Israel


The New York Times reports on a strange piece of hasbara…

A YouTube video featuring a man who presented himself as an American gay rights activist disillusioned with the latest Gaza flotilla campaign has been exposed as a hoax.

The man in the video, who introduced himself to viewers as Marc and claimed that the organizers of the latest flotilla of ships bound for Gaza had rejected his offer to mobilize a network of gay activists in support of their cause, was identified as Omer Gershon, a Tel Aviv actor involved in marketing, by the Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian Web site.

Here’s Omer in action…

One thing gratuitous exposure to pro-wrestling does teach you is to separate a “worked” (staged) performance from the real thing. And Omer’s product is embarrassing. He ostentatiously turns the webcam on at the beginning but acquires a mystery cameraman at other points in the film. There are some tactics that I’d guess are common to spooks and astroturfers, though. He never directly states his affiliations – just mentioning ambiguous “gay rights networks”. His faux-naive narrative is also utterly implausible when you break it down: he implies that he’d have been prepared to join the flotilla because the names of its organisers “sound[ed] impressive”. Oh, yeah, and I’m off to Rwanda with Médecins sans Frontières. Don’t know much about the guys but, hey, MSF – almost like EMF, innit? Cool!

Reclaiming national pride and seeking to prove that too many cooks do not always spoil the hummus, 300 chefs poured dish after dish of the chickpea-based dip into a giant 10-tonne vat specially created for the purpose.

The result was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the largest hummus dish ever made – double an Israeli effort made in January.

The contest is being taken in good humour in both countries, despite a mutual feeling of suspicion built up over decades of Israeli military incursions and cross-border rocket attacks by Hizbollah, which is based in southern Lebanon.

Lebanese clerics have suggested that the Zionist equivalent was too busy spreading.

Benjamin Netanyahu was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family, it emerged on Thursday. The snub marked a fresh low in US-Israeli relations and appeared designed to show Mr Netanyahu how low his stock had fallen in Washington after he refused to back down in a row over Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.

This, for Nile Gardiner, is proof that Barack Obama sees Israel with “indifference, contempt and at times outright hostility“. Mark Steyn fulminates that Netanyahu was treated “as if he’s under interrogation in the basement of some CIA safe house“. A pensive Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds throws out the theory that Obama “hates Jews“. Guys, perhaps Michelle was just cookin’ up a Roast?

Obama’s hawkish critics dwell in a murky, cockeyed land, where perspective is an unhinged beast: the apparently commonplace ballooning into great monstrosities. In our world, the President’s shovelling billions into Israel’s military budget, and the Speaker’s proclaiming that “in Congress, [they] speak with one voice on the subject“. In their’s, a cheeky dinner is proof enough that Obama fosters – nay, flaunts - a visceral loathing of the state. The roots of this could fruitfully occupy a Pynchon or DeLillo, but I’ll be dull and chalk it up to a Nixon-sized persecution complex.

Update: A friend, musing on the Telegraph report, floats the possibility that Obama had declined the offer of Bibi’s tasty homemade stew.

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