and unnecessary commando attack on the flotilla of small ships heading
for Gaza is reports that Egypt is now reopening its long- closed border
with Gaza. This Egyptian action will allow infinitely more arms, such
as rockets and guns, into Gaza, than the flotilla could possibly have
carried (indeed, there is little evidence that its intent was arms
smuggling.) Here we have one more, again ironic, instance of Israel s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Yes, if the Jewish state had sensible policies, Israel might well have
used the Gaza-bound ships as a tremendous positive event merely by
offering them the opportunity to land at an Israeli port and unload
their cargo of construction materials, medicines, school books and so
on, to be transported to Gaza after the items were screened by Israel.
Even if that offer were turned down, Israel had absolutely no right to
intercept the ships in international waters, just as the blockade of
Gaza has no justification under international law. But, by making the
offer to allow the unloading and transport of humanitarian materials to
Gaza, Israel would have taken the high ground, instead of causing loss
of life and an unmitigated public relations and diplomatic disaster.
Admittedly, the flotilla to Gaza posed difficulties for Israel, but
there were other options than a commando attack on it. None of those
options appear to have been tried, or even much discussed, in the time
it took the flotilla to be organized, loaded, and launched. It is as
if Israel was seeking to prove its military prowess first and ask
questions later. And asking many, many questions is just what the
world is doing now, and will continue to do for some time to come.
Those questions will include the treatment of the passengers and crews
of the flotilla, who were put into detention in Israel, even though
their capture did not take place on Israeli soil or in Israel s
waters. Those detentions might well represent a form of kidnapping
citizens were part of the flotilla now has a cause of action against
Israel, and those foreign citizens have cause to receive damages under
both civil and criminal law -- one more irony. Perhaps the ultimate
irony, though, is the irony of intransigent stupidity, compounded with
an inability to see the consequences of unwise Israeli actions once