I view Israel’s assault on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara as a textbook example of incompetence. These people are not as brilliant as they like to claim.It's not as if I wouldn't have any issues with the rest of the entry as well, but the quoted bit is so awash with expressions of a commom misconception, that I'll concentrate on that. Hitchens says that, had "...the Mossad secret service types had lived up to their legend, they would have known this." I am not implying antisemitism on Hitchen's side, but oughtn't he to know that this legend is largely an antisemic wet dream? A up-to-date-version of the old omniscient, ubiquitous and omnipotent Jew?
The ship, despite its supercargo of PC, anti-Israel, Left-wing suckers, dupes and sandal-wearers, was also seething with militant and far-from-pacifist full-time Israel-haters.
If the Mossad secret service types had lived up to their legend, they would have known this.
So why lower troops, one by one, into the midst of a mob of foes? Why equip them with feeble paintball guns, shroud their hands in gloves so they can’t reach their sidearms, and order them not to open fire until things get out of hand?
They did this because the Israeli military let their civilised, law-governed instincts get the better of sensible cynicism.
The gullibility of the reporting on this issue defies belief. This wasn’t a humanitarian convoy. The Israelis were quite willing to send on the supplies, after searching them for contraband.
He then raises an extremely interesting point, getting close to the core of antisemitism, apparently without noticing it, when he says that they were so ill-prepared for the terrorist attack "...because the Israeli military let their civilised, law-governed instincts get the better of sensible cynicism." Quite right, Mr. Hitchens. And that is because the Jews think they can win hearts by "good" behaviour when the opposite is the case. Jews (as a group) are not hated because of the evil they do, but because of the good they do. This is called -- dare I say it? -- antisemitism.
Lastly, he states that "(t)he gullibility of the reporting on this issue defies belief." Wrong, Mr. Hitchens. That is not gullibility. Far from it. And it does not a bit defy belief. For somebody who is at home in and part of the media this is a pretty obtuse statement. Anybody who WANTS to know the truth, specifically in the time of the Internet, can learn the truth -- if the truth were what he's after. But only very few are. And we're back to square one and the a-word again.