I’m wondering

Why didn’t the Israeli commandos board that ship bound for Gaza with stun guns? Tranquilizer darts? Orders to shoot, but not to kill? Commandos are supposed  to know how to do that.

UPDATE:  I may have to take that comment back. It appears that it’s more complicated and that  the Israelis first used rifles that fired paintballs.  I’ll update once I do some more reading.

29 responses to “I’m wondering

  1. These things are so multi-layered and complex.. Smoke and mirrors and changing factions pulling strings.. And at times extremely violent..


  2. I’m kinda wondering exactly what happened as well Moe. I do know there is an approved route all ships are supposed to take but it seems they didn’t want to take the designated route. I can’t help but think it was a provocation, but who knows?


    • You’re right Steve. I think it was in fact a provocation; they wanted to make a political statement.

      But there;s nothing wrong with that and that’s not why Israel boarded. They claimed weapons or forbidden cargo.

      Plus it’s not at all certain that they had the right to do this in international waters. There are arguments on both sides.

      A lot to go on this one. It’s not going to be pretty as it plays out.


  3. From what I understand it didn’t take place in international waters. But I’m not sure.


  4. The Center Square

    Seems to me there are irrefutable arguments to support the “Palestinians provoke and the Israelis is the righteous victim” viewpoint.

    Seems to me there are irrefutable arguments to support the “Israelis provoke and the Palestinians are the righteous victim” viewpoint.

    As always.


  5. The Center Square

    Seems to me there are irrefutable arguments to support the “Palestinians provoke and the Israelis are the righteous victim” viewpoint.

    Seems to me there are irrefutable arguments to support the “Israelis provoke and the Palestinians are the righteous victim” viewpoint.

    As always.


  6. The Center Square

    Maybe the non-grammatical part of that can be deleted *lol*.


    • You went and got me all excited to see three new comments.

      Well put. But when I hear the radio guys saying the whole world is wrong on this and that Israel is not complicit, I have to marvel at the logic. If we (the US) are 5% of the planet, and (being generous) 50% of Americans take the Israeli side – that means 97.5% of the world is condemning the Israelis. What do they know that we don’t.


  7. The Israeli commandos said that they saw something flying at them and heard Arabic speaking people, and so they opened fire!

    Besides that, just boarding the ships was illegal.


  8. kingdjsolomon

    Whether the raid was legal is still up for debate. Under international law, it is kosher for a ship to be stopped even if it is in international waters, if it is intent on running a sovereign nation’s blockade. They started firing because their comrades were stabbed and beaten with metal rods. Additionally, many of the “peace activists” had large amounts of money on them and may have had their own pistols. The charity that backed the voyage, IHH, may have ties to al Qaeda. Finally, just because everyone says something doesn’t make it right. Much of the criticism can be chalked up to oil politics and anti-Semitism.


    • Kingdj – I no longer buy that anti-Semitic argument. Not that there isn’t plenty around the world – there certainly is, even right here. But this thing is political – in spite of Hamas, in spite of the historical ‘hatred’, it finally comes down to real estate. And in that regard, I think Israel is losing the argument and the international outrage is evidence of that.


  9. Well then how can you explain the fact that Israel has always been singled out for criticism, while it has a much cleaner human rights record than any of its neighbors?
    I wrote a series of letters to the New York Times about this, will link them.


  10. The Center Square

    @ DJS: I think the question of whether this raid was justified, or legal, is well, I wouldn’t say beside the point. Lives were lost, after all. But it is not THE point. THE point is, what is to be done when both actors in this drama have a long, sustained history of ghastly provocations against the other? It does no good to single out any one incident and say, “Ah hah! See what Israel did? This proves they are the bad guys.” Any more than, “Ah hah! See what the Palestinians did? This proves they are the bad guys.” There are just way too many examples of each.

    I don’t know how this cycle of despair, bleakness, cynicism, paranoia and overall inhumanity is to be broken. But I do believe it will never end with one side being conclusively proved right, and the other side wrong.

    Sooner or later, both sides will have to decide to do what is good. Not merely what they see is right.


  11. Quite honestly there is no moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel observes the laws of war, Hamas doesn’t and the PLO didn’t either (Munich Massacre). Israel is a democracy, Fatah doesn’t know how to hold an election. Ben-Gurion was a statesman, Arafat was a terrorist. The Israelis offered the Palestinians a great deal in 2000, they turned it down, and thus the Jewish State has the moral high ground.


    • DJ: Gotta disagree. You take cultural differences, side with the one that aligns with your own culture and pass judgement.

      From the beginning of the Israeli state through Munich, Israel was idealized and romanticized through out the Western World. Movies, books – all kinds of celebrations of these miracle people who turned desert into a garden.

      That began changing with the settlements.

      And Ben-Gurion was a terrorist before he was a statesman. Arafat became a statesman after he was a terrorist.

      As TCS says, there really is no longer a moral high ground if htere ever was. Given that we start with the fact that Palestians and Jews shared Palestine until England decided to ‘give’ it to the Jews. Whatever one thinks of that, let us remember that’s how it started.


  12. The Center Square

    @ DJS: You know the other side has a list of complaints just like yours, right? You make my point.


  13. If you scroll down you’ll see them. under “My take on Flotilla Crisis”


  14. That’s actually not how it started and there was a lot of tension in the area before the Declaration of the State in 1948. The Arabs led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had riots against the Jews in the 20s and 30s. He was also a Nazi collaborator. As to the charge that Palestine was given to the Jews, that’s also incorrect. In 1925, 80 percent of the original mandate was given to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, so there technically already is an Arab Palestinian state. The Jews got the remaining 20 percent, not exactly the best gift.

    Ben-Gurion was never a terrorist, he was the leader of the Haganah, not the more militant Irgun, which he dissolved as prime minister. Arafat was never a statesman, otherwise he would have accepted the 2000 offer.

    There indeed is a moral high ground. Who will one side with? The democracy with a free press, women’s rights, minority rights, and freedom of worship or the closed societies who humiliate women, hate the the US, are ruled by iron-fisted dictators, and impose their religion on their subjects? Who will you support, the country that builds bomb shelters for its children or the terrorist organization that puts weapons cachets right near schools so when legitimate targets are hit they can have a PR moment. I don’t know about you but I’m backing the former.


    • DJ: Like TCS, I’ll stipulate to your somewhat deeper knowledge of Israel and its history; I have to agree with himn. “Siding” with one side, which we’ve been doing for seventy years, hasn’t worked. It just hasn’t worked.

      The goal must be to cool things down and effect some relief from the mind set that makes the Arab world Israel’s enemies. And we need to question Israel’s increasingly militaristic stance – responding to civil infractions with the military. Sharon was provocative more than once, inviting war when solme civics would have produced just as much. And Netanyahu is a pure neo-con, which is a political mind set that I find undemocratic.

      My comments go to not what Isreal has been; they go to what she’s becoming.


  15. The Center Square

    @ DJS: I would not presume to dispute that history. I imagine it to be at least somewhat selective, but I won’t dispute it. In fact, suppose it is 100% correct, both in fact and in perspective. If everyone who supports Israel’s cause relies primarily on such an historical perspective to inform their views, then how can this conflict ever be resolved? What options do the Palestinians have in the face of that? Pragmatically, what do you expect them to do?

    Isn’t that the larger point? After all, don’t China and Taiwan have much the same sort of historical impasse? But you don’t see them each crushing the other in a perpetually destructive death cycle.


  16. Jewish Flotilla is scheduled for July!!!!

    Now since they can’t be labelled “Anti-Semites” they will be referred to as “Self- Hating Jews”

    Prophet Moses would be ashamed to see what Israel is doing in the name of God!


  17. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, history is not on their side and a correct reading of it will pull one over to the Zionist side. Just because we are cognizant of the history of the conflict does not mean we will not take steps to overcome it. But a perspective informs our views and gives us a sense of what is fair and yes, who possesses the moral high ground. Israel has tried to overcome that cycle, the peace deal Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians. It is not the Israelis that must be nudged, it is the Palestinians, who are too intransigent and hateful to accept a good deal when they get one. In 2000, they were offered 98 percent of the West Bank, a capital in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and a relief package for Palestinians displaced in 1948 and ’67. They refused, how is that Israel’s fault? Why did they refuse? Because millions of Palestinians wouldn’t have the right to return to supposedly lost properties within Israel-proper and demographically take over the Jewish State. This is ten years ago!

    And my final question is: Why is israel singled out for being “militaristic”? Look at the neighborhood they live in, surrounded by hostile countries, it’s not Western Europe. In closing, I’ll quote an old axiom: “If the Arabs put down their weapons tomorrow, there would be peace, if the Jews put their weapons down tomorrow, there would be no Israel.”


  18. The Center Square

    @ DJS: “Unfortunately for the Palestinians, history is not on their side”… “And my final question is: Why is israel singled out for being “militaristic”?”

    One, everyone who thinks this is about sides is guilty of perpetuating the conflict. Two, personally, I don’t single out Israel; they are ALL militaristic. Didn’t this thread start with a discussion of the Israeli MILITARY’s attack on the flotilla (justified or not)?

    Personally, my belief is that, if the Jews put their weapons down, then the Arabs would do nothing, and if they did, they would be smoked into oblivion by the West. Maybe Israel should stop acting as if our commitments to their security are meaningless.


  19. The Center Square


    If our commitments to Israel’s security are so blatantly meaningless that Israel must respond militarily to every provocation, then why should we sustain our commitments? If Israel wants to handle it, so be it. (That’s an “amen” joke.)


  20. @DJ – We have a long history of siding with regimes that occupy no moral high ground – we generally side with what’s perceived ot be our own best interests, especially during the Cold War. That hasn’t really served us well. Made too many enemies.


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