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02 Jun 2010

Israel scores another defining victory in the War on Terror. Unfortunately it's an own goal.

Gallery snapshot. View gallery of Israel scores another defining victory in the War on Terror. Unfortunately it's an own goal.

Israel appears to have crossed the Rubicon from 'rogue state' to 'utterly bat-shit insane' state. Monday's attack on the 'freedom flotilla' - sorry, Jihadi terrorists - is almost impossible to balance with the idea that Israel is an ally and a friend; one of the 'good guys'. Clearly, if the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had boarded an aid flotilla of unarmed civilians, in international waters, in the middle of the night, shooting 10 Americans dead, we would now be commenting on the outbreak of World War III.

As the Telegraph's foreign editor, Con Coughlin, puts it, "Israel has developed a worrying habit of conducting itself in a way that even its friends find hard to defend" (and he should know). But while this tragedy is causing even Israel's staunchest supporters some difficulty, it's hard to see that any real measures will be taken against them. The illegal blockade (actually, shouldn't this be called a "seige"?) will remain. The settlements will remain (you mean, increase - Ed.). Our flow of support, aid and arms will all, sadly, remain. Why is this? Why can no one reign Israel in?

As long as Israel has US backing, no one will be able to. Persistent US endorsement of Israel's actions has established a narrative of a close ally and victim that is besieged on all sides but does what it must to defend itself. This narrative has permeated well beyond Israeli borders and Zionist discourse; it is a mainstream view.

So we witness, even in the darkest hours of Monday's killings, that the harshest words are regretful comments over the damage this has done to "Israel's PR" (imagine any news outlet phrasing 9/11 as a "PR disaster" for Al Qaeda). On top of this, Israeli spokespeople got virtually 100% of 'opinion' air time during the first 24 hours thanks to an effective news blackout caused by everyone else involved being detained in isolation. This allows a mixture of confusion and lies to permeate accounts and successfully derails the discussion from the most important facts: 1) the blockade is illegal 2) peaceful civilians were killed.

Ah, but they weren't peaceful, they had weapons and they beat the soldiers who clearly just wanted to make friends with them. And the passengers have links with Jihadi networks like Al Qaeda. Of course they do. This was a hallmark Al Qaeda operation by all measures, down to the Nobel Laureate, the best-selling author, the women and pensioners on board. Classic terror brigade. And as for those claims of being unarmed - could have fooled me. I saw them wielding deck chairs. The bastards! Fighting for their lives with improvised weaponry... it beggars belief!

cache of weapons from the freedom flotilla
Hang on, what's that amongst the weapons? Oh, not again ....

As Mark Steel observed, this haul was what "the naive might think you'd expect to find on any ship, but the more astute will recognise as exactly what you'd carry if you were planning to defeat the Israeli army".

Also noteworthy is the absence of 'celebrity' comment. While the Twitterati were all over the Iranian protests, they are now conspicuously silent. Stephen Fry, who last year 'tweeted', "Iranian govt should at least know we're watching & we care", is rather mute on the flotilla. Instead, he has been holding some kind of virtual anniversary party on his Twitter page. And Demi Moore, who not so long ago moved us all with this 'tweet': "My heart aches but I am inspired by the courage and strength of the Iranian people in the face of such opposition and adversity!" is now talking about her husband's new film. Rather bizarrely (and apparently irony-free) she has 're-tweeted' someone else's post, without comment; a quote from Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor:

"Let us remember: what hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander."



Posted by Andy S on 2 June 2010 - 0 comments

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