What news has David Frum been watching?

David Frum, the former speech writer for George W. Bush and flag-waving neo-conservative, has penned this ill-informed piece in The National Post. Nothing surprising about that you may say but it is the glaring lack of analysis here that caught my attention.

Hamas tried to break the Israeli blockade and failed. You hear tough talk of a second try. It will not happen. Already, the sponsors of the next would-be blockade-runner, an Irish-backed ship named the “Rachel Corrie,” have agreed to dock at the Israeli port of Ashdod and submit to a security inspection.

It wasn’t Hamas who tried to break the blockade, it was a coalition of various NGOs and human rights organisations that tried to break the blockade. There is no mention of the 10 who died, 6 of them were shot in the head. Instead Frum decides to focus on the poor, injured IDF commandos, while painting the victims as Islamist martyrs. Demonisation be thy god, Frum.

In human terms, the losses begin with the battered and injured IDF soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara. One may wonder if we should not tally as winners the nine militant blockade runners who gained the martyrdom they sought.

In the rest of the article he repeats the same lies and myths that have dominated approved discourses on Palestine.  But this part of the article sums it up for me: it is only a blind man who can spin this into some heart-warming tale of economic miraculousness and Frum is that blind man.

The West Bank is already enjoying political tranquility and economic boom: growth rates of 7% and a rapid diminution of both terrorism and gang violence. Nearly 1.5 million tourists visited the West Bank in 2009. As stability grows, the Israeli security presence has receded. After the flotilla, watch for that security presence now to recede even faster, for more roadways to open to Palestinian inter-urban traffic and for check points to process travellers faster and more courteously.

I guess he hasn’t been reading much about the expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank, but that would be asking too much of Frum. It is easier for him to present this simply as “Western values versus Islamist barbarism” and it’s tough luck for those who happen to live in the world’s largest ghetto.

I wonder how much money Frum gets from the Israeli Ministry for Information for penning articles like this? Probably nothing, he just gets his satisfaction from the fact that he helps to perpetuate one of the biggest lies in history.


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