I realize that this doesn’t fit into the already accepted narratives, but before making judgments, it would be wise to understand precisely what happened in the clash between the Israeli Navy and the pro-Palestinian activists in international waters a few hours ago.
The activists, of course, claim that they were entirely peaceful, and that the Israelis just boarded and started firing. The IDF can be stupid, but at least at this stage I’m incredulous that it was that stupid. The Israelis claim that they boarded, and encountered violent resistance: some reports say that those aboard the ship start firing with light weapons. Others say that they attacked with clubs and stones.
One important question to answer is whether there are any other means short of forcible boarding to enforce a blockade. Obviously, you can shoot, but that would be worse than what the Israelis tried. I have no experience in this, but it would seem that the logical thing would be to have frogmen cut holes in the base of the boats. The boats would take on water, and then the Israelis would be in the position to rescue them. Readers who know more about such matters should comment on other options.
Israel had a few days to figure out how to respond. It seemed unprepared to do so. The analogy would be if there was a protest march, and the only response Israel had was soldiers with live ammunition. On land, the IDF is using options such as the “skunk tank“; consider me skeptical that naval technology is so primitive that there is nothing short of firing on the ship or using commandos to seize it.
UPDATE: Mark and I posted at the same time. Although I think we should withhold judgments, I agree completely that Israel was at least quite stupid.