Op-ed: Best way to counter PR flotilla to Gaza Strip would have been to ignore it
When the first reports surfaced about yet another international flotilla heading to Gaza, it was difficult to understand its aims. After all, the opening of the Rafah Crossing put an end to the halcyon days of Israel’s blockade on Gaza, and we are now hearing about an improvement in the standard of living in the Strip; according to optimistic predictions, it may rise to almost-humane levels this year.
However, slowly we are discovering that the latest flotilla has its own objectives. If the Marmara that took part in the previous sail sought to present Israel’s brutality to the world (and managed to do so, thanks to our kind assistance,) it appears that the current flotilla was meant to present Israel’s stupidity.
At this time already, when it’s still unclear whether and when the ships shall arrive, it appears that this objective had also been fully achieved.
First, at this current stage, which is replete with belligerent Israeli statements, we can see the Israeli government’s impressive willingness to accurately reenact every critical mistake made in the previous round.
This includes virtuous disregard for the fact that the failure in the Marmara affair had to do with the very attempt to stop a symbolic flotilla in a way that would turn it into a much greater symbol; indeed, the thickness of the rope soldiers slid down on to get on board the ship was not the issue.
This conduct is even more bizarre when we realize that this time around there is no chance whatsoever that the ships are transferring something to Gaza that has not been brought into the Strip via Egypt 50 times already since this morning.
Moreover, instead of realizing that the best way to counter a public relations flotilla is to ignore it, Israel’s PR geniuses made sure to promote the event with spine-tingling leaks to the media about flotilla members being equipped with chemical weapons, laser guns and dragons.
The only optimistic aspect of this conduct is the hope that flotilla organizers would realize that they don’t really have to sail here and get seasick and all. Their objective – isolating Israel on the international stage and driving it mad – had already been secure
(www.ynetnews.com / 01.07.2011)