Two interesting articles sent in by readers, both sort of saying the same thing: The idea of having international norms of morality so powerful they trump national sovereignty was nice when it started, but now it has been hijacked by unexpected players. On the one hand there's the international guild of silly journalists who know almost nothing about international law or when and how it would be applicable yet swear by it to castigate Israel and Israel alone; on the other there are the NGOs who were supposed to batter thuggish repressive regimes when their own democratic governments held back for Realpolitik reasons, who have now spawned NGOs from thuggish repressive regimes who batter democracies for trying to defend themselves - the prime example being, of course, Israel.
The article about the silly journalists is by Prof. Eric Hinze, here (h/t Tamara). The one about the thuggish NGOs is by David Rieff, here (h/t Silke, I think).
There's nothing new or surprising about the fact that the Jews, ever one of civilizations' mine canaries, stand at the center of the onslaught on decency. Still, perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Mavi Marmara incident is how extremely crass it is. When Israel bungled a defensive war against Hezbollah-of-the-genocidal-ideology, one could at least castigate Israel for its bungling. When Israel mostly didn't bungle its defensive war against Hamas-of-the-genocidal-ideology, one could at least plausibly regret the price of a proportionate response to Hamas aggression, and bewail that so much damage had to be inflicted to convince Gaza's thugs to desist from attacking civilians.
In the Mavi Marmara incident, however, not one single innocent bystander was killed. The act of enforcing a blockade was legal. The whole event was carefully framed in advance by ideologically motivated Turks, not Palestinians, and they may well have been backed in some form or another by the government of Turkey. Although the IDF was seriously wrong-footed, at the end of the day no major action had happened at all, not a war, not an invasion, nothing. Yet the pernicious combination of thuggish NGOs, abysmally ignorant media, and malicious or cynical governments made it appear as if Israel was slaughtering innocent children by the thousands.
Not for the first time nor the last, the world is going crazy. History is mostly constant on that point. Fortunately, this time the Jews can take care of themselves.