Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Victory signs?

The activists from the Gaza flotilla are trickling home. According to the BBC:

Some of the activists came off the planes waving flags and victory signs.

Victory? Not for anybody wanting to see an end to the insane cycle of violence, martyrdom and reprisal in the Middle East, it's not. Almost lost in the barrage of predictably unhelpful instant comment about this bloody mess, this perceptive but despairing blog post summed up why it was a disaster for everybody except the hardest of hard-line nutcases on both sides:

I'm now certain that the Israeli government is packed to the hoop with Iranian sleeper agents. Short of handing Syrian intelligence the launch codes to their nuclear arsenal, I really can't think of any way in which the Israeli political class could do their country more harm.

It's been clear for years that the Israeli right is utterly dependent on the looniest fringe of Palestinian society for their power and legitimacy, and that both sets of nutters use violence against the other as a means to cementing their rule. The basic situation over there is that both Hamas and the Israeli government are committed to policies that harm their populations but ensure their own continued rule. It's a godawful, mutual death spiral that's heading in precisely the wrong direction.

Shorter - there really is an urgent and perilous threat to Israel. It's called "the Israeli government".

Read the full thing here (a bit sweary, but it's pretty hard to encompass the enormity of this screw-up in temperate language). It's hard to think of anything that would actually be helpful at this stage although Netanyahu could do the decent thing and resign, along with those responsible for the planning and execution of the boarding (assuming that he's not really an enemy agent dedicated to the destruction of Israel).

That would be small a gesture sanity to the world after a crazy act. Sadly, like Anthony Eden's resignation after the Suez fiasco, it wouldn't come close to undoing the damage already done.