Imagine having a friend who has had, let's be frank, a whole heap of shit happen to them in their life. They, for the main, haven't let it overwhelm them. In fact, they've triumphed in spite of the obstacles. They've gone on to achieve amazing things, more so than many others with fewer resources. You're really proud.
But sometimes, just sometimes, what they've suffered gets the better of them. They act out. They behave in a way you find reprehensible. You can sort of understand, you can try to forgive. But when it gets too much, you can only shake their head and hope they'll snap out of it.
So it is with Israel. They've done it again. They're unrepentant...so far. You don't understand. They have problems. You're not always there. They did what they had to do. They're sorry you're upset, but not sorry they did it.
It's nothing new for Israel, as I wrote last year. There's a sense in sections of the international community that Israel is a special case, to whom the normal rules don't apply. Are they? Two wrongs don't make a right. But saying so never gets us anywhere. Australia, unlike NZ and most of Europe, has not criticised the Israeli assault. Maybe the tide is turning; once Israel was seen as a beacon of socialist hope, whom it was fun for lefties to like. Now, well, just because you've been picked on doesn't make lashing out okay. The world will not forget Rachel Corrie (one of the ships in the blockade was named in her honour). Israel, if you are a special case, then we really expect more of you than this.