Sully posted a video of Israelis celebrating the commando assault on the flotilla outside the Turkish embassy, and you can go there and watch it if you want. While I have no way of knowing if it is in fact real, because I view pretty much everything coming out of that region from Israel and their foes as nothing but propaganda, all I could think about was how we, as Americans, viewed the videos of Palestinians celebrating after 9/11 and the impact it had on us.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Goldberg passes along this story from the son of an IDF member:
“These soldiers are the best we have. We are Israel’s deterrent. People in the Middle East need to think we are the best, and we are the best, except that when we’re sent into situations without any intelligence, without any direction, with paintball guns instead of sufficient weapons, with no understanding of who we’re fighting. Then we’re going to have a disaster. These commandos were beaten with pipes! They came onto the deck (of the ship) one by one down a rope and they were beaten by a mob! Commandos! It’s amazing that they didn’t kill everyone on the ship, once they regrouped. Just amazing. The whole story is amazing.”
Such restraint! So admirable! Lucky us! It is amazing! We are so proud your commandos didn’t kill everyone on the boat!
And Goldberg had no problem printing it, which shows you where his head is. Or how truly toxic the mindset within Israel is, that he would think nothing of this story and how it looks to people who have not lost their minds. (see update) Considering that Sullivan has also passed along the view that the blockade and the action the other day are quite popular in Israel, you have to wonder if the entire country of Israel with the exception of the Haaretz editorial board really has lost their collective damned minds.
At the very least, they have completely lost the ability to think how the rest of the world is beginning to view the nation’s belligerent and inexcusable behavior. Worth considering for the average Israeli is that the pretext for the bloody invasion of Gaza that is referred to in the Muslim world as the Gaza Massacre, in which 1200 to 1400 Gaza residents, mostly civilian, were killed, was a series of inexcusable rocket attacks that killed (and the numbers are hard to determine because of differing reports) approximately a dozen people.
There’s no excusing what Hamas has done to Israel, and I can’t imagine what America would do under similar circumstances were Mexico firing rockets into the United States, but if a dozen Israeli deaths can lead to the leveling of Gaza, 1400 deaths, and the collective punishment of the entire population, how does Israel expect Turkey to react when the flagged military of Israel boarded a Turkish ship, killed four of her citizens, and then celebrated in the streets in front of their embassy? And held captive dozens more of her citizens, and only after much pressure, released them without any of their possessions. All because they were trying to bring supplies to a region the Israelis have starved since 2006, with exceptions when Israeli farmers have a little surplus they need to unload.
Instead of a serious response from the Israeli government, we are being treated to a barrage of PR nonsense from the IDF, including doctored videos of Gaza restaurants and pictures of the mass of “arms” the “lynch mob” had on the ship, which look surprisingly like the kind of tackle you would find on a ship and would use only in last-minute self defense. Maybe it was my military training, but if I am planning an attack on a nation’s military, I want to be armed with something more than an axe handle and an oversized set of vice grips. Call me crazy.
Are they completely blind to how the rest of the world is viewing this? Or do they just not care? Or do they think they can just spin their way out of this?
I say this as someone who fervently believes the nation of Israel has a right to exist and to self defense, who thinks Hamas really is a group of murderous thugs, who spent the better part of my adult life reflexively defending Israel, and who until recently supported financial assistance to Israel. But right now- we are just enabling lunacy and propping up an out of control and incompetent Israeli government.
*** Update ***
A commenter suggests I am misreading the story Goldberg relayed:
I did not take that Goldberg story quite the same way.
The quote actually begins with: ” he explained the shame this way”.
That IDF member’s son is actually embarrassed about what happened, that the IDF is supposed to be competent—that they shouldn’t have even been put into such a difficult position—bad intelligence, bad planning, bad execution. He says it’s no wonder it was a disaster. I think he’s just even more amazed that it wasn’t a bigger disaster.
He’s not proud, he’s disgusted.
That makes a helluva lot more sense than my interpretation, so apologies.
Also, I keep forgetting to link to commenter ellaesther’s website, who has been writing about this situation for several decades, and unlike me, actually knows something.