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Research Report

The Gaza Flotilla: A Collapse of Israel's Political Firewall: Case Study: Version A

Reut Institute
Copyright Date: Aug. 1, 2010
Published by: Reut Institute
Pages: 59
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep10580

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  3. (pp. 1-1)

    This case-study deals with a strategic political strike against the State of Israel that was planned without interruption since February 2009 and materialized on May 31, 2010. Known as the Gaza Flotilla, this effort exceeded the expectations of its organizers in causing tangible and significant damage to Israel.

    Planning of the Gaza Flotilla was carried out over the internet and in public conferences by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) primarily operating from major cities of countries friendly to Israel, including London, Dublin or San Francisco.

    In the broader context, the Gaza Flotilla was just the tip of the iceberg. It is one...

  4. (pp. 2-8)
  5. (pp. 10-11)
  6. (pp. 12-12)
  7. (pp. 12-18)

    On May 30, 2010, a flotilla of six ships set sail from near Cyprus in order to 'break' the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza.⁴ Three of these six ships, the Mavi Marmara, Gazze 1, and Defne 1, were purchased by the Turkish organization IHH. Another two, Eleftheri Mesogios and Sfendoni, were Greek, while the sixth ship, Challenger, flew an American flag.⁵ In total, approximately 700 people⁶ were aboard this flotilla, including journalists, European parliamentarians, European and Middle Eastern volunteers, Israeli-Arab communal leaders,⁷ and a number of Islamic political activists, among them several dozen IHH members.

    On the following morning, May...

  8. (pp. 19-30)

    The successes accumulated by the Delegitimization Network, which opposes Israel's existence based on a variety of political, ideological, and philosophical principles. Western-based radical leftist elements shape and lead the Delegitimization Network, with the aim of turning Israel into a pariah state. To this end, they purposefully advance the association of the state with the South African apartheid regime in order to undermine the legitimacy of Israel's existence;

    The efficacy of the 'Strategy of Implosion' advanced by the Resistance Network – led by Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas – which rejects Israel's existence based on Islamist and Arab-nationalist ideology. The Resistance Network...

  9. (pp. 31-34)

    Israel's policy has not significantly changed since Hamas won the Palestinian elections (1/06), in spite of dramatic changes in the political-security arena and despite the policy's failure to achieve expected results. In the meantime, Hamas has repeatedly adapted its policies, while strengthening its domestic and international standing, in spite of the military blow it received during Operation Cast Lead (1/09).

    Israel's political stagnation regarding Hamas is a result of its Palestinian conundrum between its political and military logics – Maintaining the required balance among the values of Zionism requires ending Israel's control over the Palestinian population. Attempting to advance this...

  10. (pp. 35-43)

    The 'Lifeline to Gaza' Campaign is a systematic effort aimed at breaking the Gaza blockade – It is orchestrated and carried out by different non-governmental organizations that have been attempting to transfer funds, aid and civilian equipment to Hamas in Gaza by means of flotillas and convoys. The four groups advancing this campaign, and that stood behind the Gaza Flotilla, include:

    Delegitimizers, who view the blockade on Gaza as an 'outstanding issue' – As mentioned, a guiding strategy of Israel's delegitimizers is to galvanize support around a few 'outstanding issues'.47 For them, the current outstanding issue is the blockade on...

  11. (pp. 44-50)

    A Fundamental Surprise is a major event, which exposes a gap between a mindset (an 'interpretive conceptual system') and a divergent reality. Such a gap is termed a 'relevancy gap' (see diagram84). The origins of fundamental surprises incubate for a long time before the crisis itself when working assumptions, patterns of conduct, habits, or institutions are rendered irrelevant by the changing reality.

    Even after fundamental surprises have occurred, there is a tendency to deny the existence of relevancy gaps, and to view the crisis as situational. For a variety of reasons – personal, psychological, political and organizational – people have...

  12. (pp. 51-56)

    The 'Lifeline to Gaza' Campaign may have run its course. The effectiveness of the Gaza Flotilla stemmed from a unique combination of the significant presence of European critics on board, disregard to the true nature of the IHH, the absence of understanding within the West as to the logic of Israel's policy in Gaza, and the use of force by the IDF and its dire consequences. This combination may not repeat itself, and flotillas arriving from enemy states, such as Libya, Iran, or Lebanon, will be considered provocative and give Israel justification to act.

    Furthermore, the Flotillas achievements were plentiful:...