A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 4, 2010 New Ship Nears Gaza- Israeli Government Nears Decisions
As the week came to an end in Israel the fallout from the flotilla continues. The next ship is due to arrive tomorrow morning. The ship, Rachel Cory, is flying under an Irish Flag. The Irish Foreign Ministry announced this afternoon (New York time) that the crew of the Rachel Cory has rejected an agreement the Irish government and the Israeli government reached for the ship to dock in Ashdod, having the cargo jointly inspected by the Israeli and Irish governments. Then, as long as there were no arms aboard the ship, all the items would be sent to Gaza. Despite this refusal, the expectation is that the crew of the Rachel Cory will not resist and follow the Israeli orders to go to Ashdod once intercepted. Let's hope for the best.
It would seem the Netanyahu government agreed to the US request to modify or end the blockade of Gaza. The government has agreed to allow any civilian goods into Gaza, but will continue to inspect (with American participation) all goods going into Gaza. It will not, under any circumstances, allow ships to go directly into Gaza. The government is also leaning towards convening an Israeli Commission of Inquiry, with American participation. Barak, and others, are totally against the idea any Israeli soldiers should be subjected to international interrogation. This is a natural position for a commander. There are others who favor an international commission believing that the facts are so strong on Israel's side, that a commission, bringing the facts to light would actually help Israel.
The avalanche of criticism against Israel, in a case (like this), where the facts are actually on its side is troubling in itself. Charles Krauthamer wrote an article, titled: Those Troublesome Jews
In the ariticle, he not only justifies the blockade, but ends with the following frightening statement: "The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million-- that number again-- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution."
An even more troubling piece in a posting by Andrew Sullivan on the Atlantic web sites Daily Dish: writes The Israel Derangement Syndrome II In it, Sullivan takes umbrage at Jews who seem to defend Israel, blindly. He even goes down the road of dual loyalty. On a different level, we can see how ineffective Israel’s PR efforts have been, when he can lead his piece with "imagine, for a moment, that a US ally that is not Israel - say, Turkey - killed an unarmed American civilian on an unarmed ship in international waters by four bullets to the head at close range- thus, perpetuating the myth that the flotilla was filled with unarmed civilians and not effectively, the terrorists that they were.
As regular readers of this column know, I thought stopping the ship was going to damaging to Israel’s image. I of course had no idea the events would unfold the way they did. But at the end of the day, the Israeli leaders need to apologize to their voters for their incompetence. However, Israel has nothing to apologize for, in terms of its actions.
If you want to enjoy a video here is one worth watching: We con the World
Two addional articles worth reading an excellent summary of the feelings in Israel by Yossi Klien Halevi in the Wall Street Journal- Israelis Wonder: Has the World Lost it Mind
and another article in the WSJ by Chicago University Law School professor Eric Posner The Gaza Blockade and International Law