With 'Friends' Like Israel, Who Needs Enemies?

There is plenty to say regarding the recent Gaza 'freedom' flotilla incident but I doubt there are any words that haven't been used already to describe Israel's foreign policy's continuous acts and disregard of international law over the years.

Besides, why waste time? I mean, I doubt there is any state in the world that cares less about international criticism and outrage, even that which is received from its own allies.

Let us face it; we are facing a situation where Israel feels so superior that it thinks it could get away with anything.

The problem is, so far it has.

I say this because we are talking about a country that has retaliated to the kidnapping of 2 soldiers with a full fledged assault on southern Lebanon using all its military might and killing 1,000 people, mostly civilians. Not to mention using white phosphorus bombs (again, against international law) in 2008 when it attacked Gaza to stop Hamas from firing short-range missiles on civilian areas (which is condemned)

However, recent events showed that Israel's malicious acts weren't exclusive to countries or militant groups it considers enemies; but were extended to allies, or indeed nations that it once boasted having a special 'friendship' with.

I am not talking about countries like the United Arab Emirates (which isn't a direct enemy, though also not really a close friend) which has done virtually nothing about the recent assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al Mabhouh on its soil at the hands of Mosad agents. (To be honest, don't think the UAE could have done much anyways)

I am talking about countries like the UK or Australia, whose citizens' passports have been illegally cloned to implement that assassination and despite that did very little to discipline Tel Aviv.

Mosad cloned British passports -- despite Israel owing its whole existence, in a way, to the UK, thanks to 1917 Balfour Declaration. All London did in return is issue a warning to British travellers and send an Israeli diplomat home.

However, the situation becomes more complicated with the recent developments involving Turkey: Israel's only fully fledged Muslim ally, which would have perhaps been a model for many other Muslim countries to follow, had Tel Aviv genuinely believed in and worked for peace.

I say that I doubt that Tel Aviv genuinely wants peace because I am convinced that, contrary to what is normal; Israel benefits more from being at war rather than at peace. This is a characteristic which Palestinians and Arabs don't share -- the majority of them are dependent on international aid, and risk loosing it or being cut off (as in the situation is in Gaza) if they follow Hamas's footsteps. This makes the missing out on the previous peace opportunities look very un-wise.

Anyhow, back to Israel, one only has to wonder how will this country justify both the financial and military aid it receives if there was no 'threat'?

Why would the US continue to send state-of-the-art weapons and technology if the 'threat' to Israeli people ceases to exsist?

I also wonder if the biggest threat to Israel's security is not war (at which it is at an advantage over all its 'enemies') but peace, because with it comes the commitment to share resources such as water, land and energy.

Yet to be fair, it would be helpful for the peace process if the Palestinians formed a unified front at this stage. This is despite the fact that this division seems to be further enhanced by Tel Aviv continuously embarrassing Fatah (its ally in peace) and empowering Hamas (its 'enemy') by not respecting agreements, expanding settlements and insisting on the Gaza blockade.

Speaking of the Gaza, I really do hope that what happened on the Turkish flotilla is decided and conducted quickly, before we forget about it as most of us did with what happened in the war Gaza in 2008.

Israel has so far said that it had reasons to believe that there were weapons on board those ships and that it had to investigate (of course, this has ironic resemblance to the 'weapons of mass destruction' scenario we heard prior to invading Iraq).

What I find rather amusing is what Israeli officials claimed about the peace protesters being the ones who 'started it' (attacking Israeli soldiers), but of course this doesn't explain why those commandos (and I repeat: commandos!) were landing on the 'peace' flotilla -- in international waters, I may add!

One thing which I found interesting: how quickly and seriously the world reacted to the flotilla attack -- it is good the victims were not innocent Palestinian women and children though, otherwise the atrocity would have went un-noticed!

Bottom line: if we (the US administration, the Quartet, EU and the UN) are serious about peace, then we must be have the courage to hold everyone accountable to their actions, without fearing to be called Islamophobic or Anti-Semitic.