I hate talking about anything regarding the Israel/Palestinian conflict since it seems to turn people into raving lunatics on both sides. For me, it's kind of obvious that there is no clear villain or innocent bystander in this story but people don't like to work in shades of grey. Both sides attempt to completely demonize the other in order to gain some sort of temporary moral superiority. The problem with reducing the conversation to such a stark black/white thinking is that the complexities and difficulties of this conflict become simplified to the point where true understanding and solutions are impossible.
There are three things I know for sure when it comes to this conversation though:
1. Being critical of the actions of the Israeli government does NOT equal being antisemitic or a lover of terrorists (similar to how my criticism of Obama and Sarah Palin doesn't make me racist or sexist).
2. All people have the right to eat (and grass doesn't count). I don't really know how to say it any simpler. Starving children and blowing up houses should never be condoned for any reason. I don't care what the justifications are.
3. People are assholes. Because people are assholes, there will inevitably be assholes on both sides of any issue. There are no innocent lambs in this equation.
I have found myself becoming more pro-Palestinian throughout the years though. Most of this stems from the complete bias America has in this situation. It also pisses me off to no end that we continue to give Israel billions of dollars a year for no apparent reason. None of this means I think Israel should be destroyed or any of that crap. I just find myself relating to the Palestinian struggle more than the Israeli one.
About this particular situation regarding Israeli naval commandos killing activists on a flotilla attempting to bring supplies to Gaza, I don't really know what to say. I think we need to wait for more information before we all rush to judgement (obviously, I find this whole situation unfortunate). I do think it's interesting that Israeli is attempting to claim self-defense though. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu said, "Our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed."
Um, I don't really see how this line of thinking works though considering the fact the flotilla was in International waters and the Israeli military had no right to board their ship. That would be like me breaking into my neighbors house and then killing him in "self-defense" when he tried to protect his family. The ship was outside of Israel's territorial waters. Plus, as Omar Baddar points out, the flotilla was headed for Gaza not Israel. And since Israel supposedly ended its occupation years ago, I don't really see how these self-defense justifications work.
Unfortunately, at this point I don't think they even need to work. The world may be pissed right now, but the anger will subside and nothing will change. We'll continue to pump billions of dollars into Israel and Israel will do what ever the fuck they want. It's a joke.