Sunday, July 03, 2011

Ethan Bronner goes for a sail on "Gaza's Sea of Spin," ends up in shallow waters

He presents a good deal of editorializing from various sources while striking a detached pose. The opening paragraph gives a good taste of the muddle to follow:
SOME see a parallel with the Exodus, the ship filled with Jewish refugees that tried to break the British blockade of Palestine in 1947 and helped sway world opinion toward Zionism. Others are struck by the insistence on transporting basic aid — food and cement — when it is no longer needed. Still others note the way the Israeli authorities portray the organizers as violent Islamists when most are middle-aged European pacifists.
"Middle-aged European pacifists" who are doing the bidding of "violent Islamists." So how do "pacifists" find themselves in that role? We aren't going to get much insight from Bronner although there is an occasional flash of realism:
The Turkish group I.H.H., which helps sponsor the flotillas, has ties to Hamas, and Israeli and Western concern that violence could occur if the flotilla sets sail does not seem far-fetched, despite the organizers’ vows to the contrary.
That followed a paragraph about how "Mendacity has already reared its head" in the form of false claim on a You Tube video that a gay activist was denied permission to participate in the flotilla. The paragraph ends with reasons for suspecting the Israeli government was behind the deception. Yep, everybody's spinnin'. Is there a reality beneath the spin? Would it be a very bad thing, and not just for Israel, for Gaza to successfully duplicate Hezbollah's missile arsenal? Isn't the blockade the reason it did not happen yet? Is it really plausible that those "middle-aged European pacifists" don't understand what they are doing? There is no point in negating spin without some serious analysis to replace it.

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