Chait Wakes Up

And he basically agrees with the Dish. Except he describes the point of the flotilla as "provoking a confrontation." Well, yes, in as much as they clearly wanted to go where they were told they couldn't and force Israel to stop them, it was indeed designed to provoke a response. This is also called civil disobedience, designed for p.r. in a long war of ideas. It is not warfare; and it need not be deflected by tactics much more lethal than Bull Connor's. Couldn't they disable the rudder and guide the ship to port? Or did they once again have to prove who's the man?

Moreover, Chait regards the decision to assault the ship rather than disable it a "technical" matter, rather than a core misjudgment, or a sign of Israel's trigger-happy impunity. He cites Shmuel Rosner:

The commandos didn't know they were going to face an angry mob armed with knives and bats.

You mean the IDF sent commandos to take over a ship packed with opponents of Israel's blockade in international waters and thought everyone would just wave the white flag (which, by some accounts, they did). This was either truly dangerous incompetence or Cheney-esque bravado. Or both. And, yes, the US doesn't have a strong moral position on this after the Bush-Cheney years. Netanyahu is simply being Israel's Cheney. Comforting thought, no?

What I learn from this is that Israel under its current government is quite capable of attacking Iran - against US wishes - and failing to gain anything but a brief breathing space and deeper and deeper isolation.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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