Jameel makes very good and accurate points in his comment in the previous article. Via Twitter, he added some more interesting details of the event, such as that pistols were found along with large amounts of cash. However, no amount of talking points can stand in the face of what has been one of the biggest mistakes Israel has made in a past checkered with PR mistakes.

All else aside, why do it in international waters? If it is true that boarding a ship in international waters is an act of piracy, then the activists on the ship were legally acting in self defense. I don’t like to write these words, and this is the main reason I blame the Israeli government. I blame them for making me ashamed.

Why does this remind me of Sabra and Shatilla? Maybe because no explanation will sufficiently explain the terrible error in judgment, and also perhaps because it will be the downfall of Ehud Barak, just as Sabra and Shatilla appeared to put an end to all political life for Ariel Sharon, back in the day. He recovered, but it took about 20 years for the stigma to be white-washable.

There is another ship, ironically named the MV Rachel Corrie, on its way to attempt to break the blockade. I’m confident this time Israel will find a less confrontational method to deal with it.