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  1. #1
    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
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    Default Mavi Marmara Raid

    Most media are calling it an attack, some even calling it a “bloody massacre”, by the Israelis. Makes one wonder what international reaction would have been were it not for the IDF video of its people being mobbed as they fast-roped in. 600 “activists” seems like a lot of people to deliver children's playgrounds and stationary items. Just another in a long line of Hamas Bloody Sunday scenarios? It does make me wonder: Based on what was known before the raid, not now, what should the Israelis have done differently?

  2. #2
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant T View Post
    Based on what was known before the raid, not now, what should the Israelis have done differently?
    Disable the ships and have a neutral 3rd party tow them back to Turkey.

  3. #3
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    It smacks of what we call a 'PR Trap', and it looks like the Israelis have been badly caught out.

    IMHO they appear to have done most things right, they have clearly captured most of the incident on reasonable quality sound and audio recordings which gives them the means to fight the alternative narrative put forward by Hamas and the like. They have acted within International Law and their actions can be argued as necessary, proportionate and justifiable, although comment in the UK is switching as to whether the Gaza blocakade is proportionate (an therefore justifiable and legitimate).

    I would be interested to know what the Israeli thinking was on their tactics. There were a lot of people on board the ship and with the potential for having to conduct crowd control on board I might have expected to see baton rounds, CS gas and stun grenades all in use; as well as a much larger boarding party.

    Of course going in mob handed while probably safer for all concerns still leads to presentational concerns - the PR trap again.

    Disabling the engines and towing to a secure location or a third party does seem a good approach, possibly minimising direct confrontation on board (although towing without the consent of the crew may be practically problematic) and depending where towed to the media access can be better regulated.

    RR

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant T View Post
    It does make me wonder: Based on what was known before the raid, not now, what should the Israelis have done differently?
    I think deteriorating relations with Turkey limited Israel's options.

    In an ideal world they could have coordinated with the Turkish government to inspect and supervise the loading of the cargo. Coordinated a Naval escort, preferably Turkish, for the flotilla. The volunteers could have flown from Turkey to Egypt or Israel clearing customs and whatever procedures are necessary to enter Gaza, and then meet with the ships at the docks or off the coast.

    Such a process could have reasonably allayed Israel’s security concerns, and still enable the flotilla engage in it humanitarian objective. Whether the flotilla organizers would have gone for all this, or if this is even feasible, I don’t know.

    Perhaps the security and humanitarian issue on both sides are moot, and it really comes down to Israel asserting its authority and control vs. the flotilla defying that authority and control? In such a case, looking for a non-zero sum solution is a fool’s errand.

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    Default the real issue here is the blockade

    The flotilla was clearly a PR exercise--no surprise there. And the Israelis blew it.

    However, the real issue here is the current blockade of Gaza, which is counterproductive: the restrictions are capricious, and most goods that are prohibited have nothing to do with their strategic potential; it allows Hamas to divert blame for its own shortcomings; and it has resulted in a massive tunnel industry (including not only the tunnels under the border, but smuggling chains reaching across the Sinai, throughout Egypt, and into Sudan, Yemen, and elsewhere).

    The net result is that it has become easier to smuggle weapons into Gaza than it was before the current draconian restrictions on civilian goods were introduced. I had dinner with a tunnel operator (and former weapons smuggler) in Gaza in January, who noted that while he used to get $5000 a container in the old days for bringing things under the border, he now only gets $50 because of the proliferation of tunnels. Indeed, some days of the month (when the Ramallah PA pays Gaza salaries) he earns more money driving a taxi.

    Don't assume either that there is much sophisticated strategic thinking that goes into the restrictions, either: they're driven by domestic Israeli politics, bureaucratic process, inertia, and even capricious whim.

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    Call me crazy, but who was the genius that thought fast-roping a few guys with paintball guns into an angry mob was a good idea?

    IMHO they appear to have done most things right, they have clearly captured most of the incident on reasonable quality sound and audio recordings which gives them the means to fight the alternative narrative put forward by Hamas and the like.
    Actually, the video just demonstrates how poorly planned this whole operation was.
    Last edited by Entropy; 06-01-2010 at 06:09 PM.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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    Yes it was a PR stunt to highlight the iniquity of the Gaza blockade.

    Israels position is indefensible with regard to Gaza and there was no way to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid to the camp without highlighting what is going on there. Allow it in and the world see what you are doing, stop it and you look like monsters either way. If you do not wish to look like monsters then do not blockade Gaza, there are limits to what you can spin as acceptable. While Israel may have some success at home, and in the US, I do not think there is another country in the world who's people are buying it anymore. While sorry for the families of those murdered I hope it will have some effect on US public opinion so the US government stop protecting Israel when it does go on one of its killing sprees. Stop the military aid, stop the security council sanctions, transfer the sanctions package against Iran to Israel and then restart the ME peace talks.
    One state solution: secular, democratic with protections for the minority religious groupings like Jews and Christians.
    Welcome to the new world order.

    PS Rex - nice post at FP on the tunnels. For those of you that missed it
    http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/pos...culiar_economy
    Last edited by JJackson; 06-01-2010 at 07:10 PM. Reason: added the PS

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    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Default No Good Options

    I think this is my first post in almost six months. It's a relief that I finally have the time to dedicate some time to SWJ once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Call me crazy, but who was the genius that thought fast-roping a few guys with paintball guns into an angry mob was a good idea?

    Actually, the video just demonstrates how poorly planned this whole operation was.
    If they stormed the ship with a 100 commandos and controlled the situation they probably would have been able to reduce casualties for both sides, but they certainly would have looked like the aggressors. That's where you always get screwed conducting this type of operation. If you do your job and either quickly neutralize all weapons and resistance or simply scare them into submission with overwhelming dominance you look bad. In this case they have a clear case that their men were attacked and that the ships passengers wer violent. Even though there may be 8 or 10 killed, this position is probably easier to defend than 100 apparently peaceful people bruised from batons.

    Adam L

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    Even though there may be 8 or 10 killed, this position is probably easier to defend than 100 apparently peaceful people bruised from batons.

    Adam L
    It didn't help matters that the ship was in International waters either, at that point I don't think Israel had a legal right to do anything, which certainly cast them in the role of the aggressor. May not have made any difference in the end, but they would (Israel) had a much stronger case if they were clearly in Israeli territorial waters.

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    Again it has happened reports of Isreali's attack on ships look at photos of ships all islamic flags more outside interfernce in Palestine matters and all Arabs people on board ships taking humanitarian aid for Gaza in other words provoking Isreal to retaliate

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