Memorial Day reflections
May 31, 2010
It is doubtful that I could say anything about this event that would shed much light upon the subject. Having seen the footage on the BBC this evening, supplied to it by the Israeli military using night photography, I can acknowledge that there was, indeed, a scuffle on board the largest ship, and that the people on board fought back. But, what do you expect when you send paratroopers with machine-guns against an unarmed, civilian vessel at night in international waters? At last count, there are nine to nineteen aid workers dead, and sixty injured. Turkey has the right to consider such an attack an act of war.
The blockade of Gaza has gone on too long, and Israel should lift it. For my own part, I am tired of hearing endlessly about the righteousness and suffering of one people while the sufferings of another people are ignored and dehumanized, and while all criticism of the actions of the one people towards the other puts one outside of polite society and is treated as evidence of moral blight. Judge Goldstone, who wrote a detailed report criticizing Israel for completely disproportionate overkill in its behavior towards the Gazans, is not an anti-semite. And the notion that any nation is above rational criticism is an idea destructive of democratic freedom.
If President Obama does not act to condemn, in explicit and forceful terms, this attack on peaceful vessels, he is a coward. So far, his silence speaks volumes.