I knew there was going to be trouble–big trouble–when it was reported that Israeli was sending commandos to intercept a pro-Palestinian aid ship. The ship carried a mixture of journalists, protestors and aid-workers who’s goal was to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
During the operation, 10 people–perhaps more–were killed, presumably from Israeli gunfire. Military night vision cameras show commandos rappelling onto the deck of one ship and then being immediately engulfed and beaten. The commandoes carried paint-ball guns, probably loaded with pepper-dust, but some felt so endangered that they resorted to lethal weaponry. Some even jumped into the ocean.
I knew that little good could come from this. Israel was bound to appear a bully, even if all went peacefully. Yet if they allowed the ships to pass, they would be allowing the reinforcement of Hamas, the Palestinian state government that has declared war on Israel. Now, Israel’s allies are calling for inquiries and the usual totalitarian, End of Times Islamic nations are calling for Israel to be treated like the Jewish hero Sampson in the hands of the Philistines. Perhaps even more worrisome is the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, calling Israel’s actions, “state terrorism.”
There was no winning here, only varying shades of defeat.
Several things should stand out to rational people (something decidedly scarce when it comes to the Iraeli/Palestinian conflict).
1) Israel, with all of its past political troubles, knew how dangerous this mission was, politically and militarily. This is proof enough that intentionally killing the people on the ship would be out of the question. Israel knows where it stands in the eyes of the world–especially with an American administration in place that hasn’t displayed the usual pro-Israel leanings.
2) If, in fact, Israel didn’t care about political outcomes and international backlash, they could have just sunk the ships instead of placing their own soldiers in danger.
3) The people on board the ships knew, too, that Israel was in a no-win situation. They immediately attacked the commandos, and I’m sure the protestors knew full well that they’d garner plenty of international sympathy.
I’m usually resistant to hyperbolic Doomsday forecasts. But I honestly cannot remember another time where everything seemed to be going so wrong. I have a pretty good sense on these things. Sometimes I can’t always put it into words, but for whatever reason I’m good at seeing outcomes. I don’t know the outcome of all that’s going on in the world, but I don’t think it’s good.
Hopefully my Spidey Sense stops tingling, and soon.