A “lynching” – that’s what the Israelis call the attack on their commandos by the waiting fighters aboard the Gaza flotilla.
But that was only the opening overture of the lynching party. The real action starts now, in the global media and the world chancelleries.
One casualty of the uproar is likely to be President Obama’s Middle East strategy. Unlike his blunt, direct predecessor, President Obama has to date followed a Middle East strategy as complex as some elegant DNA sequence.
Yet the Middle East has a nasty way of erupting into very non-complicated confrontation.
In the waters off Gaza, Hamas arranged a confrontation that was intended to break the Israeli blockade of war material.
NATO ally Turkey enabled and is now intensifying the confrontation. Now the US must decide: Will Hamas be allowed to blast itself out of isolation? Or will the US stand with Israel to enforce the disarmament of Hamas?
This morning, Jake Tapper reports an unnamed administration official promising, “no daylight” between the US and Israel. Good news if true – and a welcome departure from the previous Obama practice of showing a little daylight in hope of winning some goodwill from Israel’s enemies. (As for example happened when the US on Friday joined the resolution of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty states condemning Israel but not Iran.)
But is the news true?
Or is the Obama administration selling Israel a little protection now in the expectation of extracting some concessions to Hamas later?
The same administration official who promised “no daylight” also told Tapper: ” The president has always said that it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure.” Meaning – first we soothe you – then we squeeze you?