This week I was planning a gentle blog, nice science and techonology, a quantum computer at the World Cup, All these things are pushed aside of course in the wake of yesterday's fiasco. Before I get into it, however, I do wish to mark the death of one of the people who represented a different Israel than the one we have today.
IN MEMORIAM ARYEH (LOVA) ELIAV 1920-2010
This week we lost a leader who was too principled to play the
political dirty games and despite his great achievements did
not really grasp the reins of power. We would have been much
better off if he had been leading us instead of the nincompoops
who have brought to where we are. He died at the age of 89. I
append a brief eulogy and biography.
those who read Hebrew I recommend his autobiography Rings of Dawn
STATE PIRACY? NO, JUST UTTER IDIOCY AND INCOMPETENCE, ALL AROUND
fools on both sides led to the death of nine people and a
worldwide scandal. Indeed, instead of taking the intelligent
path of passive resistance, some of the people on board
attacked the boarding party with weapons, including possible,
small arms. The boarders had the right to defend themselves,
but not to go trigger-happy. The idiocy goes back to the high
command and the decision to send the boarding party in the
first place and then to fail to equip them with riot control
gear, such as batons and shields. One would expect that trained
commandos would be able to overcome such a mob without
resorting to lethal force. Certainly there is enough blame to
go around, as there usually is when Israelis and Palestinians
get at each other.
Yosefa and I heard the news in the morning, dropped our plans
for the day and headed off to Ashdod to join the demonstration
of the usual suspects of the left. We were over 100 people and
we held up signs for the European media on the beach.
The public will by and large buy the Army's version, relations
with Turkey will deteriorate further and the occupation and
siege will continue. As Bill Clinton said about the Irish, both
sides here are addicted to the conflict and would be lost
without it. I agree with the posting by J Street on the issue:
Of course the local comments and reactions are the most relevant. Yossi Sarid
puts it in the right perspective that we have a coterie of seven idiots who run the country. They are not even an official cabinet body with decision making authority,. The video footage
provides an idea of what went on,.
Uri Avineri, head of Gush Shalom, is convinced that the official
version put out by the Army is a tissue of lies. Past experience reinforces this few, but for the sake of discussion let us assume that everything the Army says is true. This absolves them of nothing. It is clear that we had here a cycle of failures and displays of incompetence that compounded one another and led to the catastrophic result.
- The organizers of the flotilla must have planned an intelligent passive response to the inevitable boarding of the ships. They failed to filter the people and groups on board and as a result a few fanatics managed to turn the entire enterprise into a bloody calamity at the cost of nine lives. We cannot absolve the leaders of the flotilla from accountability for what happend.
- That having been said, the Israeli side had several reasonable options, all of which were rejected in favor of the default option of lethal force. As David Grossman writes (not available in English for some reason) the fanatics on board could rely on the Israeli military to respond in the only way they know, lethal force and the propaganda battle would be won. The cost did not bother them, but it should bother us.
A FEW MORE PLEASANT THINGS
Mary Robertson went to Zimbabwe and came back with some encouraging news about women in that troubled country. Right on Ms Robertson!!
Gene Weingarten introduces us to the world of googlenopes.
and for the really old timers amongst us, here are the unforgettable Abbott and Costello
creating a new form of mathematics.
Of course, I promised you the quantum computer in the World Cup/South Africa