At Wall Street Journal, Reporting Assault Through Israel’s Eyes

In a news report on the Israeli military’s investigation of its own deadly raid on the Gaza aid flotilla, the Wall Street Journal (7/13/10) passes off as fact, with no qualifier, the Israeli government’s claim that members of IHH, a Turkish humanitarian organization, “attacked the Israeli soldiers as they boarded the ship.”

While it’s true that activists on board the Mavi Marmara tried to defend themselves against Israeli naval commandos and fought with the Israelis (War in Context, 6/6/10), the Journalâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s framing of the incident gets what happened on board the ship backwards, implying that it was the activists who first started the clash.

Regardless of who initiated the violence on board the ship first–and witnesses claim that soldiers started shooting even before they landed on the Turkish ship (Common Dreams, 6/5/10)–when heavily armed commandos invade a ship in international waters without legal authorization to do so, that in itself constitutes an attack. The Israeli navy attacked the boat in international waters even as it was moving away from Gazaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s coast (Ali Abunimah, 6/7/10).

The Wall Street Journalâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s reporting is the latest in a pattern of U.S. corporate media reporting the Israeli assault through Israelâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s eyes (FAIR Media Advisory, 6/1/10). What Israel says goes, it seems–what actually happened during the flotilla raid is apparently of little interest.