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Threats and consequences
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Threats and consequences

“We fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation of threats of violence against us,” said Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the flotilla intent on breaking Israel’s blockade of Gaza. “They are going to have to forcefully stop us.”

Of course, at that point Israel had not threatened violence — only its right under international law to intercept ships bound for Gaza. Arraf’s was no mere “relief mission”; it was a specific attempt to “break” Israel’s blockade.

We know what happened next: Israeli commandos, either due to inadequate intelligence or a cynical trap, responded with deadly force to an unexpectedly vicious attack by “peace activists” on the largest ship. Israelis themselves already have begun to charge their leaders with a lack of planning and for handing the Palestinian cause a propaganda victory. But as Leslie Gelb has pointed out, Israel’s “was a mistake in pursuit of a legal goal, not a war crime.” Of course, such subtlety will be lost as the world’s hypocrites bay for “investigations” and commissions, while ignoring the provocations and sinister backgrounds of the “activists.”

“Who is a wise man?” asks the Talmud. “One who can foresee consequences.” Israel has already begun the process of determining whether its leaders acted wisely or not. Don’t expect similar introspection on the part of an international “community” that has already made up its mind.

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