Tuesday, June 1

Tale of Israeli Soldier Being Peace Pigeon Indigestible Anymore

Israeli commentators described what had happened Monday at dawn in the international waters as a “brutal ambush at sea.”

Ynet’s Ron Ben-Yisha recounted Israel’s explanation of the ‘operation; a tale that portrayed navy commandos as peace pigeons and activists including noble prize laureates and intellectuals as rioters.

He said that “when navy commandos slid down the vessel, passengers pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots assaulting soldiers, who were only equipped with paintball rifles used to dispersed minor protests and handguns.”

Despite the censorship imposed on the circumstance of the ‘operation’, one commando managed to speak out to establish that Israeli peace pigeons were on the defensive when they stormed the flotilla in international waters and killed 19 people, because he saw ‘the tip of a rifle sticking out of the stairwell.’

But is this still a digestible story?

The first panel debate at the "Democracy and its Challenges'" conference sponsored by the French Embassy in cooperation with Haaretz got off to a stormy start Monday.

Pro-Israel French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy expressed shock at the “events.”
"…in the war of images, in the war of pictures and propaganda, it seems to me that the Israeli government that you represent is just losing this war," Levy said. "They are destructive not only for the image of the government of Israel - this is of no importance; when democratic governments fail, they are replaced. The damage that concerns me is to the country to which I'm bound unconditionally. This seems more dangerous than a military failure."

Haaretz criticized the Israeli government handling of the ‘incident’ saying that “the government failed the test of results.
“Monday's bloodshed cannot be dismissed with claims that the demonstrators attacked IDF commandos with guns and other weapons. This type of excuse shifts responsibility from the political and military decision-makers to the soldiers, who acted in the heat of combat and for fear of their lives. It may be convenient to Netanyahu and his partners in government to present the battle as a local incident that escalated – but they cannot escape responsibility for the crisis,” Haaretz said.

The Israeli massacre drew worldwide condemnation, perhaps the first at this scale since decades. Hours after Israel committed the heinous crime, the UNSC held an emergency session, the NATO will hold a similar meeting Tuesday and the Arab League will convene, at a low level, on Tuesday as well.


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