Earlier yesterday, before the Propaganda Flotilla floated across the Mediterranean toward Gaza, yells of “Khaybar Khaybar al Yahud” could be heard from the boats. This chant essentially implies violence and death to the Jews.
The key purpose of this Propaganda Flotilla was to injure Israel in the media. Whatever they were carrying could not change the face of the conflict with the Palestinians or improve the situation in Gaza too much. Actually, Israel has been letting a great deal of goods into Gaza anyway and the suggestion that this flotilla could change something material was ludicrous.
Nope, this flotilla was all about the propaganda.
What do you do when a flotilla is about propaganda and its members are recorded yelling death to Jews slogans?
You let them through, let them have a moment in the Gaza sun, prevent them from returning to wherever they came from through any Israeli crossing, send a couple of commandos to sabotage their ships so they can’t leave via the ocean, and move on.
That’s all. That is all that needed to happen. It should have been shrugged and laughed off.
But Israel, as we’ve noted here before at times, is far from perfect. It has a lot of stupid people running things. These are people for whom subtlety is a foreign term and who do not have the slightest clue as to how to approach a war that has become a war of images and ideas, not of guns.
Tonight’s attempt to board the flotilla was one of Israel’s stupidest mistakes ever. It is stupid because it is senseless, because it is unnecessary, because it misread the nature of the flotilla’s attack, because it fought in the entirely wrong arena, because something that could have been dismissed with humor and a wave of the hand ended with dead people and a news bonanza that has given these boats and the Palestinians more coverage than in their wildest dreams.
You would think that after the ongoing grinding Israel has to confront because of Cast Lead and the Ramat Shlomo debacles, that after Germany’s largest bank opted to divest from Elbit, that after Elvis Costello made a boycott of Israel palatable to many who would have rejected it otherwise, that after the NPT agreement ignored Iran and singled out Israel, that after we finally see Obama trying to make an effort to warm up to Israel, that somebody in a leadership position in the country would have considered the poor outcome, the poor press, the public and diplomatic fallout, the needless boost to a Turkish plan to humiliate Israel, and the distraction from focusing on Iran and its genocidal intentions, that launching an armed raid against these propaganda ships would cause.
Some people are dead now. Some are injured. For nothing. And the outcome of this is to weaken Israel, strengthen its opponents and cause even more delay and less leverage for Israel in any negotiations with the Palestinians.
There are no words to describe what a stupid, stupid, stupid action by Israel this raid on the flotilla was.
Wait! You can read more of my criticism of the Israeli government!