Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mister Bookseller

I just love this comic..by Croatian Darko Macan. Don't forget you can click on the panels to get a larger version (and then click again!

How 'bout that boat cont.

J added this, bringing us up to the moment (even if J's moment is six hours ahead, in which case we're past the present):

More news on flotillas like this one, please!

Israel's media is making a bigger deal outta this flotilla thang than the Turkish media are.  Top story in the Turkish media (at least yesterday) was the killing of a buncha soldiers? by suspected PKK (the Kurdish separatist/liberation/whatever mob) "terrorists" (I put it in quotes in that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter kinda way.....yup, until it's your rellies/compatriots that get killed).  A few of the braver Turkish commentators were asking why Abdullah Gul (Turkey's PM) and Turkish groups were getting involved with the Pals since the Turks have enough trouble on their own doorstep (with the PKK/Kurds), that aid going to the Pals could be better used in Turkey, and why is Turkey bothering with the Pals anyway since the Pals helped the Brits kick the Ottomans outta this neighborhood (this is an area with long, long memories).

And for the ultimate in thoroughly fucked up [referencing my thanks for explaining one of the more complex, fucked up political scenes on earth to the simple minded], I just got email that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv is warning American citizens in Israel to stay far away from the West Bank and cities with large Arab pops, including Haifa, due to fears of outbreaks of violent protests over this flotilla thang.  Haifa???  Violent protests???  I walked all over this city this morning and it was the usual quiet to the point of Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.   They really haven't a clue what goes on day to day here.....*sigh*.....  

And so it is.  

How 'bout that boat?

Whenever things are going on in the Middle East that I don't understand, I turn to my friend J in Haifa, who, in her own unique style, parts the muddy waters for me in a way I can understand. Or at least a way I can read that makes sense. So when I heard about the latest situation of the boat confrontation, I turned to my Mid East (or as J calls it, MidBeast), interpreter for her take on the situation(s):

Haifa, just another place by the sea 
(the Mediterranean Sea, that is)

The 25 word or less answer about this latest "crisis" (never a dull moment around here eh?) is that certain organizations/groups/countries were looking to provoke a confrontation with Israel......and they got exactly what they wanted.
The longer answer is the usual complicated, convoluted on-going political and day-to-day horseshit that constitutes life in the MidBeast, to whit:
This flotilla thang has been brewing for months.  It started being reported here several weeks ago.  As usual, ya'll outsiders only see the sensationalized reaction......ya never hear about all that went on before.
Israel is at a state of war with the controlling regime in Gaza aka Hamas. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza due to this state, mostly to stop the flow of weapons/materiel into Gaza, such as those rockets Hamas keeps shooting at Israeli civilians. Egypt also imposed a blockade on Gaza.....but ya never hear about that do ya?
Turkey knows it's never gonna get into the EU and therefore is trying to make its "bones" as it were in the Arab/Muslim street thru its increasing public belligerence toward Israel (Israel and Turkey have diplomatic relations but they've become increasingly cool since Turkey realized it ain't getting into the EU).  Sponsoring of provocative actions raises its status among those elements with which the country now seeks to align itself. 
I could mention that this latest "crisis" has nothing to do with humanitarian anything (Israel offered several times to off-load at Ashdod whatever humanitarian aide the flotilla contained and truck it into Gaza) and everything to do with the on-going quest to demonize/delegitimize Israel. I could also mention UN blatant double-standards.  But what's the fuckin' point.......just another day in the MidBeast....*sigh*