The Obama administration said yesterday that it warned Israel to use “caution and restraint” in dealing with the flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip. This may help explain why the Israel commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara were armed with paint ball rifles and why, according to accounts I’ve seen, they did not use more effective force until those who attacked them were on the verge of overwhelming them.
I doubt that the administration’s statement will sit well with either side of the controveresy. Israel’s enemies will say the administration should have told the government not interfere with the boats. Israel’s friends will say it should not have told the government how to go about enforcing the blockade.
The administration opted for a middle approach which did no one any good.
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