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How the U.S. Corporate Media Got the Israel Flotilla Catastrophe So Wrong

Israel's official statements about the flotilla were terrible. But our media's treatment of the situation was just as bad.

Amid the continuing fallout over the deadly confrontation aboard the Gaza aid ship, Mavi Marmara, there is a critical historical lesson: There is only one real victim, and that is Israel. Sure, the “ small, isolated” nation may appear to have been the aggressor, having surrounded a humanitarian convoy in international waters with naval assault boats and helicopters before storming in with heavily armed elite forces killing and wounding dozens of civilians, but it was acting in self-defense.

Appearances are deceiving because understanding Israel’s eternal victimhood requires the proper mindset. And once you have the proper mindset, there is no need for facts. Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who has been hanging “ around a lot of Israeli generals lately,” kindly advises us that there should be “no particular pain felt for the dead on the boat.” On the other hand, “ There's real pain in Israel...pain at the humiliation of the flotilla raid, pain on behalf of the injured soldiers, and pain that the geniuses who run this country could not figure out a way to outsmart a bunch of Turkish Islamists and their useful idiot fellow travelers.”

Some might ask if we should feel “no particular pain” for the dead of Sept. 11. Or perhaps we should follow the lead of the White House – which sees no point in condemning Israel’s killing of civilians in the flotilla because “ Nothing can bring them back” – and not condemn the architects of Sept. 11 or the Madrid and London bombings because that won’t bring back the dead. But that is the thinking of “idiot fellow travelers.”

Hillary Clinton provides further insight, explaining how benighted Arabs who “are not sure what democracy means” should look to Israel – “a beacon of democracy” – as an example. We can now draw the first conclusion: only Israelis experience pain, while Arabs are not evolved enough to grasp the concept of democracy, Israelis are the only true humans worthy of our sympathy. A point the Washington Post understands, stating, “ We have no sympathy for the motives of the participants in the flotilla.”

A second principle, Clinton explains, is that only Israel has “legitimate security needs,” whereas Palestinians’ “legitimate needs” are limited to “sustained humanitarian assistance and regular access to reconstruction materials.” Because Palestinians “are not sure what democracy means,” their needs do not include an end to the siege, basic human rights or a viable state.

We should also assume Israel is a “peace-loving society” that offered to escort the flotilla of “ naiveté and malice” to the “ Ashdod Port and arrange for the delivery of their supplies to Gaza, after security checks, over land.” It was just trying to prevent “ the flow of seaborne military supplies to Hamas,” the Israeli ambassador wrote in the New York Times. The New Republic reveals another conclusion: The incident involved “a ship of terrorists” attempting “ to open an arms importation route to Gaza.” Once again, the Washington Post provides the only context we need to consider, “So far there’s been no indication the boats carried missiles or other arms for Hamas.” One could add that so far there’s been no indication the boats carried chemical, biological or nuclear weapons for Hamas.

One can never be sure because Israel’s enemies are so sinister that Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer alone comprehends that “the point understood by the blockade-busting flotilla of useful idiots and terror sympathizers … is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.” Krauthammer deduces brilliantly, “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million – that number again – hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists – Iranian in particular – openly prepare a more final solution.”