Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Floundering in flotilla facts and furphies

Tobias Ziegler at Pure Poison notes that media pundits who excuse Israel for the Gaza flotilla violence have tended to “look at the event as starting when the ship was boarded — the reasoning and tactics behind doing so, not to mention the legality of doing so, aren’t discussed, as though there were no Israeli decisions that could have changed the events or their consequences.”

It’s true enough that Israel’s apologists want to portray her forces as well-meaning innocents who walked into a trap cunningly devised by the evil Islamists. Notably Greg Sheridan observed that the confrontation with Israeli forces was planned by the activists as “a kind of grotesque theatre, which is what all terrorism is really about, in this case to carry out enough violence to ensure a violent Israeli reaction.”

Meanwhile Andrew Bolt, our Dr Easychair, took much the same line, while further ‘reporting’:

Arab television showed one woman on board [the Mavi Marmara, a vessel among the flotilla] exulting: “We await one of two good things — to achieve martyrdom or reach the shore of Gaza.”

Added another passenger, Yemeni professor Abd al-Fatah Nu’man: “These are people who wish to be martyred for the sake of Allah. As much as they want to reach Gaza, the other option is more desirable to them.”

What our Doctor neglected to mention in his ‘scoop’ was that Arab television aired the footage last Friday, before the flotilla set out for Gaza. Those inflammatory statements by the flotilla activists had apparently escaped Bolt’s attention until he began googling yesterday for material to illustrate his narrative.

But the material surely wouldn’t have escaped the notice of Israeli intelligence. The Israeli forces, therefore, must have had some idea they could meet with some stiff resistance if they attempted to storm the ship. There are more than enough questions around Israeli intentions and actions to suggest that the activists weren’t the only party in this tragedy who might have been planning “a kind of grotesque theatre”.

Interestingly, Dr Easychair also omitted to inform his readers that the same “Yemeni professor” quoted above had further remarked that “the current fleet does not bear weapons or carry armies, but it carries ... believing men, armed with faith.” An inconvenient detail, hence the omission.

UPDATE 3 JUNE: A very troubling read from Craig Murray:

NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged — legally obliged, as a matter of treaty — to react.

Meanwhile, Mark Steel takes the Israeli government to task on it’s statement — “We made every possible effort to avoid this incident” — noting that...

the one tiny thing they forgot to do to avoid this incident was not send in armed militia from helicopters in the middle of the night and shoot people. I must be a natural at this sort of technique because I often go all day without climbing off a helicopter and shooting people, and I’m not even making every possible effort.

(via Antony Loewenstein)

An example of how Greg Sheridan has earned himself the title of ‘Doctor Pussyfoot’:

Any police operation that results in the tragedy of nine deaths is in some sense a failure.

And in another startling development, see the leaked BP’s Note To Israeli Prime Minister About Steps For Good Disaster PR.

Speaking of BP’s little PR disaster, by the way, I’m not sure if I mentioned before how Dr Easychair recently lamented that “a month after the great Gulf of Mexico spill, the wildlife toll is pathetically small.”

Now that BP’s top-kill operation has failed, and the oil seems set to gush forth for months to come, our Doctor may find the wildlife toll much more to his satisfaction.



Blogger Father Park said...

You seem not to realise that this might be "the most important development in the Israel/Islamist conflict since at least Camp David Mark1 or even the Yom Kippur War"!

I might elucidate my view of this but, as it might not completely accord with the view taken by Israel and the ZFA, I might be accused of having a problem with Israelis and Australian Jews.

Back to the ironing.Ive no problems with Australian home duties workers...

5/6/10 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Just catching up, was away out of town with no internet, but remarkably I survived.

So then, you've done it to me again, Father Park, you made me go and look. Yes, it had to be, could only be, the high-falutin words of Webdiary's favourite pet troll.

And posting images of "filth", no less. Has it occurred to the idiot that if that image is such damning evidence of the Sheik's murderous evildoing, then how come the Israeli's have deported him and he's now back in Turkey? No actually I don't want to know what may or may not have occurred to the bloody fool.

Turns out that image has a rather odd provenance from what I can gather. Might do a post on it if I get a moment.

Now Father Park, if you're going to go getting yourself involved in 'discussing' that topic with the the usual suspect, do remember always to keep a purgative black beer or three at ready hand.

And do remember that obsessively commenting almost solely on that topic is a sure sign of something not nice. Or worse.

6/6/10 3:50 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

No, no dear fellow: I intend to leave it there. Clearly I have a problem with Australian Jews. Wish he'd make up his mind: I'd just gotten help for having an issue with men in skirts wielding spears and my alcohol problem. Had I known I might have knocked this Australian Jewry problem off as well.

6/6/10 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Very sensible and all for the best. By the way, I have to confess to having broken the blog. The side panel that normally displays at right has somehow been pushed down the bottom. I think it's because of an html error I can't work out in one of the posts further down. Normal transmission will hopefully resume once that post goes off the front page.

7/6/10 10:24 AM  

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