Tuesday, June 01, 2010


The timing of the incident is remarkably bad for Israel and the United States.

--Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post, on the flotilla attack

Is it? It seems to me it's not going to make a big difference one way or another -- Israel and those who defend it in all circumstances are pushing back, as usual at moments like this, and the result is that nothing about the relationship between America and Israel will change in any significant way. And that was made clear early on:

In contrast with forceful statements from European, Arab and U.N. officials -- and impromptu demonstrations from Athens to Baghdad -- the White House responded to the assault Monday by saying only that Obama had held a phone conversation with Netanyahu in which the prime minister expressed "deep regret at the loss of life" and "the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning's tragic events."

... Namik Tan, the Turkish ambassador to the United States, ... said the Obama administration's initial statement was wanting. "We would have expected a much stronger reaction than this," he said.

Surely he doesn't mean "expected." This statement is exactly what anyone should have expected. Same old, same old.

Incidents of this kind are to Israel and its most fervent defenders what mass school shootings are to the gun lobby. The reaction is the same in both cases: anyone who demands a tough response, or even a real change from business as usual, is the moral equivalent of Hitler. And the U.S. invariably complies in both cases.

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