Was the flotilla raid “botched” ? Sure, in the same way the raid on Entebbe was “botched” – the mission was accomplished and some of the terrorists were killed. One should not lose sight of the fact that Israel had one operational objective: to prevent unsearched ships from landing at the Gaza port. Mission accomplished.
Those who persist in maintaining that another operational objective should be the retention of favorable world opinion have set an unreachable goal that will inhibit Israel’s exercise of self-defense. In the current climate, nothing can be done that engender the support of the “world community,” a union of thugs, despots, potentates, secularists, socialists, religious fanatics, anti-religious fanatics and amoral Goodists who, like lemmings, would eagerly march to their own destruction. Europe, in its death throes as a civilization, is numerically disappearing and seeking to ensure its short-term survival by pandering to the Muslim hordes that are overwhelming it.
It is hard to resist the conclusion that not only was the provocation staged – but so were the “spontaneous” protests across the globe, with the “hastily” manufactured placards, and the vitriolic Jew-hating speeches. Why should we be surprised – this type of rhetorical viciousness has been the norm since the end of the Six-Day War. As one Israeli general said last week, they knew that whatever Israel did would be criticized. There is a sinister pattern that has existed for at least two decades but became most prominent during last year’s Gaza War: Israel is granted the right of self-defense in theory but not in practice. Any military measure taken is considered “excessive” or “disproportionate.” Its civilians are supposed to be rocketed with impunity, and its soldiers attacked without response. The question to the world – “what would you do in similar circumstances?” – is not answered or even taken seriously, because behind the façade of anger is the reality of charade.
Lies are difficult to combat. As King David wrote: “Lord, save me from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue” (Psalm 120). It is impossible to dialogue with, much less persuade, people who traffic in lies – to whom even video evidence is insufficient to convince them of the hostile intent of the dead thugs. After all, whom should we believe – the “activists” and their yelps, or our own lying eyes ?
The second “botch” lamented by many is the state of relations between Israel and Turkey. Indeed, Turkey – as a secular Muslim but non-Arab state – was once a primary ally of Israel. But that changed dramatically – and not this past Sunday. PM Erdogan, whose violent countrymen apparently confused Israeli commandoes with Armenians and never expected a response to their attacks, embraced Iran’s Ahmadinejad – last week. Erdogan, at a public forum in Davos in January 2009 screamed at Shimon Peres that “you know well how to kill,” and stalked off.
There are military ties between Israel and Turkey, owing to the fact that the Turkish military is not fully under civilian control and its generals are the old-school secular Muslims – and those military ties continue because Turkey benefits from the arms and training provided by Israel. But the diplomatic relationship deteriorated when Erdogan, a radical Muslim who is anti-West, anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-Arab, became prime minister in 2003.
Those who are wax nostalgic over the halcyon days of Turkish-Israel relations sound much like those who pine for the glorious centuries of Jewish life in Muslim countries – where Jews lived as humiliated dhimmis, like every other non-Muslim in the Muslim world.
We must find every avenue to strengthen PM Netanyahu, who currently shows the appropriate resolve (what a great line: “this was not a love boat, but a hate boat”), but has been known to waver under pressure. Israel has seized several fully-loaded weapons ships – does anyone remember Karine-A? – and must retain the right to control the Gaza seas (as stipulated by the Oslo Accords, of all things). If Netanyahu caves and allows a third-party to assert that control, it would be typical Bibi but another obstacle to Israel’s ability to defend itself. So far, he has successfully deflected accusations that he has “botched” this operation.
The world community is hopeless. Hatred for Israel and the Jewish people did not start in 2010, 2009, 1967, 1948 or even 1933. As our Sages state, it stems from Sinai – from the moment the Jewish people accepted G-d’s Torah and became His faithful servants. Sadly, we have “botched’ that relationship from time to time, but a major part of our return is our recognition of the gift of the land of Israel that He gave to our people. In our willingness to defend it from physical and psychological assault, we are defending G-d’s honor and that of His people, and bringing closer the day when this relentless hostile, hypocritical and spiteful world will acknowledge His majesty and that of His chosen tribe.