Everyone talks about the siege of Gaza, but a more profound problem today is the intellectual, moral siege of Israel by the Respectable World.
Brendan O’Neill, Spiked
Many people are understandably concerned about the siege of Gaza by Israel. But the flotilla incident this week confirms that there’s a more pressing, profound and almost completely unquestioned problem today: the intellectual, moral siege of Israel by the Respectable World. There is nothing remotely progressive, far less radical, in the transformation of Israel into the whipping boy of a motley crew of Western moral entrepreneurs, radical Islamists and momentum-seeking left-wing activists. In fact it is fuelled by a quite intense hypocrisy and political opportunism, and it is warping the political dynamic in the Middle East, making life worse for Israelis and Palestinians.
Of course the invasion of the flotilla by the Israel Defense Forces, during which at least nine people were killed, was a deplorable and foolish act of violence. But few people have asked what is the real purpose of this ‘humanitarian flotilla’. The activists claim they’re only interested in delivering essentials to beleaguered Gazans. Critics describe the flotilla as an ‘armada of hate’, which is delivering materials, and possibly even weaponry, to Hamas. Both sides are wrong. These boats, which have been sailing to Gaza for the past two years, are best understood as a pompous, moralistic armada, fuelled by the self-righteousness of Western and Islamist activists keen to advertise their superiority over the new pariah state of the chattering classes: Israel.
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Gaza flotilla: invasion of the moral armada