British Press Amnesia About Marmara Violence
UK media report IDF takeover of last flotilla ship but forgets assault by Marmara activists against troops.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/21/2011, 10:52 PM
Terrorists on the Mavi Marmara
British newspapers carried reports Thursday about the Israel Navy’s takeover of the final “Gaza flotilla” ship headed for Hamas territory but neglected to remind their readers of the extreme violence perpetrated by activists on last year’s flotilla.
Just Journalism’s The Wire blog reports that The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and the Financial Times all carried stories about the boarding of the Dignite al-Karama, the final ship in this year’s convoy attempting to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza.
This was the only boat in this year’s convoy that had to be intercepted by Israeli naval forces. The Wire notes that the event could have been expected to prompt comparisons with the 2010 raid of the Mavi Marmara, during which nine Turkish passengers were killed when they tried to lynch Israeli soldiers.
However, it writes, “While all of the reporting notes that the passengers offered ‘no resistance’, only The Daily Telegraph explicitly contrasts this with the actions of the activists aboard the Mavi Marmara who violently assaulted Israeli troops.”
The Independent “suggests that the deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara were due to Israel ‘bungling’ an assault, omitting to mention that Israeli soldiers had been set upon by a mob of violent activists.”
The Wire says that the downplaying of the violence by passengers on the Mavi Marmara is in line with the findings of Just Journalism’s 2010 special report, ‘Gaza flotilla raid: Media presentation of Israeli video evidence’.
Some of the report’s key findings were that:
“The Guardian and The Independent severely under-reported the IDF footage showing Israeli commandos coming under sustained attack from Mavi Marmara passengers.
“The Guardian and The Independent presented Israel’s key evidence as public relations material and refused to incorporate it into their broader narratives on the event.
“The Times and The Daily Telegraph gave the footage due prominence from the outset of reporting and treated it as a natural counter-point to passengers’ claims.”