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Flotillas and the Wars of Public Opinion
Startfor ^ | May 31, 2010 | By George Friedman

Posted on 05/31/2010 2:41:31 PM PDT by Salem

On Sunday, Israeli naval forces intercepted the ships of a Turkish nongovernmental organization (NGO) delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Israel had demanded that the vessels not go directly to Gaza but instead dock in Israeli ports, where the supplies would be offloaded and delivered to Gaza. The Turkish NGO refused, insisting on going directly to Gaza. Gunfire ensued when Israeli naval personnel boarded one of the vessels, and a significant number of the passengers and crew on the ship were killed or wounded.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon charged that the mission was simply an attempt to provoke the Israelis. That was certainly the case. The mission was designed to demonstrate that the Israelis were unreasonable and brutal. The hope was that Israel would be provoked to extreme action, further alienating Israel from the global community and possibly driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The operation’s planners also hoped this would trigger a political crisis in Israel.

A logical Israeli response would have been avoiding falling into the provocation trap and suffering the political repercussions the Turkish NGO was trying to trigger. Instead, the Israelis decided to make a show of force. The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza, unraveling the Israeli position vis-à-vis Hamas. In this thinking, a violent interception was a superior strategy to accommodation regardless of political consequences. Thus, the Israelis accepted the bait and were provoked.

(Excerpt) Read more at stratfor.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; Miscellaneous; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: flotilla; gaza; israel; terrorists; turkishterrorists; wot

1 posted on 05/31/2010 2:41:31 PM PDT by Salem
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To: Salem

My opinion is that ‘flotilla’ is a euphemism for ‘pirate ships running aid to terrorists.’


2 posted on 05/31/2010 2:43:16 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: SJackson; yonif; Simcha7; American in Israel; Slings and Arrows; judicial meanz; Taiwan Bocks; ...
For more on this incident, staged by the sworn enemies of Israel, click on keyword Flotilla.













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3 posted on 05/31/2010 2:43:40 PM PDT by Salem (FREE REPUBLIC - Fighting to win within the Arena of the War of Ideas! So get in the fight!)
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To: TigersEye
"My opinion is that ‘flotilla’ is a euphemism for ‘pirate ships running aid to terrorists.’"

Yes. Or the definition.

4 posted on 05/31/2010 2:45:15 PM PDT by Salem (FREE REPUBLIC - Fighting to win within the Arena of the War of Ideas! So get in the fight!)
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To: TigersEye
My opinion is that ‘flotilla’ is a euphemism for ‘pirate ships running aid to terrorists.’

Possibly not. If Israel started making a habit of letting them through, your statement would certainly become true.

5 posted on 05/31/2010 2:46:28 PM PDT by magslinger ("If I have money, I buy fishing gear. If I have money left over, I buy beer." - Hank Thoreau)
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To: magslinger

Seems to me that a pirate is a pirate whether they accomplish their crime or not. Is an armed robber not an armed robber if the cops stop him before he finishes robbing the liquor store?


6 posted on 05/31/2010 2:51:01 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: Salem

“The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza, unraveling the Israeli position vis-à-vis Hamas. In this thinking, a violent interception was a superior strategy to accommodation regardless of political consequences.”

Allowing the propaganda convoy to continue would have been the end of Israel’s declared blockade of Gaza. That, not just giving Israel a black eye in the “global media” that already hate them, was the real objective.

Hamas lobs home-made rockets into Israel almost everyday. They would undoubtedly like to have some of the professional grade product from Iran or North Korea. Even a small Mediterranean coastal freighter (~ 5000 tons) can carry tens of thousands of these rockets. Only the blockade keeps them out of Hamas hands.


7 posted on 05/31/2010 2:59:11 PM PDT by atomic conspiracy (Victory in Iraq: Worst defeat for activist media since Goebbels shot himself.)
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To: TigersEye
Send those swabbies a pizza.
8 posted on 05/31/2010 3:21:32 PM PDT by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
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To: atomic conspiracy; SJackson; yonif; Simcha7; American in Israel; Slings and Arrows; ...
Allowing the propaganda convoy to continue would have been the end of Israel’s declared blockade of Gaza. That, not just giving Israel a black eye in the “global media” that already hate them, was the real objective.

Hamas lobs home-made rockets into Israel almost everyday. They would undoubtedly like to have some of the professional grade product from Iran or North Korea. Even a small Mediterranean coastal freighter (~ 5000 tons) can carry tens of thousands of these rockets. Only the blockade keeps them out of Hamas hands.


A good encapsulation of the reality on the ground. This is what needs to be submitted in Letters to the Editor by supporters of Israel nationwide in the next 48 hours to every local paper and news agency to counter the propaganda wave about to come.

9 posted on 05/31/2010 3:25:54 PM PDT by Salem (FREE REPUBLIC - Fighting to win within the Arena of the War of Ideas! So get in the fight!)
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To: Salem

hmm, the media’s got a new buzzword. Never heard ‘flotilla’ used so much in my life. Kinda like when they talked about ‘vetting’ Palin.


10 posted on 05/31/2010 3:26:40 PM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: Ukiapah Heep

Amen! and a prayer too. Israel is holding the line against terrorists as the rest of the world tries to back out of the fight.


11 posted on 05/31/2010 3:27:44 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: Tolsti2

The proper way to deal with a flotilla is to make it a sunkilla. Turn it into a reefilla.


12 posted on 05/31/2010 3:30:32 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: magslinger
Unlike the US, Israel believes in protecting its borders.
13 posted on 05/31/2010 3:37:28 PM PDT by Americanexpat
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To: Salem

I guess next time Israel’s going to have to sink the damn ship.


14 posted on 05/31/2010 3:37:37 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: Salem; Irisshlass; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

ANALYSIS / Israel has forgotten the lessons of the Exodus
Israel played into Hamas’ hands by storming the boats of the ‘Freedom Flotilla.’

By Yossi Melman
Tags: Israel news Gaza flotilla
Despite having its eyes wide open, Israel fell into a trap. Israel knew that the organizers of the flotilla wanted to present the Israel Defense Forces to the world as an army that does not hesitate to use force. The flotilla organizers wanted deaths, casualties, blood and billows of smoke. And this is exactly what Israel gave them.

Israeli Navy personnel board one of the ships of the Gaza aid flotilla on Monday May 31, 2010.

Photo by: Getty Images
Every child knows that the conflict here is one of consciousness,images, emotion and gut-feelings; not one of justice or logic. Therefore, Israel should have acted differently.

Israel’s decision-makers should have revived memories of Israel’s own history. It shows just how short a historical memory the prime minister, defense minister, chief of staff, and Navy commander all have. They don’t remember the story of the Exodus ship in 1947.

The British Mandate authorities imposed a blockade on the shores ofthe land of Israel and Jewish leaders believed it was their right and their duty to break it. The Jewish immigrants on the Exodus decided to forcefully oppose every attempt to stop them. The Jewish leadership wanted to arouse the world’s conscience and gain a victory in the
battle for international sympathy.

In our day, Hamas leaders believe and act similarly. Without getting into the question of the justification or logic of the blockade imposed by Gaza and its residents, it was indeed clear that it was only natural that Hamas would try to break the blockade by force. They have been doing this by means of the smuggling tunnels and via the sea. It was clear that they saw it as their natural right to oppose attempts to stop the ships.

In 1988, when the PLO organized a ship named “The Return” to be sent to Israel with Palestinian refugees, Israel chose a different method to stop it. It sent Mossad agents and Naval commandos to Cyprus to sabotage the ship before the passengers had embarked. The ship was damaged but no one was hurt.

Israel should have considered a similar approach with the Gaza flotilla. But apparently the days in which Israeli agents could operate freely in friendly countries are gone.

There was another possibility. During Ehud Olmert’s term as prime minister, Israel permitted a lone aid ship, filled with supplies and activists, to enter Gaza. The skies did not fall on Israel in the wake of this.

The Israeli government could have acted similarly this time. No disaster would have occurred. The boats would have landed, the supplies would have been unloaded and the activists would have disembarked.

So what? You may argue that this would have set a precedent. But I argue that if Hamas had tried to do the same thing again in the future, Israel would still have had the ability to
operate differently and outsmart Hamas.

As a last resort, it would also have been possible to simply sabotage the motors of the boats, halting their voyage without having to seize control of the ships. Instead of this, the Israeli government preferred to take control of the ships by force.

Apparently Israel, which prides itself as having the best intelligence in the world, should have known better that there were violent elements aboard one of the boats, equipped iron bars, knifes and slingshots. Had Israel known this, it would have probably used more appropriate ways to storm boat, to avoid death and injuries. And that did not happen.

Israel has played into Hamas’ hands. It’s not the fault of the young soldiers who obeyed the orders of their commanders. The responsibility lies with the cabinet and the military planners.

No matter how one looks at the conduct of the Israeli government and the IDF, it is hard to understand how stupid and tragic it was. Time and again, Israel tries to prove that what can’t be solved by force can be solved by more force. Over and over, the policies of force fail. The problem is that with each failure, the part of the world in which we would like to belong is losing patience with us.


15 posted on 05/31/2010 3:39:21 PM PDT by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
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To: narses
Hmmm. I've read Yossi Meiman's work before, but I think he is jumping to conclusions on this one. There is much more to this incident than meets the eye, and when it comes out in the days ahead, he will look like he was armchair quarterbacking.

*shrug*

But it's not like I've done that before myself.  !

16 posted on 05/31/2010 3:49:57 PM PDT by Salem (FREE REPUBLIC - Fighting to win within the Arena of the War of Ideas! So get in the fight!)
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To: TigersEye; Americanexpat

I didn’t mean that Israel was in the wrong to stop the ships. I just said there was a chance that the Islamofascists’ enablers might not be running guns. This time...


17 posted on 05/31/2010 4:04:22 PM PDT by magslinger ("If I have money, I buy fishing gear. If I have money left over, I buy beer." - Hank Thoreau)
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To: magslinger

I suppose. I guess the guy waiting outside in the getaway car isn’t technically an armed robber either. Just a ‘transportation assistant.’


18 posted on 05/31/2010 4:12:10 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: Salem

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2524848/posts
Close-Up Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Attacking IDF Soldiers (VIDEO)


19 posted on 05/31/2010 4:32:49 PM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: TigersEye
What part of I didn’t mean that Israel was in the wrong to stop the ships. are you not getting?
20 posted on 05/31/2010 4:39:42 PM PDT by magslinger ("If I have money, I buy fishing gear. If I have money left over, I buy beer." - Hank Thoreau)
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To: magslinger

Where did I say you said that?


21 posted on 05/31/2010 4:44:59 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: TigersEye

best response yet!


22 posted on 05/31/2010 6:09:51 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: TigersEye
I did not say that you said I said it. I did say that. The Italicized part is a quote.

Let me make my stand clear:
The flotilla is made up of Islamofascists and their supporters.
They are entering Israel illegally.
There is a chance that they are not carrying arms this trip.
If they are not carrying arms this trip, future trips will most certainly see them doing so.

Is there any part of that you do not understand?

23 posted on 05/31/2010 6:15:35 PM PDT by magslinger ("If I have money, I buy fishing gear. If I have money left over, I buy beer." - Hank Thoreau)
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To: narses
Israel knew that the organizers of the flotilla wanted to present the Israel Defense Forces to the world as an army that does not hesitate to use force.

He says that as if it's a bad thing. An army is SUPPOSED to use deadly force. The sooner the better. "The only good enemy is a dead enemy" must be an army's guiding motto.

Currently Israel has the only army in the western world.

24 posted on 05/31/2010 7:02:43 PM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: magslinger
What do I care?

My opinion is that ‘flotilla’ is a euphemism for ‘pirate ships running aid to terrorists.’

25 posted on 05/31/2010 7:35:12 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: Salem

Fascinating, thanks for the ping.


26 posted on 05/31/2010 7:37:35 PM PDT by prairiebreeze
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To: EDINVA

Thank you. You can just call me Godzilla. lol


27 posted on 05/31/2010 8:33:49 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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To: narses

Freely translated:

Olmert good
Netanyahu bad


28 posted on 05/31/2010 8:47:15 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: narses

“Over and over, the policies of force fail. The problem is that with each failure, the part of the world in which we would like to belong is losing patience with us.”

Well, isn’t that perfect 20/20 hindsight. Such a smart appeaser. Chamberlain would have been proud.


29 posted on 05/31/2010 9:06:35 PM PDT by flaglady47 (To bastardize Samuel Johnson, tyranny is the last refuge of scoundrels)
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Interesting choice of words to describe this group of aid ships as a flotilla. That term has decided martial connotations.


30 posted on 05/31/2010 9:24:13 PM PDT by FreeStateYank (I want my country and constitution back, now!)
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To: Salem

What types of weapons were found on the boat?


31 posted on 06/01/2010 9:14:06 AM PDT by Paige ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," Edmund Burke)
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To: Paige
What types of weapons were found on the boat?

All that I have read, so far, says that only personnel weapons were found. It seems that they used young recruits from AQ, who were told to bring along whatever weapons they had at home. They were going to be martyrs for the cause, and only needed enough firepower to injure a few soldiers, who only had paintball guns.

Using the flagship as bait, one could safely assume the terrorists hid the military ordinance on the other ships.

32 posted on 06/01/2010 10:30:59 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
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To: TigersEye

I think what is needed is a ‘flokilla’.


33 posted on 06/01/2010 10:35:01 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
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To: UCANSEE2

They need one of those in the Gulf of Mexico too.


34 posted on 06/01/2010 12:51:29 PM PDT by TigersEye (0basma's father was a British subject. He can't be a "natural-born" citizen.)
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