Attack on Gaza flotilla: Passengers’ accounts coming out, Israel faces political, diplomatic fallout

Posted: June 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, the US and us, war | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Passengers on board the Gaza flotilla are released by Israel, and their account of the raid is coming out. Here is Huwaida Arraf, and American citizen, talking to CNN:

the Crisis with Turkey: Both Yedioth and Maariv daily papers report today that the decision to release the detained passengers was also a result of a firm action by Turkey, who sent three military planes to Israel and demanded that they return with all their citizens, even the wounded ones. It was reported today that Israel decided to sent home family members of its embassy staff in Ankara because of the hostile atmosphere in the Turkish capital.

there are also reports that Turkey declared that future Gaza bound Vessels will have military escort. I haven’t seen this on any major media organization, and it sounds a bit exaggerated, but Israelis were speculating on such scenario in the last couple of days.

Nicaragua suspends diplomatic ties with Israel because of the attack on the flotilla.

Opinion Round-up:

New York Times editorial: The questions raised by an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla demand an immediate and objective international investigation.

David Ignatius (Washington Post): Israel has been unable to resolve the Gaza mess on its own; it should turn now to the Security Council for help. That begins with a U.N. investigation of what happened off the Israeli coast.

Robert Fist (Independent): Something has changed in the Middle East these past 24 hours – and the Israelis (given their extraordinarily stupid political response to the slaughter) don’t seem to have grasped what has happened.

Aluf Ben (Haaretz): The attempt to control Gaza from outside, via its residents’ diet and shopping lists, casts a heavy moral stain on Israel and increases its international isolation.

George Packer (New Yorker): The flotilla was bait, and Israel took it—a classic triumph of civil disobedience over state power.

Thomas Friedman (New York Times): both Israel and Turkey have gotten out of balance lately, and it is America’s job to help both get back to the center — urgently.

I also liked Ann Telnaes’ cartoon on the Washington Post.