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  • “Peace Activists”

    Posted by David Foster on June 1st, 2010 (All posts by )

    …armed with knives, bats, and metal pipes. Read Pamela Geller’s coverage of the Gaza “peace flotilla” incident.

    Also see video at Maggie’s Farm, where Bruce Kesler comments:

    The convoy was not humanitarian in intent or action. It was a blatant political propaganda ploy, intentionally belligerent in leadership, word and deed, to provoke in order to pressure Israel to commit suicide, opening Gaza’s borders to the type of infusion of deadly weapons and missiles for Hamas to attack Israel that flows unimpeded into Lebanon.

    Any who defend the convoy or its passengers are actually furthering avoidable death and war.

    Extensive coverage and commentary also at Bookworm.

    No military or coast guard force in the world would have permitted such an attack on its personnel without a forceful response..and in the case of many countries, such response would have been considerably more violent than that carried out by Israel.

    Sister Toldjah links Melanie Phillips, who makes an important point:

    It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments — play an absolutely essential role in the drama. If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media. Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves.

    And, right on cue, here’s a condemnation of Israel’s actions from the president of the United Nations general assembly. Anybody surprised? And here’s a college professor, quoted approvingly by a financial journalist, with a bizarre comparison of Israel to North Korea.

    From today’s Wall Street Journal:

    As Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations writes nearby, the flotilla—which falsely billed itself as a “humanitarian” mission—was organized by a radical Turkish group with close ties to Hamas, the terrorist group that illegally seized power in Gaza in 2007. Since then, both Israel and Egypt have imposed a partial blockade on the Strip, mainly to prevent Hamas from arming itself with the kinds of weapons it used to spark a war with Israel in December 2008. Food, medicine and electricity continue to flow to Gaza.

    The Gaza war also elicited international protests against Israel, which time and again is told what it can do in its own self-defense, with its critics deeming nearly every effective military action “disproportionate.”…We suppose Israel could have allowed the flotilla to pass to avoid the political fallout it is now enduring. Had it done so, however, it would have merely created a channel through which Hamas could be supplied with ever-more advanced weaponry (much of it courtesy of Iran), thus setting the stage for an even bloodier future war in Gaza.

    Those who denounce Israel today ought to at least propose how they mean to keep arms from going to Hamas—or else consider the role their denunciations will play in encouraging another war.

    Max Boot does argue, in his own WSJ column today, that Israel needs to do a better job with PR and information warfare:

    As it does too often, Israel took a narrow military operational approach to what is a broader strategic problem. Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups are conducting a skillful “information war” that is making Israel a pariah state in the international community. Israel, like the United States and other democratic nations, is at a severe disadvantage trying to combat a ruthless foe willing to sacrifice its own people to score propaganda points.

    There are no perfect counter-tactics available, but whenever Israel does use military force it needs to be more aware of the political ramifications.

    Zenpundit makes a similar point on this blog.

    It’s true that Israel’s PR efforts often seem clumsy, and it may be that the Gaza interception could have been better executed tactically. But PR is an art, not a science, and military operations are inherently unpredictable. The real issue here is the depth of the reservoir of hostility toward Israel in western countries, especially among certain elites. While some of this hostility could be or could have been drained by more effective PR on the part of Israel and its supporters, a lot of it goes much deeper. The hostility toward Israel and the romanticization of Palestinian terrorism on the part of certain influential groups in western society–epecially among writers, journalists, entertainers, professors, etc–largely reflects a more fundamental hostility toward American society, toward Western civilization, and indeed even toward civilization itself. Palestinian society is under the spell of a nihilist death cult, and anyone who acts as an enabler of that cult–whether on a “peace flotilla” or in a college classroom–has blood on his hands. Bookworm has an important post on the role of our institutions of higher education in inculcating these destructive attitudes.

    RWN has an interesting but not surprising comparison of liberal/”progressive” versus conservative reaction to the Gaza flotilla events.

     

    12 Responses to ““Peace Activists””

    1. David Foster Says:

      Some information about the entity behind the Gaza flotilla, here.

      Via Glenn, a Legal Insurrection post suggesting a convoy to carry aid to Kurds in Turkey:

      “Since Turkey now has thrust itself into the forefront of making sure Hamas can be resupplied by Iran from the sea, I presume Turkey will open its borders to shipments to Kurdish separatist groups, without inspecting those shipments for weapons.”

    2. Mike H Says:

      Lawfare taken to a new level at its finest!

    3. david foster Says:

      Sarah Palin gets it said.

    4. sol vason Says:

      I suppose if Obama totally isolates Israel, then Israel will realize that only Israel can prevent a second Holocaust. The Holocaust shows what happens when Jews rely on the kindness of strangers.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      I thought Daniel Drezner had more sense than that. The fact that Israel and NK are both pariahs doesn’t necessarily imply that Israel is responsible for its pariah status, as NK is for its own pariah status. In fact it may mean that Israel’s enemies have seized on the use of assertions of pariah status as a weapon against Israel. In that case the USA should continue to support its ally and should attempt to impose costs on countries and organizations that demonize it. Drezner, at best, seems to be confusing a glib verbal analogy with reality.

    6. Jonathan Says:

      Most of the mass-media are way behind the OODA loop on this one. The Islamists and Left are playing them like a drum. Even the Israel correspondent of supposedly-conservative Fox News spoke repeatedly of the “peace activists” on the ships.

    7. Helen Says:

      As a number of Israelis and the country’s media have acknowledged, a large part of the problem is the government’s and the IDF’s utterly awful PR. We came across this during the war against Hezbollah in the Lebanon, when Israeli officialdom simply rolled over and let the other side call the PR shots. They did not even bother to investigate Qana, which was clearly a set-up. It seemed like some lessons had been learnt but, as Ynetnews.com says, this was shoddy beyond belief. Where was the Israeli feed? Where were the constant briefs to journalists and bloggers? Why did it take so long to publish those pictures and videos, not to mention the information about the organization behind the flotilla? Of course, that does not excuse the supine western reaction but Israel is going to have to learn the art of propaganda.

    8. tehag Says:

      Not much changes. The peace protestors of the sixties were the same: blowing up buildings was on their list. I myself was attacked by peace protestors in 1972. Fortunately they only used stones, and weren’t up to chasing a lonely coward like myself, once I was out of range. Such are the lovers of peace.

    9. david foster Says:

      Good post by Ron Radosh on the leftist demonization of Israel He cites a comment by the author of the book “The Strong Horse,” Lee Smith:

      “Some commentators are saying Israel handed Hamas a political victory, but it was rather Obama who did so with his even-handed approach that erases any distinction between a US ally and Hamas and a Turkish government that with this act, among others, has identified itself as an adversary. You’d think the White House would understand that it is actually in the interests of the US for Israel to enforce its maritime blockade of a terrorist organization, but apparently that’s a bridge too far for these guys. If Washington doesn’t back Jerusalem, then no one will. The Israeli command foolishly made their own soldiers vulnerable, hanging them from helicopters like human piñatas and dropping them into mayhem armed with crowd control devices, but it’s Obama who made the state of Israel vulnerable to the international community today.”

    10. david foster Says:

      Ralph Peters:

      “Yesterday’s “aid convoy” incident off the coast of Gaza wasn’t about bringing humanitarian supplies to the terrorist-ruled territory. It wasn’t even about Israel.

      It was about Turkey’s determination to position itself as the leading Muslim state in the Middle East.”

      and

      “The madcap agenda of Turkey’s current rulers is to create a 21st-century version of the Ottoman Empire. Turks even mutter about the caliphate — headed for centuries by the Turkish sultan. This is explosive stuff. And the Turks are playing with matches.

      But we’ve obstinately ignored every warning sign. First, our “ally” stabbed us in the back on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, denying our troops their planned routes into Iraq. Then the Turkish media intensified its anti-American fantasies.

      Headscarves became de rigeur for the wives of top officials in Ankara as the Turks made mischief in Iraq. Emulating the history-obliterating Saudis, the Turks began work on the vast Ilisu Dam — which will permanently submerge pre-Islamic and Kurdish archaeological sites of incalculable value. (The Bamiyan Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban were of comparatively minor interest to researchers.)

      Then, just last month, the Turks moved to provide the Iranian regime with cover for its nuclear program. And we still didn’t get it.

      The most dramatic transformation in the Middle East since the fall of the shah is playing out before us. And we can’t see behind the mask of the “plight of the Palestinians” (a key Obama administration concern).

      In yesterday’s confrontation, Israel behaved clumsily. The peace activists behaved savagely. The Turks behaved cynically. The world reacted predictably.

      And Washington scratched its head.”

    11. Anonymous Says:

      >It was about Turkey’s determination to position itself as the
      >leading Muslim state in the Middle East.”

      No.

      It was about Islamists and Leftists trying to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into Gaza to be fired into Israel.

      That was what Iran’s nuclear program in Syria was about — before Israel flattened it with an air strike.

    12. tehag Says:

      If terrorists sympathizing with the Confederacy had tried to run the Union blockade, how would the Union have responded? That’s right–sinking them without a second thought. If terrorists had fried to run the Cuban blockade in 1962, what would JFK & RFK and the rest of the best and brightest have done? That’s right–sunk them. Why should Jews be held to a different standard?