Sunday, June 06, 2010

After the Gaza-Flotilla Debacle, Where Does the Conversation About Israel Go Now? -- New York Magazine

It's not a question of policy, but competence.

For years it's been understood that you absolutely, positively do not mess with Israel. Ever. That has been the cornerstone of their national security and their collective sense of self. An island of democracy in a sea of enemies.

Recognizing at some level that it is better to be feared than loved, this siege mentality has been accepted as the status quo. Any hostile action will be met with extreme and total force.

The view that the flotilla incident is some kind of debacle does not arise out of a sense of moral outrage at the brutality of the Israeli military, but out of the suspicion that the current government doesn't know what it is doing. The problem is not that Israel is too strong, but that this action has made them seem somehow weak and vulnerable in ways that we do not yet understand.