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Economist: Israel shoots first, asks questions later
British magazine slams Israel for flotilla raid, saying its 'siege mentality' only weakens state

The Economist slammed Israel for its raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza, saying the state's government propagates a "siege mentality" in an article to be printed Sunday.

 

"For anyone who cares about Israel, this tragedy should be the starting point for deeper questions – about the blockade, about the Jewish state’s increasing loneliness and the route to peace," the widely-circulated British magazine said, adding that "a policy of trying to imprison the Palestinians has left their jailer strangely besieged".

 

"The government’s macho attitude is actually making Israel weaker," the article says. "The lethal mishandling of Israel’s attack on a ship carrying humanitarian supplies that was trying to break the blockade of Gaza was bound to provoke outrage – and rightly so."

 

The writers add that Israel, "once admired as a plucky David facing down an array of Arab Goliaths, is now seen as the clumsy bully on the block".

 

The article also makes more general remarks on Israel's policies, saying it is "caught in a vicious circle".

 

"The more its hawks think the outside world will always hate it, the more it tends to shoot opponents first and ask questions later, and the more it finds that the world is indeed full of enemies," it says.

 

The authors also lament what will be lost if Israel doesn't change its ways. "Israel is a regional hub of
science, business and culture. Despite its harsh treatment of Palestinians in the land it occupies, it remains a vibrant democracy," they write.

 

"But its loneliness, partly self-inflicted, is making it a worse place, not just for the Palestinians but also for its own people. If only it can replenish its stock of idealism and common sense before it is too late."

 

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