Joseph Dana and Control of the Narrative

Yesterday I mentioned the support the American government was giving to Israel regarding the upcoming Flotilla (rather than support for American citizens). Last year, Israel boarded one of the aid ships aiming to break the naval siege of Gaza killing nine of the activist passengers, including one American citizen. Joseph Dana appeared on Al Jazeera  to discuss the possibility that a similar tragedy could be repeated this year. Dana makes several great points, specifically that Israel is attempting to control the narrative of the Flotilla – a logical hypothesis. The fight for the narrative will continue long after the aid ships inevitably collide with the Israeli navy, much as it did last year when Israel destroyed the film, photos and audio of the activists while presenting doctored audio to the press.

I have a tough time, though, believing that Israel would allow another botched operation. Last years naval interception of the Flotilla was an exercise in ineptitude as the Israeli commandos opted for a high-risk maneuver (repelling onto the ship via helicopter) rather than simply taking out the engines and towing the ship to port. Considering the bad press Israel received for its actions last year, I find it highly unlikely that this year’s Flotilla will produce a similar over-reaction from Israel. Of course, it is easy for me to say so as I am not on the ship, but I predict this year the Flotilla will be taken to port without much violence.

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5 thoughts on “Joseph Dana and Control of the Narrative

  1. But still I would expect the communication to be jammed – last year there was a live-stream running for rather a long time – and all equipment stolen and destroyed in order to do as they like without any proof in the hands of those who participate in the flotilla.

    Just yesterday Allawati remarked that he – a member of the international press – never got his stuff or his money back. And I think that goes for everybody from last year’s press people.

    1. I certainly agree. Israel will do everything it can to control the way the world views this incident. Blocking communication (particularly Twitter, Facebook…) goes a long way in control. The fight to control the narrative is nothing new either. Simply talking about this year’s Flotilla has brought new tensions to the fight for last year’s narrative. It will just continue.

      My disagreement with Dana – in the video – is that I am highly skeptical that Israel will use violent means to take over the ships. The whole Mavi Marmara incident last year was disastrous for Israeli PR. Better to disable the engines and tow the ships to port than to try an take the ships by force. It quiets the entire event and gives activists who are trying to break the siege less press.

      Thanks for the note!

      1. I think Dana takes his view from his experiences with the israeli Army every week attacking peaceful Demonstrations in the West Bank – Nil’in, Bil’in. And considering these strategies I am not so sure that Israel will keep away from violence. Last year, when finally the “Rachel Corrie” approached Gaza – all alone – still they mistreated the passengers, bad press or not.

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