Israel has become Myanmar on the Jordan. Every new act of violence deepens the paranoia, the resentment, the isolation. The killing of 9 peace activists aboard the Mavi Marmara was celebrated in Tel Aviv--another blood victory against the terrorists, another triumph against those who would harm Israel. Heads of state around the world have condemned the butchery, but Israelis have shrugged off the criticism. They think that support for the activists is anti-Semitism. They think that food and medicine are weapons that will be used by Hamas against Israel. This is madness, but madness has consequences. Nine people are dead.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used the massacre to bolster his flagging popularity. He's shifted the focus from killing protesters to defending embattled Israel. Israelis must stand united against this new enemy--Netanyahu believes--this global propaganda onslaught. But the Israeli PM is just strengthening widespread feelings of persecution and reinforcing bunker mentality.
Peace activists aren't anti-Semites or terrorists. If the tables were turned---and 1.5 million Jews were trapped in the Gaza's Hell-hole instead of Muslims--- these same activists would have come to their aid. They put themselves at risk because they believe in their cause; because they believe in justice.
Here's a clip from an article by Professor Ilan Pappé in the Independent:
"One would have thought that Israel's drastic decline in international reputation would prompt new thinking by its leaders. But the responses to the attack on the flotilla in the past few days indicate clearly that there is no hope for any significant shift in the official position. A firm commitment to continue the blockade, and a heroes' welcome to the soldiers who pirated the ship in the Mediterranean, show that the same politics would continue for a long time.