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June 3, 2010
What should Israel have done?
We just saw a classic example of Martyrdom Theater off the coast of Israel. It was scripted to make Israel look bad. White hats, black hats, your basic Western B movie. The usual left-fascist media going ape, as per script, and suckering millions of the brainwashed, the way they always do.
There they go again, as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter in that famous television debate. Everybody knew what he meant. We need to go on pointing it out, because many people still don't get it.
My question is, What would you do if you were Israel, and you saw this piece of theater going down? You could see this one coming, and the next martyrdom boat is now on the way from Cyprus. These are "peace" activists with murder in their eyes, and they are predictable.
The IDF is prepared for a firefight but not a propaganda fight. This is political theater, even if it leads to real deaths. It's just like the 15-story mega-mosque they want to build on Ground Zero in Manhattan. Or the UN denunciation of Israel's nukes two days before Iran says it has enough uranium for two nuclear weapons. Propaganda works when it is allowed to go unanswered.
Here is my modest proposal: Consider meeting theater with theater, because that's what the media are thirsting for. The question is how to flip the storyline against the terrorists and their media. It must be possible, because these are not geniuses. Intelligent and decent people can outsmart them.
Idea 1. Safety first.
Next time you see a boatful of wannabe martyrs don't risk the lives of your young soldiers. Keep the wannabes away with tear gas, high-decibel rock music, fireworks, water cannon, smoke bombs, tugboats, Louisiana oil spill berms, floating barriers, sugar in their gas tanks, whatever. If they want a fiery martyrdom they will have to do it themselves. Real suicide bombers are still killing civilians every week in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the media are bored with it. They want their white hats fighting their black hats to make political theater. Don't give it to them.
Idea 2. Beat their theater with bigger theater.
What if Israelis sent their own peace flotilla to meet the martyrdom brigade? Israel's boats could be called Real Peace, Stop Hate Propaganda, or The Six Million. Or maybe Free Gaza from Hamas? In 1948 they called their ship the Exodus. Capture the truth in two words and name your flotilla after it. As a side benefit it will drive the media nuts.
Israel and the West have the web, the biggest stage on earth. Anybody can make a YouTube video. Tell the truth over and over and over again until it sinks in.
Idea 3. Make the media the story.
Who's the wizard behind the curtain? Yes, it's them again. The media are always trying to convince us they're not the story. That is a lie. The media are staffed with agit-prop artists with one line. They are the only story they don't tell. Our job is to tell the truth, starting with the biggest media lie. They are the message.
Idea 4. In political theater you can win with laughter.
There aren't many occasions in real life when humor wins battles. This is one of them. Get all the comedy writers you can find together --- the funny ones, not like Bill Maher --- and work out all the gags that will make these wannabes look foolish.
Comedy is hard, dying is easy, goes the old theater line. Here's a chance for the good guys to flip that one around. All it takes is a good imagination.