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After Flotilla Raid, Soul-Searching In Jerusalem

Israel’s raid early Monday morning on a relief flotilla headed to break the blockade of Gaza left at least nine dead and a world of uproar.

Now, more ships are being readied and Israel has said they will get the same reception. But the diplomatic cost to Israel — and the United States — is running high.

Janine Zacharia, bureau chief for The Washington Post, says there's a lot of soul-searching in Jerusalem as Israel faces condemnation from entities including the United Nations, Europe and its important Muslim ally, Turkey.

On Point: Interview with Janine Zacharia
http://audio.wbur.org/storage/2010/06/news_0602_on-point-jerusalem.mp3

"Not about the rightness of trying to slop the flotilla from coming here, but about how they went about it," Zacharia said on On Point Wednesday.

Still, polls released Wednesday morning show the public remains generally supportive of the government — though 63 percent of Israelis say the Navy should have used a different tactic during the raids.

Zacharia says that's a sentiment rarely seen in Israel. "The military in Israel is very holy and people are very reluctant to criticize the military for operational planning," Zacharia said.

But Zacharia found one official who admitted a degree of planning error. "I spoke to a very senior naval commander late last night who said, 'Look, if there was any error, as you could say, is that they did not expect to be attacked so violently when the commandos landed on the ship.' "

This program aired on June 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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