Mohammed Omer is a 25-year-old Palestinian journalist. In 2008 he won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. One the way home from the awards ceremony he was detained at the airport by Israeli security forces and tortured.
Israel persistently conflates self-defense and deterrence, while employing collective punishment to advance its strategic aims. The international community must act quickly to force the Israelis to abandon this failed strategy.
Indeed, if the Gaza aid flotilla succeeded in anything, it was in painting precisely this portrait of Israel's army to the world: soldiers as terrorists, and terrorists standing alongside humanitarians like Scott Hamman, magically transform into peace activists.
It would be very interesting to hear a response from the Israeli government in the form of an actual list of excluded items other than the now-permitted soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy.
If there is any lesson from the last 20 years, it is that the parties themselves are incapable of resolving this decades-long conflict on their own, and will need a strong American presence at the table.
The conflict in the Middle East is not between Israelis and Palestinians so much as between extremists and moderates. And the extremists on both sides have been steadily winning through mutual provocation.
The deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick, claims credit for a racist video of Jewish Israelis singing "there's no people dying" about the flotilla attack. She should be fired for making fun of the dead.
Given the tendency of international media and governments to jump on Israel at any opportunity, and given Israel's need for allies at this precarious time, might it have been better to just let this ship pass?