Saturday, June 05, 2010

More Links from the Freedom Flotilla

Here's a few more articles I think worth a read...

This is a power analysis of the defence of Israel of is violent actions:
The Israeli hyper-nationalists argue from contiguity, from things being next to each other, demonizing entire groups and peoples rather than considering their actions in the real world. Thus, IHH, the fundamentalist Turkish charity that sponsored the lead ship in the aid convoy, sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The ship was then branded a “Hamas” vessel. But none of the passengers is known ever to have actually engaged in anything like terrorism and the Turkish government would not allow it to operate if it were actually considered radical (look at the way Turkish security tracks down the Turkish Hizbullah).

And, since Iran sympathizes with Hamas, as well, and since IHH is a known sympathizer with the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, actually the ship is not just a Hamas ship but is an Iranian one. Even though Iran had nothing to do with it and even though it had no weapons aboard. All of Gaza is transformed by this way of thinking (if you are sympathetic with a group, you are identical to that group and they are identical to you) into an “Iranian port on the Mediterranean.” In fact, of course, the Israelis do not allow the Gazans to have a port at all, much less an Iranian one. And, if that were the danger, then surely Tyre (in Lebanese Hizbullah territory) is already an ‘Iranian port on the Mediterranean,’ since Iran is a patron of Hizbullah. But wait, that situation already exists. And no one in Europe has been menaced by Tyre, of which most of them have not heard. Imaginary dangers in the future can always be dressed up as more menacing that mundane existing situations.

The fallacies of guilt by association, appeals to emotion, poisoning the well, etc., etc. reach such a crescendo in this Israeli discourse that the IHH charity is simultaneously accused of being a stalking horse for Shiite Iran and for Shiite-killing hyper-Sunni al-Qaeda. The absurdity of a whole host of European parliamentarians, former US diplomats, Nobel prize winners, and a Swedish novelist, being fronts for ‘al-Qaeda’ is so profound that it is like a Monty Python skit. ‘No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!’

Plus the Israli's are not doing themselves any favours in looking competent - first this botched raid and now botched propaganda:
The Israeli Ministry Foreign Affairs posted on its Flickr account pictures of the terrifying weapons they found on the IHH ship. You know, things like bulletproof vests for emergency services, pepper spray, kitchen knives, bits of wood and other weapons of mass destruction. Except that they did not realize that Flickr displays EXIF data, which is the information that cameras record when they take pictures: aperture, shutter speed, flash status... and the time the picture was taken.

Which, as Flickr commenters quickly pointed out, was sometime in 2006.

Now it is possible that the camera user did not set the correct date, which is why the camera is recording the wrong date on the photos - or it is possible that these photos are not from the flotilla - thus it looks either incompetent or dishonest.

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