Gabriel Winant in Salon:
It's never easy to make guesses about what will happen in Middle East politics. But I think we're blowing the event out of proportion — not in its moral gravity, but in its likely immediate political consequences.
First of all, the most crucial relationship Israel has is with the United States, and there isn't much indication yet of that this will alter that relationship. The hard consensus at the elite level in favor of tolerating whatever Israel wants to do rests on a soft consensus in American public opinion. Both are likely to survive this in some slightly diminished form, as they've survived the two Lebanon wars (complete with thoroughly unprovoked massacres), the small Gaza war and the formation of an Israeli government including a quasi-fascist foreign minister.
Plus, even though Israeli commandos Israel boarded the ships as part of a broad, explicit, and indefensible effort to keep basic supplies out of a desperately needy Gaza, Israel's supporters are aggressively pushing a blame-the-victims counternarrative. There were clubs and knives on board the aid ships, they note, and there's now video of passengers chasing and attacking soldiers. This is likely to muddy the waters enough to keep Americans from reacting with outrage.
American conservatives are already doubling down on their attacks on the ship passengers.