Catriel Lev's Blog: VeHaShalom VeHaEmmet

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Catriel Lev
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Jun 7, 2010

Why Can't Israel Plan Ahead?

From all of the discussion of the naval action by the IDF against the "peace flotilla" from Turkey, I gather that just about every Israeli feels that our Navy was unprepared for the situation as it actually occurred.

If you are right-wing you are apparently supposed to think that this is so because of our weak position vis-a-vis our right to the land of Israel, and if you are left-wing you are apparently supposed to think that this is so because of our "occupation" of the territories; but something tells me that ad hoc dealing with situations is simply an ingrained Israeli characteristic. To paraphrase Mark Twain (or perhaps Charles Dudley Warner, Twain's collaborator on The Gilded Age), "Every Israeli talks about preparation, but none of them does anything about it!"

Israeli planning often reminds me of the ironic sign that was popular during my childhood:

Most of us seem to agree that the Latma satire exposing the true outlook of the "peace flotilla" from Turkey through humor (see my post:

Battling Hatred with Satire

for the video) was a tremendous, after the fact, success in our PR campaign, even though it was produced by a private Israeli group rather than the Israeli Government; but why were we not better prepared for the PR battle in advance.

Everybody seems to feel that our "SEALs" should not have had to face beatings and knifings by the "peace activists" on board the Mavi Marmara and should not have been forced to fire back (and, once again, explanations as to why we weren't prepared seem, largely, to run along "party" lines); but NO ONE seems to have thought about this beforehand!

It seems to me that there are historical reasons which have built up this Israeli tendency toward ad hoc behavior (we couldn't exactly plan far ahead when our own land was occupied by foreign nations, like the Turks and the British, who restricted our freedom of action, and even our freedom of movement at times; and once we got so good at "planning on our feet", we never seem to have bothered with true long range planning), but at this stage in our national history, it is quite ridiculous.

I don't have any really bright ideas as to how to get our leaders (and our businesses, and our offices, etc.) to truly exert themselves on advance planning, but it seems to me that someone could have thought of "spying out" the deck of the Mavi Marmara and basing a boarding plan upon what we saw on that deck. If the "activists" with their knives and clubs would have been spotted, the IDF could have planned to "take them down" one by one with tranquilizer darts, like in the movies (or some other intelligent scheme to keep the "activists" from actively attacking our boarding party). Of course, this occurred to ME only after I saw the videos of how badly our soldiers were beaten and knifed; but, then again, nobody pays me to devise tactics for the most successful way to board a boat trying to break a blockade.

Well, I am open to suggestions!

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