Friday, July 08, 2011

Amira Hass: In Dealing with Flotilla, Israel is Anything but Smart

By Amira Hass, ZNet, July 8, 2011

CRETE – Like an anti-Semitic caricature, Israel has extended its long tentacles around the globe in an effort to stop 10 decades-old ships from sailing to Gaza. Many Israelis interpreted this as a great victory.

The story could be read as follows: The Greek government wanted to save people whom it surely views as eccentrics and professional trouble-makers, even if naive, from a traumatic and perhaps even fatal experience. The Greek foreign minister rejected claims that Israeli pressure led his government to ban the flotilla’s departure. He explained that Greece wanted to prevent a “humanitarian disaster” in the event of a clash between the Israel Defense Forces and the protesters.

Indeed, a Greek police officer – one of those who tried (in vain) to discover from passengers on the Tahrir who was piloting their ship – did not beat around the bush. We wanted to save you from the Israeli army, he told one of them. The Jew of the blood libel, of whom one must be wary, has been replaced by an Israeli navy commando.

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