A lot is being written about the Gaza Aid Flotilla and Israel’s terribly botched attempt at stopping it. There is no excuse: there should not have been any deaths whatsoever in this operation.
However, the true intentions of the organizers of this “humanitarian” fleet were not exactly humanitarian. For example, they declined to carry out a message from the Shalit family. Many of the people on board have known ties with Jihadist groups included Al-Qaeda. And the soldiers boarding the ship were brutally attacked even before they set foot on board.
Israel deserves blame for what happened. They were not ready at all for the kind of violence encountered. Had they been properly prepared and equipped, the soldiers would not have been lowered one by one only to be lynched, and they would not have been put in a situation in which they were forced to protect themselves through force. It was a failure of logistics and of intelligence.
But the organizers of the flotilla deserve equal or greater blame, and this is not what I read in the press. A supposedly peaceful demonstration to bring humanitarian aid should not have members or terrorist organizations nor people who support violence against Israel on board. They should not have brutally attacked anyone. It was clear they were looking for a confrontation when Israel offered to transfer all aid cargo on the ships into Gaza as long as the flotilla agreed to first dock at the Israeli port of Ashdod for a weapons inspection before-hand… but it was not clear they were looking for such level of violent confrontation and blood.
Israel was clumsy, unprepared, and fell for a clear trap. The loss of life is regretful, and so is the lack of honesty with properly assigning the blame on the events. And remember, it’s not Israel who is impeding the lifting of the blockade in Gaza. It is Hamas who needs to meet the demands of the international community to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Once they do it, the blockade will be open.
But I don’t think anyone in that flotilla has the desire of reminding Hamas of that little fact.