After the first shocking news, Israel took control of information about their act of high seas piracy. From jamming the airwaves to stop the media reporting from the boats shortly after they boarded them, to keeping the protesters detained, they ensured that their side was the only one that had the facts. And if you’ve got the facts, you can release those that support your case.
So we have Ron Ben Yishai’s account as the only “credible” one for quite some time. This allows the pro-Israeli groups to frame the peace flotilla supplying aid as Hamas terrorists attacking Israel. We end up with Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post:
“Israel is the frontline of the free world. Its ability to defend itself and deter its foes is the single most important guarantee of international peace. A strong Israel is also the most potent and reliable guarantor of the US’s continued ability to project its power in the Middle East.”
In fact Israel is not the guarantor of the US’s ability to project its power; it is the albatross around America’s neck, drawing it into no end of difficult foreign policy problems. Israel needs to see that the US couldn’t justify blocking an independent inquiry into this outrage, unlike past ones – the seemingly endless support may start running out if it doesn’t improve its conduct, instead of always seeing if it can push a bit further.
And so to fight back the right wing press (why is the right wing always so unthinkingly pro-Israeli?), we go to Fisk, the world’s most awarded foreign correspondent.
“For it is a fact, is it not, that had Europeans (and yes, the Turks are Europeans, are they not?) been gunned down by any other Middle Eastern army (which the Israeli army is, is it not?) there would have been waves of outrage.”
Or for those who, like myself, enjoy more sarcasm, Mark Steel:
“That would be as logical as the statement from the Israeli PM’s spokesman “We made every possible effort to avoid this incident.” Because 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.”
“Israel could blow up a cats home and within five minutes they’d be yelling “How do we know the cats weren’t smuggling semtex in their fur for Hamas?”
It’ll be interesting to see how the media coverage progresses, as the detainees are released, and start telling their stories.