James Hider's full page article "Israel isolation grows as ambassador thrown out over blockade ship raid" is one of the most ignorant and biased reports ever written in the Times.The main findings of the Palmer report, which the article is supposed to be about, were that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was legal and that Turkey had colluded with a terrorist organisation - the IHH - to breach this legal blockade. Yet the article focuses on the one, relatively small, part of the Palmer report which is critical of Israel (it said Israeli commandos used "excessive and unacceptable force"). Having failed to either present the Israeli case or quote a single Israeli source anywhere else in the article, Hider ends with the following:The report's finding that the blockade is legitimate was rejected by Hanin Zoabi of the Israeli parliament, who called for "those who sent the army to stop the flotilla [to] be brought before international tribunals"What Hider fails to inform his readers is that Zoabi is an Arab member of Parliament who is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and who was actually on the Mavi Mamura with the Turkish IHH terrorists - an act which rightly got her suspended from Parliament.
Such malicious and deliberately misleading reporting is unbecoming of the Times. In fact, the article seems to be nothing more than a propaganda piece for the Turkish government. Hider would be advised to inform readers about what is really going on in Turkey at the moment. I strongly recommend he looks at the writing of a real expert such as Barry Rubin here.
Yours Edgar DavidsonIt is also interesting to note that the same edition of the Times has a lead article (page 2) about the disruption of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. The article is promisingly tagged "Disruption of a concert by Israeli musicians was not legitimate protest but bigotry". However, the main argument of the article is that the concert should not have been disrupted because the IPO is not representative of the Israeli Government - it even makes the irrelevant point that it 'was founded in 1936' , i.e. before the State of Israel was born (so we can only assume that Times would support the disruptors if, for example, the members of the IPO declared themselves to be happy with the State of Israel). Moreover, the article ploughs in with the usual caveats like "The Times has criticised Israeli policies on security and the settlements" and it bizarrely reminds readers that the Times "exposed the use of white phosphorus by the Israel Defence Force despite official denials in Gaza in 2009". Using the white phosphorus issue to demonize Israel with is something that should have been nailed long ago. For a start white phosphorus is not an illegal weapon - it is used to create smoke or illuminate a target and has been used by American and other NATO forces; Israel did not deny its use in Gaza. So the Times is, as usual talking rubbish. But it turns out that only today the claims that had been made by Hamas (and believed by the West) that white phosphorus had caused injuries in Gaza have been proved false in the latest wikileaks material.