, goats and chicks
musical instruments
notebooks
writing implements (pencils, pens, etc)
newspapers
And on and on. The purpose of which is collective punishment of the inhabitants of Gaza and not promoting Israeli security at all.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:45 PM   #63
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the collective punishment for electing Hamas, the logic being that if the people of Gaza are impoverished and made miserable, they will thusly turn against Hamas.

which is warped logic.

and made all the worse by other governments that delight in the suffering of Palestinians so that they can turn collective anger at suffering Muslims away from their own failures and focused on Israel.

there has got to be a better way. and the better way involves ridding ourselves from the notion that our particular "side" always and in all ways does things that are only necessary when carrying out an existential conflict against a murderous enemy, and that the only time it looks like something less than brilliant necessity when the nefarious and biased media refuses to let you know what really happened.

as Sarah Palin told us today:

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The media, as usual, seems to be reporting only one side of the Israeli Flotilla incident. Don’t trust the mainstream media to give you both sides of a story fairly… you must seek out fair reporting to ensure you have all the information.

As far too many in the media, and in various governments, rush to condemn Israel, we must put the recent events off Israel’s coast into the right perspective. This “relief” convoy was not about humanitarian aid, as the liberal mainstream media keeps reporting. The whole operation was designed to provoke Israel, not to provide supplies to Palestinians held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Anyone who sees the video of Israeli commandos being attacked as they land on that ship knows the people aboard were vicious thugs, not “peace activists.” The media insults our intelligence with their outright mischaracterization of who these enemies are.

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Old 06-02-2010, 05:53 PM   #64
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the collective punishment for electing Hamas, the logic being that if the people of Gaza are impoverished and made miserable, they will thusly turn against Hamas.

which is warped logic.
Of course it is, and history has proven it. Hamas is going nowhere soon, and let's not forget that Hamas is also largely an Israeli creation, and was a useful tool for them when they decided to use it as a wedge against the PLO.

There is probably a very good proportion of people in Gaza who hate Hamas. But you know what, there was a very good proportion of Americans who hated George W. Bush. That doesn't mean that they would have welcomed being starved and occupied in response to the majority having elected him.

Truth is, nobody really gives a shit about the Palestinians. Not the Israelis, not their fellow Arabs, and certainly not the West. It's a rather shameful situation.

But in less than half a century, this population growth will result in a genuine apartheid state, where the minority holds the majority under brutal occupation and has them living in non-contiguous bantustans. It is completely unsustainable.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:50 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
as Sarah Palin told us today:

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Don’t trust the mainstream media to give you both sides of a story fairly… you must seek out fair reporting to ensure you have all the information.
Oh, Sarah, Sarah, dear, if only you would take your own advice...

She would know about media bias, working at Fox News and all. I'll give her credit, at least she didn't use the phrase "lamestream media" this time .

Irvine and anitram, excellent posts .

Angela
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:53 PM   #66
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In addition to putting the people of Gaza on a "diet" as has been admitted by Israeli leadership time and time again.

From Ha'aretz:



More on this:



This is utterly shameful, though unsurprising. Some of the dangerous weapons that are banned include:



And on and on. The purpose of which is collective punishment of the inhabitants of Gaza and not promoting Israeli security at all.
I don't agree with banning any such humanitarian supplies unless it could be shown that such supplies could have other uses.

The key issue here though is preventing weapons from getting into the Gaza strip that are used to MURDER Israeli civilians. If such weapons cannot be intercepted, it will likely result in Israel having to make more incursions into the Gaza strip to take out artillery, rocket and other terrorist sites.

Do you think Israel has a right to prevent Iranian weapons from entering the Gaza Strip which are used to murder Israeli civilians?

Over the past few decades, Israel has been open to and accepted many peace plans, while the Palestianians have accepted none. Humas is an organization that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist. Israel obviously did not create Humas or any of the other terrorist organizations that seek to slaughter and enslave Israeli citizens.


While were at it, lets take a look at the standard of living in the Occupied Palestinian territories from the UN Human Development index, just to keep things in perspective:

88 Iran (Islamic Republic of) 0.782
89 Georgia 0.778
90 Dominican Republic 0.777
91 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.772
92 China 0.772
93 Belize 0.772
94 Samoa 0.771
95 Maldives 0.771
96 Jordan 0.770
97 Suriname 0.769
98 Tunisia 0.769
99 Tonga 0.768
100 Jamaica 0.766
101 Paraguay 0.761
102 Sri Lanka 0.759
103 Gabon 0.755
104 Algeria 0.754
105 Philippines 0.751
106 El Salvador 0.747
107 Syrian Arab Republic 0.742
108 Fiji 0.741
109 Turkmenistan 0.739
110 Occupied Palestinian Territories 0.737
111 Indonesia 0.734
112 Honduras 0.732
113 Bolivia 0.729
114 Guyana 0.729
115 Mongolia 0.727
116 Viet Nam 0.725
117 Moldova 0.720
118 Equatorial Guinea 0.719
119 Uzbekistan 0.710
120 Kyrgyzstan 0.710
121 Cape Verde 0.708
122 Guatemala 0.704
123 Egypt 0.703
124 Nicaragua 0.699
125 Botswana 0.694
126 Vanuatu 0.693
127 Tajikistan 0.688
128 Namibia 0.686
129 South Africa 0.683
130 Morocco 0.654



Thats right, your average person in the occupied Palestinian territories actually lives better than the average person in South Africa, Morocco, India, Egypt, Vietnam. Their standard of living is essentially the same as people living in Syria.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:21 PM   #67
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There is probably a very good proportion of people in Gaza who hate Hamas. But you know what, there was a very good proportion of Americans who hated George W. Bush. That doesn't mean that they would have welcomed being starved and occupied in response to the majority having elected him.
This totally misses the point. The fact is that Humas is in control and dedicated to killing Israeli civilians. Israel's overwhelming response to this is to destroy terrorist cells when they can find them and prevent weapons from getting into Gaza. This saves Israeli lives and to a certain extent, the lives as Palestinians as well. To allow weapons to flow into Gaza to humas would force Israel to conduct large scale conventional military operations in Gaza which would naturally result in higher unintended civilian casualties among the Palestinians.

Ultimately, the long term solution to the problem is to get Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to accept a non-violent approach to obtaining state hood. 60 years of Terrorism against Israel has only made things worse for the Palestinians, not better.


Quote:
Truth is, nobody really gives a shit about the Palestinians. Not the Israelis, not their fellow Arabs, and certainly not the West. It's a rather shameful situation.
If that were the case, the Israeli's could have killed everyone in the West Bank and Gaza in a matter of days 40 years ago. The fact is, the Israeli's let Palestinians work in Israel, and have been far more constructive in finding ways to resolve the conflict, aid and protect innocent civilians, than Humas or anyone in the Palestinian leadership. Again, we have had 60 years of Israel consistently accepting peace plans while the Palestinians have rejected every single one since 1948 and in place of it have chosen terrorism and the destruction of Israel in order to achieve their statehood.


Quote:
But in less than half a century, this population growth will result in a genuine apartheid state, where the minority holds the majority under brutal occupation and has them living in non-contiguous bantustans. It is completely unsustainable
This is not South Africa by any stretch of the imagination. Gaza and the West Bank are not apart of Israel. Israel has not annexed them and is ready to end the occupation as soon as the Palestinians and Arabs accept a peace deal.

The question is, are the Palestinians ready to adopt non-violent methods to achieve their goals of statehood? Unless or until Palestinians give up the failed policy of terrorism which has brought them nothing but misery for 60 years, the West Bank and Gaza will remain occupied and well behind Israel in terms of standard of living.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:36 PM   #68
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Has anybody seen this?

YouTube - Gaza flotilla participants invoked killing of Jews
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:29 PM   #69
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Cutoff and edited propaganda

Seriously, will at least one of you admit there is two sides to a story, or are you going to just stick your head in the sand?
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:45 PM   #70
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Cutoff and edited propaganda

Seriously, will at least one of you admit there is two sides to a story, or are you going to just stick your head in the sand?
The Palestinian Template - David Calling - National Review Online

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In the tried and tested Palestinian style, the flotilla’s organizers made sure to have on board children, elderly people, and Europeans, whose possible injury would certainly make the Israelis look bad.
When people are used as suicide bombers or human shields nobody seems to blame those who orchestrate and put those people in harms way.

Quote:
Turkish sponsorship of this stunt is the one thing that matters. Whipping up anti-Israeli hysterics, the Turkish prime minister and his government openly declare that Turkey now opts for a Muslim and not a secular or Western identity. The consequences of losing Turkey are going to cause a lot of grief to a lot of people.
I think the masters of propaganda are Islamic extremists. I don't think anyone comes close. The know how to push the right buttons. Unfortunately you can't fool all the people all the time.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:52 PM   #71
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Unfortunately you can't fool all the people all the time.
You stick with that and support terrorist behaviour on both sides...
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:22 AM   #72
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Well, exactly how would you go about it?
I think the ball was dropped one, two, three weeks ago. This wasn’t some surprise ‘attack’ or anything. They’ve known about this for months, and the trading and building up of threats from both sides was headline news (here in London anyway) for at least a week leading up to it.

There are two things, in my view: One is the rights and wrongs of the blockade/’siege’, and the rights and wrongs of the Israeli action/protester reaction. The other is the larger strategic judgement. Not whether what Israel did was right or wrong in a moral, or international law sense, but whether it was the smart thing to do, and how those decisions flow well beyond Israel and Gaza.

Forget the rights and wrongs of either blockade/siege of Gaza, or action/reaction to the flotilla for a moment – and I definitely sit in the ‘grey’ with a belief that both sides, in both cases, morally and legally, sit both in the right and wrong in different areas in the detail – and think about the strategy, the larger picture, and I can’t understand what the thinking was, or how the ball was dropped so spectacularly by everyone involved. Not just Israel, but definitely Turkey and absolutely the US as well.

As I said, this wasn’t a surprise. And even a monkey would have known that this was about the story of trying to get the aid through, not about actually getting the aid through. Absolutely, totally about imagery. The two images the flotilla wanted were the same two Israel absolutely did not (or should not) have wanted: Either the boats landing as saviours and heroes in port at Gaza, thousands cheering them as thy unload their aid, desperate in the face of Israeli enforced hardships, or, an over the top, heavy handed response from Israel that makes them look to be nothing more than unreasonable, violent arseholes.

So why on earth did Israel play right into their hands? There’s absolutely no doubt that Israel ‘lost’ this confrontation. Spectacularly. They not only played right into the hands of the flotilla, giving them the image and story they absolutely wanted, but handed a win to Hamas, and Tehran can no doubt not believe their luck.

The AKP govt in Turkey have been making political hay from Israeli actions in Gaza for some time, it should have easily been seen that an escalation of this would occur should this action go wrong. Egypt lose because they are forced to open their border with Gaza. The US is put in an incredibly difficult position because their two most important allies in the region are at each others throats. It similarly impacts the EU and larger NATO in a far lesser but still highly difficult way.

And Israel surely must have seen all of this coming. The US should have. Everyone should have. Anyone reading a newspaper could see it coming. The warning shots and escalation from all sides have been fired backwards and forwards for at least the last week, no doubt far longer away from the headlines. The only assumption to make really is that Israel really just don’t care anymore. In which case, mixed with the Turkish govt quite liking the domestic strength a new hard line on Israel gives them, there was probably no chance that on their own steam, Israel, Turkey and Egypt could have worked something out between themselves. Therefore… a decent amount of blame has to lie with the US. At least in terms of dropping the ball. The US has the leverage or flat out power over all the players. If they correctly judged that this Israeli government is only going to react in one way, and that in response Turkey would only break further away, then they really should have stepped in and brokered or forced a deal.

Israel would have needed to compromise, while still being able to hold firm on the basic idea and legitimacy of the blockade and siege. The flotilla would have to be put in a position where they get to be seen to make the point, force a suitable outcome, and deliver their aid. Turkey would have needed to be seen to have been the political force behind the compromise on behalf of the flotilla. Basically, the US applies heavy pressure on all fronts some time ago, the flotilla arrives with negotiations already long under way (privately), so some basic understanding is already in place before the two sides physically meet. Israel gets to stop them in a more peaceful way, but still so their image of a forceful blockade is preserved. The flotilla gets to make a bit of public noise at Israel’s expense, as they require. Israel gets to defend the reasons behind the blockade (no weapons into Gaza = no unchecked cargo into Gaza, no excuses) but with what is seen as Turkish pressure on behalf of the flotilla, makes a large public compromise on the severity of what goods are not allowed in. Flotilla gets a win - seen to pressure a result, Turkey get a win - seen to broker it. Again, from heavily applied US pressure, the flotilla moves to a port in Egypt, in what looks like an offer from Egypt. Israel gets a win, the blockade holds and it’s basic premise is defended and in a way legitimised. Flotilla gets a win, they are not going to an Israeli port. The flotilla are promised a totally transparent inspection of goods, with all legitimate aid delivered immediately via the Egyptian border, perhaps even under escort of representatives from the flotilla. Flotilla gets a win – aid delivered, perhaps personally. Egypt gets a win – not politically forced to totally open border as they now have been. Israel gets another win - system of cargo inspections holds, and is strengthened and legitimised via being conducted elsewhere.

That still sounds like Israel comes out worst, and they do in a way, but compared to what they are facing now (Israel lose in every way, US lose in every way, Egypt lose to a degree, everyone else wins massively) it would have been a far, far, far better outcome. And that is in no way including anything to do with whether or not the Gaza blockade and siege is good/bad, right/wrong, legal/illegal etc. That is simply looking at it in terms of smart strategy for all players involved. And no matter which way you side in terms of the rights and wrongs of it all, you can not claim this as anything but a massive strategic loss for Israel. They lose the confrontation (it was about image), they handed a massive victory to everyone after one, and they have only emboldened and enlarged the already dominant international view that their entire blockade and siege is both wrong and illegal, losing most, if not all (at least for the time being) ground for compromise and defense of it's basic premise. But would Israel have ever gone for something like that? Likely, not a chance, and that's where the real issue is. Those sort of arrangements, deals, compromise are how the rest of the world works, and are seen as being where Israel is these days most at fault. Zero compromise, massive over-reactions, middle finger raised at everyone else.

And now, due to either their failure to see this coming, or failure to act in advance, the US have to figure out what to do with two unbelievably important, formally close allies now perhaps forever apart.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:49 AM   #73
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The point of the Flotilla (in terms of supplies being delivered) was that it contained a number of everyday items which (such as Concrete, A4 paper and writing implements for example) the Israeli's banned. Any delivery will have had this stuff filtered out thus defeating the point and hence why the Israeli offer to 'screen' the stuff for delivery was bogus. Apart from PR the entire point of the Flotilla (as far as I can tell) was to deliver the stuff on the banned list.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #74
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I think the ball was dropped one, two, three weeks ago. This wasn’t some surprise ‘attack’ or anything. They’ve known about this for months, and the trading and building up of threats from both sides was headline news (here in London anyway) for at least a week leading up to it.

There are two things, in my view: One is the rights and wrongs of the blockade/’siege’, and the rights and wrongs of the Israeli action/protester reaction. The other is the larger strategic judgement. Not whether what Israel did was right or wrong in a moral, or international law sense, but whether it was the smart thing to do, and how those decisions flow well beyond Israel and Gaza.

Forget the rights and wrongs of either blockade/siege of Gaza, or action/reaction to the flotilla for a moment – and I definitely sit in the ‘grey’ with a belief that both sides, in both cases, morally and legally, sit both in the right and wrong in different areas in the detail – and think about the strategy, the larger picture, and I can’t understand what the thinking was, or how the ball was dropped so spectacularly by everyone involved. Not just Israel, but definitely Turkey and absolutely the US as well.

As I said, this wasn’t a surprise. And even a monkey would have known that this was about the story of trying to get the aid through, not about actually getting the aid through. Absolutely, totally about imagery. The two images the flotilla wanted were the same two Israel absolutely did not (or should not) have wanted: Either the boats landing as saviours and heroes in port at Gaza, thousands cheering them as thy unload their aid, desperate in the face of Israeli enforced hardships, or, an over the top, heavy handed response from Israel that makes them look to be nothing more than unreasonable, violent arseholes.

So why on earth did Israel play right into their hands? There’s absolutely no doubt that Israel ‘lost’ this confrontation. Spectacularly. They not only played right into the hands of the flotilla, giving them the image and story they absolutely wanted, but handed a win to Hamas, and Tehran can no doubt not believe their luck.

The AKP govt in Turkey have been making political hay from Israeli actions in Gaza for some time, it should have easily been seen that an escalation of this would occur should this action go wrong. Egypt lose because they are forced to open their border with Gaza. The US is put in an incredibly difficult position because their two most important allies in the region are at each others throats. It similarly impacts the EU and larger NATO in a far lesser but still highly difficult way.

And Israel surely must have seen all of this coming. The US should have. Everyone should have. Anyone reading a newspaper could see it coming. The warning shots and escalation from all sides have been fired backwards and forwards for at least the last week, no doubt far longer away from the headlines. The only assumption to make really is that Israel really just don’t care anymore. In which case, mixed with the Turkish govt quite liking the domestic strength a new hard line on Israel gives them, there was probably no chance that on their own steam, Israel, Turkey and Egypt could have worked something out between themselves. Therefore… a decent amount of blame has to lie with the US. At least in terms of dropping the ball. The US has the leverage or flat out power over all the players. If they correctly judged that this Israeli government is only going to react in one way, and that in response Turkey would only break further away, then they really should have stepped in and brokered or forced a deal.

Israel would have needed to compromise, while still being able to hold firm on the basic idea and legitimacy of the blockade and siege. The flotilla would have to be put in a position where they get to be seen to make the point, force a suitable outcome, and deliver their aid. Turkey would have needed to be seen to have been the political force behind the compromise on behalf of the flotilla. Basically, the US applies heavy pressure on all fronts some time ago, the flotilla arrives with negotiations already long under way (privately), so some basic understanding is already in place before the two sides physically meet. Israel gets to stop them in a more peaceful way, but still so their image of a forceful blockade is preserved. The flotilla gets to make a bit of public noise at Israel’s expense, as they require. Israel gets to defend the reasons behind the blockade (no weapons into Gaza = no unchecked cargo into Gaza, no excuses) but with what is seen as Turkish pressure on behalf of the flotilla, makes a large public compromise on the severity of what goods are not allowed in. Flotilla gets a win - seen to pressure a result, Turkey get a win - seen to broker it. Again, from heavily applied US pressure, the flotilla moves to a port in Egypt, in what looks like an offer from Egypt. Israel gets a win, the blockade holds and it’s basic premise is defended and in a way legitimised. Flotilla gets a win, they are not going to an Israeli port. The flotilla are promised a totally transparent inspection of goods, with all legitimate aid delivered immediately via the Egyptian border, perhaps even under escort of representatives from the flotilla. Flotilla gets a win – aid delivered, perhaps personally. Egypt gets a win – not politically forced to totally open border as they now have been. Israel gets another win - system of cargo inspections holds, and is strengthened and legitimised via being conducted elsewhere.

That still sounds like Israel comes out worst, and they do in a way, but compared to what they are facing now (Israel lose in every way, US lose in every way, Egypt lose to a degree, everyone else wins massively) it would have been a far, far, far better outcome. And that is in no way including anything to do with whether or not the Gaza blockade and siege is good/bad, right/wrong, legal/illegal etc. That is simply looking at it in terms of smart strategy for all players involved. And no matter which way you side in terms of the rights and wrongs of it all, you can not claim this as anything but a massive strategic loss for Israel. They lose the confrontation (it was about image), they handed a massive victory to everyone after one, and they have only emboldened and enlarged the already dominant international view that their entire blockade and siege is both wrong and illegal, losing most, if not all (at least for the time being) ground for compromise and defense of it's basic premise. But would Israel have ever gone for something like that? Likely, not a chance, and that's where the real issue is. Those sort of arrangements, deals, compromise are how the rest of the world works, and are seen as being where Israel is these days most at fault. Zero compromise, massive over-reactions, middle finger raised at everyone else.

And now, due to either their failure to see this coming, or failure to act in advance, the US have to figure out what to do with two unbelievably important, formally close allies now perhaps forever apart.
For Israel, the first issue here is the security of its citizens. How it is viewed by the world, Turkey, other muslim countries will never trump that. The fact that a flotilla was organized 5 weeks ago, 10 weeks ago etc. is irrelevant to what Israel had to do.

At some point, Israel needs to inspect what is going into Gaza to insure that weapons that kill Israeli citizens do not make it in. That is the most important task for Israel, the security of its citizens. Its unlikely that Israel would turn over its security operations on this matter to some "neutral" country.

At some point, you have to intercept the ships and inspect. There was NOTHING violent about the way the ships were boarded. The troops have to board the ship in order to inspect, and inspecting a ship to make sure there is not weapons being smuggled is not in of itself a hostile action.

The Palestinian and Arab groups that want to get weapons into Gaza in order to kill Israeli citizens are not interested in any sort of a compromise. Their strategy continues to involve hiding weapons among legitmate cargo. Thats why Israel must inspect everything that attempts to get through, regardless of the media that may surround this ship or that ship.

Israel has a basic security issue here that they can't dance around.

So again, what would you do if your Israel? Do you want to put the security of Israeli citizens at risk in order to provide a better global media image for Israel?
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:46 PM   #75
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there seem to be several posters who are under the impression that the single reason for the blockade of Gaza is to prevent Hamas from shooting rockets at Israel. while this is certainly a component of the blockade, this is far from the sole reason, or even the biggest reason. the main reason for the blockade, as has been stated, is the collective punishment of the people of Gaza -- some 40% of whom are under the age of 15 -- for electing Hamas. if this were not the reason, why, then, does Israel block exports from Gaza? why the ban on, you know, cilantro?

i think most people find this intellectually and morally unacceptable as any sort of political strategy, not to mention that it's simply a bad strategy for Israel's security. it may well be true that these flotillas were designed to provoke precisely the incident we have just seen unfold -- "what luck!" they probably exclaimed in Iran, and in Egypt, "we're so happy to see the Palestinians suffer, and that's why we impose our own embargo, and now Israel looks bad when we're just as bad!" -- and the Israelis gave them just what they asked for.

and, for the US, it reduces our credibility when justifying things like drone attacks as being in the best interests of the world when it appears as if we're supporting a policy that actively seeks to punish 1.5m Muslims living in a shattered strip of land.
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