Just when you think things are starting to get boring in the Middle East, something pops off:
Up to 16 people have been killed when Israeli naval commandos boarded aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, meeting resistance from pro-Palestinian activists, Israel's Channel 10 television said.
The six-ship convoy carrying aid for Palestinians and led by a Turkish vessel with 600 people on board set sail for Gaza from international waters off Cyprus on Sunday in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade of the territory.
Israel's navy has had a blockade on the Palestinian territory since the terrorist group Hamas took power. Anything that comes into those waters has to go through them. This incident was purely intentional and was meant to provoke the Israeli military. They were given fair warning this weekend: all boats would be seized and the people on board arrested.
Approx. 700 people were on those boats. A lot of them started the journey shouting war chants; in fact a woman was interviewed saying she expected to either reach Gaza or receive martyrdom.
This was a clear attempt to provoke the Israelis into an international incident, and it worked. The incident sparked several demonstrations around the world, including Turkey and France. The U.N. Security Council met in an emergency session, because you know they couldn't condemn Israel fast enough (meanwhile, we're still waiting for that resolution condemning North Korea). And as I write this post, there's word of another ship sailing to breach the blockade, and Israel has already warned they will seize that one too.
Over at The Corner, here's Daniel Pipes's take:
Eventually, however, Israel's enemies realized that they could not win a conventional war. Instead of launching planes, tanks, and ships at the Jewish state, they turned to other means — weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and (most recently) political delegitimization. Delegitimization turns the rules of war upside down: in particular, strength is weakness and public opinion has supreme importance.
Israel's command structure, having mastered the old ways of war (the ones that lasted to 1973), has shown utter strategic incompetence at the new ways of war (in place since 1982). The new rules require an agile sense of public relations, which means that a powerful state never physically harms, even inadvertently, its rag-tag political adversaries
I understand Pipes's point. But can you seriously expect for Israel to win a pr war when the main judge has a bias against Israel, such as the case is with Europe? The European Union aren't rational thinkers when it comes to Israel, and has never shown to be. Thus, I believe Israel's main concern is the safety and security of their nation, and Hamas gives them no choice but to regulate the flow of goods and materials to that region.
The wild card is the Obama Administration. During the 2008 campaign, President Obama promised to mend fences with our closest allies. He's done everything but that, with major gaffes and rifts at times during his term with Israel and Great Britain. Some, like Powerline's Paul Mirengoff, give him some credit for not giving a reactionary response to the incident, but I'm not willing to give him credit yet until I hear an official reaction from him or Robert Gibbs. But something tells me they'll side with the terrorists and useful idiots in condemning Israel by Tuesday evening.
We'll see. I'll have more later.