The stories are all over the place today, in print and online, of the attack by Israeli commandos on a flotilla of ships laden with relief supplies for the people of Gaza. In the millions and millions of words, the Israeli military whines to the world that the people on board the boats "hit them with sticks".
Now, let's think about that for a moment. One of the most well-equipped military groups in the world - probably the most heavily militarized for its size - is complaining that someone hit them with sticks, for gawd's sake. These are the guys who rappelled down from a helicopter in the dark in international waters looking like the cast from Star Wars, automatic weapons at the ready and, by some reports, firing them as they hit the deck and somehow they are the victims. What are they putting in the water over there?
Of course, here in Canada we had a unique prospective on all this. Our land was graced by the presence of Bibi Netanyahu on an official visit to his BFF Stephen Harper and his neocon friends in faith, no doubt drooling at every word that dropped from Bibi's lips. He made a speech to about a thousand followers in Toronto and collected a load of money for Ethiopian (?) Jews in Israel, I believe. It was the "Walk with Israel" appeal.
Do I think the timing was an accident? No. I'm sure Netanyahu knew of the timing of the raid. He was where he thought he would be the most welcome. And he could always use the excuse that he wasn't at home when it all happened.
Canada is now considered to be Israel's closest ally in the world. For the life of me, I can't think why. Harper's reply to the press was along the lines of regretting the action - kinda like slopping red wine on your host's antique linen tablecloth - but saying they'd had a nice chat anyway. Shame about the massacre that messed things up.
At least two Canadians were aboard those ships. No word whether they're alive or dead. But they were dangerous - you know, peace and human rights activists. You can't get much more dangerous than that.
While the rest of the world reels in horror, Canada regrets the lost photo-op. Harper's guts must be tied up in a knot. He's such a control freak that he blows gaskets when he can't manage every aspect of his image to the public. The video of him pressing the flesh with Bibi for the cameras is a sight to see. It looks like Harper has just been handed a two-week-old mackerel that's been left out in the sun.
How much longer will the Canadian government officially back the Israeli regime? What exactly do they have to do before they're give a whack up the side of the head? When will our country stand up and tell plucky little Israel that it can't do what it plucking well feels like whenever it wants?
As usual, more questions than answers.