Last Monday we had some anxious hours that can be summed up with the question, "Where is the army spokesman?." But all's well that ends well: That afternoon the beleaguered spokesman supplied the television channels with three minutes of silhouettes sliding down a rope and squabbling with other silhouettes. Only then did a spirit of confidence enter us.
True, the violence wasn't serious (compared to the evacuation of Amona, say ), but it was enough to set off a moral panic that continues, as the imbroglio deepens, to shelter a holy rage against evil, its agent Turkey and Turkey's agent Umm al-Fahm. Under cover of that panic we can adulate still more our heroes who killed the minimum necessary and returned safely to base.
In the shelter of the moral panic it doesn't matter who sent them or why. We settle for three minutes of silhouettes, some Erdogan invective, silhouettes, Al-Qaida, silhouettes, a pile of dollars, silhouettes and now and again a red circle around what must understood together with some descriptions of heroism. Each fragment added by the spokesman during the week, right up to "Go back to Auschwitz" at prime time on Friday night, fitted in surprisingly well with the very first loop: They messed with our soldiers, who were armed with paintball guns and wounded by a rifle seized from them. Paint gun? No. The "activists" had firearms but threw them overboard. Sure. They also nearly abducted our soldiers, who passed out for a few minutes - three almost-Gilad-Shalits. No full house, but we have the Rachel Corrie. They let down a ladder. The puzzle is finished. Amazing how everything falls into place with the first images of the silhouettes. Weak versus strong, good versus evil. Bleeding.
Will any investigative TV shows examine how it all happened? No need. The main thing is to get a psychosis going with the help of the pundits and, of course, the rogue of the day. Without him there can be no moral panic. Until a week ago it was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now it's Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
And where were the pundits before the debacle? Remember their bluster? It included a detailed description of what we were going to do to the flotilla, especially the delights of signal jamming. Oh, what lovely jamming! Never since those gasoline containers on the banks of the Suez Canal that were going to fry the enemy in the event of an Egyptian invasion have we been assured of such a defense - and this time, defense against information.
We really don't need information. All we need is the word "terrorists." Peace activists don't hit anyone, they only get hit. As policemen it is our right to hand out grades to burglars. The Rachel Corrie (the ship, not the young woman killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer ) proved we were right from the start. That's why an international inquiry is dangerous. It could reconstruct a different narrative.
And that's why it's better that fragments of stories be told across the world, in different languages, by different broadcasters. We are defending the homeland with one loud story. Fact is, we all believe it. It's a hit on YouTube, with a tune. Wikipedia is next.
Any more achievements? Yes. Our leaders were rescued from the quagmire once again. Once again, the pundits have shed the cloak of liberalism and returned to the sycophantic glory days of Operation Cast Lead.
What's more, there won't be another flotilla like this one. More important, it has been proved once more that we, as a collective, think very differently from the rest of the world. Thus - and this is the achievement - a peace agreement cannot be imposed upon us because we immediately switch on the moral panic. And just to be sure, we'll sic Eli Yishai, "the rock of our existence," on our Arabs. He'll remind MK Hanin Zuabi who it was exactly who immigrated by right and who is here on contingency.
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