Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Ship of Fools - But Who Are the Fools?

In attacking the boats that were trying to make their way to Gaza, Israel has managed to be morally wrong as well as a bungling failure.

I am intrigued by the fact that very few voices - if any - to stop Israel from this folly, were heard before it all went pear- shaped. Especially in Israel, where everyone now seems – rightly – to attack the government for “Operation Sky Winds”, the sane minority was not really heard in this matter.

One reason for this lack of opposition is that Israel’s sane minority is rather small. Any opposition to the right-wing majority’s militancy is dubbed as “leftist” in a country in which “leftist” has become a dirty word. A country in which those who have the courage and energy to stand up against the government agenda are referred to as “anarchists”, “traitors” and “fifth column”. Most succumb and have retreated to live in their “bubble”.

A second reason is that many of Israel’s “left wingers” themselves are too busy with “right or wrong my country” whilst forgetting the need to ensure the first part of the well known saying “my country, may it always be right”.

If Israel does not want to lose more important battles, its sane minority must save it from continued acts of immorality and folly. Immorality does not always equate to recklessness but with time it very often leads to it. That is where you lose your battles. In this battle, Israel lost on the public opinion front. The nasty and evil Hamas won with their wits without even having to fire a shot. Israel must choose its battles more wisely – it cannot afford to lose the important ones.


  1. Indeed, it seems that Israel was led down the garden path ...

  2. ''the nasty and evil Hamas won with their wits...'' Exactly. Once, the people with brains and vision went into politics or the army in Israel - or so it appeared to the comfortably detached observer. On the strength of recent examples, that is no longer the case.

    As for Mr Prosser - dear, dear. Mission impossible of course, but that's when classy diplos earn their corn.

    I sense decadence and fatigue - and so do Hamas I guess. No strategy, just bungling, knee jerk tactics.

    The analysis is the easy bit. What to do/how to support, the tough one. In the words (to paraphrase) of Bonhoffer, apposite and moral action is less a product of good ideas, than of the assumption of committed responsibility. It will take more than two to tango here. As you say, the committed will of the people is a pre requisite.

  3. מה לעשות שאתה תמיד - או בדרך כלל - צודק? היום פשוט מתחשק לי להעלם מרוב בושה ולחזור כשאביב חדש יפציע פה
    כנראה שזה כבר לא יקרה - אז נמשיך להסתובב בתחושת איכס מכל מה
    שקורה מחוץ לבועתנו המוכרת...

  4. You are SO right! How is it possible to get to such extremes?

  5. This is the biggest asinine action possible.

    Just what could be expected from Netanjahu. How could Israel have chosen this man again?

    If it had been a weapon--transport one could have justified it, but what trouble could it have caused even if Gaza-Palestinians would have received more food, even caviar?

  6. ja, da bin ich Deiner Meinung, anderthalb Verbündete hatte Israel noch, Amerika halb und uns ganz, Du weißt schon, warum. Aber so verliert es die auch noch, obwohl diese türkische Organisation auch schon sehr merkwürdig ist.

  7. בוא ונחכה לכל העובדות .
    זה יפה להגיד כי ישראל "אלימים" והפעילו "כוח מוגזם" , אבל האם אתה בטוח שאתה יודע מה היה שם.
    זה נכון שמערך ההסברה כרגיל נכשל אבל בוא נחכה לכל העובדות ואז נאשים או נבקש תשובות מהאנשים המתאימים.
    לבוא כל הזמן ולהגיד שאנחנו הרעים זה לא תמיד נכון ומה אם יתברר שכן היה שם קבוצה מאורגנת של ארגון קיצוני שנסתה להרוג את החיילים שבאו עם רובי צעצעוע גם אז נגיד שהופעל כוח "בלתי סביר" ????

  8. Uri,

    I do not doubt for a moment that there was a group of real nasties on the boat who tried to kill Israeli soldiers.

    That, however, is not the point.
    The question is why did Israel set out on this stupid mission? To support a failing! blockade of Gaza? A blockade that causes misery yet serves no purpose and above all is a failure. Read today's Amos Oz about the use of force.

  9. Everybody here is, of course, shocked about the enormous "fashlah" - each for his own reason...

  10. Thank you for your blog.
    I’ve been the fool, for not reading your blog earlier!