Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Being used

I'm away on a short break Just back from a short break, so haven't been able to say much about events in the Eastern Mediterranean. But I've listened to the radio before I left and seen updates here and there, and quite honestly I've been horrified.

But not in the same way the BBC, or much of the media has been.

My horror has been at how easy we are to use these days. This convoy to Gaza was always a direct provocation, and born of a very simple strategy to isolate Israel by destroying any remaining support for the country in Europe and the implicit support in parts of the Arab and Turkish world.

Imagine it has been a Royal Navy boarding party being clubbed and attacked by a vessel it was boarding - how would we really have hoped they would react ? ( Well after the HMS Cornwall humiliation perhaps we know. ) Remember and Israeli service person who is delivered into the hands of Hamas can give up on their life - so getting taken prisoner is just not an option.

Should the Israeli forces have intercepted the convoy in international waters ? I don't know what international law says here, so won't comment beyond saying some element of surprise could be expected to reduce the tension in any boarding, but surprise was clearly not achieved.

Was it a well planned operation - we its seems hardly likely as the outcome was a PR disaster.

But it seems Most likely that it wasn't one carried out with the intent of causing harm, which can be seen by the way the trouble was clearly started by the blockade runners who were the first to deploy deadly levels of violence. Its corroborated by the fact that this sequence of events would so obviously play badly for Israel that they would never have planned it.

The real horror for Israel should be how few friends they have left, so that even when they are stitched up like this - the near beating to death of Israeli soldiers is played as a crime of aggression ( no questions asked - at least not loudly enough to be heard) by the world media.

Here is their real problem - with the settlements on the west bank and treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem they have used up the good will in the world towards them so that they no longer get a fair hearing in the court of European and maybe even American opinion.

The people who were on that convoy were being used by some very nasty forces for evil in our world. But what should worry Israel is how well its worked, and what should worry the rest of us is how easy its been to use us.

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