Attack on the Flotilla: Stupid, Arrogant, and Evil

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his trip to Canada and canceled his make-up session with Obama to rush home and help bring the Israeli propaganda machine into full swing for damage control over the violent attack on the humanitarian flotilla headed to relieve the suffering caused by the Gaza blockade. The attack, itself an act of piracy, was followed by the kidnapping of the civilians constituting the mission. The Israeli media blackout was hurting rather than helping. It was only a matter of time before, in addition to the international condemnation, his government would face the inevitable accusations from the Zionist left that the tactics he used were stupid. Stupid indeed, but I believe the root cause of the stupidity and the evil of the Israeli government is its arrogance.

Consider the excuses being put forward for the killing of nine passengers. The poor Israeli elite commando forces were being attacked with knives, pepper spray, and even chairs. I’m sorry, but this does not strike me as the nefarious terrorist ambush the Israelis would like to have us imagine. If the objective were to ambush Israeli troops why not pack some heat? The Israeli claim that the passengers managed to wrestle guns from the attackers to use against them doesn’t sound like an ambush plan to me. It rather reminds me of a rape victim who uses pepper spray, knives, deck chairs, or the attacker’s own armaments if she can get her hands on them to defend herself from a surprise attack.

You heard me right. Surprise attack. Although the Israelis advertised that they intended to confront the flotilla, the activists on board had no reason to expect that Israel would stage its boarding deep in international waters instead of near the shore where it could make the fallacious, but nonetheless expected, claim that a state of war with Gaza justified boarding and/or diverting the ships. The unexpected resistance of the ship’s passengers is reminiscent of the unexpected resistance of the residents of Deir Yasin who never heard the sound truck dispatched by the terrorists to drive them out of their village and fought back against the attack “provoking” the Irgun and Stern gang to murder over one hundred men, women, and children. Were the Israelis hoping the surprise would provoke a resistance or just too stupid to think about it? Either way there are nine dead and hundreds in detention.

Let’s not argue whether it’s stupidity or evil. (They are not mutually exclusive.) Israeli arrogance has led to serious miscalculation. Not only were the Israelis unprepared for the storm of international indignation, they miscalculated in thinking they could blunt the Turkish response to an attack on a Turkish ship by seeking to exploit the split between the pious and secular in Turkey. Yes, the extremely secular Turkish elites are easy prey for nonsensical accusations that their moderately religious governing party and faith-based NGOs are al-Qaeda sympathizing burka-lovers, but to think that that would make them suppress their well-established nationalism when confronted with an insulting and injurious attack on one of their ships? What hubris! That is like thinking a Palestinian attack on an orthodox yeshiva would be ignored by secular Israelis. To the contrary, a Turkish urban planner has been quoted as saying, “This is a big attack on us. It will really affect things very badly. Whether they’re Muslim, secular or atheist, people in Turkey hate Israel now.”

The only thing that Israel correctly calculated is that the U.S. government would mute what must be the natural revulsion such an attack must engender. A Dept. of State memo declares, reasonably if with diplomatically-motivated gentility, “The United States remains deeply concerned by the suffering of civilians in Gaza.  We will continue to engage the Israelis on a daily basis to expand the scope and type of goods allowed into Gaza to address the full range of the population’s humanitarian and recovery needs.  We will continue to work closely with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, along with international NGOs and the UN, to provide adequate access for humanitarian goods, including reconstruction materials, through the border crossings, while bearing in mind the Government of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.” The release then launches into an attack on Hamas: “However, Hamas’ interference with international assistance shipments and work of nongovernmental organizations, and its use and endorsement of violence, complicates efforts in Gaza.  Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by governments and groups that wish to do so.  These mechanisms should be used for the benefit of all those in Gaza.” It is Israel, not Hamas that prevents reconstruction aid from reaching Gaza. It is Israel, not Hamas, that killed civilians on Memorial Day.

Yet, even here, I think the Israelis have miscalculated. While the Obama administration remains docile, and no doubt the Congress will be even more so (to the point of its traditional servility), the American public, including a new generation of American Jews, has already begun to doubt the stock narrative. The detention of five innocent Americans, including the distinguished 80-year-old Ambassador Edward Peck ought to surely accelerate the process. Turkey and America aren’t the only Israeli allies put in an awkward position by its barbarity. Egypt was so embarrassed that it has announced the permanent reopening of the Rafah crossing. In sha Allah, that spells the beginning of the end for the strangulation of Gaza.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

2 Responses to “Attack on the Flotilla: Stupid, Arrogant, and Evil”

  1. […] Attack on the Flotilla: Stupid, Arrogant, and Evil | Home […]

  2. Dear Dean:
    You are righteous, brother.

    In liberty and civility,
    Lorenzo Gaztanaga
    US Congressional Candidate, 2nd District

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