Ship of Fools…writes Michael Kuttner

July 3, 2015 by Michael Kuttner
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If ever you needed a classic example of how the English language and reality can be perverted, the latest farce associated with the misnamed “freedom flotilla” to Gaza, provided it.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Those who organise and fund these media circuses apparently have a rather warped interpretation of the meaning of freedom. They also seem to have a self-induced and zealous dose of enmity for the Jewish State and its efforts to combat terror. These latter-day crusaders ride and sail into battle on behalf of groups which torture, kidnap, persecute and oppress minorities and execute those who dare to be different. However, their venom is concentrated upon a very select target. Israel and by extension the western, liberal & tolerant society it represents, assumes the role of eternal villain which must be delegitimised and destroyed.

Hailing from many parts of the globe, they work ceaselessly to boycott, demonize and demonstrate against the only functioning true democracy in the Middle East while at the same time giving comfort and aid to those who wouldn’t know the meaning of real freedom even if it stared them in the face. In fact the perversion of the words freedom & democracy are more reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984 or the freedom loving “democratic” republic of North Korea. It is these derisory manipulations of the English language, combined with very selective portions of moral outrage, which lie at the root of the campaign to “free” Gaza.

The last few days have once again provided copious examples of how those who denigrate Israel go about their tasks. Amidst much hype and publicity, which after all is the aim of the exercise, a flotilla of four boats set sail from Greece. Their intended destination was Hamas ruled Gaza. In actual fact three of the boats turned back and the main drama was focused on the fishing boat “Marianne.” On board were individuals from a variety of countries, including New Zealand.

Ruwani Perera, senior reporter, Native Affairs for Maori TV together with cameraman, Jacob Bryant, were on board this vessel, presumably to report about the anticipated drama. There is nothing wrong with TV companies sending people overseas to report on events for their current affairs programs. This happens all the time but the least one can expect is some sort of fair and balanced reporting.

As soon as it was announced that these TV representatives had been invited and sponsored by Kia Ora Gaza I knew that the intention and the outcome would be far from fair and balanced. All you need to do is peruse the website and twitter postings of Kia Ora Gaza and you will see that the sole aim of this group is to denigrate Israel and anything it does. The support it attracts, going by the feedbacks on line, covers the usual spectrum of Israel and Jew hatred, conspiracies plus blatant misinformation. Phrases such as siege, piracy, hijacking & genocide are regular accusations hurled at Israel.

In a free society such as New Zealand I guess the freedom to express anything outrageous is guaranteed so one can expect those who believe Israel should cease to exist to take full advantage of this. Claims that “Israel is occupied Palestine” which appears on their website (29 June) prove that as far as this group is concerned the Jewish State should not exist.

It is therefore puzzling why a respected TV station should be associated with them and send two representatives half way around the world to report on a non event. It raises certain questions.

In the interests of fair and balanced reporting would it not have been better to send the same crew or even a different one to Israel? They could have interviewed and seen for themselves the children and adults traumatized by the barrage of rockets unleashed by the terrorists in Gaza. They could have seen the tunnels dug by the terrorists which surfaced underneath kindergartens and schools and were intended to facilitate the infiltration of terrorists whose sole aim was the murder of Jews. In addition they could have reported on the 700 trucks which daily take supplies into Gaza and gives the lie to a narrative which portrays a population being starved to death. They could also have interviewed those from Gaza who travel into Israel to receive medical care.

All this was possible but of course it won’t happen because reporting on reality as opposed to preconceived misconceptions is apparently not on their agenda.

Further questions need to be asked.

Why is the sea blockade, which is designed to prevent the smuggling of weapons and rockets, described as illegal? Sir Geoffrey Palmer clearly stated in his report that Israel had every right to do so. Why the exclusive obsession with Israel when Egypt is also blockading the entry of terrorists and their weapons and blowing up tunnels?

What about the starving people of Syria & Iraq? Where are the Kia Ora convoys to those places of distress and where are the TV reporters from Maori TV reporting on the ongoing genocide and massive displacement of civilians there? Do the Kurds and Christians who are being massacred by Islamic jihadists not deserve to have their stories told? Shouldn’t there be a Kia Ora Syria and Yemen with Maori TV crews filming and recording jihadists murdering all in their path and destroying priceless cultural heritage sites?

Does any thinking person really believe that one solar panel and one nebulizer carried on the “Marianne” is going to bring the slightest improvement to those in Gaza who are being oppressed by the terror groups governing the place? Do the people who operate Maori TV know or care that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel (as per their Charter) and is officially in a declared state of war with the Jewish State?

Last but certainly by no means least, who paid for the TV crew to fly to Greece and back, their expenses and any other costs incurred? If it was Maori TV they must have more money than sense. More likely it was Kia Ora Gaza who invited them in the first place. That then raises the further question as to where Kia Ora received the funds from to spend on this wild goose chase. Is it not mind-boggling that thousands of dollars which could easily have been used to help those in need in Gaza as a result of their leaders’ war against Israel, were instead thrown away on a publicity stunt which was doomed to failure from the very beginning?

Having spent all this money in anticipation of a Hollywood drama which they hoped would occur there is now only one avenue open for the TV station. Instead of blood and guts and martyrdom at the hands of the evil Israelis which would have made great prime time viewing, no doubt plan B will be activated. It has already been reported that a documentary is being prepared for screening shortly. In order to justify this costly and futile adventure it will be necessary to create something which smears Israel in the worst possible light. Stand by for the inevitable litany of half-baked, inaccurate conclusions and distortions.

One is judged by the company one keeps. If Maori TV feels happy consorting with those who continually defame Israel then it is doing a gross disservice to the cause of media balance and fair reporting.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


2 Responses to “Ship of Fools…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Rita L. says:

    Why did you not publish my comment that linked to a very informative article exactly on this subject. And it happens unfortunately too often. Wasting one’s time in this manner is rather frustrating.

  2. Steve Lincoln says:

    Well put, Michael! Why, of all stations, was Maori TV going also. Their charter is about Maori language and culture, not Gaza.

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