On Monday, May 31, 2010, I awakened in my hotel room in Paris to the news that Israeli commandos had attacked a peaceful ship in international waters on its way to Gaza with humanitarian aid. Several Palestinian aid workers onboard the ship were killed. No one on the ship had arms. They were simply gunned down for resisting. I switched between French and English channels, including the BBC and CNN and the story was uniform. One of the segments included a rather pathetic response from an Israeli spokesman saying that the workers on the ship had attacked the commandos with pipes and sticks. But pipes and sticks against guns? The whole world was in an uproar.
I boarded my plane and flew back to Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. and a few hours later I was tuning into the CBS Evening News, which led with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and then turned to the same Israeli story. But there was a big difference. CBS showed the actual footage of Israeli commandos rappelling to the decks of the ship one by one and the Palestinian men onboard surrounding them and attempting to beat them to death. It was chilling. What a difference the video made.
My relatives in Europe only saw those videos on YouTube a few days later. And then finally, later, on television. But even then, the television segment was not about the attacks on the Israeli commandos attempting to board and inspect the ship, rather on how the Israel government was allegedly promoting doctored and edited videos on YouTube. I guess the European media was inconvenienced by these first hand online reports that were spreading across the internet and they had to offer an explanation.
This is not an easy story to understand. And its handling by the media is even more complex. The fact is that Gaza is being used by the Hamas terrorist organization to launch indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilians in Israel. Iran and other terrorist states are feeding the rockets and weapons to Gaza using just such innocent “humanitarian” aid ships as the one in this story.
Israel is not the only neighbor dealing with terrorism from Gaza. Egypt, a bordering Islamic nation has its own strict embargo in force, controlling what goes in and out of the country, trying to keep the weapons from pouring in and threatening the whole region. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza are defying their Islamic brothers, tunneling under the border to smuggle in rockets and other weapons.
The fact that this story was obscured and selectively reported by the European media is a reflection of the growing political power of radical Islam. The media in Europe doesn’t want to make any enemies. And they aren’t the only ones intimidated. Our own American media regularly reports wars in Africa and troubles in Asia, stripping the stories clean of any socio-cultural-religious references, leaving their audiences puzzled over the causes of these wars or acts of terror. It is all a sacrifice of information at the altar of political correctness.
Many times in the past generation, American and European youth have studied the story of the Holocaust and wondered at the naiveté and impotence of those who stood by while events unfolded. Most thought smugly that they would have resisted the absurdity and cruelty of anti-Semitism. They would have written letters to the editors, stood up to bigoted teachers, spoken the truth without shame, hidden runaway Jews in their walls. But now that a fresh wave of anti-Semitism is sweeping across the world these same youth, now in power in the editorial rooms and in the halls of government, have their answer.
Why didn’t people stand up?
Because they were afraid. Cowards. Just like you. Just like the politicians and media moguls across Europe, Asia and North America.
There is another nagging curiosity about the Holocaust. Why were so many of the Jews, themselves, dismissive of the eyewitness accounts and even documentation of their own brothers and sisters? How could they expect distant governments to believe what their own community leaders denied was happening right under their own eyes? Why, especially, were the Hungarian Jews, so late in the war, so easily herded along to their deaths?
Because they were in denial, unwilling to believe something so wrong. Ignorant. Just like you. Just like the politicians and media moguls and columnist and television personalities across Europe, Asia and North America. And because they have invested time and money with the wrong people. Some American Jews would vote for a re-incarnation of Hitler if he were a liberal-Democrat.
Do the Palestinians have a legitimate cause? Absolutely. They should have their own land and the promise of living in peace with security. But the publicly avowed, extermination of an ethnic group cannot be an acceptable part of their cause. Nor can the public and official affirmation of terror as an instrument of government policy. Do you want your child blown to pieces on a bus to help the Palestinians get attention?
How would the United States react, or France or the UK, if a people publicly vowed their destruction and systematically shelled their civilian population, killing innocent families at random and were now sending a “humanitarian” ship to their shores? They just might want to board such a ship and inspect for themselves.
Now we can understand a little bit better the absurd disconnect of the Nazi years? Where are the worldwide “peace” demonstrations over the North Korean unprovoked sinking of a South Korean ship with great loss of life? Yet they protest Israeli’s boarding a ship to inspect cargo headed for Gaza, where the government openly sponsors terrorism and brags about it?
If you’ve ever read about those Nazi years, and stopped in the middle of your book and put it down and asked those bewildering questions, how could they? What were they thinking? Where was the logic?
Well, now you know.