And Rodney King’s torso used disproportionate force against the LAPD

Link TV’s Mosaic news program is useful not only because it lets you see and hear stories from the Middle East that would never make it to CNN, but because it provides a glimpse at the official line being sold domestic audiences about world events through state-controlled TV outlets from Syria to Israel.

Take a recent news program on the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, an official government organ, where a former Israeli ambassador by the name of Avi Posner was brought on to talk about the raid on the “Free Gaza” flotilla with a host who only showed signs of a pulse when discussing how “repugnant” the Turkish prime minister is. At first Posner appeared rather frank, projecting something of a realist image that stood in contrast to the boisterous Benjamin Netanyahu, as he openly accepted that, yes, “Diplomatic damage has been done to Israel, this is obvious.”

At the same time, though, “damage has to be controlled,” Posner continued, laying out an Israeli PR strategy centered around by now familiar talking point “that our soldiers acted in self-defense”:

“This is very important. I understand that in many countries the films given out by IDF spokesmen showing the lynching of our soliders has not even been shown on television in Europe. I would make an all out effort to convince television stations to show the film, accompanied by good spokesmen explaining exactly what has happened, that we defended ourselves; we were in a position not of using disproportionate force — on the contrary, the force was disproportionate against us; and saying that what we did we did in self-defense. And, of course, we regret any loss of life.”

I’ll say this: though it might have been more tactful to move the whole regretting the loss of life thing a bit higher up, I kinda like Posner’s whatever-you-say-bounces-off-me-and-sticks-to-you approach to post-massacre spin, which is not unlike Karl Rove’s approach to politics in its ballsy mendacity: your political opponent is a “war hero” (there are no heros in war, but that’s another post) while your guy went AWOL from the National Guard? Then paint the deserter as the real, masculine warrior — land on an aircraft carrier and declare “Mission Accomplished” while in a flight suit — and cast the other guy as a feckless, effeminate, brie-eating pansy who just might be tempted to surrender to the terrorists if voters are foolish enough to put him in office.

Likewise, heavily armed Israeli commandos drop out of a fucking helicopter in the middle of the night, kill nine humanitarian activists — shooting a teenager in the skull four times from close range (and once in the chest) — wound more than 30 others and suffer not one fatality? Then, obviously, it must have been the trigger-happy IDF who suffered the disproportionate force at the hands of the activists and their ferocious fists. I mean, don’t you understand how disproportionately traumatic it must be for those soldiers to live with themselves after taking the life of another (even when it’s the life of an “other”)?

I suspect Israeli officials are right now busy filling out the paperwork to indict Emily Henochowicz’s left eye for assaulting an IDF tear gas canister. Oh, how the poor soldier who shot it must feel . . .

(The IBA segment begins around the 8:30 mark.)

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About Charles Davis

A writer and producer with whose work has aired on television and radio and been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, The Nation and The New Republic.
This entry was posted in Israel/Palestine. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to And Rodney King’s torso used disproportionate force against the LAPD

  1. If the IDF was in such peril, why no fatalities? Several were held by the ship's defenders and were given medical aid.

  2. Anonymous says:

    c'mon, why do you have to pick on brie eaters?

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