Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An on-topic, off-topic posting from Divest This!

On paper, yesterday's utterly inevitable loss of life off the Gaza coast is not per se a BDS story. But remember that BDS is simply a tactic in service to a wider strategy of de-legitimization of the Jewish state.

And this de-legitimization applies not just to Israel itself (via attempts to subject all aspects of the country - including its products, academics and artists - to disruptive political protests). Rather, it also applies to de-legitimizing Israel's ability to do what all other countries are allowed to do (and do routinely), namely defend its borders and its people. The corollary of this strategy is that any attempt to attack Israel is lent immediate legitimacy, up to and including describing a known Turkish Jihadi organization (which has coordinated its activities with the illegal, Islamist Hamas government in Gaza) with the innocent term "humanitarian aid group."

Keep in mind that Israel called the flotilla organizers' bluff weeks ago when they offered to allow all of the aid the ships were allegedly bringing to meet the needs of the people of Gaza through the same avenues already used by Israel to supply much larger amounts of similar aid. The leaders of the group refused this offer, naturally, because their goal had nothing to do with humanitarian aid and everything to do with breaking a blockade that has succeeded in keeping arms (not food) out of the hands of people living in Gaza.

Those gathering around the country (and around the world) to protest Israel's actions against a "humanitarian aid convoy" will have their hands full shouting down these unquestionable and verifiable facts, as well as trying to get the public to ignore video of "peaceful protestors" assaulting Israelis with knives, rods and guns, violent activity that made bloodshed on the high seas all but inevitable.

This shouting will also need to be loud enough to drown out self-reflection by any part of the "Israel is always guilty" community which might point out the role they played in ensuring the loss of life off the Gaza coast. After all, not every ship carried known militants primed for battle once the inevitable happened and their provocation led to boarding by the Israeli navy. In fact, I'm sure that many aboard the boats where battles didn't break out (as well as those that supported the flotilla around the world) have managed to convince themselves that their mission was simply one of humanitarian aid, courage and mercy.

The trouble is, these folks seem to spend so much time thinking well of themselves that they fail to see the true nature of those who are sailing alongside them. Just as the media was willing to characterize the flotilla exactly as they wished to be characterized, refusing to do the 15 minutes of research required to tell them just who was behind the project, so too the convoy's members and supporters cannot imagine themselves being involved with anything that does not fit their self-image of selfless, heroic, humanitarians. And so more people are killed, and those who bear more responsibility for this tragedy than anyone else immediately put their energies into creating new martyrs and new myths of their own wonderfulness and bravery.

Keep in mind that these are not the first people the anti-Israel "peace movement" has managed to get killed. Just last winter, a similar group of irresponsible activists under incompetent leadership dragged a thousand people over to Egypt for a week, succeeding only in getting an Egyptian cop shot when the "activists" triggered a riot at the Egypt-Gaza border.

And let's not forget the Joan of Arc of the anti-Israel "movement," Rachel Corrie, whom the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) managed to sneak into Israel and place directly in harm's way, after filling the girl's head with their propaganda storyline consisting solely of Israeli witches and Palestinian virgins. And once they managed to get Corrie killed, their time was spent turning her into a martyr-saint with plays, films and pageantry, all the time demanding that everyone from Caterpillar Tractor to the Israeli government explain how she died, without once pausing to think about how their own choices led directly to her death.

I've always alluded to the dark side of fantasy politics. It would be a depressing exercise to list all of the people maimed, injured or killed, all so a group of self-righteous Israel-hating loudmouths can make themselves feel hip, virtuous and relevant. But clearly we can now add ten Turks that this list whose only regret is that they did not manage to take as many Israelis to the grave with them as possible.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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