June 6: Did we see it all?

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

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?
JUDY BAMBERGER
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.
NORMAN GLASER
Huntington, West Virginia
Mad as hell
Sir, – I hear all the time that we are in a “media war.” Well, no oneever won a war by being on the defensive all the time. We have to takeit to them, put them on the defense.
Israel must demand from the UN an investigation as to why Turkeyallowed armed terrorists and thugs on this so-called humanitarianflotilla. Israel might also remind the UN of some of the things thePalestinians have contributed to the world, such as airplane hijackingsand suicide bombers, to name a few.
What about the Human Rights Council? Why is it silent about thethousands of people being killed in the Congo, and the other realatrocities 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.
JAMES KAHN
Ramat Gan
Better than Goldstone
Sir, – There can be no doubt that Israel should support the appointmentof 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 bethe well-known legal expert, Prof. Alan Dershowitz.
DR. MOSHE GOLDBERG
Haifa
Rule Britannia!
Sir, – Remember the refrain “Britannia rules the waves” and the way itencapsulated how the far-flung British empire guaranteed the patency ofits shipping lanes? The resurgence of major acts of piracy in manyparts of the world is but one manifestation of how the vacuum is beingfilled (“As ‘friend,’ British PM calls on Israel to end blockade,” June3).
The Gaza flotilla was a hostile action aimed at illegally bypassingIsrael’s legal right to protect itself from the continuous buildup ofHamas war materiel. The current problem for Israel and all democraciesis how to keep the Mediterranean open and to prevent its transformationinto a safe harbor for aggression.
MIRIAM L. GAVARIN
Jerusalem
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).
ELIEZER WHARTMAN
Jerusalem
Flotilla flotsam
Sir, – Isi Liebler (“Time to get our act together,” June 3) suggestssolutions to our government’s unpreparedness in presenting its case tothe world. It needs no expensive “job-for-the-boys” commission ofinquiry to know what is wrong – is it not self-evident from this andother operations that there is little or no public relationspreparation prior to, during or after operations, with agreed-onsolutions 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 clearanceis given. The use of such super-injunctions, gag orders and advisorynotices for reasons of national security are common throughout the freeworld and would define what, if anything, politicos could say in theKnesset.
I am truly surprised that commentators and the electorate have notcalled for the sacking of the current cabal of civilian and militaryspokesmen, hasbara politicosand their support teams – including those in the Prime Minister’sOffice. Our leaders should learn the lessons of the flotilla andidentify the flotsam and jetsam comprising the wreck of our governmentand military PR machine.
HELENA ORENSTEIN
Elazar
Derfner strikes
Sir, – Why do I have to have a rise in my blood pressure when I openyour paper and see this ill-informed, half-baked leftist, LarryDerfner, supporting our self-declared enemies (“I blame my country,”June 3)? With all due respect for the democratic principles that allowthe expression of different views and opinions, it should not beforgotten that Hamas usurped the Gaza Strip by cruelly andillegitimately ousting its legal government, ill-treating and deprivingits own people, and constantly espousing the destruction of our country.
What is the point of Derfner sending his sons to the army – unless itis with the objective of influencing them to disobey orders. Whydoesn’t he move to Sderot or Ashkelon so that he can experience thefeeling when the sirens go off or, better still, move to Gaza, where hecan 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.
MIKE AYL
Ashkelon

Sir, – Larry Derfner has become entirely predictable. His readers knewthat he would say – perhaps in slightly different words – the samething about the “peace flotilla” that he has been saying about theIsraeli-Palestinian dispute: “Israel is wrong, the Palestinians areright. Give the Palestinians their country and all will be well. Lionswill lie down with lambs.”
Unfortunately, Derfner totally confuses cause and effect. The Israeliblockade is not the cause of Palestinian violence and hatred; it is thenecessary response to Hamas’s demonstrated dedication to Israel’seradication. 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 theday after. He cannot possibly be so naive as to believe that Hamas willsuddenly disarm, shake hands with Israel and say “Thanks. Let’s befriends.”
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Netanya
Sir, – I often find myself in agreement with Larry Derfner, but notthis time! Hamas certainly doesn’t represent the Palestinians. Not themajority. I believe most Palestinians just want to be allowed toestablish their own country and let the Jews do what they want – exceptto take parts of their territory, of course.
Gaza is free, never mind what Derfner days. We got out of there (maybethat was a mistake – who knows?). We won’t bother them as long as theydon’t keep shooting at us!
Derfner should know that and stop his nonsense! ( Sometimes I think hesays things just to make his adversaries’ blood pressure rise!)
Don’t stop writing, Larry. Just get it right!
LEONARD ZURAKOV
Netanya