Jennifer Rubin explains that the world has tightly bound Israel between the Scylla and Charybdis, rather like a staked goat:
The flotilla interdiction raises the same issue as Israel’s original response to Hamas’s rocket attacks into Israel. The fundamental question that Richard Goldstone, the UN, the J Street crowd, and the chorus of international critics have answered in the negative is whether Israel has the right to defend itself and its territory against threats to its citizens. In both cases, Israel attempted to use proportionate force and to avoid casualties.
In Gaza, extensive measures were undertaken to avoid killing innocents, behind whom Hamas hid. And in the flotilla, as others have noted, “the Israeli navy first sought to warn the ships off verbally, then sent in commandos armed with paintball guns, according to Israeli media reports. It was only after the humanitarians aboard the ship assaulted the commandos with clubs and knives that the Israelis used live fire.” When the Israeli commandos were set upon as they were lowered from a helicopter, they acted to defend themselves.
The rule set for Israel, which applies to no other nation in the world, is an intentionally impossible one to meet: the Jewish state can only defend itself without harming terrorists, who abide by no laws of war and exercise no concern for Israeli casualties. Words are twisted: Israel is transformed into ”the aggressor” in each instance, and the “peace” forces — in this case, populated by Turkish IHH forces with ties to Hamas and other terror groups — are those that attacks Israelis.
This is a critical moment for Israel, for its supporters, for American Jewry, and for Obama. Who will defend Israel’s right to defend itself, and who will fall in with the venomous critics who will be satisfied only when Israel is a defenseless shell of its former self? We will see once again who is pro-Israel — and willing to defy partisan loyalty if need be — and who is so in name only.
Evelyn Gordon is right, of course, that Israel cannot afford any mistakes — and it made a gross error here in underestimating, despite information available, the forces arrayed against it — but that doesn’t change the ridiculously high standard to which it is held.
I will add only that, insofar as I know, the Obama administration has still said nothing. His continued silence, in and of itself, signals that the administration indicts Israel. And if the White House does, Israel is viewed as fair game for every one else to attack, not just with words, but with swords.