The news tonight brought more stories of Israel's public relations debacle around the flotilla incident. Foreign reporters gathered on what's known as Jonah's Hill in Jaffa, where they were left alone with a rowdy bunch of right-wing hecklers.
Hours later, the government press office people appear on the scene but have not been provided with any real details to feed the media. To compensate, they transport the journalists in a bus with covered windows to a secret base. There they can film the backside of a commando who speaks for 57 seconds and is not permitted to respond to questions. Eventually, the weary journalists are brought back into the arms of the right-wing hecklers, who now turn violent and chase everyone away.
The TV news program anchors suggest that instead of blaming Israel's official propaganda machine, Israelis should tear themselves away from the TV screens, go on the network, and fight the public relations war themselves.
Another news item brings the story of the Turkish aid organization's links with Islamic terror organizations. It turns out that those killed were not innocent peace activists but bloodthirsty terrorists or perhaps mercenaries working for Al Qaida:
"They were terrorists - hired killers who came to murder soldiers, not to assist the residents of the Gaza Strip," said a navy officer."
Whatever justification can be made for this botched and tragic incident, only Israelis will believe it or care. Jamming broadcasts, isolating the activists from all contact with the world for 24 hours, confiscating film media and presented only selective material that supports Israel's version has not helped. The world has accepted a one-dimensional narrative of Israel's brutal aggression and moved on.
Finally, the only story that matters is the ongoing siege of Gaza and when it is going to end. Will we allow ourselves once again to forget?