Gaza flotilla Gaza Strip Hamas Israel Palestinians

In Israel, a nation brainwashes itself on the Gaza flotilla

Writing about the Israeli reaction to the attack on the Gaza flotilla, Larry Derfner, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, sent the following note to a small group yesterday. He was kind enough to let me quote it in full:

For those of you in the U.S., you’re missing out on the experience of a nation brainwashing itself. The TV and radio reporters, commentators and interviewees are repeating the official line word for word – that Israel was acting in self-defense, that the guilty ones were the terrorists on the ship. No one questions whether we have the right to blockade Gaza, no one stops to take in the lopsided death and injury toll – no, once again, we’re the persecuted, they’re the persecutors.

After interviewing one of the handful of Israeli leftists who demonstrated at Ashdod port, a radio reporter, to put things in context, said, “He failed to mention that he wouldn’t be able to say such things in an Arab country.” I was watching the TV news in a hospital waiting room in Ashkelon, and it was like sitting with the home team fans at a game. “Some humanitarian act, some peace activists,” said one guy. The announcer says Jordan has condemned Israel, and somebody says, “Jordan! They kill Palestinians by the dozens.” Everybody’s on board, excuse the pun.

The only criticism leveled by the media is on the strictly military aspect of the raid. Otherwise, they’re exploring how Israel should spin this. All the talking heads and all the men and women in the street are propagandists today – exactly like they were during the war in Gaza and the 2006 war in Lebanon. It’s so deflating to remember that in the 80s and 90s, this place really did feel like a “vibrant democracy,” not the zombie-land it’s become.

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