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Israel isolated by flotilla attack

Israel isolated by flotilla attack
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On the streets of Jerusalem, it seems like business as usual.

Public reaction to news of the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla has been mixed – but it has not so far piled domestic political pressure onto the government.

There has been intense debate among commentators in Israel about why the raid went wrong.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was abroad when ministers sanctioned the operation – and experts are scrutinising the cabinet for signs of cracks.

And in terms of foreign diplomacy, Israel is isolated on the global stage as never before.

Israeli final approval to build hundreds of homes at Ramat Shlomo soured relations with the US.

The announcement led to the Palestinians pulling out of US-brokered proximity talks – and undermined a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden who was in the region to broker the discussions.

But things really began to turn sour during Israel’s offensive in Gaza at the start of 2009. More than a thousand Palestinians were killed during the three week offensive. On the israeli side, 13 died.

The outrage is palpable in Turkey over the flotilla attack.

The Prime Minister himself has branded it a “bloody massacre” and called for Israel to be punished.

A secular republic with a majority Muslim population, Turkey had been in an ideal position to mediate for Israel in the region.

It shares borders with Iran and Syria – two of Israel’s most-hated adversaries.

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