Home > Gaza, Israel, Palestinian Authority > Commentary: Gaza Flotilla was a PR ambush

Commentary: Gaza Flotilla was a PR ambush

By Stanley Tiger
SAN DIEGO–The Jewish communities in San Diego and Israel are still reeling over the PR ambush by Hamas of May 31 – aka the flotilla raid. A group of violent “peace activists” successfully directed the condemnation of the world towards Israel. Sadly, too many in the Jewish community who also base their opinions on information sources limited to “official” world media are denied the bigger picture.
Associated Press  and other such services, known for anti-Israel bias, consistently used the term “peace activists”, which appears to originate from Hamas and Turkish flotilla organizers. These uncurious mainstream media reporters helped frame Israel, ignoring the purely destructive intentions of the “peace activists” (most recently termed “civilians”), who challenged Israel’s vital imperative to prevent arms smuggling.
The government of Israel did not respond well to the Hamas PR coup. But, an Israel-based independent media group did help to expose the trap by posting a satire on Youtube titled, “We Con the World” (produced by Caroline Glick) which included footage of the brutal beating of the Israeli inspectors. (Youtube removed it after a reported 3 million views, but others have re-posted it.)
Unreported stories include the slashed belly of one inspector and the actual discovery of armaments in the “aid” cargo. Although likely true, the uncurious world press continues to pretend that the ongoing state of war foisted upon Israel is irrelevant. From the first days of Israel’s formation in 1948, her Arab neighbors declared war – a war which Israel must fight every day.
The Hamas agents provocateurs planted on a single ship of the flotilla chose to engage in acts of war committed during a war. They knowingly risked their lives and lost – but Hamas did win the press battles.
There is a relevant ancient Greek Aesop’s fable, “The Lion and the Bulls”, about a lion seeking to attack bulls in a pasture. The bulls worked together to foil the attacks.

“Then a plan began to form in the lion’s mind. Secretly he spread evil and slanderous reports of one bull against the other. The bulls, distrustingly, began to avoid one another, and each withdrew to a different part of the pasture. Of course, this is exactly what the lion wanted. One by one he fell upon the bulls, and so made easy prey of all of them.”

Slander is hardly new to Jewish history. What is new is the land of Israel restored to the Jewish people.
As in the fable, the American Jewish community is split. The orthodox want Israel formed in their image. The reform and conservative movements have their ideas of what Israel should be – as do liberals and conservatives.
Divisiveness is taking a toll. I have heard of marches and demonstrations for Israel here in San Diego being cancelled due to one pro-Israel group denouncing another pro-Israel group. We all need to support Israel, even if the Jewish state does not conform to our ideal vision of what it should be.
There are only two divisions worth recognizing. Those who are pro-Israel and those who are anti-Israel. The latter being the majority of our misinformed planet.
It is imperative that the government of Israel refute slander. For example – by taking out full page ads in such newspapers as the New York and Los Angeles Times, they can state their case in a compelling and truthful manner while providing Internet links to supporting material, creating media buzz and garnering much needed positive publicity.
Among the most damaging slanders of recent years, particularly creating downward pressure toward youth on campus, is the “Zionism = Racism” slogan. An appropriate refutation would be “AntiZionism = AntiSemitism” referenced to Martin Luther King Jr. It closely paraphrases his actual statements.
“Does Israel have a right to exist?” is an obsolete question. Israel exists. The more appropriate question is, “Do Islamic terrorists have a right to destroy Israel?” That would be better PR for the Jewish state.
Israel has given the world a treasure trove of unheralded gifts that must be factually trumpeted with pride and humility to an uninformed world. I have often wondered how much more advanced the planet would be if Israel were to be spared the necessity of spending so much time and resources on military demands.
It is ironic that Aesop, who composed his fables 2,500 years ago, was himself framed and slandered (a sacred vessel was planted in his belongings by enemies). History shows that the nature of the human spirit is constant. Deceiving the public has always been an effective tool – especially when not vigorously protested and refuted.
Stanley Tiger is President of Jewish Universe Media.
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