In the wake of the Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists, don't expect the U.S. media to report the story fairly.
With headlines like “Israel's Deadly Raid on Gaza Aid Flotilla Draws Protest” on NPR and “Seattle protests Israel's attack on humanitarian convoy” at the Seattle Post-Globe, some in the media have already taken a definitive stance against Israel's actions.
Left unsaid in many of the news reports was why Israel had originally blockaded the Gaza strip, who the so-called humanitarian workers aboard the flotilla actually were, and numerous Palestinian terror attacks on Americans that form the basis of U.S.-Palestinian relations. Those include a Hezbollah bombing that killed 241 U.S. military personnel in Lebanon, the murder of a civilian during a boat hijacking and Palestinians dancing in the streets celebrating the 9/11 attacks.
From 2001 until January 2009, over 8,600 rockets were launched from the Gaza strip into Israel, according to the BBC. Israel instituted a maritime blockade against ships entering the Hamas terror organization-controlled Gaza strip after it was discovered that rockets, missiles, and others weapons were being smuggled into the territory aboard civilian-disguised vessels.
Palestinian terrorists have had a long history of abusing Israel's humanitarian policies to carry out terror attacks. Last November, Israeli Navy officials intercepted a fraudulent civilian ship packed with 500 pounds of weaponry 100 miles off of Israel's coast. In 2007, two would-be suicide bombers from Gaza were arrested after using false medical information to gain entry to Israel. In 2006, a Gaza member of the Popular Resistance Committee was arrested for establishing terror cells in Israel after using phony medical problems to get into the country.
But this background information has been virtually unreported by the mainstream media. Every one of the broadcast network morning shows on June 1 – NBC, ABC, and CBS – reported the flotilla raid story, but none gave a single detail about Israel's reason for the blockade. The same was true for the network evening shows the night before.
Similarly, two of the nation's top newspapers – The New York Times and The Washington Post – reported on the incident but gave no context to the story.
Also ignored by the media was the identity of the pro-Palestinian activists aboard the flotilla. They were referred to as “peace activists” in Time magazine, “foreign aid workers” in Newsweek and “human rights activists, [members of parliament] from governments around the world, a Nobel Prize winner and two former US diplomats” in The Nation.
In reality, the ship's organizers were part of the Turkish IHH, a banned-from-Israel nonprofit group with ties to terror-financing, reported Jonathan Schanzer in the Weekly Standard. According to Schanzer, the group “belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good.”
Another organizer of the ship was the Free Gaza Movement, a group which has on its board members from the pro-terror International Solidarity Movement, according to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting.
The revelation that the individuals beating and stabbing Israeli military men aboard the flotilla were not “peace activists” probably won't come as a surprise to most Americans. But many news outlets – eager to view Israel as an instigator of violence – don't even seem to find it unusual that a group of “humanitarian workers” was so quick to turn violent.
And while the American media have been largely sympathetic toward the Palestinians in Gaza, historically the Palestinians have not been kind in return. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Palestinians danced in the streets in celebration of the massacre. In 1985, Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF) terrorists hijacked the cruise ship the Achille Lauro, shooting the wheel-chair bound American citizen Leon Klinghoffer and forcing another passenger to throw his body overboard. And in 1983, 241 U.S. servicemen were killed in a bombing in Lebanon, by “groups linked to Hezbollah,” a Palestinian terror group.
Like this article? Sign up for "Culture Links," CMI's weekly e-mail newsletter, by clicking here.