Tyrkiet på vej…mod islamificering

Diverse — Drokles on June 6, 2010 at 6:59 am

Det er næppe undgået ret manges opmærksomhed at forholdet mellem de tidligere allierede Israel og Tyrkiet er blevet forværret til nærmest et fjendtligt et af slagsen. I denne tid, hvor man stadig prøver at slå tvivl om Israels videobeviser har man mistet fokus på en helt central ændring i Mellemøstens magtbalance, hvor Tyrkiet rejser sig, som en stormagt - og ikke en venlig en af slagsen, som Soner Cagaptay skriver i Jerusalem Post

Turkey has lost what makes it special: its ability to be Muslim and Western at the same time, a uniquely Turkish characteristic. They had it coming ever since the AKP took power in 2002.

Turkish-Israeli ties have been on a downhill trajectory, which began with the AKP’s sharp criticism of Israeli policies following Operation Cast Lead. While some dismissed this rhetoric as domestic politicking, it was the ideological periscope of the AKP’s subsurface foreign policy. The AKP did not have any intention of aligning with Israel. Rather, it went along with Israel until the opportunity presented itself to call off the relationship.

Its rhetoric served as the litmus test of what lay ahead.

The Israelis, having few real friends in the region and therefore not knowing what to do with harsh rhetoric coming from this rare ally, first denied the problem and then overreacted.

In the incident known as the “low chair affair,” Israeli Foreign Ministry officials decided to humiliate the Turkish ambassador by seating him on a low chair in a televised meeting. In the ensuing scandal, the entire Turkish nation felt insulted, rallying behind the AKP’s negative criticisms and stance toward Israel.

THIS IS also what happened on May 31. Turkey is a proud nation; perhaps this is its hallmark. It would have been enough for it to turn against Israel had the Israelis bloodied the nose of one Turk. Hence, after news of bloodshed surfaced, tens of thousands of protesters gathered across Turkish cities, chanting “Down with the Zionist state,” and “We are all Hamas.”

Surprisingly, T-shirts and headbands with these slogans were readily available, perhaps signaling that for some, the crisis was anticipated. The AKP government then recalled its ambassador and canceled three bilateral military exercises. AKP officials have called Israel a “pirate state,” and a “terrorist state,” and right-wing pundits have followed, illuminating a Nasserite trend – Israel is fast becoming the country-whose-name-shall-not-be-uttered in Turkish politics. The AKP also added that Turkish-Israeli relations would not be revived unless Israel recognizes Hamas and lifts the blockade on Gaza. This provides another avenue for the AKP to say that Turkish-Israeli ties are dead

For Israel, this means that Turkey has switched camps. From now on, barring a change of government in Ankara or a change in Israel’s policy toward Hamas, Turkey is on the other side of the Middle East debate regarding Israel. What is more, Turkey cannot be expected to act as a mediator between Israel and its neighbors, a role some had suggested Ankara could play under the AKP.

At den tyrkiske fredsflåde var et skaktræk til skade for Israel og ikke et udtryk for et ønske om en hvis fairnes i regionen gør Aaron Schock opmærksom på ligeledes i Jerusalem Post. Efter at have draget paralleller mellem Israels forhold til Hamas og Tyrkiets forhold til kurdiske PKK og mindet om at den arabiske verden står sammen bag blokaden, som Ægypten er en aktiv del af, af Gaza giver han følgende billede af Tyrkiets politiske tankegang

Again, regarding Turkish hypocrisy, the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, received the international pariah who leads Sudan – President Omar Bashir – a man who has committed genocide. The International Criminal Court has an arrest warrant out for him on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Not only has the Darfur region of Sudan experienced genocide directed by Bashir and his government, but other regions of southern Sudan have as well. During the visit in mid-August of last year, Erdogan said he did not believe Bashir was guilty of the war crimes for which he was indicted.

And here is how the Turkish prime minister justified that widely disputed contention: “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide,” said Erdogan. He deems Bashir innocent. End of story.

THE TURKISH foreign minister recently called the flotilla episode, “Turkey’s 9-11.” Shame on you sir. No American should ever forget such an insult.

Som Gagaptay bemærker har Tyrkiet under Erdogan blot ventet på en anledning, hvor latterlig den end er, til at skade Israel. For det er umuligt for de der tilhører den muslimske tro at gøre andet.

Mimi Jakobsen om Danmark og fodbold

Diverse — Drokles on June 6, 2010 at 5:45 am

Politiken har i deres overraskende dårlige VM tillæg spurgt en række kendte danskere om Fodbold og VM. Mens de fleste peger på EM i 92, som det bedste forboldminde svarer Mimi Jacobsen

Mit bedste fodboldminde var landskampen i Lyon i 1984 mod Spanien, hvor Preben Elkjær brændte straffesparket og fik revet hul i buksebagen.

Vi husker det alle med glæde. Hvad skulle vi også i finalen efter? Og selv om Mimi håber Danmark når finalen siger hun

Det ville være fint, hvis et afrikansk land kunne vinde VM.

Vi krydser fingre.

De mange små løgne

Diverse — Drokles on June 5, 2010 at 3:54 am

I denne tid, hvor Israel er under angreb for at hævde sin suverænitet glemmer man let det konstante bombardement Israel er under i en smædekampagne, som vel ikke set siden Muhamad Al- Durah. Her er et dagligdags eksempel, som det typisk tager sig ud

Det er egentligt spektakulært at en udbygning af den kollektive traffik i et palæstinensisk kvarter bliver til et angreb på palæstinenserne.


Diverse — Drokles on June 5, 2010 at 2:08 am

Fra Reuters

Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the “San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.”

Under some of the key rules, a blockade must be declared and notified to all belligerents and neutral states, access to neutral ports cannot be blocked, and an area can only be blockaded which is under enemy control.

“On the basis that Hamas is the ruling entity of Gaza and Israel is in the midst of an armed struggle against that ruling entity, the blockade is legal,” said Philip Roche, partner in the shipping disputes and risk management team with law firm Norton Rose.


Under the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea a coastal state has a “territorial sea” of 12 nautical miles from the coast over which it is sovereign. Ships of other states are allowed “innocent passage” through such waters.

There is a further 12 nautical mile zone called the “contiguous zone” over which a state may take action to protect itself or its laws.

“However, strictly beyond the 12 nautical miles limit the seas are the “high seas” or international waters,” Roche said.

The Israeli navy said on Monday the Gaza bound flotilla was intercepted 120 km (75 miles) west of Israel. The Turkish captain of one of the vessels told an Istanbul news conference after returning home from Israeli detention they were 68 miles outside Israeli territorial waters.

Under the law of a blockade, intercepting a vessel could apply globally so long as a ship is bound for a “belligerent” territory, legal experts say.

Og så følger ellers det afgørende spørgsmål, som venstrefløjen elsker i disse Brorson-klima-Ungdomshus-osv tider, nemlig om proportionel magtanvendelse for ”there has got to be a relationship between the threat and response,”. Så det hele koges ned til, hvad der skete ombord på Mavi Marmara - angreb israelske soldater aktivisterne eller faldt i baghold og åbnede ild i selvforsvar? Fra Israel National News

Daniel Lazar ben Tina Taabel Lea One of the soldiers badly injured on the flotilla boat is from Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion..  He had his ear cut off by a knife, it was just holding by a scrap of skin, was shot in the leg and has a very badly injured arm.

Næppe sandsylige skade, hvis israelerne har åbnet ild til at starte med. Derfor er følgende forklaring nok mere sandsynlig, som man kan læse i Jerusalem Post

When St.-Sgt. S. fast-roped down from an air force Black Hawk helicopter onto the Mavi Marmara Turkish passenger ship on Monday morning, he did not expect to be landing in what he called “a battlefield” and facing off against a group of “murderous mercenaries.”

The 15th and last naval commando from Flotilla 13 (the Shayetet) to rappel down onto the ship from the helicopter, S. said on Thursday that he was immediately attacked by what the IDF has called “the mob of mercenaries” aboard the vessel, just like the soldiers who had boarded just before him.

Looking to his side, he saw three of his commanders lying wounded – one with a gunshot wound to the stomach and another with a gunshot wound to the knee. A third was lying unconscious; his skull was fractured by a devastating blow with a metal bar.

As the next in the chain of command, S., who has been in the Shayetet for three and a half years, immediately took charge.

He pushed the wounded soldiers up against the wall of the upper deck and created a perimeter of soldiers around them to begin treating their wounds, he said. He then arranged his men to form a second perimeter, and pulled out his 9 mm. Glock pistol to stave off the charging attackers and to protect his wounded comrades.

The attackers had already seized two pistols from the commandos, and fired repeatedly at them. Facing more than a dozen of the mercenaries, and convinced their lives were in danger, he and his colleagues opened fire, he said. S. singlehandedly killed six men. His colleagues killed another three.

Men var bagholdet så meningen eller opstod der blot tumult der udartede?

NB:Som borgmesteren i Dirty Harry spøger: “Intent? How did you establish that?“ og Harry svarer: ”When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher’s knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn’t out collecting for the Red Cross!

Alt der kræves for at ondskaben kan triumfere

Diverse — Drokles on June 5, 2010 at 1:48 am

er at gode mennesker intet gør. Her er en ung mand, der modigt marker sin holdning overfor en hysterisk gruppe muslimer


Konsensus smadret

Diverse — Drokles on June 3, 2010 at 5:40 am

Der er sket to små, men dog signifikante afgørelser i klimadebatten, den seneste tid. Eller rettere meta-klimadebatten, altså debatten om debatten. Et fremherskende konsensus i medierne og det politiske etablissement har været at der herskede en konsensus blandt forskere om klimaforandringer og årsagen hertil (mennesket) og også fremtidsperspektiverne. Dette hævdede konsensus har utvetydigt peget på CO2, som den drivende faktor for Klimaforandringer, det der indtil varmen begyndte at aftage hed Global Opvarmning, og at stigningen i atmosfærens indhold af CO2 var menneskets afbrænding af fossile brændstoffer. Tvivlere af hele eller dele af den udlægning blev følgeligt karakteriseret som kværulanter, uvidende eller direkte benægtere.

Men skeptikerne, som de oftest selv vil karakteriseres, har som sagt den seneste tid kunnet pege på en mangel af temperaturstigning, fejl i FN’s Klimapanels rapporter og en række pinlige interne mails, der dokumenterer manipuleret forskning og koordineret kamp for at påvirke peer-rewiev processen hos førende videnskabelig magasiner og derigennem har skeptiske synspunkter fået stigende oprejsning og opmærksomhed. Og da den centrale klimaforsker og konsensusrepræsentant Phil Jones i et interview med BBC accepterede at den globale opvarmning var aftaget og at man savnede videnskablige forklaringer på dette mystiske fænomen, der havde snydt samtlige klimamodeller lignede det en indrømmelse af mange års fordrejet debat. Og nu ser vi så to umiddelbart små resultater i debatten om debatten. Fra Watts Up With That

For what is believed to be the first time ever in England, an audience of university undergraduates has decisively rejected the notion that “global warming” is or could become a global crisis. The only previous defeat for climate extremism among an undergraduate audience was at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, in the spring of 2009, when the climate extremists were defeated by three votes.

Last week, members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion “That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110. The debate was sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington DC.

Serious observers are interpreting this shock result as a sign that students are now impatiently rejecting the relentless extremist propaganda taught under the guise of compulsory environmental-studies classes in British schools, confirming opinion-poll findings that the voters are no longer frightened by “global warming” scare stories, if they ever were.

Fra Finacial Post

Britain’s Royal Society, the UK’s preeminent scientific body, has joined national science bodies in India and France in validating the views of global warming sceptics.

The Royal Society’s decision, which follows a revolt by 43 Fellows of the Royal Society, will see it rewrite its position on climate change in a tacit admission that it and in particular its previous president, Lord May, had been acting more as lobbyists for a cause than as agents for scientific reason. Without canvassing his membership, May had famously stated that “The debate on climate change is over” and that “On one hand, you have the entire scientific community and on the other you have a handful of people, half of them crackpots.”

Following the revolt over the society’s recent history of alarmism and hyperbole, the current president, Lord Rees, by no means a sceptic, has nevertheless decided to take a more balanced view:  ”Climate change is a hugely important issue but the public debate has all too often been clouded by exaggeration and misleading information,” he said. “We aim to provide the public with a clear indication of what is known about the climate system, what we think we know about it and, just as importantly, the aspects we still do not understand very well.”

Det skal holdes sammen med at befolkningerne i stadigt flere lande begynder at tvivle på katastrofeudsigter medierne har refereret, som var det børnelærdom. Stafan Theil skriver i Newsweek

Blame economic worries, another freezing winter, or the cascade of scandals emerging from the world’s leading climate-research body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But concern over global warming has cooled down dramatically. In über-green Germany, only 42 percent of citizens worry about global warming now, down from 62 percent in 2006. In Britain, just 26 percent believe climate change is man-made, down from 41 percent as recently as November 2009. And Americans rank global warming dead last in a list of 21 problems that concern them, according to a January Pew poll.

Lidt er der da at varme sig ved.


Diverse — Drokles on June 3, 2010 at 3:43 am

Rune Engelbrecht Larsen siger

Vi må ikke glemme, at baggrunden for - og nødvendigheden af - humanitær nødhjælp er og bliver Israels blokade, som lægger et langt mere brutalt pres på civilbefolkningen i Gaza end på Hamas.

Njaarhh svarer Steffen Jensen; Problemet er mere mangel på arbejde end på mad.

“Vi har intet”, sagde hun. Vi mangler alt! Fødevarer, drikkevarer… alt!”

Det forstyrrede hende overhovedet ikke det mindste, at hun stod mellem bjerge af grøntsager, frugt, æg, fjerkræ og fisk, mens hun slog sin dommedagsprofeti fast.

En anden kvinde, Rifka Abu Nahal, som oprindelig kommer udefra landdistriktet, er mere i kontakt med virkeligheden. Hun fortæller, at et virkelig afgørende problem er overforbruget af vand, som gør, at grundvandsspejlet synker. Det betyder at Middelhavets saltvand trænger ind og forurener grundvandet, som allerede nu er blevet for salt. Det gør det både ubehageligt at drikke, og på længere sigt vil det ødelægge landbrugsjorden.

Hun siger videre, at det er den dårlige økonomi, der er det største problem.

“Der er en stor arbejdsløshed. Der er intet arbejde at få i Gaza-striben. Det betyder, at mange mennesker ikke har nogen indkomst, men må leve på almisser fra deres slægtninge. Så de har ikke råd til at købe de varer, der faktisk er til rådighed. De kan stå og se på kødet, men de kan ikke købe det”, forklarer hun.


Denne historie har jeg ikke skrevet for at postulere, at der ikke er problemer i Gaza-striben, for det ville være usandt. Der er problemer. Mange problemer endog. Men det er ikke mangel på fødevarer, der først og fremmest bekymrer folk hernede. Det største problem er manglen på arbejdspladser og en bæredygtig intern økonomi.


Ombord på Mavi Marmara

Diverse — Drokles on June 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

Fra Politiken

Det er langt ude at begynde at mistænkeliggøre nødhjælpsskibene til Gaza for at have andet end cement, skolebøger, medicin og generatorer i lasten.

Det mener 27-årige Lilith Gimbel og 25-årige Ida Rump, som har brugt halvandet år på at hjælpe med at forberede aktionen sammen med den svenske organisation Ship to Gaza.

»Alting var tjekket igennem af toldmyndighederne i Cypern. Vi kan ikke sige, at vi har været øjenvidner til, at der ikke var våben om bord. Men vi stoler på Free Gaza«, siger Lilith Gimbel, som studerer på Roskilde Universitet.

»IHH er en islamisk hjælpeorganisation svarende til Folkekirkens Nødhjælp. Den har været enormt meget i søgelyset, men har aldrig været involveret i noget, som ikke var ren nødhjælpssamarbejde. Det er en ret sikker samarbejdspartner«.

»Det virker forkert, at vi skal være forsvarere for en påstand om, at der skulle være terrorister om bord. Det kan man altid slynge ud. Bevisbyrden må ligge på anklageren«, siger hun.

Reglerne for blokade

Diverse — Drokles on June 2, 2010 at 3:38 am


The interception took place about 40 miles (60km) off the Gaza coast, some 25 miles beyond the formal limits of the maritime blockade Israel is maintaining on Gaza.

A maritime blockade is a legal device under international law. It has to have a reason (Israel’s is that Hamas would import arms), it has to be formally declared (it was) and it has to be enforced (it is).

By intercepting beyond the blockade limits, Israel took a risk that the action would be challenged under international law, but the issue is at least debatable.

Israel argues that the flotilla clearly intended to try to run the blockade, and indeed the lead ship said its destination was Gaza when told to stop over a radio channel by the Israelis in the formalities at the start of the action.

Five of the six ships in the flotilla did stop, but the main one, the Mavi Marmara, did not.

(Update: several readers have pointed out that the protesters, as well as the UN high commissioner for human rights, consider the whole blockade illegal and that therefore, in their view, the Israeli argument becomes irrelevant.)

Og så følger en gennemgang af begivenhederne, som øjenvidner beskriver det og ud fra de videoer, der indtil videre er frigivet. Klassisk for konflikten mellem palæstinensere og israelere handler det om, hvem der startede.

Ron Ben Yishai mentions the bizarre use by the soldiers of paintball guns. You can see one of them in profile on the video. These, he said, were not effective. One wonders whether paint was actually in them or some other substance, but in any case they did not work.

At de israelske soldater var bevæbnet med paintball geværer står i skærende kontrast til beskyldningen om at de skulle have åbnet ild allerede før bordningen

Update: Israeli Arab member of the Knesset Hanin Zoabi, who was on the ship, has now spoken in Nazareth. She said it was clear that the Israelis “intended to cause the largest possible number of casualties… We had no plans for a confrontation.” She claimed that the Israelis started firing before they boarded: “The firing began from the Israeli ships.” She demanded that all video be released. She also stated that two activists died after being refused treatment even though she had written a note in Hebrew asking for help.

Men vi venter på en undersøgelse.

Mens Tyrkiet (og alle andre) skoser Israel

Diverse — Drokles on June 2, 2010 at 2:46 am

Mediernes afløb

Diverse — Drokles on June 2, 2010 at 2:43 am

Lederen i Politiken rammer meget godt stemningen i danske medier med denne formulering

Vi ved i skrivende stund ikke, præcis hvad der skete på skibet. Men en blodig kommandoaktion i internationalt farvand mod en humanitær konvoj, der sejler under hvidt flag, er både i strid med alle internationale normer og helt igennem uansvarligt.

Vi ved ikke noget, men Israels handlinger er uansvarlige - helt igennem. Selvmodsigelsen afslører en intens opsparet trang til at fordømme Israel for hvad som helst der nu får frit afløb. Mens jeg på P1 dagen igennem hørte spørgsmål om, hvad Israel dog havde gang i hørte jeg ikke spørgsmål om, hvad “aktivisterne” regnede med/håbede på, hvorfor de ikke tog imod Israels og Ægyptens tilbud om at distribuere nødhjælpen eller sammenhængen mellem tyrkiske IHH og Hamas. Sådan er stemningen generelt i disse dage.

Mens vi ingenting ved om hvad som skete på skibet kan vi måske alligevel godt sige lidt alene ud fra Politikens egne ord, som ikke harmonerer med deres første antagelse. Nøgleordene er “blodig komandoaktion” og “skibet”. “Blodig kommandoaktion” betyder her at kommandoaktionen havde et blodigt ærinde forstærket af vurderingen “helt igennem uansvarligt“. Men oplysningen “skibet” siger os at det kun kom til blodigheder på et skib og ikke på alle skibene. Kommandoaktionerne mod de andre skibe var altså ikke blodige. Hvis vi antager, som jeg synes virker oplagt indtil andet kommer frem, at alle aktionerne havde samme formål og planlægning er det altså begivenhederne på det ene skib der er særegne, det skib hvor vi med Politikens ord vi ikke har viden om de konkrete handlinger. “Skibet” indeholder altså svaret på hvorfor det kom så vidt og ikke “kommandoaktionen”. Vi kan nu skrive om ”kommandoaktionen” ombord på det ”blodige skib”.

Vi kan også se det lidt udefra. At der er tale om en kommandoaktion hersker der ingen tvivl om og at Israel vil bruge eliteenheder til at fire ned fra helikoptere er vel også banale konstateringer. Hvor sandsynligt er så de mange sårede soldater, hvis der var tale om at nedkæmpe fredelige aktivister? Ikke høje vel? Forklaringen skal altså nok snarere findes ombord på “skibet”. Men Politiken og de danske medier leder i Israel, for det vil man hellere.

Billeder fra Mavi Marmara

Diverse — Drokles on June 1, 2010 at 6:12 am

Fra Information

Avnons kollega i Sverige har allerede været inde at stå ret i det svenske udenrigsministerium for at forklare Israels motiver for det med svenske øjne “uacceptable” natlige angreb, oplyser nyhedsbureauet TT.

Frankrigs udenrigsminister Kouchner siger, at han er dybt rystet over den israelske flådes angreb på nødhjælpskonvojen til Gaza, og at “intet kan retfærdiggøre” det blodbad, der har udspillet sig, siger han til nyhedsbureauet AFP.

Tysklands udenrigsminister, Guido Westerwelle, har ligeledes udtrykt “dyb bekymring” over drabene på de ombordværende på nødhjælpsfartøjerne på vej til Gaza.

EU’s udenrigspolitiske chef, Catherine Ashton, siger gennem sin talsmand, at hun på vegne af EU kræver en fuldstændig undersøgelse af, hvad der er sket.

En undersøgelse er en god ide og Obamas afventende reaktion er noget mere moden end de euroæiske svumpuklers

Israel under angreb

Diverse — Drokles on June 1, 2010 at 4:22 am

Ramaskriget over Israels hævdelse af deres Gaza-blokade er ganske forudsigeligt. Flere kommentatorer har luftet den ide at aktionen intet andet formål har end at sætte Israel i et dårligt lys og frembringe ofre og martyrer for åbent tæppe. Og med afvisningen af Israels og Ægyptens(!) tilbud om at aflevere nødhjælpen over land er det vanskeligt at får anden tanke. Jerusalem Post skriver

Israel’s sanctions, which restrict fuel and gas supplies and prevent the import of many construction materials, have hit the Gaza population hard. However, they are applied in accordance with international law and are carefully monitored by the Supreme Court. They are designed to prevent Hamas from importing materials that can be used to created weapons and fortifications, or using fuel and gas to operate arms production.

And though many are suffering, Israel is careful to ensure that basic necessities are supplied and that those in need of medical care outside Gaza receive it, even if in the past some have taken advantage of this humanitarian leniency to advance terrorism. Incidentally, there is evidence that at least some Gazans are enjoying a higher standard of living. Just last week, the As-Sadaka Club celebrated the opening of a new Olympic-size swimming pool, Gaza’s first, and a manager at the Roots Club in Gaza City proudly confirmed to journalist Tom Gross that business was booming and that many Palestinian and international guests were dining on a wide array of gourmet dishes. A spokesman for the Hamas Interior Ministry said his ministry had finalized a plan to provide security protection from al-Qaida-inspired terrorists at holiday sites such as restaurants and beaches this summer.

ISRAEL AND Egypt implemented sanctions after Hamas violently took over the Gaza Strip from Fatah in June 2007 amid bloody fighting that left 161 Palestinians dead, including seven children. They are aimed at forcing Hamas to give up its armed struggle against Israel and recognize Israel’s right to exist. This is part of a wider international strategy to isolate Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US, the EU, Japan, Britain, Australia and Canada.

Politiken kan citere terrorforsker Evan Kohlmann for denne beskrivelse af en af organisationerne tyrkiske IHHs taktik bag flådemanøvren

»Ved at maskere deres militante aktiviteter som velgørenhed opdagede yderligtgående militante, at de kunne fastholde deres effektivitet, mens de kunne arbejde med ganske få restriktioner på internationalt niveau«

Det var IHHs skib Marmara hvor bagholdet blev lagt. Og et baghold det var det, som David Horovitz fortæller i Jerusalem Post

Obviously, many of those in the “Freedom Flotilla” were not engaged in a humanitarian mission. Had that been their prime motivation, they would have accepted Israel’s offer to escort them to Ashdod Port and arrange for the delivery of their supplies to Gaza, after security checks, over land. They also would have agreed without hesitation to convey a package from the family of the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for almost four years in Gaza, Gilad Schalit.

Obviously, too, many of those who sailed toward Gaza were not “peace activists.” While those aboard five of the vessels in the flotilla did not violently oppose the IDF soldiers who came to intercept them, the video footage released by the IDF in the course of Monday confirmed earlier official descriptions by Israel of soldiers being premeditatedly and ruthlessly attacked as they tried to board the largest of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara.

Inexplicably, only a small contingent of naval commandos was dispatched to take control of a ship carrying hundreds of activists. And the commandos came on board carrying paintball guns, apparently under the misconception that the takeover of the Mavi Marmara would be, if not a game, then certainly not a confrontation with an enemy.

The IDF’s intelligence was clearly deeply flawed. As the footage showed, the outnumbered, under-equipped and incorrectly prepared commandos found themselves not grappling with unruly peace activists or demonstrators, to whom they had been ordered to show “restraint,” but being viciously attacked before they had barely set foot on deck. The clips showed clusters of people swarming around each of the commandos, and beating them over and over with clubs and bars in scenes sickeningly reminiscent of the lynching of IDF reservists in the Ramallah police station 10 years ago.

There was footage of one of the “activists” stabbing a soldier, of a petrol bomb being thrown at the troops, a stun grenade. And the troops themselves reported being sprayed with tear gas, attacked with iron bars, knives and sticks, and of efforts, reportedly successful in at least one case, to grab the pistols some were also carrying. There were reports of gunfire directed at the troops, and of soldiers jumping into the sea to escape attack.

Soldiers were fighting for their lives, said the IDF spokesman, Avi Benayahu (in Hebrew). “It was a lynch. It was an ambush.”

The navy chief, Eliezer Marom, told an early afternoon press conference that the resulting toll of the dead and injured could have been “much worse,” that the confrontation could have ended even more unhappily.

Yossi Melman sammenligner i Haaretz pr-logikken med det legendariske Exodus skib.

Despite having its eyes wide open, Israel fell into a trap. Israel knew that the organizers of the flotilla wanted to present the Israel Defense Forces to the world as an army that does not hesitate to use force. The flotilla organizers wanted deaths, casualties, blood and billows of smoke. And this is exactly what Israel gave them.

Og så foreslår Melman ellers en række andre løsningsmodeller Israel kunne og burde have brugt i stedet men konstaterer ildevarslende at “…apparently the days in which Israeli agents could operate freely in friendly countries are gone.” Og det ser skam dårligt ud for Israel med vennetabet. Hamas har ifølge Zvi Bar’el i Haaretz opnået at uanset, hvad det stadigt mere islamisk orienterede Tyrkiet gør vil det være til skade for Israel.

Turkey has many options, and every one will affect Israel negatively. Among the available options are a lawsuit against Israel for violating international law and attacking Turkish vessels without provocation, calling on the UN Security Council for an emergency meeting, and engaging Egypt in direct talks in order to convince Cairo to open the Rafah crossing and to officially recognize the Hamas government.

The various political and diplomatic options that stand before Turkey also play well into the hands of Hamas, which has been granted Turkish and international support, and is now demanding of Egypt to quit acting like Israel and open the Rafah crossing with Gaza.

With this move, Hamas hopes to shatter the policy of sanctions Israel has imposed on Gaza. Egypt hoped it would not have to get involved in blocking the Gaza aid convoy and that Israel would take the responsibility exclusively upon itself. But Cairo is now starting to feel the strain, and is beginning to understand that it will need to provide practical answers to the public pressure Turkey and other Arab states are exerting.

Israel lider den kranke skæbne at være befolket af de uglesete jøder, som islamister og venstrefløjsere kan enes om at hade mere eller mindre åbenlyst. Ingen hensyn tages der til landets situation omgivet af fjender, som det, der arbejder dag og nat på dets destruktion. Men al opmærksomhed på det mindste brud på formalia, som Petra Marquard Bigman pointerer i Jerusalem Post

Accusing Israel of “apartheid”, bigotry and discrimination against the country’s non-Jewish minorities as well as Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza is something of a cottage industry that keeps many bloggers and commentators very, very busy. Israel’s Arab neighbors are of course held to a very different standard and therefore, the plight of minorities in Arab countries is often not considered newsworthy.

To highlight these different standards is not just “whataboutery“, because the obsessive focus on Israel’s shortcomings - some of them real, many shamelessly fabricated - produces a grossly distorted perception of the Middle East that makes it difficult for people outside the region to understand why the Middle East is such a fertile breeding ground for extremism.

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal provided an excellent, though inevitably depressing reminder of the deep-seated intolerance that contributes greatly to keeping the Middle East backward and conflict-ridden. The article, by Moheb Zaki, highlighted the difficult situation of Egypt’s ancient Christian community, the Copts.

A website maintained by a group of Copts picked up on this article and posted a follow-up piece that adds much interesting, and indeed shocking, background information on the systematic discrimination and increasing violence that Eygpt’s Christians have to endure.

Mankell og andre mindre prominente nyttige idioter kunne tage fat på det problem. Men de frygter nok Ægyptisk justits mere end den israelske retsstats. Og her er jo heller ingen jøder man kan placere i skurkerollen.

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