Official IDF Website Says Alice Walker Poses Grave Threat to Israel

Ok, not just Alice Walker, but they are particularly focused on the big names who signed up to sail to Gaza.

Somebody really needs to help these guys with their propaganda.

This is a screenshot of the IDF webpage:

Now, I don’t know about you, but even if I totally disagreed with the methods used by the activists on the Freedom Flotilla, I sure don’t look at that photo and feel frightened, particularly given we are talking about one of the most advanced and well-trained armies in the world. I mean, Walker looks like a vision of peaceful dignity in that photo. Whoever selected that photo for that particular IDF post needs a propaganda lesson.

The rest of the webpage explains why this year’s Flotilla is more dangerous than the one last year, despite the fact that they haven’t even been able to set sail yet thanks to Israel and the U.S. throwing their considerable weight around.

From the webpage:

The 2011 Gaza flotilla organizers have improved upon their formula, posing a greater threat to the Israel Navy than they did during their attempt last year to break Israel’s lawfully imposed naval blockade on Gaza. Hamas and its European counterparts are using the flotilla to deliberately delegitimize Israel and its right to defend itself.

Organizers of the 2011 Gaza flotilla have a provocation-seeking agenda: Deliberately provoke and humiliate Israeli soldiers. For example, organizers trained boat passengers on how to defiantly rebuff Israel Navy attempts to peacefully board the boats.

The 2011 Gaza flotilla, at ten ships, is nearly double the size of last year’s (which consisted of six vessels). This factor will make it more challenging for the Israel Navy to board all vessels that attempt to break Israel’s lawfully enforced naval blockade. In addition, the size of the 2011 Gaza flotilla does not allow Israel the option of towing the vessels into Israel’s Ashdod port.

The flotilla is estimated to contain only 3,000 tons of goods and materials–half the daily amount transferred by Israel to the Gaza Strip. While lacking in items, the 2011 Gaza flotilla will carry celebrities and media personalities such as American poet and Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker, Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell and several European parliamentarians.

[emphasis added]

Wow, so the activists trained to “defiantly rebuff” the IDF should it “peacefully board the boats?” Humiliate? Rebuff? You get rebuffed when you ask someone out on a date and they say no. You also may feel humiliated. Sounds like someone got their feelings hurt! And when the IDF says “peacefully” do they mean that as in peacefully using armed commandos in the dead of night with gun ships and attack helicopters?

Notice they didn’t mention the former IDF Naval commando or Holocaust survivor Hedy Eptstein. I Wonder why?

Ok, so what? So Israel sucks at propaganda, what’s the big deal? Why bother putting up a post about it? Well, first, I don’t like that Secretary Clinton and the IDF/Israeli government are using the same talking points. Second, discussing self defense in relation to the flotilla is deliberately misleading. Third, I am sick and tired of hearing the word “delegitimization” tossed around every time Israel is criticized. In fact, that’s what bothers me the most because it’s lazy, weak and cynical. It’s a term created by Israel, the U.S. and the I-Lobby as a means of deflecting legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies, not Israel’s existence. It’s also a convenient way for the U.S. and Israel to be able to hypocritically ignore and repress the growing Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement despite the fact that the Obama administration has repeatedly a) called on the Palestinians to reject violence and b) supported nonviolent activists in other parts of the Middle East.

Then, finally, I can’t help but be struck by how clueless Israel, the US government and some of Israel’s unquestioning supporters are when it comes to the power imbalance at play here. We have a Flotilla with peace activists who are now totally at the mercy of the U.S., Israeli and Greek governments. They have been harassed, sabotaged, imprisoned, denied consular access by the U.S. State Department and the target of outrageous lies- all of which have been proven to be just that- lies. And yet Israel, the Obama administration and about 500 million other people seem to think that Israel is the ultimate victim here. And I can’t help but wonder, victim of what, exactly?

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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2 Comments on “Official IDF Website Says Alice Walker Poses Grave Threat to Israel”

  1. thainjacobs Says:

    That’s too funny! I love the photo of Alice Walker that they chose. They are so ridiculous.

    In other news, now Israel is going to block activists from entering Israel via air.

    They say anyone with pro-Palestinian “sympathies” will face probing questions and may be denied entry into the country.

    So, all it takes to get denied entrance to Israel is something you do or say that indicates you might have “sympathy” for the Palestinians? Sounds like something China would do, not something the Middle East’s only democracy would do!

    BTW, OT: I was on a website today of a Jewish media-watch organization (they monitor the comment sections of media outlets like the NYT, the WaPo etc. and then get a zillion people to go defend Israel in the comments) and saw the definition of “anti-semitism” that the EU and apparently the US State Dept goes by and it includes opinions/statements critical of Israel or which refer to Israeli policies as racism.

    So, in other words, it doesn’t matter what Israel does, they could enact a full apartheid system tomorrow and round up Palestinians in Israel and put them in internment camps simply for being Palestinian and if anyone said it was racist they would be anti-semitic? I’ve criticized the law the Knesset enacted which requires only non-Jews to take loyalty oaths to Israel. I think that is racist. If we enacted that here we’d call it racist. Does that make me an anti-semite? Or disagreeing with Jewish-only roads, Jewish only housing, Jewish only schools, ID cards that confer special status only on Jews. So, none of that is racist and I’m just an antisemite for thinking it is? What about all the Jewish people I know that also think Israel’s policies are increasingly racist? Are they antisemitic? Are the Israelis who denounce the right wing Netanyahu government antisemitic?

    When I criticize US policy in Iraq and Afghanistan that means I’m unamerican?

    It seems like the definition of antisemitism is political and cynical. Antisemitism still exists but defining it so broadly makes it harder to see those instances when there IS real antisemitism. There comes a point where people take things to such an extreme that it becomes like a caricature. It’s almost like some people WANT there to be antisemitism so they can go “see I told you so, we are the most oppressed people on the planet!”

    So if disagreeing with Israel is antisemitism what is the word we should use to describe the special status afforded to Israel? It seems only Israel can break the law w/o consequence and it’s only in relation to Israel that we can’t have an open, honest debate in the media, in Congress or anywhere else. It’s only with respect to Israel that disagreeing with a government is considered bigotry. It’s only with respect to Israel that we remain silent when US citizens are killed or injured by the IDF. It’s only on behalf of Israel that we block UN resolutions which reflect our long-standing policies. It’s only with respect to Israel that the media lies and distorts the truth to keep Americans from understanding the true nature of the conflict. So what word should we use to describe those special rights we’ve given in order to appease about 3% of the US population?

    Stacy and Steve are right- if Israel adopts apartheid policies because of the failure of the two state solution the US will just ignore it and claim anyone who calls it apartheid are just antisemites or delegitimizers. In fact that’s what they are already doing.


    • Stacy Says:

      Unfortunately by defining antisemitism in such a broad way it minimizes true antisemitism. I really don’t think it’s good to promote conflating the word “Israel” with the word “Jew” or “Jewish.” One can certainly have NO bias against Jewish people but oppose some Israeli policies.

      Also, the part about calling Israel racist is interesting. People in Israel call some of their own laws racist and as you pointed out, it’s rather silly to to call those people antisemitic.

      Ironically, the definition of antisemitism that you describes is most likely a result of successful lobbying by empowered Jewish groups. In other words, while anti-Semitism still certainly exists and should be renounced, Jewish people are not prevented from holding positions of significant power in society like they were in the past and they have been able to organize and effectively lobby for certain things- such as defining the opposition to Israeli policies as anti-Semitic. There is nothing wrong with interest groups based on religion or race etc. but I think it’s important to realize that it’s not the 1930’s and the imbalance of power is no longer tilted towards Jewish people.

      Also, it certainly is not uncommon for formerly oppressed groups to take on the mantle of oppressor and use past discrimination as a justification.


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