Here We Go Again

I’ve been reading just now that Israeli Naval forces are shadowing another aid ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, bound for Gaza. It seems that the Israeli regime has learned its lesson after the debacle last week and have used more traditional means to secure control of the ship.

I’ve begun to wonder if maybe the Free Gaza movement that has been organising these blockade runs should change tack a bit. So far they’ve sent unarmed civilian cargo ships which have been seized and diverted by the Israelis without any great problems. Bulk carriers and small passenger ships are hardly built to be particularly fast or manoeuvrable so it’s no surprised that they’re quickly overtaken by the Israeli Navy.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking though. The old Soviet states have a lot of old submarines lying around that are slowly rusting away, and Russia doesn’t really seem to have much at stake in the Middle East other than keeping Turkey on side for access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through the Bosporus. So, I wonder, would there be some mileage in buying or leasing some old disarmed Russian submarines to sneak some aid into Gaza under the blockade.  I know it’s hardly a practical idea, the Israeli navy is well equipped with home-grown and American supplied equipment, and there’s no reason to assume that their anti-submarine capabilities are any less effective than any of their other equipment. The Mediterranean is also fairly clear and shallow off the Gaza coast making it a difficult place to hide even a small submarine, but it would be an interesting experiment for them to try.

At the very least it would force the Israeli and Egyptian forces manning the blockade into a moral quandary. Should the attempt to stop the submerged submarine sneaking underneath them, and risk creating a public relations nightmare, and quite possibly a diplomatic incident, or let it pass and fail to sustain their blockade effectively.

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