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Jun. 2 2010 - 4:10 pm | 135 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Martin Peretz something something incompetent

The New Republic publishing mainstay Martin Peretz begins an essay on the flotilla incident thusly:

Look, I wish the Israeli raid on the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” had ended differently.

… which would be perfunctory if noted by most people but which in this case has provided us with real information. Peretz is notorious for transforming any congregation of the wogs into a potential menace to be neutralized at will by any party that cares to do so, and in this case has managed to conjure up something menacing out of ships intent by all accounts on bringing various essential goods to a large number of civilians who would like to have them:

But, frankly, when some 800 men and women, distributed over six boats after weeks and weeks of preparation, are headed towards Gaza on the wings of slogan and hysteria, you don’t take that many chances. Somebody has trouble in mind.

Every time I make fun of Peretz I suddenly get embarrassed midway through and wonder what the fuck I am doing and why. I guess I could note that this person held overriding control over what was until recently one of the nation’s most important outlets of commentary and original reporting, and, fuck. I mean, fuck. Also, why is it so frightening that six ships filled with concrete and wheelchairs and politicians took several weeks to prepare? Would the Israelis have not been forced to respond to this dastardly Musselman raiding party if everyone had just hopped into a couple of boats and set off on a whim? Also, what the fuck?

Here’s something else that I think is retarded; I will show you it to you so that you can see it and think it is retarded, too. Three, two, one:

The first five vessels were steered quietly to the Israeli port city of Ashdod, which means that neither their passengers nor the Israeli commandos were especially provocative.

Now let me show you again what Peretz himself said previously:

But, frankly, when some 800 men and women, distributed over six boats after weeks and weeks of preparation, are headed towards Gaza on the wings of slogan and hysteria, you don’t take that many chances. Somebody has trouble in mind.

Back, and to the left:

The first five vessels were steered quietly to the Israeli port city of Ashdod, which means that neither their passengers nor the Israeli commandos were especially provocative.

Despite having exhibited no especial provocativeness, those other passengers were all detained by Israel and many are still under detention. One who is not, an Arab-Israeli MP who was released due to her legislative immunity or some such thing, has told the same story given by every other passenger, one which only contradicts the testimony of the Israeli military, which itself has been known to make demonstrably false claims about past incidents in which civilians were killed. Now, it is possible that this MP and every other passenger, despite having been separated since the attack, are telling the exact same lie. But it is terribly improbable, and the fact that the Israelis have not released footage of the entire incident despite having sent cameras to an encounter that would inevitably turn into an international public relations dispute ought to raise questions even among those who are only in the habit of questioning Arabs and Turks.


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  1. collapse expand

    call them humanitarians, call them political activists, I call them terrorists until you show me differently. I don’t see any people from Israel flying planes into buildings. Until that day give me Israel any day.

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    I'm the author of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Easter Bunny; my second book, Hot, Fat & Clouded: The Amazing and Amusing Failures of America’s Chattering Class (Being a Partial Record of the Incompetence of Our Republic's Mainstream Pundits, Most of Whom Deserve to be Exiled or at Least Have Their Cars Vandalized), will be released in 2010. I'm a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Skeptic, and The Onion, and my work has appeared in dozens of other publications and outlets. I also serve as director of communications for Enlighten the Vote, a political action committee dedicated to the advancement of the Establishment Clause.

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