The people who should be most furious about this are Israel’s reflexive defenders. They are reduced to making excuses for the inexcusable consequences of a bungled raid carried out in support of a misguided blockade policy that has been damaging Israel’s reputation every day since it began. It ought to make them more critical of the recklessness and stupidity of the Netanyahu government, but on the whole this has not been their response.***
Perhaps most galling about the overall defense of the raid is the constant invocation of self-defense. Everything Israel does is always done in self-defense, no matter how excessive, disproportionate, unnecessary, wrong or aggressive it is. When everything becomes a matter of self-defense and the proper distinctions between actual legtimate self-defense and reckless excesses are erased, pretty soon most of the rest of the world won’t pay any attention to Israeli claims of self-defense even when they are legitimate. There was not much of a reservoir of goodwill for Israel in the world after the war in Lebanon, but successive Israeli governments have done everything they can to exhaust what little remains in that reservoir. We are not watching Israel defend itself. We are watching Israel slowly destroy itself.
Why is this not transparently obvious to everyone? Rather than admit that this has been an absolute disaster and the Israeli raid has done more for the cause of Hamas than anything Hamas could ever hope to pull off on their own, instead we are greeted with excuse making, farcical invocations of “self-defense,” and then called anti-Semites or useful idiots for even daring to question the wisdom of this sort of behavior.
What has Israel accomplished other than to mortally wound their public image, likely leading to the end of the Gaza blockade, inflame anti-Israeli sentiment all over the Muslim world and beyond, destroy her relationship with Turkey, put the United States in a horrible bind, and put on clear display the fecklish and irresponsible nature of her current government. What was accomplished here that is good for Israel? Can anyone think of anything?
I know, I know. I’m an anti-Semite for asking that.