Irish peace lessons for Israel after Gaza flotilla deaths
By: Patrick Roberts | Published Thursday, June 17, 2010, 6:57 PM | Updated Saturday, August 3, 2013, 11:54 PM
What were the Israeli commandos thinking when they boarded the Gaza bound flotilla and killed ten people?
Seven Irish people,including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan were on board the flotilla. They are currently being held.
Also on board one of the vessels was a Holocaust survivor and peace activists from many different countries.
The Israelis are somehow justifying this disaster saying they were fired on.
Unfortunately this latest Israeli incursion is another example of how the far right policies being pursued by Benjamin Netanyahu have come back to haunt Israel in the worldwide community.
In one fell swoop they have destroyed their relationship with Turkey, one of their very few Islamic allies,and created a massive propaganda coup for their Hamas enemies.
Part of the problems stems from the unqualified support that American Jews give to the current government in Israel.
It is a case of 'my country right or wrong' and in this case it is very definitely wrong. There is no critical thinking going on, only blind moral support no matter what actions have been taken.
The flotilla of activists should have been shepherded to shore, their cargo unloaded and they should have been sent back to where they came from.
Instead they were attacked and ten killed in an outbreak of macho mania unmatched in recent times.
Israel appears to believe that military might solves all problems. It doesn't
American Jews are very reluctant to criticize, yet they should take a leaf from the Irish American role in securing the Irish peace process.
Back then Irish Americans questioned and debated Irish government policy towards Northern Ireland for many years.
They helped create the peace process by being the first to champion a new American approach under President Bill Clinton.
They were never patsies for the Irish government as any diplomat will tell you. Yet they played a huge role in the peace process that created the conditions for peace.
It is that kind of arms-length approach that Jewish Americans should take towards the Israeli government. Clearly there is something very wrong when a government brutally kills ten people and loses a massive propaganda war.
They need to do a lot better and American Jews need to tell them that. The Irish American example for American Jews would not be a bad place to start.