Overboard; Fairfax and the Flotilla

The Fairfax organisation whose flagship newspapers are the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald are so mired in the flawed narrative of their employee activist/analyst/commentators that they have lost the capacity to objectively deal with the Gaza Flotilla incident of late May in which their own reporter played an integral part.

This is clear from today’s two-pronged attack on Israel per medium of the Age editorial entitled ‘Flotilla inquiry doesn’t hold waterand an extraordinarily poorly constructed propaganda piece by Paul McGeough entitled ‘Flotilla inquiries fail to consider culpability of Israeli government’.

McGeough sailed with some of the activists on the flotilla but not on the same ship as the problematic types who, the evidence clearly shows, set out to confront by violent resistance any attempt to prevent the flotilla from breaching Israel’s blockade. His writing more and more resembles active advocacy on their behalf.   

Both pieces seek to whitewash the findings of Israel’s military inquiry into the incident of 31 May 2010 and both display an incredible lack of understanding of the purpose of the enquiry. Additionally, they display a complete refusal to accept that there is a narrative of the events which differs to that which the Age and its reporters have been pushing. The Age’s version happens to coincide with the version of the gang of cutthroat militants who embedded themselves in the flotilla with mischief and mayhem in mind.


It’s a narrative that’s short on verifiable facts and one that flies in the face of a large body of real evidence which Israel’s detractors would like to sweep under the carpet (and in the case of Fairfax and its resident flotilla spin doctor are working hard to keep under cover). For their benefit, here is a sample of the body of evidence ignored or dismissed:-

 I have put the information into sub-categories, for your convenience.

 Israeli Humanitarian Aid into Gaza before the Flotilla Incident:

The organisation behind the Mavi Marmara was the IHH. Age reports have routinely ignored who the IHH are and what they stand for, instead continually referring to them as “activists” and “protestors”.  

Video evidence of the violence that the IDF was met with:

 And I haven’t started on Hamas and its evil racist covenant which is routinely ignored in Fairfax publications. Let there be no doubt that it is Hamas (and not the Palestinian or the Gazan people) which is the beneficiary of these attacks on Israel.

This brings me to Paul McGeough’s piece in the Sydney Morning Herald entitled ‘Flotilla inquiries fail to consider culpability of Israeli government’.  It is a reminder to all that if he becomes the new Middle East Correspondent for the Age, as the rumours are suggesting, the Age will enter a new universe of reporting, lacking in balance, objectivity and credibility. 

McGeough opens by informing us that the ‘Israeli spin machine… has painted the Turkish non-government organisation IHH in the darkest possible terms.’ He declares that any evidence that the Israelis have on the IHH is the result of the ‘a lot of ominous dots to join’. But it is McGeough who is attempting to join a lot of ominous lines himself by continually ignoring the evidence put forward above and repeatedly attempted to paint the operatives on board as nothing more than “troublemakers”. This is nothing more than a poor attempt to wriggle out of the awkward situation he created in his early reports which totally ignored the IHH and its violence even as Turkish newspapers were publishing photographs which contradicted the very same version he had been pushing.

It seems that it would be easier for McGeough to keep trotting out the same rubbery narrative except for the fact that there is so much evidence of these “troublemakers” waiting for the Israelis with clubs, chains and metal slingshots. As much as I try to stretch the memory, I simply cannot recall the last time an innocent boy scout threw an unconscious soldier over the bows of a ship.

And that is exactly where the truth had gone as far as Fairfax and this sordid flotilla incident – dumped over the bows of the ship.


Pin It

One thought on “Overboard; Fairfax and the Flotilla

  1. Thanks for your full coverage of the Flotilla incident and the way Fairfax has reported it, or rather been involved in it. There’s a good article (from 2009) by Steve Emerson on the way the New York Times reports Hamas, titled: “Why does the New York Times love Hamas”

    The love of the US Left for Hamas is partly explained by the CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) being a front organisation for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Military Wing the Hamas organisation. For years CAIR has been welcomed all over the US, including the White House and FBI, until recently when the FBI blacklisted it for its terror links. CAIR has for years posed as a human rights organisation for US Muslims. This is partly why the anti-terror ‘Son of Hamas’ Mosab Hasan Yousef, who helped stop terror attacks against innocent Israelis for many years, has had to fight to stay in America. As a ‘traitor’ to Hamas, and a convert to Christianity, he is not so safe in a country so surrounded by Hamas supporters. And some people question why Barack Obama, in his visit to Cairo, specifically invited Muslim Brotherhood (ie Hamas supporters) to hear his speech, even though they were not welcomed by the Egyptian government (to whom they are a threat).
    Paul McGeogh, as the Australian newspaper reported, has an American Palestinian girlfriend. He has written a book “Kill Khaled” sympathetic to Hamas. He comes to Australia from Britain, which has its own Hamas supporters reporting for the BBC from Gaza.
    Lest one become despondent, I was recently at a forum for “Journalists on Screen” run by the Melbourne University Centre for Advanced Journalism. The session was about journalists covering conflict. Between a screening of ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’ and ‘Balibo’, there was a panel discussion involving some journalists. One of them was supposed to have been Greg Sheridan, but at the last minute he couldn’t come. When an audience member angrily denounced Greg Sheridan’s pro-Israel stance, saying, how could he possibly write in an unbiased way about Israel when there is a disclaimer under his articles that he has been to Israel on trips sponsored by a pro-Israel forum, there was a general response that Sheridan could write in any way he wanted, that there was always someone who sponsored trips for journalists. One of the panel, Rowan …. from the Financial Review (based currently in China) stated that, despite the danger involved in being in regions of conflict overseas, it was often more dangerous ‘pursuing inconvenient truths’ at home.