In a de ja vu moment which is so typical for the Middle East, Israel has been provoked once again by Palestinian activists to use force to defend themselves in order to spur an international public relations incident.
This is what usually occurs. The Palestinians resort to violence. When Israel responds to defend the lives of its soldiers and citizenry, Israel is blamed improperly and unfairly by the international community for causing the violence that was precipitated the Palestinians themselves.
Israel is now under fire for boarding a ship called the Mavi Marmara carrying Palestinian activists heading for the Gaza strip and killing at least ten people on board. The U.N. plans on holding a special session to condemn Israel. Ambassadors have been recalled to their home countries. Neighboring Turkey has issued a strong rebuke of the Israeli government.
Prime-Minister Netanyahu has canceled his visit to the White House to return to Israel to deal with the latest diplomatic upheaval plaguing Israel.
Unfortunately, as is typically the case, the criticism of Israel is unwarranted and misplaced.
Israel repeatedly asked the ship to dock in Ashdod where Israel would inspect the ship to determine if there was any security risks. If there were none, Israel would allow the materials on board to be transferred to the Gaza trip.
The so-called activists on the ship flatly refused Israel's offer and instead intended to transgress the blockade set up by the IDF to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza.
Israel was left no choice but to board the ship. After all, there was no way of knowing whether this ship was backed by Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. The highest level of scrutiny is absolutely necessary especially since the ship did not heed Israel's offer to dock in Ashdod.
When Israel boarded the ship, the activists responded with violence beating the Israeli soldiers with sticks. One Israeli soldier was stabbed in the stomach. Some The activists even stole IDF guns and opened fire on the soldiers.
Israel simply had no other alternative but to respond and defend themselves which is exactly what they did.
The ship had no business being in a restricted zone in the first place. They are squarely to blame for not cooperating with the Israeli navy and they are wholly responsible for precipitating the violence on board which led to the ten deaths.
Yet, it does not matter that the activists are fully responsible for the incident. The activists know that they can cause violence and get away with it because the international community will always blame Israel and turn a blind eye to Palestinian violence.
We definitely live in an upside down world.
Below you can see more footage of the ship commandos attacking Israeli soldiers on board.