June 6: Did we see it all?

"How many of us paused to view the IDF videos?"

June 6, 2010 05:13

letters. (photo credit: JP)

Did we see it all?

Sir, – We saw those horrific images of the invading Israeli soldiers abseiling onto the ship’s deck, and the images of peace activist being injured, killed. We saw those images repeatedly, drummed into our mind’s-eye on YouTube, Facebook, TV, every type of electronic media possible. We cried, “Massacre!”  “Murderers!”  “Death to Israel and Jews!” (Yikes – that’s me!)
How many of us paused to view the IDF videos? Did we try to corroborate information from disparate sources before arriving at conclusions? Did we watch the wooden or steel rods come bashing down on real human beings, with such frequency and intensity that it appeared the “peace activists” were trying to beat the life out of the soldiers, literally?  Did we watch soldiers pelted with chairs? Tossed like baggage from one deck to the next? Did we see their wounds?
Would a peace activist sitting with Gandhi or marching with Martin Luther King have responded in this way? Emphatically not!
Most of the 700 peace activists likely were just that. Most of the cargo was likely humanitarian aid. But how many of us so-called “humanitarians” bothered to verify anything before knee-jerkedly responding to videos-gone-viral? How many of our media sources reported the story instead of inflaming for the sake of ratings?
O’Connor, Australia

Hold that pose

Sir, –  Surely a country that invented the pill camera and countless technological miracles can and should equip soldiers in such a sensitive operation with a mini-camera, fitted to their helmets or rifles, to clearly record events and counteract the lies and distortions that are sure to come.
It’s called “propaganda,” and it’s high time Israel started using it.
Huntington, West Virginia

Mad as hell

Sir, – I hear all the time that we are in a “media war.” Well, no one ever won a war by being on the defensive all the time. We have to take it to them, put them on the defense.
Israel must demand from the UN an investigation as to why Turkey allowed armed terrorists and thugs on this so-called humanitarian flotilla. Israel might also remind the UN of some of the things the Palestinians have contributed to the world, such as airplane hijackings and suicide bombers, to name a few.
What about the Human Rights Council? Why is it silent about the thousands of people being killed in the Congo, and the other real atrocities in the world? The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
I’m not a fanatic. I’m just a guy who’s mad as hell and doesn’t want to take it any more.
Ramat Gan

Better than Goldstone

Sir, – There can be no doubt that Israel should support the appointment of an international commission to study the events of the Gaza flotilla (“UN Human Rights Council calls for Goldstone-type probe of sea raid,” June 3). We should stipulate one condition, though: Its head should be the well-known legal expert, Prof. Alan Dershowitz.

Rule Britannia!

Sir, – Remember the refrain “Britannia rules the waves” and the way it encapsulated how the far-flung British empire guaranteed the patency of its shipping lanes? The resurgence of major acts of piracy in many parts of the world is but one manifestation of how the vacuum is being filled (“As ‘friend,’ British PM calls on Israel to end blockade,” June 3).
The Gaza flotilla was a hostile action aimed at illegally bypassing Israel’s legal right to protect itself from the continuous buildup of Hamas war materiel. The current problem for Israel and all democracies is how to keep the Mediterranean open and to prevent its transformation into a safe harbor for aggression.

Now, some Yiddish

Sir, – What is the difference between a schlemiel and a schlemazel? A waiter who spills coffee on a customer is the former; the customer is the latter.
Regarding the fiasco at sea, the schlemiel was the Prime Minister’s Office, the Shin Bet, the Government Press Office and the IDF spokesman. The schlemazels were the Israeli public and the Jewish organizations abroad, struggling – fruitlessly – in the absence of proof from the schlemiels to justify Israel’s action (“Two days late, Diaspora starts getting explanations,” June 2).

Flotilla flotsam

Sir, – Isi Liebler (“Time to get our act together,” June 3) suggests solutions to our government’s unpreparedness in presenting its case to the world. It needs no expensive “job-for-the-boys” commission of inquiry to know what is wrong – is it not self-evident from this and other operations that there is little or no public relations preparation prior to, during or after operations, with agreed-on solutions to different scenarios that might occur?
There also needs to be a total ban on politicos (and their parties) making statements other than “no comment” until such time as clearance is given. The use of such super-injunctions, gag orders and advisory notices for reasons of national security are common throughout the free world and would define what, if anything, politicos could say in the Knesset.
I am truly surprised that commentators and the electorate have not called for the sacking of the current cabal of civilian and military spokesmen, hasbara politicos and their support teams – including those in the Prime Minister’s Office. Our leaders should learn the lessons of the flotilla and identify the flotsam and jetsam comprising the wreck of our government and military PR machine.

Derfner strikes

Sir, – Why do I have to have a rise in my blood pressure when I open your paper and see this ill-informed, half-baked leftist, Larry Derfner, supporting our self-declared enemies (“I blame my country,” June 3)? With all due respect for the democratic principles that allow the expression of different views and opinions, it should not be forgotten that Hamas usurped the Gaza Strip by cruelly and illegitimately ousting its legal government, ill-treating and depriving its own people, and constantly espousing the destruction of our country.
What is the point of Derfner sending his sons to the army – unless it is with the objective of influencing them to disobey orders. Why doesn’t he move to Sderot or Ashkelon so that he can experience the feeling when the sirens go off or, better still, move to Gaza, where he can enjoy the fruits of the terrorist regime he so strongly defends?
There, he might possibly be locked up in a cage he could rattle at will.

Sir, – Larry Derfner has become entirely predictable. His readers knew that he would say – perhaps in slightly different words – the same thing about the “peace flotilla” that he has been saying about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute: “Israel is wrong, the Palestinians are right. Give the Palestinians their country and all will be well. Lions will lie down with lambs.”
Unfortunately, Derfner totally confuses cause and effect. The Israeli blockade is not the cause of Palestinian violence and hatred; it is the necessary response to Hamas’s demonstrated dedication to Israel’s eradication. Whether or not Gazans have a right to their own country, they most assuredly do not have a right to threaten and attack Israel.
Let’s assume that Israel were to comply with Derfner’s fondest wish – lifting the blockade and capitulating to all other Palestinian demands. What then? He offers no rational explanation for what will happen the day after. He cannot possibly be so naive as to believe that Hamas will suddenly disarm, shake hands with Israel and say “Thanks. Let’s be friends.”

Sir, – I often find myself in agreement with Larry Derfner, but not this time! Hamas certainly doesn’t represent the Palestinians. Not the majority. I believe most Palestinians just want to be allowed to establish their own country and let the Jews do what they want – except to take parts of their territory, of course.
Gaza is free, never mind what Derfner days. We got out of there (maybe that was a mistake – who knows?). We won’t bother them as long as they don’t keep shooting at us!
Derfner should know that and stop his nonsense! ( Sometimes I think he says things just to make his adversaries’ blood pressure rise!)
Don’t stop writing, Larry. Just get it right!

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