‘Operation Make the World Hate Us’

‘Operation Make the World Hate Us’

Leon Wieseltier has posted a brilliantly nuanced piece on the flotilla affair, at The New Republic website—wise and sardonic in a way that only Wieseltier can be:

Israel does not need enemies: it has itself. Or more precisely: it has its government. The Netanyahu-Barak government has somehow found a way to lose the moral high ground, the all-important war for symbols and meanings, to Hamas. That is quite an accomplishment. …

…. I have pondered the videos that both sides have released, and concluded that the Israeli soldiers sliding down that rope had no intention of attacking the people on board and that the people on board had no way of being confident of this. I cannot expect Palestinians and their supporters to believe the best about the Israeli army. … I do not doubt that some of the activists on the ship welcomed a confrontation with Israel, but the Israelis should not have obliged them. …

…. Israel was not under attack. A headline in The Washington Post yesterday reported that “Israel says Free Gaza Movement poses threat to Jewish state.” … It is true that the movement has grown in recent years, and is now troublesome to Israel’s policy in Gaza; and it is also true that the Turkish charity that sponsored the “Freedom Flotilla” has ties to Islamicist groups. But …. The extension of the definition of a security threat to include hostile activities that have little or no bearing upon security is an ominous development.

It is also the inevitable consequence of Benjamin Netanyahu’s cunning pronouncement last year that Israel is now endangered by “the Iran threat, the missile threat, and the threat I call the Goldstone threat.” The equivalence was morally misleading, and therefore dangerous. Ideological warfare is not military warfare. I have studied the entirety of the Goldstone Report, and whereas I do not doubt (and wrote in this magazine in the days before Goldstone) that Operation Cast Lead caused the unjustifiable death of non-combatants, I also do not doubt that the Goldstone Report, which was nastily indifferent to Israel’s security predicament and to the ethical challenges of Israeli self-defense, was an instrument in a broad campaign of delegitimation against Israel—and yet the threat of delegitimation is not like the threat of destruction. … A commando operation is not an appropriate response to an idea. … The assault on the Mavi Marmara was a stupid gift to the delegitimators. … Read the rest at The New Republic website.

By | 2010-06-04T12:32:00-04:00 June 4th, 2010|Blog|0 Comments

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