The Israeli flotilla attack: victimhood, aggression and tribalism

Glenn Greenwald:

Will the fact that one of the dead at Israel’s hands was an American teenager with four bullet wounds to his head alter the Obama administration’s full-scale defense of Israel? Does that question even need to be asked? Not even American interests can undermine reflexive U.S. support for anything Israel does; even the Chief of the Mossad acknowledged this week that “Israel is progressively becoming a burden on the United States.” One dead 19-year-old American with 4 bullet holes in his head (especially one of Turkish origin with a Turkish-sounding name) surely won’t have any impact.

Yesterday, newly elected British Prime Minister David Cameron became the latest world leader to unequivocally condemn Israel, saying the attack was “completely unacceptable” and demanding an end to the blockade. But last night on Charlie Rose’s show, Joe Biden defended Israel with as much vigor as any Netanyahu aide or Weekly Standard polemicist. Biden told what can only be described as a lie when, in order to justify his rhetorical question “what’s the big deal here?,” he claimed that the ships could have simply delivered their aid to Israel and Israel would then have generously sent it to Gaza (“They’ve said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship — if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza’.”). In fact, contrary to the Central Lie being told about the blockade, Israel prevents all sorts of humanitarian items having nothing whatsoever to do with weapons from entering Gaza, including many of the supplies carried by the flotilla.