The Baltimore Sun mistakenly omits the goal of the so-called "humanitarian aid flotilla" when it identifies it as such, in its editorial of June 2, "A way forward for Israel." In fact, the flotilla's primary purpose was to provoke Israel. Something they succeeded in doing.
The fact is, Israel supplies tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza and offered to transport any supplies the flotilla was carrying. Had the crew on board the Mavi Marmara been so concerned with getting them to Gaza, they would have abided by the international blockade, and Israel would have gladly transported the supplies after inspection.
However, that was not their intent. Moreover, what was not reported was that the flotilla's organizers (IHH) had ties to terrorist organizations including Hamas.
Therefore, Israel couldn't have let the flotilla pass into Gaza and Hamas territory and potentially bring with it arms that would be used against it. Nor could Israeli soldiers stand by, watch and let their fellow soldiers get beaten, stabbed and shot at without defending them. They were caught in a bind. And, as in jujitsu, Hamas and the Palestinians are able to use their enemy's strength against it. They have been adept at this game for a long time — only now on sea.
This was the real objective of the "humanitarian flotilla," and what Israel ultimately needs is to devise a better means of self-defense.
Abe Novick, Baltimore