Yesterday I mentioned the support the American government was giving to Israel regarding the upcoming Flotilla (rather than support for American citizens). Last year, Israel boarded one of the aid ships aiming to break the naval siege of Gaza killing nine of the activist passengers, including one American citizen. Joseph Dana appeared on Al Jazeera to discuss the possibility that a similar tragedy could be repeated this year. Dana makes several great points, specifically that Israel is attempting to control the narrative of the Flotilla – a logical hypothesis. The fight for the narrative will continue long after the aid ships inevitably collide with the Israeli navy, much as it did last year when Israel destroyed the film, photos and audio of the activists while presenting doctored audio to the press.
I have a tough time, though, believing that Israel would allow another botched operation. Last years naval interception of the Flotilla was an exercise in ineptitude as the Israeli commandos opted for a high-risk maneuver (repelling onto the ship via helicopter) rather than simply taking out the engines and towing the ship to port. Considering the bad press Israel received for its actions last year, I find it highly unlikely that this year’s Flotilla will produce a similar over-reaction from Israel. Of course, it is easy for me to say so as I am not on the ship, but I predict this year the Flotilla will be taken to port without much violence.