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01 June 2010

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jon

Enough. It's clear now that Israel will brook no interference in the management of its concentration camps.

The killing of unarmed, nonbelligerent civillians was clearly a strategic decision meant to convey a message, and deter any future meddling.

If Israel had wanted to defuse the situation, they could have. Much as they did with a smaller boatload of humanitarian supplies last fall. Israel might have diverted the boat, forced it to an Israeli port, boarded and searched the boat within territorial waters, any number of less provocative actions were before them.

Palestinians and Gaza may continue to suffer, but Israel will not reap any benefit from this.

Carl O.

To paraphrase a famous campaign slogan: "It's the occupation, stupid!"

The maintaining the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank with the intention of brutalizing the Palestinians and stealing their land has dehumanized the Israelis and made them into something akin to Jonathon Swift's yahoos. However, the situation will only worsen until we have a president who recognizes where the problem lies.

Jane

Sir:

So which do you think, the decrease in suicide bombings in Israel has more to do with the wall or more to do with a change in heart among the Palestinians?

Just now, back on land Israel intercepted and killed two infiltrators. Is this mere bullying?

In Gaza, the United Nations summer camps for children had buildings destroyed.

What is currently being taught about Jews in textbooks for children in both Gaze and the West Bank?

The ability to remain civilized in the face of an hour of Charlie Rose's probing reflects an increase in sophistication. Unless it is matched by actions on the ground it does not indicate a reduction of hostility.

That said, it does appear that the Palestinians are learning that they can obtain a far better future through peaceful means rather than by attempting to terrorize their stronger neighbor.

jamzo

seems like israeli-palestian relations have become part of the political narrative in turkey

turkey's islamic-oriented Erdogan government set up a political confrontation with the israelis and the israelis obliged

erdogan seems to want to be a player among islamic states

what will become of turkey joining European Union idea?

J

Sitting in the backdrop of all this....the Israelis have stationed nuke loaded subs off the Iranian coastal areas just itching to launch with a hair-trigger. Israelis have become stupid and worse, are infatuated with themselves. Israel has become like an actress/drama queen on steroids -- dangerous.

Patrick Lang

Jane

The wall.

As for catching infiltrators, I don't have problem with that. Were they armed? What's the citation?

What is it that you want Syria and Hamas to do? If Israel wants peace, let it make deals with these two groups and then see how they perform. both men said they wanted to do that. You cannot reasonably expect them to surrender to Israel and then hope for generosity. Let's see some deals made. you can't trust them? Can they trust you?

As for the Palestinians - If you think that you are teaching them to submit, you are mistaken and as deluded as the Likud government. I know these people very well. Their real position (behind the mask of servility) is that they and their children will suffer so that their grandchildren can live free. Unless Israel intends mass expulsions this is a daunting propect. Better to get on with serious peacemaking. pl

frank durkee

Stratfor.com has an intersting and similar take on this.

Clifford Kiracofe

IMO Turkish public opinion will continue to harden against the "Zionist entity." My sense is that this process has been, is, and will continue to be, irreversible.

The strategic implications are not insignificant.

Iran, Turkey, and Syria would seem to be tightening their relations. Syria and Turkey, having assessed US policy under Obama, likely have concluded (as many others) that the US is so completely in the grip of he pro-Israel Lobby that other and new arrangements need to be made regionally and globally.

That the White House is perceived globally to be doing nothing with respect to Israel (to include the so-called "Peace Process") is a factor contributing to the rest of the world abandoning "US leadership."

Meanwhile, the White House releases a puerile, narcissistic, and poorly written Bush-lite "National Security Strategy" about a year after it was due by law...

The world is moving on, we are wasting blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the oil is gushing into the Gulf in probably the greatest ecological/environmental catastrophe in our history...

Fred

I wonder what Israel would do should Turkey decide to escort the next aid flotilla to Gaza while it were in international waters? What if Turkey recognized the existence of a Palestinian state and sailed to the Port of Gaza directly?

Brett J

The seeping irony of the attack: the ship being a Turkish one - led by Erdogan whose been on an impressive diplomatic streak - attacked by Israel, massacring their own attempts to score diplomatic points.

Jose

Jane, what terror did the Turkish ship cause Israel?

Andy

So much for the competence of Israel's commandos. Who planned this f#ckup? It's obvious Israel did not expect the response they got from the people on that ship despite all the evidence indicating a boarding would be opposed.

One of the videos shows the commandos fast-roping onto the ship's deck into an angry mob. The first guy down the rope is immediately overwhelmed, beaten and thrown over the side onto the deck below. While that's happening, others on the ship hold the rope and grab the next guy down. Complete incompetence. Stunning.

LeaNder

I think this might interest some, so we know what assault weapon we are talking about. From The Magnes Zionist's comment section:
http://themagneszionist.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-reports-of-attack-on-free-gaza.html

Have I seen the IDF public affairs office video of the weapons captured aboard the Turish cruise-liner? Yes.

It shows one sling-shot (maybe two...the video is ambiguous), a wicked looking steel bar that could be used in a mugging but would not cause much concern to Soldiers (hooah?), and a bag of marbles.

The Israeli government must have lost the contents of the bag if they considered this a proper use of force...or a threat.

From the evidence presented, the New York Police -- ordinary police officers and not the SWAT guys -- could have handled the flotilla with minimal fuss and no killing.

This has been a bad, sad day.

John

rjj

"Jane" cries whiplash.

WP

The blockade is broken now. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6502H820100601

Castellio

I think Kiracofe hits the nail on the head with this; "Iran, Turkey, and Syria would seem to be tightening their relations. Syria and Turkey, having assessed US policy under Obama, likely have concluded (as many others) that the US is so completely in the grip of he pro-Israel Lobby that other and new arrangements need to be made regionally and globally."

Many know there is no light between the US and Israel. So be it. The cat will have to be skinned another way. Such a sentiment used to be marginal. No longer. It is increasingly accepted by reasonable people as the correct analysis.

mo

Amazing that an attack on a score of "internationals" can get the Egypt to act like it would not over the murder of over 1300 civilians in Gaza. Perhaps Egypts ruling class are what Israelis like to call "self-haters".....

jr786

Power corrupts, etc.

Turkey will do nothing. Turkey meaning that highly secularized part of the populations that has wasted the last, what?, 80 years in pathetic yearning to be white Europeans welcomed in the salons of Paris, London and Brussels. Keep waiting.

The Turks who labor in the market and attend mosque look to the East. They're Muslims first and will remain so. Their solidarity has always been with Palestine. Maybe now they'll be heard.

These events mark the beginning of the Zionists/Israeli apoligists' worst nightmare: non-violent resistance.

J

Now if Egypt and the Turks will only 'team up' on the Israeli bully, maybe the Gaza inhabitants will finally get some relief.

David Habakkuk

On the Raw Story site, an analysis by Stephen C. Webster of raw video by an al Jazeera producer, also linked to on the site.

The opening:

In what could be a serious blow to Israel's narrative on the killing of at least nine humanitarian activists making their way to Gaza through international waters, raw video by an Al Jazeera producer, who was filming during the raid, appears to provide evidence that the IDF opened fire on the flotilla even before boarding it.

Israeli forces assert they came under attack by the pro-Palestine civilian group, and video released by the IDF appears to show one soldier being tossed overboard amid a scuffle with unidentified individuals wielding melee weapons, like clubs and chairs.

However, in raw video captured by an Al Jazeera producer and published to YouTube late Monday, two journalists provide a play-by-play of the harrowing event as pops and cracks echo in the background. Even before the Israeli forces were aboard, one says, they were pelting the boat with tear gas and stun grenades, injuring numerous people.

Then he confirms the first death, saying the individual was killed by "munitions," but not specifying whether it was a bullet or something else. Then he confirms that Israeli forces were boarding the ship.

(See http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0531/raw-video-reporter-claims-israelis-fired-activists-boarding-ship/.)

Leanderthal

Here's Col. Pat Lang on calling Israel a bully, a label I've used for the Likud sect of Israel for some time now. I hate bullies, small and large, near and far. They are to be stood up to. Nothing else ever exposes them as the cowards they really are, whether it's on the six grade playground or in international waters.

Irony: The name Netanyahu apparently comes from the same root as the word for the ancient god of Israel, Yahweh; that according to author Robert Wright in his 2009 eye opening book, The Evolution of God. Like father like son?

Man creates god in his own image, the image he needs to justify his actions depending on the reality of the facts on the ground at any given time. The right wing settlers in the West Bank continue to justify their unjust actions by claiming that God gave them this land millenia ago. How convenient for them. Never mind who lived on it at other times, before and after.

In the U.S. the powerful Likud backing right wing Israel lobby AIPAC continues to buy off politicians to render unlimited, unconditional support for right wing Israel. Also in the U.S. the more moderate Israel lobby J Street, and the Israel Policy Forum are working to gain support for a two state solution in that land. One can only hope that they will win the day, someday.

In the meantime the truly just people of the world should continue to condemn the right wing leadership in Israel for being and acting like the bullies they truly are, claiming God's instructions. "Love your neighbor as yourself" was an admonition to Israelites to love other Israelites. All bets were off when it came to those neighbors on their borders.

Yahweh will not mind his being characterized as a peaceful god someday, any more than he minded millenia ago when the Israelites needed to cool it with those who lived on their borders now and then. He is truly a flexible god. More power to him, or her, or it. Whatever.

Cynthia

Mo and J,

I’d like to know how much our Israeli-occupied government paid the Egyptians to help keep Gazans locked up in an open-air prison, enabling Israeli pilots to gun them down like starving fish in an over-crowded barrel.

William R. Cumming

Personally believe now that Israel failed in concept as a country when those who led it were at one time citizens of the US and failed to ever really understand what the US was about and chose to show that ignorance by migration to Israel. This is no longer about religion but about building a world view based on creating fear and loathing of the "other" exactly what was done by that supposed paragon of Western Civilization, Germany post WWI. To the extent the US has and will survived successfully is our knowledge that we are all the "other"!

Shrike58

My understanding is that there have been about half a dozen of these relief missions that have been dealt with in an undramatic fashion. My question is then what Israeli domestic hiccup just occured to demand an exercise in grandstanding?

Castellio

There is no hope in Egypt, unless the Mubarak government is overthrown. Extremely unlikely.

I think Paul Craig Roberts asks a good question: Will the CIA assassinate Erdogan or pay the Turkish military to overthrow him?

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