At least nine people have been killed after Israeli commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army says.The best remark on the whole situation comes from Flyingrodent: "I'm now certain that the Israeli government is packed to the hoop with Iranian sleeper agents." More information here, here, and here.
Armed forces boarded the largest vessel overnight, clashing with some of the 500 people on board.
It happened about 40 miles (64 km) out to sea, in international waters.
Israel says its soldiers were shot at and attacked with weapons; the activists say Israeli troops came on board shooting.
The activists were attempting to defy a blockade imposed by Israel after the Islamist movement Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.
Jim Henley had an interesting thought:
Every time Israel takes major, disproportionate action, the “counterproductivity corps” tells us that very soon now Israel’s high-handedness will cost it essential allies, alienate the United States and set the country on the road to ruin. Every time, the furor passes. In particular, the United States has attempted no material rebuke of Israel since the administration of Bush the Elder, and these days barely bothers with rhetorical rebukes.I agree with Jim--for the time being. My feeling is that despite all the bluster everyone is serving up now, no serious action, like UN sanctions, will be taken against Israel. Turkey will not declare war. However, one wonders what the endgame will look like. It seems like all the incentives are pointing towards more and more extreme behavior, enabled by the US through the actions of AIPAC and right-wing Christians.
Look, maybe this is the time the wolf of meaningful international sanction is truly among the flock of Israeli policies, but I think it’s more likely that shepherd kid is spoofing again. Will the US really let a Security-Council condemnation pass? Bet against it. But if it does, from the Israeli perspective it’s just words. Are the Turks really willing to go to war over getting a successor convoy safely to Gaza? With the proviso that crises can spin out of control, bet against that too.
This is not Israel “shooting itself in the foot.” This is Israel winning. Be for that or against it, but at least recognize it.
But it can't go on forever. Right now Israel is leading the US around by the short hairs, and taking increasingly extreme and counterproductive measures against Hamas, while continuing construction, expansion, and seizures in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The day may come when Obama or a future president is so irritated by Israel's continued arrogant provocation that diplomatic ties are scaled back or severed. The whiplash from such a move would be catastrophic.