Sometimes a sentence is more than words....
"Where knowledge is limited, and the desire to learn the complex reality doesn’t exist, public opinion can be shaped by whoever generates the most powerful symbols."
That sentence was written to describe the foolish and brutal action by Israel Sunday as Israeli commandos illegally boarded a Turkish humanitarian ship bound for Gaza.
On Sunday, Israeli naval forces intercepted the ships of a Turkish nongovernmental organization (NGO) delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Israel had demanded that the vessels not go directly to Gaza but instead dock in Israeli ports, where the supplies would be offloaded and delivered to Gaza. The Turkish NGO refused, insisting on going directly to Gaza. Gunfire ensued when Israeli naval personnel boarded one of the vessels, and a significant number of the passengers and crew on the ship were killed or wounded.
Those who ordinarily defend the actions of Israel.....no matter the action.....will defend Israel now. Those who ordinarily condemn Israel for it's actions.....no matter what those actions are....will condemn Israel now. And so it goes.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon charged that the mission was simply an attempt to provoke the Israelis. That was certainly the case. The mission was designed to demonstrate that the Israelis were unreasonable and brutal. The hope was that Israel would be provoked to extreme action, further alienating Israel from the global community and possibly driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The operation’s planners also hoped this would trigger a political crisis in Israel.
Israel already has been experiencing a "political crisis", having chosen Bebe Netanyahu in March, 2009 as it's prime minister.
Just prior to Barack Obama being inaugurated in the U.S., Israel conducted a mini-genocide of sorts, by attacking the Gaza Strip and killing over 1300 Palestinians, half of the victims were women and children.
Then came the increased Israeli "settlement" buildup on disputed land in East Jerusalem, a buildup which Bebe will not reverse.....a buildup which now stands directly in the way of any peace talks with Palestinians.....a buildup which has strained Israeli-U.S. relations.
More recently, Israel has rejected any calls for a nuclear disclosure and disarmament agreement in the Middle East wherein Israel must disclose their nuclear weapons or agree to dismantle them. Israel is NOT a member of the 40-year-old, Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
All of these Israeli blunders have happened in the last 18 months. The world has been watching. What have Israeli leaders been thinking? Do Israeli leaders not know that these belligerent, violent and unilateral actions make Israel appear as a rogue, out-of-control, country? Is there no self-awareness at all?
In the U.S., we have experienced similar leadership, the kind which is currently plaguing Israel. Go it alone, violent, lawless, belligerent leadership which basically said....'we''ll do what-the-hell-ever we want to do'....'and don't much give a damn what anyone else thinks or says about it.'
That kind of U.S. leadership...that style....didn't work out very well, you know, if you recall. Oddly enough, the U.S. only declined in power and prestige during the reign of the U.S. Terror Twins. Personally, I don't believe the U.S. will ever regain it's pre-eminence in the world.....that's just how destructive the Bush-Cheney years were.
The U.S. Rogue regime of 2001-2009 didn't care one whit about the "symbolism" of Guantanomo....or torture....or extraordinary rendition....or pre-emptive acts of aggression in Iraq.
Apparently, Israeli leaders today do not care about the "symbolism" they are creating for the world to see by foolishly behaving so petulantly, so violently, so recklessly.
Just as the U.S. suffered decline during the Cowboy Symbolism Period ushered in by George W. Bush and Richard Cheney......so too, Israel will suffer decline during it's current period of Bebe's Belligerence.
The world is watching. The citizens of the world may not know every tiny detail of Israeli-Palestinian history.....but just as with the United States use of "waterboarding".....world citizens don't need to know every minute fact about national and international disputes.
What world citizens will remember is the symbolism.
The Israeli attack on an unarmed humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza, the muderering of at least 9 passengers on that ship-of-peace,.....is the symbolism that will be remembered.
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