Israel's 2009 war on Gaza has been exhaustively documented: some 1,400 Palestinian deaths (compared to 13 for Israel), a vast, rubble-strewn landscape, international condemnation culminating in the hard-hitting and controversial "Goldstone Report" from the UN, and a blockade, tacitly approved by the U.S. and EU, that led to a humanitarian crisis, and ultimately to the high-seas catastrophe this week on the Free Gaza flotilla.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has mounted a robust defense of official Israel’s performance on the public diplomacy “battlefield” over the fatal flotilla raid this week...“While some have criticized Israel’s public relations readiness for the ghastly events that took place on Monday morning, far more have expressed increasing satisfaction with the vast improvement in Israel’s official crisis management,” he added.

The Obama administration resisted its allies' calls to condemn Israel's raid on an aid flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip, with senior officials saying they were awaiting an investigation to determine who was responsible for the violence that killed nine civilians aboard one of the ships.

The Israeli government is hoping YouTube and Twitter can help restore its reputation after a botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla killed nine people. Don't get your hopes up, Bibi. There's only so much a technological tactic can do after such a big strategic blunder.

With a new aid vessel already en route to challenge the four-year economic siege of the Hamas-controlled territory — and activists promising a new flotilla — the U.S. faces a growing challenge in balancing its support for Israel with other important diplomatic relationships in the region.

Where knowledge is limited, and the desire to learn the complex reality doesn't exist, public opinion can be shaped by whoever generates the most powerful symbols. And on a matter of only tangential interest, governments tend to follow their publics' wishes, however they originate. There is little to be gained for governments in resisting public opinion and much to be gained by giving in.

What should have been a quiet piece of policing now has the word ‘atrocity’ appended to it. The press may be being disingenuous, even craven, but the Israeli commanders were monumentally stupid for falling into such an obvious trap.

A raid by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound aid convoy has plunged already crumbling ties between Israel and its long-time Muslim ally Turkey to a new low. The killing of more than 10 activists, reportedly including several Turks, on a Turkish vessel stirred protests in Istanbul.