THE dust seems to be settling frighteningly quickly after Israel’s illegal action against a convoy of vessels carrying aid to the citizens of Gaza.
We are in the middle of a well-honed response with the Israeli propaganda machine in action. It includes a series of pressure points with words like terrorist, activists and jihadi used. This time we have a new phrase "armed peace activists", giving the word "peace" negative connotations.
Israel has fallen back into a recognised "legal" series of actions – this time offering to deport those they arrested on board the vessels.
These return tainted with the whiff of suspicion about their activities and motivation. Remember the raised eyebrows that met the UN chief in Gaza, John Ging, when he confirmed the Israeli’s were shelling – with phosphorous – his compound, where Palestinians had taken refuge.
Israel can depend on the fact that well adjusted, normal people finding it impossible to believe that a first world nation that holds democratically accepted elections could perpetrate anything as awful as targeted terrorism.
The next step along this well recognised route is now under way with Ban Ki Moon setting up an international investigation under the chairmanship of a former New Zealand prime minister.
No doubt he will suffer the same fate as Judge Richard Goldstone, the internationally respected Jewish South African judge who headed up the last investigation. He was quickly portrayed by the Israel as a rogue Jew. And the equally well respected Irish army colonel, Desmond Travers, who was also part of the team was blackened as some sort of vengeful peacekeeper.
Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has already asked that the issue be put on the agenda of the next EU foreign ministers meeting next Monday. Nothing of course will come out of this other than some mealy mouthed statement, shorn of all words that might be interpreted as the union taking a stance against Israel’s illegal actions.
Israel will wave the Iran flag, confusing the issue with warnings of nuclear armageddon from that nasty regime, and as usual will manage to change the subject. The Americans will talk about talking about the need for the Palestinians to work harder for peace and bury Hamas.
The EU will talk about the need for a two-state solution as though all it needs is a wave of a magic wand. It all buys time for Israel to ensure there can be no two-state solution.
It creates a surreal world – where boarding vessels in international waters is not illegal, where demolishing people’s homes to create green space in Jerusalem is tolerated, where a siege of Gaza and its 1.4 million population is somehow acceptable. But any retaliation by the victims is not and is cast as justification for the actions that caused it in the first place.
Settlements continue to be built in the West Bank area that is supposed to form the future Palestinian state. Walls and roads continue to be built, criss-crossing the land, making normal life impossible for the Palestinians aimed as they are at keeping the Israeli settlers in contact with their own part of the country and protecting them militarily.
Obviously Israeli leaders would prefer to have the whole of the land as theirs and are busy working towards that end. One wonders how it will end.