An Israeli video called “Flotilla Choir: We Con the World” has gone viral on Facebook in the last 24 hours. While it shows no compunction about the violence involved in the flotilla incident, it aggressively illustrates the widely held Israeli belief that Hamas is responsible for the poor state of well-being of the people of Gaza.
(Full text of video available when watched directly on YouTube.)
The video was produced by Caroline Glick, managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, one of Israel's two primary English language newspapers.
On a post in her personal blog entitled, “We Con the World- The Gaza Flotilla Crew Speaks!” Glick posts the video– which launched today at 94,000 views and counting– commenting:
This week at Latma – the Hebrew-language media satire website I edit, we decided to do something new. We produced a clip in English. There we feature the Turkish-Hamas “love boat” captain, crew and passengers in a musical explanation of how they con the world.
The “love boat” reference harks to a speech Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made in the wake of the incident. In a press forum, Netanyahu asserted:
“This wasn't a love boat, this was a hate boat. These weren't pacifists, these were violent supporters of terrorism.”
The quote was picked up and a video was rapidly created and circulated amongst Israeli social networks, using the 1970s American sitcom “The Love Boat,” which took place on a cruise ship, as a parody for the MV Mavi Marmara.
The video's creators, identified as GazaFlotilliaTruth [sic], post in the commentary section of the video:
“This is NOT a peaceful humanitarian mission but a full blown terrorist act in mid-sea!
Peace activists DO NOT stack up knives and guns waiting to attack Israeli soldiers – THAT'S WHAT TERRORISTS DO
Knives and Guns ARE NOT Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid can be very easily be sent through Israel to gaza for every day many trucks full of humanitarian aid is being sent by Israel to Gaza after having been inspected.
ISRAEL HAS A RIGHT TO DEFEND IT'S CITIZENS FROM TERRORISM!
ISRAEL WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR SAVING IT'S CHILDREN'S LIVES
ISRAEL IS THE ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST BEING ATTACKED FROM ALL SIDES”
This one and a half minute video reels the credits for the “show,” which include Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Ismail Haniyeh, Islamic leader Ra'ad Saleh, as well as numerous shots of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hugging Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The video also shows a woman identified as a peace activist who was filmed as saying that the passengers of the MV Mavi Marmara would be happy with two outcomes: breaking the Gaza blockade or martyrdom, as well as showing photographs of weapons found on board the ship (caches of knives, captioned “Flotilla humanitarian aid”).
The original footage of the activist, created by Palestinian Media Watch, can be viewed here (Arabic with English subtitles).
The woman says:
“Right now we face one of two happy endings: either martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”
(She repeats this twice.)
Returning to the original “We Con the World” video, blogger Renee Ghert-Zand writes on the Israeli culture of satirizing news in “News Director as Cruise Director”:
When there is BIG news, you can always be sure that a parody of it is not far behind… the Israeli satirical website Latma Press (“Why Be Annoyed Alone?”) has beat everyone to the punch with a “We Con The World” video starring the Flotilla Choir. It’s the “Turkish Aid to Gaza Song, With Captain Stabbing and Friends.”
“Given how fast things move today, it’s evident that she [Glick] and her fellow satirists felt there was no time to lose in getting their (singing) voices on these critical events out there. They clearly took Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remark that “This was no Love Boat,” and ran with it.
This would be funny, if it weren’t so infuriating and sad.”
Facebook commentors additionally added comments such as:
“Funny yet the sad truth at the same time.”
“Truth Yes . Sad no. Tragic yes.”
And the message urging users to pick up the video and make it viral (which has since happened):
“You must watch this video edited by Caroline Glick asap. This is an amazing spoof on “We are the World” by the Turkish Peace Activists. Please send this out to everyone you know and help get this out. The truth must be heard. The scam of this “peace mission” must be exposed. If this video receives enough views, it can get onto YouTube’s home page by the “Videos Being Watched Now,” which will give tremendous exposure to many others who may not be familiar with the facts of what really happened on the “peaceful” Flotilla from Turkey to Gaza.”
This article is part of the ongoing series of Global Voices Online's coverage of “Israel Flotilla Raid 2010.”
1. The numbers of viewers listed for each video as noted on YouTube may not be fully accurate as there are several different versions of each video posted.
2. Quotes from Facebook are from a public profile. They can be found by doing a search for “Caroline Glick” on Facebook.
Personally, I think it’s shameful that Caroline Glick — someone who should be trusted as an impartial journalist — would be involved in such filth. That’s what this video is: Israel murders 9 Turkish nationals, and an Israeli journalist responds by mocking them. Real classy.
Here are some links to the “Con the World” video that you might find interesting.
– NY Times: “Israelis Explain, and Mock, Flotilla Crash,” http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/04/israelis-explain-and-mock-flotilla-clash/
– Talk2Action: “Video Mocking Gaza Flotilla Produced by Senior Fellow of Center for Security Policy”
– JStreet: Special coverage section on “The Gaza Flotilla and its Aftermath”
http://jstreet.org/page/gaza-flotilla (not directly related to the video, but I think you’ll find it of interest nonetheless)
Thanks Maya, all good pieces. I’ve been paying closer attention to J Street since seeing Daniel Levy speak passionately at the Al Jazeera Forum earlier this month.
Wow, pretty great. Good satire is the only way to shame these pathetic fools.
It isn’t hard to show that Arabs using dupes as human shields is just more (islamofascist) demented thinking.
The salient conscious secretly revile the Arabs for just this sort of murderous behavior.
(Didn’t the Turks have some other problem with genocide about a hundred years ago, which they still refuse to own up to? Say again why we’re supposed to take the Turks seriously?)
I find it interesting the world is bagging Isreal considering what has been said on the Glenn Beck show on Fox, to quote a part of the transcript of the communication between IDF and the flotilla
VOICE: Rescue 1, this is the Israeli Navy. You are approaching an area which is under a naval blockade.
VOICE: Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz.
You think that is a peace statement from the crew of the flotilla?
For what its worth, as an Israeli, I’m also ashamed to see the cynical videos (“we con the world”) being heavily passed on by friends as a way to justify Israel’s actions to the world. I totally see where that’s coming from, and connect to the sick cynicism that frankly one MUST develop when living under such daily stress.