Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not the first flotilla - some recent history

Some history to think about when considering the current flotilla incident:

Ehud Olmert was faced with an extremely similar situation:

Israel had told the activists to keep their boats away but ultimately decided to allow them to land, apparently to prevent a potentially more damaging public relations drama.

Arye Mekel, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the decision was made “to avoid the provocation they had planned at high sea,” and because the Israeli authorities knew exactly who was on board and what cargo they were carrying.

Bibi wasn't nearly as diplomatic in 2009. But to be fair, he probably expected this interception to go as well as the last one, with no loss of life:

Nineteen foreign activists of the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement were being held in Israel awaiting deportation on Thursday, two days after the Israeli Navy seized control of their boat off Gaza.

A former United States Representative, Cynthia McKinney, and an Irish peace activist and Nobel laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, were among those being held. Two additional Israeli activists were released without being charged on Wednesday, according to the group.

The Free Gaza Movement and other campaigners have sailed several boats to Gaza in the last year, saying they wanted to bring humanitarian aid and challenging the Israeli blockade. Israel has let some boats reach the coastal strip and forced others to turn back at sea.

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