When Israeli forces boarded a flotilla that was attempting to bring humanitarian
goods through the blockade of Gaza, the 10 resulting deaths sparked
and debate over how the crisis will impact
the Middle East peace process
. It has also brought fierce debate within
the vibrant and sometimes quite partisan Israeli media. Here's
how journalists, pundits, and bloggers within Israel are reacting.
Had No Choice The Jerusalem Post's David Horovitz writes, "Israel may
have felt it had no choice but to intercept a flotilla carrying it knew
not what to the terror state of Gaza. It may well have assumed that its
soldiers would come under attack. Apparently, it underestimated the
hostility it would encounter."
- Israel Must Reevaluate Gaza
Siege Ha'aretz's Aluf Benn asks, "What is the
purpose of the siege? Is it just an automatic extension of the previous
government's policy, or does it have some practical aim? How much has
the usefulness of the policy been discussed during the current
government's year in office? ... the government needs to think about
what advantage effect this has on the national interest - and not just
on its popularity in weekly opinion polls.
- We Were Ambushed
YNetNews' Ron Ben-Yishai recounts,
"The Navy commandoes were prepared to mostly encounter political
activists seeking to hold a protest, rather than trained street
fighters. The soldiers were told they were to verbally convince
activists who offer resistance to give up, and only then use paintballs.
They were permitted to use their handguns only under extreme
- Gaza Conflict No Longer in Our Interest
Ha'aretz's Bradley Burston laments,
"Here in Israel, we have still yet to learn the lesson: We are no longer
defending Israel. We are now defending the siege. The siege itself is
becoming Israel's Vietnam."
- We Are at War With 'International
Left' and 'Islamic World' The Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick sees the real
issue as Israel's "larger strategic failure that has crippled the
country's capacity to contend with the information war being waged
against it. ... Israel is the target of a massive information war,
unprecedented in scale and scope. This war is being waged primarily by a
massive consortium of the international Left and the Arab and Islamic
- Flotilla Passengers Planned Violence Carl in Jerusalem posts a
video of the flotilla raid. "What this video ought to make clear to
everyone is that the attacks on the IDF soldiers - whose arrival was
inevitable - were premeditated and violent. These people were not
innocent and peace-loving by any stretch of the imagination. And Israel
must quickly go quite public with why these people were stopped.
Otherwise we will lose the PR battle (we are losing it now)."
- This Is All About International Opinion The Jerusalem Post's Gil Hoffman calls this "a conflict
that is being fought on the battleground of international public
opinion. Even if the IDF was absolutely right to board the ship where it
did and to open fire when it did, and Israel was 100 percent blameless,
it does not matter, because perceptions are more important than
reality. ... No matter who is at fault for the misfortune in the
Mediterranean, the victims are clear: Israel's fragile image and the
Palestinian people in Gaza, who have once again been used by their
purported friends but not really helped at all."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.