Middle East

Israel Deports Flotilla Activists

On Wednesday, Israel began expelling the 682 activists it captured during Monday’s raid of the Gaza-bound flotilla. 123 activists were sent packing to Jordan, while 200 more were sent to an airport near Tel Aviv; the rest will be released throughout the day. Meanwhile, Amos Oz, one of Israel’s leading writers, pens a moving op-ed in The New York Times, bemoaning his country’s “mantra that what can’t be done by force can be done with even greater force.” Another leading Israeli writer, David Grossman, writes in the Guardian that, while "No explanation can justify or whitewash the crime that was committed," a "small Turkish organisation, fanatical in its religious views and radically hostile to Israel, recruited to its cause several hundred seekers of peace and justice, and managed to lure Israel into a trap, because it knew how Israel would react, knew how Israel is destined and compelled, like a puppet on a string, to react the way it did." Still, Grossman writes that "Above all, this insane operation shows how far Israel has declined."