Pro-IDF, Anti-Turkish Rally in Tel Aviv (or a Glimpse Into Collective Israeli Derangement)

On June 1, 2010, thousands of Israelis gathered spontaneously in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv to demonstrate in support of the Israeli Naval commando unit that killed nine passengers on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-backed boat from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Egged on by the Israeli government and media, the demonstrators lashed out at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support of the Marmara, accusing him and passengers on the ship of terrorist ties. Besides with the massacre of Turkish aid workers, the spectacle of massive Israeli protests against Turkey threatens to permanently rupture Israel’s ties to its closest Muslim ally and further isolate the country on the world stage.

The rally provided a clear window into the mentality of many Israelis after the raid. International condemnation has deepened the public’s siege mentality, leading many demonstrators to claim that anti-Semitism best explained the world’s motives. The belief that the Mavi Marmara was a terrorist ship with support from an assortment of Islamic evildoers including Al Qaida was nearly unanimous, and was offered by rally participants as an excuse for their killing. Many viewed the incident in the shadow of the Holocaust, convinced that Marmara passengers had shouted at the commandos, “Go back to Auschwitz!”

Such convictions were understandable in light of the aggressive propaganda campaign the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Foreign Ministry have waged in the wake of the flotilla raid. The IDF has claimed that it discovered 40 “Al Qaeda mercenaries” on the Mavi Marmara and blasted out an audio clip purporting to show flotilla passengers proclaiming to the IDF, “Go back to Auschwitz!” Even though the IDF retracted its claim about Al Qaida operatives and was forced to concede that its “Auschwitz” audio clip was doctored, Israeli and American media outlets that reported the army’s claims have not corrected their stories. Consequently, many Israelis are accepting their government’s view without a second thought. As one demonstrator said, “I believe every word our soldiers. Every word!”

The rally was organized through Israeli Facebook groups and by the notoriously anti-Arab football club Betar Jerusalem. It was only one of many spontaneous outbursts of extreme nationalism that have erupted across Israel since the flotilla raid. Many participants in the rally remarked that they had not seen the public so thoroughly united behind the government in all their lives. As one demonstrator put it, “I’m very happy [about] what happened because it united the country, and not all the Israelis, all the Jewish [sic]; all united for a cause, and it’s against the civil war that we always had.”

12 thoughts on “Pro-IDF, Anti-Turkish Rally in Tel Aviv (or a Glimpse Into Collective Israeli Derangement)

  1. Pingback: » June 7, 2010, Page 2

  2. Pingback: The storming of the Gaza flotilla - Blog Post

  3. David Dorfman

    I didn’t see this video, but thought it must be a fake, as soon as I heard about the “go back to Auschwitz” jeer. In my years of political activity in Britain I have only heard such remarks shouted on a couple of occasions, and in each case the persons coming out with the sick remarks were not Turks nor Palestinians, but people attending pro-Israel, Zionist rallies who became enraged at seeing Jewish peace protesters, and shouted such things at us.
    “You should have died in Auschwitz!” they shouted at people holding a vigil on St.Martin’s steps, oblivious perhaps that the people they were shouting at did include Holocaust survivors. Perhaps the IDF propaganda unit recorded its own chums for this video!
    The chair of the Zionist Federation in Britain turned up at a meeting in the House of Commons and heckled a Jewish veteran who had been in the camps. The ZF hero was escorted out with a friend who kept making Hitler salutes.
    The Zionist Federation now seems to be happy with support from the English Defence League, a hotch-potch of Islamophobic cranks, racists, members of the far-Right British National Party, soldiers in plain-clothes, and notorious football hooligans. Not unlike some of the Betar Jerusalem mob I should imagine.
    Looking at their banners and anti-Turkish slogans, I wondered how many of these “spontaneous” protesters could have found their way to the Turkish embassy unaided, let alone known or cared anything about Turkey’s problems? It is a bit ugly and pathetic when ruling parties have to wheel out the lumpen to defend their own crimes.

  4. Pingback: More Gaza Flotilla Aftermath « Shalom Rav

  5. Pingback: Pro-IDF, Anti-Turkish Rally in Tel Aviv (or a Glimpse Into Collective Israeli Derangement) [VIDEO] | Intifada Palestine

  6. DICKERSON3870

    RE: “Many viewed the incident in the shadow of the Holocaust” – Max

    SEE: Israel’s Cult of Victimhood – Barefoot Soldiers on the High Seas? – Jonathan Cook, Counterpunch, 06/09/10
    (excerpt)…One commentator in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper summed up the feelings of Israelis brought to the fore by the flotilla episode as the “helplessness of a poor lonely victim, confronting the rage of a lynch mob and frantically realising that these are his last moments”. This “psychosis”, as he called it, is not surprising: it derives from the sanctified place of the Holocaust in the Israeli education system…
    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ilan-papp-the-deadly-closing-of-the-israeli-mind-1992471.html

    AND: Essay of the week: What drives Israel? ~ By Ilan Pappe, Herald Scotland, Guest Commentary, 06/06/10
    (excerpt)…From this stems the second feature relevant to a better understanding of the Israeli Jewish society. Israel is in a state of denial. Even in 2010, with all the alternative and international means of communication and information, most of the Israeli Jews are still fed daily by media that hides from them the realities of occupation, stagnation or discrimination…
    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/guest-commentary/essay-of-the-week-what-drives-israel-1.1032971

  7. Pingback: MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER | Shoah

  8. Pingback: A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER | Shoah

  9. Pingback: Responding to Fania Oz-Salzberger, and searching for the ghost of Israeli democracy

  10. Pingback: Searching for the ghost of Israeli democracy

Leave a Reply