War and “Peace” — Gaza Style
My latest piece, in today’s Washington Examiner, unpacks the Gaza flotilla incident. In it, I quote Ephraim Sneh, Israel’s former deputy defense minister, who when I interviewed him last week in Herzliya told me, “In the Diaspora, Jews asked for permission. We did not build a state to ask for permission [to defend ourselves].”
Hindsight is 20/20, and of course there are probably things that Israel could have done better in intercepting the flotilla. (Things can always be done better). One friend lamented that the Israeli commandos appear to have been so overwhelmed initially (“Israel should have seen this coming a mile away that these were not ‘peace activists’ and that they might be violent. It looks terrible that Israel didn’t know,” my friend says). But after their initial missteps, the Israeli commandos were, at least, able to defend themselves. While some of us are engaging in Monday morning quarterbacking/analysis (a Jewish tradition), perhaps we should consider how things might have been a whole lot worse. As far as world reaction, well, it is inappropriate for Israelis to ask for permission, or seek approval, for defending themselves. With the respect for human life that is always Israel’s policy, Israelis must do what they need to in order to neutralize threats to life and limb.