Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Better propaganda, please

In the lead up to its attack on the "Free Gaza" flotilla that left at least nine dead and dozens more wounded, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon claimed that the basic supplies being brought by the more than 600 pro-Palestinian activists -- medicine, wheelchairs, construction material -- were simply not needed, as "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," a claim repeated ad nauseam by Israeli press officials. That proved, Ayalon claimed, that the mission was not a humanitarian one, but rather "a provocation intended to delegitimize Israel."

The statement ignored, as of course it must, the reality on the ground -- the reality that, according to a spokesman for the UN relief agency in occupied Palestine, “There is a severe humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip", which is something to be expected when 1.5 million people are held in a de facto prison, barred from traveling to and trading with the outside world, forbidden the privilege of a functioning economy and faced with having the shit bombed out of them whenever a car backfires in southern Israel.

But it's one thing for reality and evidence to contradict state propaganda, as more often than not ends up being the case and should always be assumed -- what about when it explicitly contradicts itself?

IDF spokesman Colonel Moshe Levi -- not one of Israel's better propagandists, though I'll concede he has a tough job -- in a statement issued to reporters on Tuesday proclaimed that Israeli soldiers had "been working non-stop for the last twenty-four hours examining the cargo holds of the three large cargo ships and I can say with great assurance, that none of the equipment on board is needed in Gaza."

"The equipment that we found is all equipment that we have regularly allowed into the strip over the past year," Levi continued. "This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the whole premise of the voyage was for propaganda and provocation and not for humanitarian purposes."

To debunk this claim, forget for a moment the reality-based assertions of the limp-wristed UN and those threatening, butter knife-wielding former diplomats and Nobel laureates on the "Free Gaza" boats themselves -- let's turn to IDF spokesman Colonel Moshe Levi and The Jerusalem Post:
"According to Levi, the soldiers also found construction equipment, including sacks of concrete and metal rods. He said that Israel did not allow those products to enter into the Gaza strip for fear that they would be used to construct fortifications for terrorists and for weapons manufacture."
So all the equipment the IDF found was equipment they regularly allow to enter Gaza, except for all the equipment they found which they regularly forbid from entering Gaza. I'd say Levi should lose his job for such a poor effort at propagandizing, but I have a sickening feeling he's got a better than 50/50 chance of being the next White House press secretary.


  1. Instead of just doing it metaphorically, at his next press conference Levi should take an actual dump on the UN charter. It would be a refreshing display of candor.

  2. Andy,

    Won't have to. Obama/Clinton already did it for him. And looks like they might push the Turks to redefine NATO, too.

  3. how is this for superior propaganda? now i have no way of knowing the truth of the matter, but i've just read the claim that "military commanders sent Israeli troops into harm's way with paintball guns."


    and what's more, that there is "simply no question that the "humanitarian relief" mission was in fact a terrorist jihad flotilla designed for no other purpose than to destroy Israel, both in public opinion in the short run and existentially over the long run."