The NYT on the Flotilla Massacre: When Good Editorials Start Off Really, Really Bad

Damn the Times for distracting me from my work-related all-nighter. But witness the lede to their editorial on the flotilla massacre:

The supporters of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla had more than humanitarian intentions. The Gaza Freedom March made its motives clear in a statement before Monday’s deadly confrontation: “A violent response from Israel will breathe new life into the Palestine solidarity movement, drawing attention to the blockade.”

As I immediately responded in a comment that may or may not emerge from moderation,

This is among the most shameful and sickening distortions I’ve ever seen in a Times editorial. How is warning the Israeli government that a violent interdiction will only backfire in world public opinion an expression of the desire for a violent response, or in any way a negation of humanitarian intentions?

Damn shame, because the rest of the editorial is spot on, especially considering that this is the Times. Fair-use excerpts:

The questions raised by the confrontation — and there are many — demand an immediate and objective international investigation.

At this point, it should be clear that the blockade is unjust and against Israel’s long-term security.

And (hooray):

On Tuesday, President Obama expressed his “deep regret” over the flotilla incident. He is doing Israel no favors with such a tepid response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shown time and again that he prefers bullying and confrontation over diplomacy. Washington needs to make clear to him just how dangerous and counterproductive that approach is.

I’ve screen-grabbed the editorial in the event that the lede changes by dawn. Frankly I hope it does; apart from that burp of reflexive false balance, the Times editorial board has taken an unexpectedly high road.

The full statement from which the editorial drew that quote can be found here.

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