Implications of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla assault/massacre/tragedy/debacle

I’ve seen footage of the confrontations aboard the flotilla that suggest that the passengers on the ships were ready for an armed attack.  @IsraelMFA (on Twitter) is already using this to claim that the IDF was right to board the ships.  I’m not so sure.  Obviously the passengers knew Israel wasn’t just going to let them through, and while I very much disagree with their decision not to act peacefully upon being boarded (which would have kept this in the realm of peaceful civil disobedience), I do think that Israel deserves the lion’s share of the blame for deciding to board the ships a) in international waters and b) with soldiers instead of riot police – a clear message that they didn’t prioritize peaceful resolution.

Moving forward, I think this is going to be as big or bigger than Cast Lead.  The accuracy of the image of Israel as a violent aggressor against peaceful activists is certainly debatable (I think the protesters should have stuck to pacifism if only to increase the accuracy and power of that image), but it’s what the world is going to see.  We’re at a turning point.

My father commented to me that if Israel was a person, they’d have been committed to a mental institution by now for acting suicidal.  I really can’t understand the thinking that went into Israel’s actions today.  There is no plausible way that they’re going to come out on top of this one.  So far, I’m not sure whether or not that’s a good thing, but it looks pretty indisputable from here.

19 Responses to “Implications of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla assault/massacre/tragedy/debacle”

  1. As a Turk I could have predicted the outcome seen in that footage. Moreover, it was obvious prime minister Erdogan was gunning for something like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was all orchestrated.

    You can cross turkey off your friends list permanently so it wouldn’t hurt to blame Turkey of entrapment. They did it to their generals, (see turkish news) so I wouldn’t be surprised.


    formermuslim · May 31st, 2010 at 5:29 pm
  2. I vote for debacle…what was the IDF thinking when they didn’t initially disperse the crowd with tear gas? This was just an invitation to kill a few more Jews. Sadly, Jewschool can’t see beyond a bungled job…no maliciousness here, just a badly bruised naval corp. that should have gone in with enough force to prevent these militants from hurting anyone. Bigger than Cast Lead? Are you kidding? These were just hateful hooligans wanting a piece of the IDF. Cast Lead was a response to a gov’t that ultimately wants to resurrect the crematoria and make Israel judenrein. Big difference. Perhaps Jewschool should consider summer school courses…


    johntea · June 1st, 2010 at 3:03 am
  3. Formermuslim, you must have more “pintele Turk” than I do because I totally did NOT see this coming and to suggest that the prime minister was the evil master behind it all, wow! (Did you also know that Lady Gaga was brainwashed and controlled by the Illuminati?)

    Rennaissanceboy, I do get your point but I believe that because the ship was mostly boarded with middle aged Turkish men (the “uncle” types who actually looks like the man right below the comment box), IDF just pulled them the standart occupied territories procedure thinking that they could get away with it (maybe they already did, I do not know).

    It’s not about the actions of the ones on the ship but more about what Israel thinks she can get away with. It is human nature to put a part of the blame on the victim in order to make ourselves feel safe, (I do not wear skimpy clothes so I will not be raped?) however I think your father said it best.


    ikke · June 1st, 2010 at 3:06 am
  4. ikke, are you kidding? Erdogan’s been boosting this whole flotilla for at least the past week. This is exactly up the alley of his and his party’s ideology. He’s also banking on it to help bolster his party’s pan-Islamist street cred. Read the news, dude.

    >>It’s not about the actions of the ones on the ship but more about what Israel thinks she can get away with.

    Funny, isn’t it, that the only ship on which violence takes place is the one whose occupants attacked Israelis? Surely those aggressive Zionists could’ve “gotten away” with more…

    >>Rennaissanceboy, I do get your point but I believe that because the ship was mostly boarded with middle aged Turkish men (the “uncle” types who actually looks like the man right below the comment box),

    “Middle aged Turkish men” are pretty aggressive judging by the videos.


    Eric · June 1st, 2010 at 1:21 pm
  5. FM, are you reading Turkish language news sites? Obviously no one is printing pro-Israel pieces at this point, but what’s the balance of reasonable coverage to incitement coverage?


    Anonymouse · June 1st, 2010 at 5:34 pm
  6. Anonymouse, depends on the newspaper. In general, the more pictures of half naked women on their website, the more neutral they are in their coverage. Don’t ask, it’s just something I noticed.

    With google translate however, it shouldn’t be any trouble to read Turkish websites for yourself.


    formermuslim · June 1st, 2010 at 6:37 pm
  7. Mouse, I don’t speak Turkish but it’s enough to read English language reports over the past month to hear all about Erdogan’s and official Turkey’s direct assistance to the “flotilla”. The Turkish government has its own motives for staging this provocation.


    Eric · June 1st, 2010 at 6:39 pm
  8. I love how in casting about for someone else to blame, people like StandWithUs have centered their sights not on the people who founded and led the Free Gaza Movement, but the government of Turkey. Few are making the very wide distinction between Turkish political hot air and private parties hoping to ride the coattails of an established aid operation.

    Turkey is the only other nation near Israel that has a comparable military budget. Israel’s military expenses are greater than that of all her neighbors COMBINED…excepting Turkey, who spends a similar amount. To date, their two militaries conducted joint drills and were the most formidable presence in the Mediterranean Sea. Now, thanks to the blame game, the enemy is no longer Hamas or Free Gaza boosters…but Israel’s closest regional ally.

    Do people realize how foolish this is to make Turkey the enemy?


    Kung Fu Jew · June 1st, 2010 at 7:46 pm
  9. It’s even more foolish than that: Turkey is a member of NATO! Putting further pressure on Turkey at this point will make Turkey feel backed into a corner, so that Turkey will feel that it has to respond, possibly by invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.


    BZ · June 1st, 2010 at 8:02 pm
  10. I’m guessing the Israeli government treated these ships the same way as those Iranian ships carrying weapons to Hezbollah.(there was one as recently as november) Which is strange since nothing about the Turkish ships were secret. Not very effective for a smuggling operation.

    Israel could have waited until they were in territorial waters and demanded to inspect the ships. Someone in the Israeli military needs to learn about flexibility and adjusting tactics for the circumstances.

    As for Turkey, Israel should simply apologize. Right now that would be the most effective way to defuse the situation.


    formermuslim · June 1st, 2010 at 10:07 pm
  11. KFJ, BZ,

    Have you guys been reading any news out of Turkey over the last 3 years? The “coup conspiracy” claims? Purges of the military and intelligence leadership? Rise of the AKP? Erdogan’s efforts to re-Islamize the country? Turkish geopolitical strategy?…

    Any of this sounding familiar?

    Citing the Israeli military budget and NATO charter doesn’t exactly bespeak an awareness of current trends…


    Eric · June 1st, 2010 at 10:43 pm
  12. formermuslim writes:
    Right now that would be the most effective way to defuse the situation.

    Even more effective than “pro-Israel” rallies outside Turkish consulates?


    BZ · June 1st, 2010 at 10:49 pm
  13. Eric writes:
    Have you guys been reading any news out of Turkey over the last 3 years? The “coup conspiracy” claims? Purges of the military and intelligence leadership? Rise of the AKP? Erdogan’s efforts to re-Islamize the country? Turkish geopolitical strategy?…

    And these make it a good idea to get into war with Turkey because…?


    BZ · June 1st, 2010 at 10:50 pm
  14. War with Turkey? Who is suggesting such a thing? This is Iran and Syria’s wet dream.

    At the same time, there is no need to be naive. Turkey has not been a stabilizing force in the region, or particularly helpful to Western and Israeli interests. Distinguishing the people of Turkey from certain members of the government of Turkey, and directing competently run information warfare accordingly – as Erdogan is brilliantly doing against Israel – is well needed.

    I tell ya, some people here believe that everyone in the world wakes up in the morning with an open heart, an open mind and a desire for peace, justice and truth. International relations isn’t a kindergarten with the UN acting as adult supervision.


    Anonymouse · June 2nd, 2010 at 12:56 am
  15. BZ, yes, those rallies are meaningless. I think your activist impulse is misleading you in this case.

    Getting into a war with Turkey is not a good idea since Turks aren’t exactly cowards. The military spending doesn’t convey Turkeys war capabilities. Still, it’s difficult to go to war against a country that aopologizes. It’s psychological.


    formermuslim · June 2nd, 2010 at 7:25 am
  16. (That was sarcasm.)


    BZ · June 2nd, 2010 at 8:05 am
  17. You have to work on your comic timing.


    formermuslim · June 2nd, 2010 at 3:04 pm
  18. [...] what we’ve already said here at [...]


    The Further Adventures of the Fantastic Flotilla! | Jewschool · June 2nd, 2010 at 3:38 pm
  19. [...] wrote this post for Jewschool about a week [...]


    I again forget to post links | harpojaeger.com · June 8th, 2010 at 9:18 am

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