Israeli discourse on Gaza flotilla makes our press look poodle

on 55 Comments

I haven’t seen anything like this in the Times or the Washington Post. Uri Avnery’s column likening raid to the raid on the Exodus in ’47 ran in Israel’s second largest paper:

[Gaza flotilla disaster] is Chapter 2 of “Cast Lead”. Then we aroused most countries in the world against us, shocked our few friends and gladdened our enemies. Now we have done it again, and perhaps with even greater success. World public opinion is turning against us.

This is a slow process. It resembles the accumulation of water behind a dam. The water rises slowly, quietly, and the change is hardly noticeable. But when it reaches a critical level, the dam bursts and the disaster is upon us. We are steadily approaching this point.

Update. Robert Mackey at the Times did run the Exodus comparison in his superb lede blog. I’m talking about the frank diagnoses of Israel’s crisis of the soul that Avnery is able to express.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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55 Responses

  1. Avi
    June 6, 2010, 11:15 pm

    Israeli press can afford to do so because unlike the US, Zionism in Israel is injected into the population through the government, the school system, the military, the media, and synagogues.

    In the US, Zionists control the narrative through the media alone, and unlike the ideologically homogeneous Israel, the US is rather diverse, certainly in regard to Zionism. That’s why it’s important for Zionist leaders to continue to pump that “shared values” canard into the ears of 300 million Americans.

    On the issue of reconciliation, I highly recommend the movie entitled: “Five Minutes of Heaven”. It’s about the Northern Ireland conflict.

    • Homer
      June 7, 2010, 2:43 am

      “In the US, Zionists control the narrative through the media alone ….”

      The control of the media is almost absolute, with the only major exceptions being a few sites on the Internet like Mondoweiss, antiwar.com, and Counterpunch. But Zionist control of the discourse extends well beyond the media. It intrudes into all major think tanks, the halls and conference rooms of government and commerce, and casual conversation among ordinary friends.

      Everyone dreads being tagged with the label of “anti-Semite”. The Zionist smear machine, led by the ADL and like-minded groups, is so deadly efficient that it can at will end the career of almost anyone in public life, in business, or in the professions.

      The great coup of the Zionist movement was to capture the American film, TV, and book publishing industries. This enabled them to create The Holocaust Industry (if I may borrow Finklestein’s phrase), churning out many thousands of movies, TV programs, and books in the new “Holocaust” genre.

      Whatever other purposes these productions may have served, as a whole they clearly have been designed to accomplish a single-minded goal: to implant in the American population the idea that for all time we are responsible for, to blame for, and guilty of the Jewish Holocaust. This implicit lesson, combined with the oft-repeated mantra of “Never Again!”, teaches us that we must provide protection for the ever-expanding Jewish Power Structure in America, whatever the costs to us. For otherwise, we are by definition guilty of “anti-Semitism”, that greatest of all evils.

      The dread of “anti-Semitism”, reinforced daily by the media, leads Americans to accept the capture of their government by a foreign power, and the shutting down of their freedom of discourse by that same foreign power.

      Yes, the Israelis can afford to allow some freedoms in their own press, as long as they can continue to prevent the same in ours.

    • potsherd
      June 7, 2010, 8:17 am

      I wish someone would do a complitation post of links to evidence and testimony about the massacre. Evidence only, no comments (if this crowd could be capable of restraining itself from comment)

      It would be useful to have it in one place for reference.

  2. Justice Please
    June 7, 2010, 2:49 am

    Apropos media coverage:

    Has your “patriotic” news media aired these thought from a veteran of your “highly esteemed” armed services, Ken O. Keefe?

    He’s a true hero:

    link to humanrightstv.blogspot.com

    • Justice Please
      June 7, 2010, 2:53 am

      Another witness:

      “Until that point I had not yet seen an Israeli soldier on deck. As far as I am concerned, it’s a lie to say they only started shooting on deck. Only then did I see an Israeli soldier on deck.

      The men who were dead had been fired on from above.”

      link to independent.co.uk

      • Justice Please
        June 7, 2010, 2:54 am

        And this just in:

        “New York – Israeli warships opened fire on a Palestinian boat off the coast of Gaza early on Monday, reportedly killing four people.

        The Israeli military said it fired on armed Palestinian men wearing diving suits who they said were on the way to attack Israeli targets.”

        link to palestinenote.com

        I guess those diving suits were highly antisemitic diving suits?

      • Justice Please
        June 7, 2010, 3:03 am

        “Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday he is planning to introduce a resolution next week defending Israel against criticism it has received over its handling of the Gaza flotilla incident.

        King, the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee,”

        link to thehill.com

        Any American politician who defends a foreign government that just attacked a US-flagged vessel in international waters, abducting 12 US citizens and executing one of them (Furkan Dogan) with 4 bullets to the head, is a traitor und should get the tar-and-feather-treatment.

      • potsherd
        June 7, 2010, 8:10 am

        The Lobby took longer than I thought they would.

    • thankgodimatheist
      June 7, 2010, 5:20 am

      This story is an absolute MUST read..A hero of our times!

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 7, 2010, 5:21 am

        I’m talking abnout Ken O’Keefe..Here
        link to humanrightstv.blogspot.com

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 7, 2010, 5:23 am

        In conclusion; I would like to challenge every endorser of Gandhi, every person who thinks they understand him, who acknowledges him as one of the great souls of our time (which is just about every western leader), I challenge you in the form of a question. Please explain how we, the defenders of the Mavri Mamarra, are not the modern example of Gandhi’s essence? But first read the words of Gandhi himself.

        ” I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence…. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.”

  3. Richard Parker
    June 7, 2010, 3:24 am

    Phil’s link to Uri Avnery’s column is blocked. So is my usual direct link to his column, that I read only yesterday morning (Sunday-Uri Avnery!) as usual.

    However, there is a trenchant criticism from him in Haaretz at:
    link to haaretz.com

    It seems that as Israel ramps up its panic PR fantasy attacks on everything it can think about, it is also exercising blatant censorship.

    In response to Hurriyets photos of captured Israeli commandos, even Haaretz responds with the blaring headline:
    Israel Navy: 3 commandos nearly taken hostage in Gaza flotilla raid

    On the same page, Haaretz links to a photo of an Israeli commando getting tender loving care from a ‘terrorist’ passenger link to haaretz.com

    The man, whose face has been diffused in this photo (out of embarrassment?) is the leader of the first attack squad, who was stupid enough to rappelle down into an angry Muslim prayer group, one by one.

    Which reinforces my opinion that the ID are brutal, complacent and stupid. They’ve been softened up by 40 years of beating up occupied natives, and would lose any battle they fought against a determined foe.

    • Walid
      June 7, 2010, 4:09 am

      The site after 4 hours has been unblocked. This is too precious from Avnery, taken from his article:

      “… The propaganda of the government and the army tells a simple story: our heroic soldiers, determined and sensitive, the elite of the elite, descended on the ship in order “to talk” and were attacked by a wild and violent crowd. Official spokesmen repeated again and again the word “lynching”.

      On the first day, almost all the Israeli media accepted this. After all, it is clear that we, the Jews, are the victims. Always. That applies to Jewish soldiers, too. True, we storm a foreign ship at sea, but turn at once into victims who have no choice but to defend ourselves against violent and incited anti-Semites.

      It is impossible not to be reminded of the classic Jewish joke about the Jewish mother in Russia taking leave of her son, who has been called up to serve the Czar in the war against Turkey. “Don’t overexert yourself’” she implores him, “Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again…”

      “But mother,” the son interrupts, “What if the Turk kills me?”

      “You?” exclaims the mother, “But why? What have you done to him?”

      To any normal person, this may sound crazy. Heavily armed soldiers of an elite commando unit board a ship on the high seas in the middle of the night, from the sea and from the air – and they are the victims?”

    • potsherd
      June 7, 2010, 8:12 am

      Maan has Uri’s column: link to maannews.net

  4. DICKERSON3870
    June 7, 2010, 4:12 am

    RE: “Israeli discourse on Gaza flotilla makes our press look poodle” – Weiss
    MY COMMENT: Phil, this is grossly unfair to poodles. You should be ashamed of yourself! This has gone way too far. Someone’s got to stand up for proud poodles everywhere…uh…Down Tony, down! Get off my leg now, or your Potty Patch™ is history!

  5. Shmuel
    June 7, 2010, 4:58 am

    The Knesset Committee has just voted (by a majority of 7 to 1 – the 1 being MK Ilan Gilon of Meretz) to recommend revoking MK Haneen Zoabi’s “special privileges as a member of Knesset”. These privileges include unhindered travel abroad, carrying a diplomatic passport and having legal expenses paid by the Knesset.

    The recommendation must be approved by the Knesset plenum, and will undoubtedly be challenged in the Supreme Court.

    • lysias
      June 7, 2010, 7:32 am

      The Israeli Arabs are only allowed the vote and membership in the Knesset to the extent that they can be kept politically meaningless.

      After an election, when each of the major parties frantically seeks to put together a Knesset majority, nobody seeks out the support of the Israeli Arab members of the Knesset.

      • Shmuel
        June 7, 2010, 8:10 am

        The Israeli Arabs are only allowed the vote and membership in the Knesset to the extent that they can be kept politically meaningless.

        Damn right. Zoabi is being penalised for having faithfully represented her constituency’s deep concern for the people of Gaza and opposition to the immoral and illegal blockade. They can shout “terrorists” as much as they like, but that will not change the fact that she participated in a HUMANITARIAN flotilla, which sought to bring Gazans supplies that Israel criminally denies them, and to focus world attention on this injustice.

        I have written to MK Zoabi to express my support. Her e-mail address can be found here.

  6. Formerly T-Bear
    June 7, 2010, 5:48 am

    There is a lie behind every crime

    A quote from “Lies in a Mirror, An Essay on Evil and Deceit” by Peter Charleton, (ISBN 1-84218-101-7) who is an Irish Barrister, written from his experience and some conclusions drawn from that experience.

    That experience pertains to countries and societies as well as individuals, it is the lies one tells oneself, as well as the lies we tell ourselves, that become foundation for the crimes committed, singularly or collectively. Once a lie is told, and accepted, the lie metastasizes, ever growing until there is no defense to counter those lies. The book constructs a convincing argument that there is evil, that that evil is rooted, is sustained in lies. The merchandising of propaganda, dissembling, half and partial truths, the outright falsehoods, as well as things not said, hidden, or camouflaged from recognition for what they are, are lies as well; anything that hides or obscures facts, that distorts the mirror we see ourselves in.

    The recent flurry of deceit and dissemination stands out as evidence that crimes have been committed. The same flurry attended the “Cast Lead” atrocities perpetrated upon 1.6 million captive residents of Gaza, half of whom were children, not recognized by civil law as capable of providing themselves defense. The use of white phosphorus and cluster bombs, the bulldozing of orchards and cropland is unjustified under all conditions. Once one identifying characteristic of those practicing the Jewish faith was the insistence upon justice, there are many of that faith that is still true for. However, it seems those following the present Zionist cause and their ultra•orthodox enablers have lost sight of that quality, or no longer subscribe to its importance; again it needs to be noted even here there are exceptions as well, but not numerous enough to prevail to the contrary.

    Three sources act as a constant measure against which all propaganda and deceit fails. Robert Fisk’s “The Great War for Civilization”, Norman G. Finkelstein’s “Beyond Chutzpah”, and various Noam Chomsky titles. If what is being said is not congruent with any or all these sources, it will not stand close inspection in the light of day; of that you can rest assured.

    It is sad to see so many sell their souls, defending the indefensible, obdurately obstructing the dissemination of information, dissembling and utilizing all the various tools of propaganda to cast doubt where doubt does not exist. These people are a cancer, wherever they practice their deceptions. Those still retaining conscientiousness must expose them to the light of day for the evil they represent and the danger they pose to the continuity of humanity itself.

  7. Homer
    June 7, 2010, 6:19 am

    Charles Krauthammer, the noted psychoanalyst of the victimhood/hubris syndrome, has an article in today’s Washington Post, entitled “Those Troublesome Jews”. (I think this is about the fourth such piece I have read from Dr. K with the same title.) This is his concluding paragraph:

    “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.”

    Here is the solution that Dr. K says Israel must adopt, and in fact has adopted: “forward active defense”, by which he means naked military and covert preemptive aggression against any potential antagonist.

    Krauthammer says, “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million ….” If by that he means the Jews of Israel, then I think that for once I must agree with this man’s premise. But I think that a better solution can be found than the one he proposes, and the one that he maliciously says Iran proposes.

    How about the one that Helen Thomas proposes?

    • Chu
      June 7, 2010, 8:59 am

      I say keep writing Krauthammer, every article he writes undermines the neocon Washington Post. He’s the blooming
      fruit of their rotten tree.

  8. stevelaudig
    June 7, 2010, 7:01 am

    The Israeli government now is taking on the aspects of Bull Connor with the dogs and firehoses.

  9. Miss Dee Mena
    June 7, 2010, 7:42 am

    That a small section of the Israeli media has covered the deadly Gaza flotilla raid better than the US media is not saying much. Sort of like half a step up from the bottom of the barrel. The overall coverage in Israel is very sympathetic with the commandos. Additionally significant new facts being incovered have either not been mentioned or have been in a very quick and half-hearted manner. And yes the bottom-line is Haaretz is still Zionist to the core.

    • Shmuel
      June 7, 2010, 7:58 am

      I agree, MDM. Even Haaretz’ coverage has basically towed the Zionist line, more or less embracing the “official version” of events. Yediot and Maariv have been much worse.

      • Miss Dee Mena
        June 7, 2010, 8:14 am

        Let’s not even mention Ynet or JPost Shmuel.

      • Shmuel
        June 7, 2010, 8:16 am

        Let’s not even mention Ynet or JPost Shmuel.

        Deal :-)

  10. Miss Dee Mena
    June 7, 2010, 7:42 am

    *uncovered*

  11. melka
    June 7, 2010, 7:46 am

    For those of you who understand French, a nice article about how France 2, French national TV, covered the subject :
    link to acrimed.org

    • Miss Dee Mena
      June 7, 2010, 7:52 am

      Melka do you have a link to France 2 covering the activists being deported from Ben Gurion airport perhaps? I was with the correspondent there. I’ve tried to find this but I don’t speak French.

      • melka
        June 7, 2010, 7:56 am

        From the Mavi Marmara or from the Rachel Corrie ?

      • Miss Dee Mena
        June 7, 2010, 8:15 am

        Any links to clips of any of the activists as they were deported from Ben Gurion airport please

      • melka
        June 7, 2010, 9:07 am

        I’m trying to download the videos from France 2′s website, but it’s taking some time.
        You can watch the news here :
        link to jt.france2.fr

      • Miss Dee Mena
        June 7, 2010, 9:11 am

        Thanks very much

      • Walid
        June 7, 2010, 9:16 am

        I don’t get what was nice about it, Melka; I gathered the reviewing agency was very critical of France 2 and wiped the floor with it and with Israel for the one-sided reporting. What did I miss?

      • melka
        June 7, 2010, 9:41 am

        “the reviewing agency was very critical of France 2 and wiped the floor with it and with Israel for the one-sided reporting.”

        That’s exactly what’s nice :)
        Knowing that the Government sponsored TV, payed by citizens (we are paying a 120 euros tax per year for financing the national TV), is just another propaganda machine is nice to know :)

      • Walid
        June 7, 2010, 9:57 am

        Thanks for the reply, Melka, I had figured out what you meant by your name and subsequent post. The 18 minutes devoted to covering the story from an Israeli perspective was more of a publi-reportage.

      • melka
        June 7, 2010, 10:06 am

        If you want, here’s a little document I wrote. It’s kind of a notebook of what I felt when watching TV between May 31st and June 1st. It’s in French, sorry :
        link to melka.one.free.fr

      • Shmuel
        June 7, 2010, 10:18 am

        Thank you, Melka. It’s very well-done, and very important.

      • Walid
        June 7, 2010, 1:27 pm

        Great work, Melka; “Hasbara” is what it’s all about and some of it is working on the unsuspecting public. It’s sad that some of those you noted are also being broadcast in some of the Arabic media in the form you heard them in French, hasbara, kisbara and all.

  12. Miss Dee Mena
    June 7, 2010, 7:52 am

    a link to a video clip that is

  13. lysias
    June 7, 2010, 7:55 am

    Max Blumenthal spoke on “Democracy Now” a few minutes ago. He had been at the demonstration that Uri Avnery was attacked leaving. He spoke about the IDF’s falsification of evidence, including the radio transmissions between the Israelis and the flotilla. They played on the show the false audio clip of the Turkish ship saying “Go back to Auschwitz!”, that the IDF now admits was false. Blumenthal pointed out that Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post went beyond what the IDF initially claimed and said that the crowd on the Mavi Marmara had shouted this repeatedly. More interestingly, apparently the Washington Post has yet to correct or retract this doubly deceptive report. Blumenthal asked listeners to contact the Washington Post‘s ombudsman.

    • Miss Dee Mena
      June 7, 2010, 8:22 am

      I interviewed Huwaida Arraf, the FG chairwoman, about this today. She was near the VHF radio the entire time the captains communicated with the Israelis via radio transmission. She said nobody other than the captains and herself spoke with them and that all the captains were entirely professional during the entire period. The guy who allegedly made the “go back to Auschwitz” comments spoke in a phoney southern accent. Arraf confirmed that there were no Americans from the south on board and that none of the alleged comments were made.

      The IDF released an reedited/corrected audio of this five days later. However, the phoney comments are still on the new version.

      • melka
        June 7, 2010, 8:46 am

        It’s obvious that those false comments (about Auschwitz and 9/11) are once again a way to push the old Guilt Button. Everybody knows this tactic, and it’s starting to no longer work. Just look at how that poor girl got owned by Norman Finkelstein at the University of Waterloo.
        I no longer remember who that was, but a French or Belgian historian said that we are now having a new generation of people (aged between 18 and 25) being involved in the Israelo-Palestinian conflict, and this new generation no longer feels guilty for what happened during the second world war but instead, they feel ashamed for not doing anything regarding Gaza and the West Bank. Sadly, for the most hardcore zionists, they still play with the same old cards.

      • Shmuel
        June 7, 2010, 8:58 am

        Bears repeating once again: The flotilla did not come to attack Israel, but was itself attacked by Israel. Every single passenger could be a sheet-clad member of the KKK, and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.

        And another thing: At least nine people were shot dead, and Israel is complaining that someone called them names?

      • Chaos4700
        June 7, 2010, 9:13 am

        And another thing: At least nine people were shot dead, and Israel is complaining that someone called them names?

        Isn’t that the very definition of psychopathy, incidentally?

      • potsherd
        June 7, 2010, 9:19 am

        No, they are proving (to themselves, at least) that any opposition to Israeli policies is antisemitic.

  14. Chu
    June 7, 2010, 8:27 am

    He’s right on the money on that statement. War seems inevitable thanks to Israel and it’s rotten leadership. And the public is fully behind them. It’s like JonesTown, but only in the Mid-East.

  15. Elliot
    June 7, 2010, 8:32 am

    Homer: Whatever other purposes these productions may have served, as a whole they clearly have been designed to accomplish a single-minded goal: to implant in the American population the idea that for all time we are responsible for, to blame for, and guilty of the Jewish Holocaust. Within the organized Jewish community, Israel remains largely unchallenged. This is separate from the media and, is independent of Holocaust guilt. Holocaust guilt was strong a generation ago. Now, Holocaust memorialization is not about guilt, it’s about identity. I believe Jews are actually proud about having a Holocaust. What have goyim got?

    Israel is another issue entirely. Simply put, Americans Jews have internalized the Zionist message that Diaspora Judaism is inferior to Israel. According to Zionist thinking Israel has something American Jews don’t have: “continuity.” While American Jews leave the faith or marry Christians and raise unaffiliated or Christian children, the children of Israeli Jews are automatically Jewish.
    Since American Jews need Israel as the paragon of Jewishness, they can’t afford to challenge it.

    • Homer
      June 7, 2010, 9:09 am

      Elliot, just to be clear, when I mentioned Holocaust guilt I was not trying to characterize any feelings of the Jewish community, whether they be of guilt over the horrific event, or identity with it.

      I was referring to the artfully induced guilt of the American population at large, for an event that 99.9999 per cent of them had nothing to do with. Artfully induced, in my opinion, for political purposes. As for personal identification with the Jewish Holocaust, only sick-minded goyim would seek that kind of identification for themselves.

    • Mooser
      June 7, 2010, 10:19 am

      “I believe Jews are actually proud about having a Holocaust. What have goyim got?”

      That’s a good question.

  16. Homer
    June 7, 2010, 8:42 am

    Speaking of the (damn) media, the NY Times, in its regular feature called “Opinionator: The Thread”, has a piece entitled “Is the Embargo Good for the Jews?”

    link to opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com

    This is a specific instantiation of the general question frequently posed by the Times: “Is [fill in the blank] Good for the Jews?”

    If they wanted to relax their Judeo-centric perspective for a moment, they might consider adding balance by running a parallel piece called “Is the Embargo Good for the Gazans?”

    • Chu
      June 7, 2010, 8:52 am

      “Is the Embargo Good for the Gazans?”
      That would require empathy, which is something they lack.

  17. Mooser
    June 7, 2010, 10:23 am

    I think that Mondoweiss is meeting the challenge of the attack on the Gaza flotilla magnificently, in the posts and in the comments.

    • Walid
      June 7, 2010, 1:29 pm

      Do we get a badge, a T-shirt, cap or something to show for it, Mooser?

  18. Richard Parker
    June 7, 2010, 7:21 pm

    Israel hasn’t deported MK Haneen Zoabi to safety beyond its borders, so they can harass her and attack her in place, thus demonstrating just how cowardly they really are.

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