WARNING TO REGULAR READERS: this is not a tax/economics posting and represents solely my own opinions of the boarding of the humanitarian flotilla.
I have followed the news about the flotilla of ships intending to circumvent the Israeli blockade of the occupied territory of Gaza with dismay. Israel claimed a right to board a "hostile" ship to implement its "defensive" blockade of the occupied land. Israel had heavily armed soldiers from its elite fighting forces board the ships, which it knew were populated with civilian passengers from around the world, in international waters. Some ship passengers, not surprisingly, took defensive actions--with fists and some kind of sticks (material not clear: flotilla activists claim wood sticks; Israel claims metal pipes). No weapons were found on board, yet Israel asserts that the passengers were the aggressors and that its soldiers opened fire in self-defense. Nine passengers were killed (at least--apparently 3 are still unaccounted for). One of those killed was a young high school student, an American citizen of Turkish descent named Furkan Dogan, who was shot and killed at point blank range--several bullet shots to the head. No soldiers were killed.
Whatever moral justification Israel has for defense of its homeland and whatever the detailed facts of the boarding of the ships (whether the passengers "attacked" the boarding soldiers first or whether the soldiers shot as they landed, which we cannot know from the selective videos released by Israel after having seized all videos, even journalists' ), that justification and those facts cannot support this action to uphold a 40-year occupation of Gaza in which Palestinians are left in poverty and misery.
It seems to me that if Israel sends armed soldiers to board a ship in international waters, it should expect someone aboard to act in defense against those armed soldiers. AND it should be prepared to handle that without rhw kinsa od Shooting teenagers several times point blank in the head is not self-defense--it is needless assassination. The fighting and resulting deaths were entirely predictable, and Israel has harmed its reputation and its aims for peace by taking such an aggressive position.
Enough is enough. Israel regretably appears to have learned the wrong lesson from its Holocaust experiences. Self-defense, yes, but aggressive assasinations of "enemies", no. Israel should have learned the disastrous result of intolerance and creation of a class of people granted only second-class citizenship. Israel must withdraw completely from the territories it occupied in the 1967 war. It must cease (and disoccupy) all settlements in the occupied territories. It must learn to share Jerusalem. Yes, there are risks, but breeding generations of people frustrated with occupation and hating their occupiers is the worst risk.