Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Flotilla Investigation and Double Standards

Yesterday the Huffington Post released a news report about Israel's report on the flotilla raid, complete with a provocative headline of: "Gaza Flotilla Raid Report: Israeli Military Finds Flotilla Killings Justified" 

Of course there was quite a bit else in the report (from Elder of Ziyon) that the HPers might have found interesting, such as that "there were at least four and perhaps as many as six separate incidents where IDF soldiers were fired upon by "peace activists". In one case a soldier shot in the knee was shot by a weapon which was not IDF issued, and shell casings were found on the ship of bullets that did not come from Israeli weapons," and "In every situation where IDF soldiers used their weapons they were in life-threatening situations." Naturally, this was missed by all of the Huffington Posters, especially since it did not appear in the article. It just goes to show what the HP will and will not focus on from a given news story.

Anyway, what I thought was particularly interesting was that most of the comments in the now 2,000 comment strong talkback thread was that most of them bemoaned the claim that this investigation was biased from the very beginning simply by the fact that Israel was investigating itself. Here's one example from a more moderate user:

What I find interesting here is that no one stopped and thought about the situation from Israel's perspective. Imagine if you were a soldier fighting in Afghanistan and you were accused of a crime. Would you really want anyone but the US military JAG to investigate, try and sentence you? I guess if nothing else you would accept the US civilian government, but no soldier or general on any military would accept the ruling of a bunch of bureaucrats from ten thousand miles away. Especially when those bureaucrats don't have any understanding of the way that the world works and has shown themselves to have an axe to grind against America.

Every military investigates themselves when they believe they have done something wrong. America, Britain, and Israel too. Sure, there are miscarriages of justice just like in any legal system. But I find what I find so amazing here on the HP is the way the talkbackers just pretend (again) that Israel is unique in not trusting a bunch of foreigners with the fate of their soldiers, and by extension the lives of their people. America would not think twice about rejecting a UN investigation into a similar incident, and the HPers certainly would not bang out 2,000 comments complaining about it.

What this really shows is what we have always known: That even the average HPers don't trust Israel and think Israel is far less honest and effective in every conceivable way then their own nations. Though they have no evidence with which to back up this mindset, they hold it anyway. All the information they need comes right out of their own heads. And the HP editors don't exactly bend over backwards to hinder them.


  1. Its the anti-Semitism, stupid.

    The world does not think Jews are fair-minded enough to investigate possible transgressions by their own people. Only Israel is held to highly exacting standards no one else is obligated to observe.

    And surprise! - when Israel fails to meet them, just watch the torrent of abuse and hate pour forth. In the case of the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli army high brass may have stupidly endangered their soldiers' lives by equipping them with paintball guns but on the whole, Israeli soldiers reacted as they should have in the face of a life-threatening situation.

    Of course no one on the HP is going to ever look at that side of the story.

  2. ''In the case of the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli army high brass may have stupidly endangered their soldiers' lives by equipping them with paintball guns but on the whole, Israeli soldiers reacted as they should have in the face of a life-threatening situation.''

    i made essentially the same point on hp.

    i also added that i thought it was telling that no public demand has been made for an investigation of the flotilla's organizers who, i believe, bear equal responsibility for the actions and deaths of their participants.

    the intent was to break the gaza blockade by the delivery of humanitarian aid to gaza.

    this was an action that both organizers and participants KNEW would provoke an israeli response.

    would not the organizers welcome an investigation into the planning, preparation, and implementation of this project to determine what went so wrong?

    was there a screening process in place for participants?
    was there a policy statement with definitive guidelines governing acceptable reactions to the israeli response?
    was there adequate training and supervision of the participants?

    these are but a few basic standards that apply to any organization that engages in such a complex action. any organization that cost lives owes an explanation to its members.

    however, i am making the assumption that the organizers were at least as capable as the average church group planning a bus trip to epcot for its members.