31 May 2010

Happy Memorial Day: Israel kills 19

A few observations:

First: The ship was delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza and carried not a single firearm. It did not fire on the Israeli forces and the civilians onboard only fought back with hand-crafted weapons after the Israelis boarded and attempted to commandeer the ship.

Second: The ship was in international waters. Israel has no more claim of right to international waters than I do.

Third: Can you imagine the outrage if the Iranians had boarded a ship in international waters and killed 19 civilians?

Fourth: What did we write several weeks ago? If Israel's most critical objective was beating back the Iranian threat, this takes them in the complete opposite direction with their would-be allies in the Middle East. Turkey, Egypt and Jordan have all pulled their ambassadors from Israel. Their objective is hegemony. Period.

Fifth: How would we react if there was an American among the dead? Just wondering.

Sixth: President Obama is, coincidentally, scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow. This will be a test for Obama's presidency -- will he capitulate to the Kristol/Lieberman/AIPAC forces, or will he make it clear to Netanyahu that such conduct is inhumane, unacceptable and a violation of international law? I hate to take a cheap shot at the president on Memorial Day, but after 16 months of observing Obama, I can't imagine he has the stomach for doing anything outside the box.

Finally: I made my way over to Right Wing News to check out "conservative" reaction to the flotilla attack. (I use parentheses because I'm not sure how reflexive support for anything and everything Israel does makes you Burkean.) They cited reaction from Firedoglike, Daily Kos and others, which was unsurprisingly critical of Israel's attack, and drew the conclusion that such liberals were merely "Jew haters." Seriously. To the folks at RWN, that is precisely why liberals have the gall to criticize Israel -- not because of what Israel actually does, but because they are anti-Zionists in the mold of Iran's Ahmadenijad. For the longest time, that was a classic left-wing trick -- call your opponent names and impugn his motives, so you don't have to argue facts. Now the shoe is on the other foot. I criticize Israel today for the same reason I'd criticize Yemen or Turkey or France or Indonesia. Israel is a strong ally and I hope it stays that way. But that doesn't mean the Israeli government gets to do anything they want -- just like Britain, Germany and every other ally we have, they are subject to international law, and when our interests and theirs diverge, or when their actions don't comport with international law, they deserve rebuke. Period. I take this view because I'm an American whose only loyalties lie with the United States. It's not because I'm a "Jew hater." I mean, this stuff is just absurd.

But the most critical point: The ship was in international waters! In. International. Waters. I'd ask my conservative friends: What are the limits of Israel's sovereignty, if any, if it is allowed to do whatever it wants in international waters?


chaim@israel said...

i am sorry but i think i have rad it in alice in wonreland-there was an advice for alise-*girl dont try to discuss things you have no idea about*. thats exactly what happened to your article. please go to youtube and watch video made during *attac*. you will be surprised.

The Commissioner said...

Reflexive idiocy isn't allowed here. The inquiry begins and ends with the fact that the ship was still in international waters.