One of the scary things about being a grown up is realising that you sometimes know more than people who are supposed to know more than you do. Like Prime Ministers or Presidents, and politicians in general. I mean, we elect them to be wise on our behalf, right? (Ok, I know that half of you are now rolling round the floor cackling with cynical laughter. But I'll say this anyway.)
I don't mean knowing more with hindsight, either. I mean when you are sitting there watching a train wreck in progress and you're saying to yourself, "What were they thinking? Are they daft?"
And that's what I was asking myself looking at the spectacle of Israel going after a flotilla of tubs and yachts loaded down with activists on their way with aid to break the siege of Gaza, aka Gaza blockade.
Firstly, when you use helicopters and warships and commandos to board vessels loaded down with unarmed civilians in international waters, that's either piracy or a declaration of war. It makes all owners of ships...i.e. just about every country in the world ... nervous.
Secondly, it's especially silly when the main ship you board is Turkish, and Turkey is your only Muslim sort of friend. Got news for you, Israel. They aren't your pal any longer.
Thirdly, yeah, afterwards you can say, but they attacked us first!! But it kinda makes you look silly, y'know? There ain't no footage of that pleasure yacht breaking out the torpedoes. All you've got is some pictures of a ship being boarded by armed masked commandos with guns, and being attacked by a few guys on board who got mad and retaliated. The death toll tells you who had the guns.
Fourthly, the 6 or so boats in the flotilla were loaded with hundreds of activists as well as 10,000 tons of supplies for a battered, imprisoned land. The thing about activists is that they want to draw attention to themselves and their cause. Do you know, I had no idea this flotilla existed - until you attacked them and killed some of them. Now I know. So does the whole world. And guess whose side we're all on?
Fifthly, doesn't anyone in Israel remember Exodus 1947? Didn't any of them think it might stir up a deja vu in which they end up looking like the bad guys this time? Are they insane??
Sixthly, latest reports say that over 600 people on board the boats are now detained indefinitely in jail in Israel, with no access to anyone. That's right. Sounds like piracy asnd kidnapping doesn't it? Remind you of Somalia anyone?
Yep, lovely bit of "Let's get the whole world to hate us." Great job, Israel.
I'd like to think this bit of idiocy - for which a number of people lost their lives - will lead to some sense re Gaza. Instead I see such brainlessness that I doubt the present Israeli Government has a brain in their collective heads.
Now, if I were a Palestinian, I would act like an angel for next few months and make the most of the priceless publicity I had just been granted.
But I wonder, are they going to have the brains that Israel lacked?