The real problem that this situation has made clear is that Israel has become insensitive to its own predicament. Even if Israel had every right to board the ship and detain its occupants, Israel should have expected that boarding the ship would result in such a confrontation and the resulting international backlash. It was obvious from the outset that the organizers of the flotilla were only interested in a physical clash with the Israelis and that aid supplies were just the excuse. Quite a bit was known about the primary organizer, a Turkish Islamist charity with deep ties to Hamas and other groups whose rhetoric was quite inflammatory.
The decision process in this case is eerily reminiscent of group think, the inability to consider alternative explanations and courses of action. Seven cabinet members, without the participation of the whole cabinet, apparently met twice and made the decision. In light of Israel’s international isolation and its delicate relations with the United States, did anyone consider the ramifications of their decision? Moreover, Israel’s actions have diverted the attention of the UN Security Council right at the time they were to take up Iran’s nuclear program - Israel’s paramount concern.
Clearly, the current Israeli government lives in a cocoon. The only good thing that can come out of this tragedy is that the Israeli public will hold the government accountable for poor decision-making and incompetent execution that has handed Hamas and its allies the victory of their lifetime.