Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel attack Turkish flotilla - When the sane leave, the insane double down

Flag of Israel with the Mediterranean sea in t...Image via Wikipedia
The "new, improved" Andrew Sullivan quotes Stratfor's George Friedman:

Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Dish - Israel Meets Its Own Fist

Stratfor's George Friedman, not a natural antagonist to the Jewish state, wonders if this could be a turning point against the Netanyahu-directed assisted suicide of Israel. After all, Israel opened fire on a ship from a NATO member, Turkey.  Should NATO treat this as an attack on every member nation?
The tougher Israel is, the more the flotilla’s narrative takes hold. As the Zionists knew in 1947 and the Palestinians are learning, controlling public opinion requires subtlety, a selective narrative and cynicism. As they also knew, losing the battle can be catastrophic. It cost Britain the Mandate and allowed Israel to survive. Israel’s enemies are now turning the tables. This maneuver was far more effective than suicide bombings or the Intifada in challenging Israel’s public perception and therefore its geopolitical position (though if the Palestinians return to some of their more distasteful tactics like suicide bombing, the Turkish strategy of portraying Israel as the instigator of violence will be undermined).
Israel is now in uncharted waters. It does not know how to respond. It is not clear that the Palestinians know how to take full advantage of the situation, either. But even so, this places the battle on a new field, far more fluid and uncontrollable than what went before. The next steps will involve calls for sanctions against Israel. The Israeli threats against Iran will be seen in a different context, and Israeli portrayal of Iran will hold less sway over the world."
Note that the flag on that ship was Turkey, a NATO member. Will Turkey demand invocation of NATO's Article 5?
And this will cause a political crisis in Israel. If this government survives, then Israel is locked into a course that gives it freedom of action but international isolation. If the government falls, then Israel enters a period of domestic uncertainty. In either case, the flotilla achieved its strategic mission. It got Israel to take violent action against it. In doing so, Israel ran into its own fist.
My own comments...
Why is Israel becoming so ham-handed of late?  The Dubai Hamas assassination was childishly carried out, so badly that todays Mossad was shown to be a shadow of its former self.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7258631/British-threat-to-Israel-over-Dubai-Hamas-assassination.html  And now this.  This was a gift from Israel to its worst enemies.
The more intelligent Israelis must have moved out of participation with armed response to Palestine/Hamas rocket attacks, leaving numb-nuts in charge, who are screwing things up.  The more intelligent Israelis must have moved out of participation with armed response because they could see it only spiraling out of control, to Israel's doom.  But the majority of Israeli voters are too fearful to elect anyone except the right wing - a right wing now full of idiots without check.
This is all at the worst possible time, when Israel's protector, the United States, no longer can work unilaterally, or even keep up the illusion.
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