Israel apologists and the Israeli national will

Depending on ones view of Israel, the deaths that occurred on the decks of the Mavi Marmara early today are either reprehensible, tragic, regrettable, or — a cause for celebration.

Someone just wrote to me: “Too bad you weren’t on that ship with the rest of the terror supporters. Anyone touching an IDF soldier deserves what they got.”

I know people in J Street who would find such sentiments deeply offensive; who would assure me that when they say they are pro-Israel it does not in any sense mean that they condone the actions of this Israeli government or the kind of red-blooded xenophobic Zionism that believes the IDF can do no wrong.

Yet the question I would pose to anyone who says they are pro-Israel is this: is the Israel you support the one that exists in 2010, or does it have a firmer foothold somewhere inside your imagination?

Which is the real Israel? The Israel cherished and trumpeted at an AIPAC convention? The Israel struggling to be defined at a J Street gathering? Or the Israel triumphantly being celebrated from the hilltops above Ashdod today?

This is how The Guardian describes the scene there and however representative these particular flag-clad Israelis might actually be, their claim to be pro-Israel has a distinction that many of their American counterparts lack: they are Israelis, they live in Israel and they are not on the political fringe.

If one was to describe a constellation that linked the IDF soldiers to either their flag-waving brethren or their more conflicted American cousins, the closest ties would surely coincide with geographical proximity.

[Above the Israeli port of Ashdod as the ships of the Freedom Flotilla were towed in] Jonah’s Hill itself was heaving. Shirtless Israeli men draped in their national flag waved placards declaring “Well done IDF” in both Hebrew and English, chanting, singing and applauding their support for the military operation.

Thick cables snaked across the ground from thrumming generators, delivering power to dozens of international TV crews, broadcasting across the globe against the backdrop of the shimmering Mediterranean.

Amid the crowd, a sophisticated public relations operation was underway. Spinners and spokesmen from the Israeli military and government departments politely answered questions and offered their own narrative of the day’s events. A barrage of emails and text message alerts firing into inboxes provided a background of electronic muzak.

Shahar Arieli, deputy spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, wearing a smart tie despite the heat, said two of the flotilla’s boats had been brought into port.

All activists would be offered the chance of immediate deportation at Israel’s expense “with their passports”, he said. “We want them to leave as soon as possible,” he added.

Those who declined would – “as long as they weren’t involved in attacks on our troops” – be processed through Israel’s justice system.

His patient courtesy was not matched by all those gathered on the hill. Chaim Cohen, a 52-year-old economic consultant from Givatayim, was dripping with both sweat and bile. “We have come to support our soldiers. It is obvious it [the Mavi Marmara] is a terrorist ship. We saw it on TV – they took out knives and put them in the stomachs of the IDF.”

There was nothing to challenge the Israeli version of events. Repeated attempts to reach the cell and satellite phones of activists on board the flotilla were rebuffed; it was unclear whether their phones had been confiscated, jammed or if they were simply out of range.

By late afternoon on Monday, activists with lesser injuries were being brought to hospitals in coastal towns and cities from the smaller passenger ships. At the Barzilai medical centre in Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip, a Greek man in a neck brace told reporters: “They hit me.” Who? “Pirates,” he answered.

A dazed man with a striking black eye was unloaded from an ambulance. There had been “some brutality” on board, he said, but the activists were non-violent. “We are all Palestinian now,” he said as the doors of the ER closed behind him.

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Comments

  1. delia ruhe says

    “Depending on ones view of Israel, the deaths that occurred on the decks of the Mavi Marmara early today are either reprehensible, tragic, regrettable, or — a cause for celebration.”

    Well, they did succeed in upstaging Sasha Polakow-Suransky (although I’m not sure whether it’s better to be known as homicidal pirates than apartheid South Africa’s best friend). Given the speed and efficiency with which Israel seized the media all for itself today, my guess would be that this terrorist act went more or less as planned. Israel is, after all, in the business of producing corpses on a fairly regular basis–anywhere from one to half a dozen a day–although perhaps they didn’t plan to kill quite so many in this particular caper.

  2. DICKERSON3870 says

    RE: “the Israeli national will”
    FROM WIKIPEDIA: Triumph of the Will (German: Triumph des Willens) is a propaganda film made by Leni Riefenstahl…The overriding theme of the film is the return of Germany as a great power, with Hitler as the True German Leader who will bring glory to the nation…
    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_of_the_Will

  3. DE Teodoru says

    Bravo Netanyahu’s Zionazi Cabinet, you’ve drowned Netanyahu’s bargaining position in blood!

    One notes that Zionazi “courage” is always glaring when the odds match those of German troops in Poland. Soon we will note the moral recoil of Israelis. But we will hear nothing from the Diaspora, for the most part, because most Jews are dissociating themselves in silence from Zionism altogether and a few thinking their misshaped forms suddenly seem to take the form of “mesh-hood” of IDF commandos lowering themselves from helicopters to massacre unarmed people on unarmed ships filled with humanitarian supplies as they hold signs arrogantly cheering the “commandos” on. The expert liars of the Israeli hasbara machine (top of this line is Israel’s dual passported ambassador) shamelessly spit at the media slimy and whinny victimhood babble to explain away their criminality. We’ve heard it all before. But more and more there is video to show exactly what “dumb goyim” they think us all as they bring back the helpless dead under sheets and the living in chains. This is Zionazism in full bloom. No doubt the only consideration of those who ordered the raid was how to embarrass Obama and Netanyahu about to meet in search of a way forward.

    But all these Israeli acts of criminal chutzpah are based on foreign handouts, foreign support and, mercy and foreign guilt for the Nazi Holocaust which now seems ever so much further away as the Zionazi Holocaust unfolds, squashing anyone hesitant to endorse or expressing moral outrage, Jew or not. The cheering crowd of obese middle aged men holding signs cheering on the assassins coming down the made in America rope from made in America helicopters to shoot made in America assault rifles and bullets did not learn the lessons of Lebanon, instead feeling fully vindicated as the tough thug by their Gaza massacre. But those from that “little” Israel taking pride in murdering are facing victims who, with time, get better and better at defense, at first, and offensive eventually. God save Israel if at that time the world’s vision of the Israeli victims will be blinded by the memory of last night’s videos of Zionazi murderers “getting even” with unarmed humanitarians. Will they then have the courage to set-off all their nukes or will they beg for mercy, mercy they never show?

    Again, for Israel the issue is pessimism about the future that allows Zionazism to unfold at expense of the next generation of Israelis and Jews the world over. After all, they embarrassed Netanyahu and no one will believe he is as innocent to this crime as the victims on the boats. So, well done criminal gang cabinet, Israel is now yours. But the engorged umbilical cord from which you draw sustenance is getting ever more spastic and the beautiful Zionist dream of an Israel integrated in the Middle East will die and the Zionazis, like Saul, who ambitiously also violated God’s moral code, will be hanging by their hair, entangle in the branches of their criminal existence. I only pray that someone regains perspective to take note of where this Zionazi criminality is raking Israel….I hope it is Netanyahu…I hope!

  4. Francisco Velasco says

    I’ve registered the following statement from above:

    “any one touching an IDF soldier deserves what they got”… and they got killed.

    It reminds me that this is a step closer to the directives of the NAZI scourge, all over occupied Europe, that led to 100 innocent civilians being picked up when leaving theatres in Europe, to be executed because someone “touched” one of their soldiers…

    Israel and Jews of the Diaspora… wake up, don´t allow Zionism to turn yourseves into pariahs in this world. Five in six of my close family are Jews, and I want them and their offsprings to be able travel this small world, without having to look back over their shoulders, afraid that something might happen to them…

  5. Total bullshit from the political untouchable

  6. total bullshit from the untouchable political

  7. David Ronce says

    I send my compliments and support for your excellent writing and continuing coverage of these times in Palestine.

  8. The Question that is rapidly approaching is …..
    If American are ‘forced” to choose between saving Israel for the Jews or saving America for Americans which will they choose?
    And if the majority of us choose to save our own country how far against our own government are we willing to go to do that?

    Believe me ….we are going to have to answer that question soon.

  9. One is reminded of the mouthy little kid who shouts defiance while sheltering behind big brother’s legs. As stated, the big question is how long big brother will allow this to go on.
    My feeling is that a wise administration is already considering the possibilities. There is need for stealth because the link that holds America’s will in thrall is the power of the pro-Israel lobby, and one cannot diminish it without clipping the wings of all lobbyists — and clipping the purses of the politicians eager to have their votes bought. If Obama pulls off this one coup, his ever more shabby reputation would be deservedly restored. This one move is the key to restoring America’s battered honour.

  10. you are 100% correct sir.