I haven’t written about the Israeli attack on the Gaza blockade runners, because I’m not sure exactly what to say, other than that this is clearly a miscalculation of epic proportions by Israel. The Israeli government was goaded into action by the flotilla, and they stupidly took the bait – and in the process, destroyed their ability to maintain a blockade in Gaza.
The international fallout will be disastrous. The Gaza border with Egypt is open, Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador from Israel, the United States is only making muted statements decrying violence – unless you count Joe Biden’s Bidenesque statement as something approaching official, which you shouldn’t.
It was a horrendous own goal by the Israelis. Yes, allowing the flotilla to run the blockade might have sent a bad message. But it wouldn’t have had the sort of catastrophic effect on relations that this action had. Surely, more material will flow into Gaza via Egypt than ever could have been brought in via flotilla – including things like building materials and cement, so that the people in Gaza can have actual homes like real human beings.
Ultimately, Israel deserves this. One can discuss the minutia of the attack on the flotilla – who attacked first, and how quickly things broke down (though given that this was a raid in international waters, it’s hard to see the Israelis as being in the clear) – but the fact is that the flotilla launched because of the crazy-quilt banning of items that might help the people in Gaza live some semblance of a normal life. Israel has decided to perpetrate the ongoing degradation of a people. They cannot be surprised when their actions are opposed – nor when the violent actions they must take to sustain those actions are viewed with a jaundiced eye.