Saturday, July 09, 2011

Israel's "Flightilla" Strategy Worked

I thought the Israeli government was reacting hysterically when it decided to bar pro-Palestinian activists from entering Israel when they landed at Ben Gurion Airport. Apparently, I was wrong. The strategy seemed to work. Most of the activists were not even allowed on the flights, and a few dozen who did manage to reach Israel were detained without too much of a scene, and now await deportation.

World public opinion doesn't seem to care. From what I've seen, international news outlets don't seem to care much for this story, since the Great Chaos never came. Also, activists may have miscalculated the timing, with the establishment of South Sudan and the events in Syria being at the top of foreign news. That, and there may be flotilla-fatigue: after so much attention given to the boats stuck in Greece, the pro-Palestinian "breaking the siege" gimmicks are getting old.

In the end, as much as I hate complementing Netanyahu, I must admit it seems to have been wise not to let the activists in. We don't need Europeans and North Americans confronting the IDF and other Israeli authrorities in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and in places inside Israel, like the Bedouin villages in the Negev. Such clashes would have generated much more bad PR for Israel than the strategy Netanyahu chose, and much more work for our police officers and soldiers.

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