Saturday, June 05, 2010

Alternative Reality

The Israeli Defense Force's latest posting on their YouTube channel is something of a mystery when it comes to its digital rhetoric . . . that is unless you play through the to very end, which few YouTube viewers would normally be likely to do.

In the video we see passengers disembarking from the Rachel Corrie ship, named after the deceased anti-Israeli American peace activist. These people, who include old women, pregnant women, frail men, and others who certainly don't fit the image of jihadist radicalism that the IDF has associated with other participants in the flotilla attempting to cross the Gaza blockade. Actually, the message is really in the applause at the end, which reinforces the idea that the soldiers are behaving chivalrously and courteously in their interactions. The sad irony is that this video represents a kind of alternative reality for which the crowd is clapping, in which the interaction between Israelis and Palestinian sympathizers never turned violent.

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