NY Times likens pro-Hamas Audacity of Hope vessel with 1947 Jewish refugees ship, the Exodus
In its Sunday, July 3, edition, the New York Times, runs a lengthy article by Jerusalem Bureau chief Ethan Bronner about the pro-Palestinian flotilla's attempt to breach Israel's sea blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza. ("Setting Sail on Gaza's Sea of Spin," page 3 Sunday Review).
While Bronner goes into some detail about how Israel and the Palestinians are trying to spin this event to their advantage, his article's main attempt is to endow the flotilla and its propagandist crews and passengers with a big dose of historical legitimacy.
To understand his purpose, one need go no further than the first sentence of his article -- "Some see a parallel with the Exodus, the ship filled with Jewish refugees that tried to break the British blockade of Palestinian in 1947 and helped sway world opinion toward Zionism."
To further hammer home his dubious analogy between a pro-Palestinian propaganda ship and the refugee-laden "Exodus," Bronner's story is illustrated by two photos -- one pictures the U.S. flotilla vessel, Audacity of Hope, with a banner reading "To Gaza With Love," and the other an archival photograph of the Exodus.
Bronner is clearly enamored with his phony linkage of a flotilla with anti-Israel provocateurs on a propaganda voyage to buck up Hamas, and the Exodus with its bedraggled Holocaust survivors striving mightily to reach the Promised Land against insuperable odds.
"The Exodus analogy," Bronner writes, "supports a certain political and public relations strategy. In July, 1947, when Britain ruled Palestine and the number of Jews allowed in was severely limited, the ship with 4,500 Jewish refugees from Europe, tried to get through British forces boarded it, killed three people, wounded dozens and essentially destroyed the ship as it listed in Haifa harbor. The British ultimately sent the passengers to Hamburg."
Bronner then provides an Israeli historian, M.M. Silver, to back up his flotilla-Exodus analogy -- "Palestinian forces are trying to make the same point through the flotilla, that Israel has no right to control the fate of Palestinians."
I beg to differ.
The refugees aboard the Exodus were not well-off activists intent on staging a propaganda coup. They had just barely survived the Holocaust and were trying to reach Palestine -- a right accorded them by Britain's Balfour Declaration, the League of Nations, the U.S. Congress and, in the same year, the United Nations. On the other hand, the passengers aboard the pro-Palestinian flotilla are well-off, middle-class activists engaged in political theater seeking to undermine Israel's right of self-defense again a terrorist foe, Hamas, with its avowed genocidal agenda against Jews.
Jews aboard the Exodus were trying to exercise their historic right to go home against the British who blocked their path. In contrast there is nobody today barring the way home for the flotilla's pasengers..
For the suffering refugees, the Exodus was a real odyssey -- not a synthetic concoction like the one staged by the flotilla's organizers.
To try to link the two tells worlds about the anti-Israel agenda of Bronner and the New York Times.