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Paintball on the High Seas

Israel may be technically right according to Maritime law.  They had the “right” to board the ship. They had the “right” to make the Turkish ship stop. But someone wasn’t thinking clearly.  Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish ship armed with paintball guns used to disperse crowds.  But this crowd was hardly just a typical protest rally.  It came armed.  And soldiers and an armed crowd are a bad mix.  They fight. And this is what happened. I don’t believe anyone was prepared for the escalation of violence and death that happened so fast. 

Sadly, horrifically people died in this incident.  That is what happens when civilians enter a military zone. And a blockade is a military zone.  The “activists” should have understood the risks they took running a military blockade.   The world seems to be silent on this. And silent that they were aiding a terrorist government. The Turkish group IHH that organized the flotilla has serious ties to Hamas and Egypt’s Islamic Brotherhood according to a 2006 report by the  Danish Institute for International Studies.

But again no one wants to look at that. 

The U.N. has called for an inquiry into the incident.  And one prays that it will be fair. But given the U.N.’s past record on Israel I doubt that it will.

In the mean time there should be a separate inquiry in Israel and the military and the government should be held accountable.

I don’t excuse Israel’s military and its leaders for blunders and mishandling of this.  And I don’t know why the Turkish government sponsored such a ship.  But it seems to me that Israel needs to rethink its policies and be as smart as they claim to be.  They got 5 of the six ships to Ashdod to unload.  What if one of them made it to Gaza?  Would that have been the end of the blockade? No.  It just might have ended what seems to be a deadly pissing contest.

Gazans need respite but Hamas can’t and shouldn’t rearm.  This is what the world community should also be committed to.  Will the U.N. also step up here?