Israeli Press excerpts of criticism
Operation Mini Cast Lead
By Gideon Levy
Like in “Mini-Israel,” the park where there is everything, but smaller, Israel embarked yesterday on a mini Operation Cast Lead. Like its larger, losing predecessor, this operation had it all: the usual false claim that is was they who had started it – and not the landing of commandos from helicopters on a ship in open sea, away from Israeli territorial waters. There was the claim that the first act of violence came not from the soldiers, but the rioting activists on Mavi Marmara; that the blockade on Gaza is legal and that the flotilla to its shores is against the law – God knows which law.
Yesterday there was no one on the planet, not a newsman or analyst, except for its conscripted chorus, who could say a good word about the lethal takeover.
The Israel Defense Forces too came out looking bad again. The magic evaporated long ago, the most moral army in the world, that was once the best army in the world, failed again. More and more there is the impression that nearly everything it touches causes harm to Israel.
The price of flawed policy
Relations with Turkey will probably deteriorate further, and there may even be serious damage on the official level.
When a regular, well-armed, well-trained army goes to war against a “freedom flotilla” of civilian vessels laden with civilians, food and medication, the outcome is foretold – and it doesn’t matter whether the confrontation achieved its goal and prevented the flotilla from reaching Gaza. The violent confrontation, whether caused by poor military planning or poor execution, resulted from flawed policy, wars of prestige, and from a profound misunderstanding of the confrontation’s meanings and repercussions.
the question was not who would win the confrontation, but who would win more public opinion points. In this test, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government failed completely. Israel let its policy of maintaining the siege on Gaza become an existential matter. This policy boomeranged and cost Israel its international legitimacy.
MK Zoabi: Israel wanted highest number of fatalities
Arab Knesset member who participated in Gaza aid flotilla holds press conference says, ‘It was clear from size of force that boarded ship that purpose was not to stop sail, but to cause largest number of fatalities to prevent future initiatives’
Just like we do not impose a blockade on Syria or on Lebanon, we shall know where the limits of our power lie, and when we choose to use it, we won’t do it with one hand tied behind our back. Meanwhile, it would also be good to make President Obama aware of where his policy is leading to.