The first two parts of this growing series on the Israeli attack on the aid convoy heading to Gaza try to sort through the mess of reports to find some facts; part 3 contains some updates from around the world; part 4looks at some of the reactions in the global press; and part 5 looks at official reactions from around the world, including the subdued American statement and the Israeli justification. Part 6 reviews the statements made by various peace organizations while part 7 reviews yet more reaction from the press. Part 8 compares the video footage released by Israel and the Flotilla organizers.
[tweetmeme] Marc Lynch calls the event a crisis and focuses on the reaction of the White House. Lynch stresses that the events of today are a clear result of the ongoing Bush and Obama policy of disregard concerning Gaza and calls of the US to do more than simply ignore what is a major issue in the rest of the world:
The U.S. only sporadically and weakly paid attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the strategic absurdity and moral obtuseness of the Israeli blockade, or the political implications of the ongoing Hamas-Fatah divide. Now, on the eve of Obama’s scheduled meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas — the fruits of the “honey offensive” towards Israel — can they be surprised that Gaza is blowing up in their face?
Blake Hounshell is focusing on the claim by Israeli right-wingers that the Flotilla and the negative reactions to it are all simply part of a PR war against the country. He also mentions the need for the White House to make some kind of statement and the wisdom of Netanyahu cancelling his White House visit:
In other words, there’s a huge unwillingness on the Israeli right to face reality — that Israel is fast losing friends and allies in the world, and that this government in Jerusalem has only accelerated the shift. It’s not hard to imagine boycott campaigns gaining momentum, damaging the Israeli economy and isolating the country diplomatically, especially in Europe.
Noam Sheizaf has been liveblogging throughout the day and has compiled this pretty good list of reactions from the global media:
Dan Ephron (Newsweek): Israeli Attack highlights failure of Gaza blockade.
Jo Klein (Time): This is an insane use of disproportionate force. It is a product of the right-wing radicalization of the Israeli government.
Andrew Sullivan (Atlantic): The disproportionate use of force, the loss of life, the horrifying impact of the blockade of Gaza in the first place: it makes Israel look like a callous, deranged bully, incapable of accepting any narrative that it cannot control and responding instinctively with disproportionate violence.
Adrian Blomfield (Telegraph): Under the stewardship of Benjamin Netanyahu, its abrasive prime minister, Israel has developed an extraordinary knack for inopportune timing.
Gideon Rachman (financial Times): “three particular angles for the Israelis to worry about. First, that there will be some sort of new intifada. Second, the continued deterioration in their relationship with Turkey. Third, their fraying ties with the Obama administration” [I don’t agree. there won’t be Intifada over this. the major problem is Europe and world public opinion, not US].
Yossi Melman (Haaretz): the government acted in such a tragic and stupid way, it’s hard to even understand it [Hebrew].
David Horvitz (Jerusalem Post’s editor): A race to contain the damage: The “humanitarian aid” flotilla was clearly a perniciously well-conceived initiative, for which Israel prepared inadequately.
Blake Hounshell (Foreign Policy): It’s not hard to imagine boycott campaigns gaining momentum, damaging the Israeli economy and isolating the country diplomatically, especially in Europe.
MJ Rosenberg (Huffington Post): Israel is in trouble. At the present rate, the remarkable accomplishment that is Israel will be lost because the right (i.e, Netanyahu, AIPAC, etc) prefers the settlements, smashing Gaza and building in Arab East Jerusalem to Israel itself.
Marc Lynch (Foreign Policy): It is difficult to fathom how the Israeli government could have thought that this was a good way to respond to a long-developing public relations challenge, but its actions will certainly fuel its evolving international legitimacy crisis.
Avi Trengo (Ynet): When Israel conveys a sense of weakness is it any wonder that a mob would charge at a commando and attempt to lynch him?
Richard Spencer (Telegraph): Whether on land or now at sea, there is a terrible symmetry to Israel’s engagement with the Palestinians and those who support them.