Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Flotilla: Media Reaction

The Guardian’s editorial today is predictably biased, comparing Israel to Somali pirates, commenting “no Nato warships will in fact be heading for Israel. Perhaps they should be”; and calling Israel a pariah state because of its military action. Israel is the only state in the world called pariah for defending itself. 

The Guardian seems to mock the idea that Israel was met with “pre-planned violence” (their quotations), and then contradicts that by blaming Israel wholly for supposedly placing “themselves in a situation where they lost control and provoked a riot, the Israeli navy [saying] they were forced to open fire to avoid being lynched”. 

Just Journalism observes further contradictory statements in the Guardian’s article: 

“On the one hand, The Guardian portrayed such violence as inevitable, saying, ‘What did the commandos expect pro-Palestinian activists to do once they boarded the ships – invite them aboard for a cup of tea with the captain on the bridge?’ However, immediately after this, the piece cast doubt on whether Israeli commandos had, in fact, faced any real threat, saying of a Greek man, purportedly shot by Israel, ‘Presumably he, too, was threatening the lives of Israeli naval commandos.’"

In answer to the Guardian’s question – what did the commandos expect the activists to do – well, I would suggest they followed the example of the passengers on the five other ships that Israel took control of, without the need for force. Surrender, and not try to foolishly start a war with the Israeli army. From literally miles away the activists knew exactly what would happen. They deliberately refused to go to Ashdod because they wanted a confrontation; they intended to inflict maximum damage on the soldiers with the weapons they had at their disposal – kill if they could – knowing that Israel would have no choice but to retaliate forcefully to prevent their own soldiers from being killed. All as part of their battle in seeking to delegitimize Israel and deny it’s right to defend itself.

The Guardian then gets even more ridiculous with this statement: 

“There was nothing on board those ships that constituted a threat to Israel's security, so Binyamin Netanyahu's argument that his troops were acting in self-defence has no validity. They should not have been there in the first place.”

Well, to quote Jonathan Hoffman from his speech made in support of Israel’s right to self-defence,  

“Israel had every right to board the Mavi Marmara ship. Israel cannot allow unknown goods and people to enter Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist regime that calls for the murder of Jews, the 'obliteration' of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy. In the past, Israel has intercepted weapons-laden boats headed for Gaza’s coast. No government allows unidentified people and goods to flout their border regulations and enter their countries freely. If these activists behaved similarly at passport and security control in the U.S. or any other nation’s shores, ignoring their official protocol and violently attacking security personnel, they would also have been stopped and arrested.”

The Guardian’s hatred for Israel is so strong that they believe Israel should just allow a ship potentially carrying weapons and terrorists into Gaza; and call for an end to the blockade, as Nick Clegg did knowing this would be dangerous to Israeli citizens, essentially dismissing all Israel’s security concerns as paranoia – and then express sympathy with the political isolation and pressure on “Hamas by insisting it recognise Israel before it is allowed to join a national unity government with Fatah.” How do they expect there to be peace whilst Hamas is bent on Israel's destruction?

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the presenter John Humphrys echoes the Guardian editorial to Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor, asking:

“how would you react if you were sailing on a ship with old people and children on it, in international waters, perfectly legally, and out of the sky in the middle of the night a grouped of armed men landed on your ship – what would you do, welcome them in for a cup of tea?”

If I were on a ship with old people and children on it, I’d make damn sure not to breach a military maritime blockade. I wouldn’t ignore their numerous warning to divert to Ashdod. And if I did ignore them, I wouldn’t lie in wait to start a fight with them, because hopefully I’d have the sense to know they’re not looking to start a fight with me. But that’s just me. I just happen to value life. 

Humphrys then rivals the Guardian for most ridiculous comment of the day when he says “an iron bar is not the same as a machine gun... it’s not a weapon... a knife is not a weapon”. He says the incident was Israel acting disproportionately to “the slightest threat”. Well, really, the threat wasn’t even slight, because iron bars and knives aren’t weapons and are totally harmless, don’t you know. Just like those Hamas “homemade” rockets that have been falling today and for the last 9 years.

More reaction from the blogs on my side-bar, and live blogging again from The Muqata.

1 comment:

  1. Someone should ask what Welsh Longbowmen had in their hands when they killed thousands of French knights at Agincourt in 1415 CE! He might find out that knives and iron bars were what his putative ancestors used, and this is assuming, of course, that Humphrys even knows what Agincourt is....

    In any case, I challenge Mr. Humphrys to allow myself and 3 other men to hold him down, while I take a knife to him. It shouldn't hurt a bit!