Raid on Terrorist Flotilla: Footie Songs Say It Best

“No one likes us, no one likes us, no one likes us, we don’t care.
We are Millwall, super Millwall, we are Millwall from the Den.”

Strangely enough, this ostensibly inane football song (full rendition) was reverberating in my head throughout yesterday, as I watched and heard the world reaction to the IDF’s storming of the terrorist flotilla.    

Even if the execution of the raid was ill-conceived (and I fear it was), it was justified (see my previous post, Dirty seamen stain Dunkirk weekend). But, for sustained, exaggerated and unfair criticism and singling-out by the media, one can easily substitute “Millwall” with “Israel”. And like the demonization of white, working class, Cockney football fans – an easy target for the press – that of the Jewish state has also created a siege mentality amongst its citizens and supporters. 

The fans of my football team, Leeds United, also have much of this mentality (incidentally, we have also had – and I was there – our own bitter experience of the Turks [see photos below]). But, when it comes to international Islamofascism, working class football fans appear to have a far better, more intuitive sense of right and wrong than the so-called “liberal”, Guardian-reading elite who so patronise them. Indeed, many of the friends and acquaintances I have made through my years of following Leeds United have remarked to me how much they respect and admire Israel for dealing with Fundamentalists in a way that they wish their own government would. 

Christopher Loftus (top) and Kevin Speight, RIP, hacked to death in the centre of Istanbul in April 2000. Their killers still roam free.

My inner voice was also chanting, yesterday, the words that we Leeds fans direct at our team when, as so often, it underperforms. “What the f*ck is going on?!” was not, however, aimed at the Israeli government or our brave young soldiers, but at the horrible media bias assailing my senses. Anyone who knows anything about Turkey can well imagine (if he/she can bear to) its reaction to another country daring to send aid to the Kurds – who are forbidden even to give their offspring Kurdish names – or supporting Kurdish claims for an independent state. But I won’t regurgitate my contempt for these sickeningly hypocritical knuckle draggers – it is all here, here, and here – only to say that Israel’s (former?) strategic cooperation with Turkey, a marriage of convenience, is no less a cause for shame than that with apartheid South Africa.  

The scenes from the deck of the boarded vessel were a horrible reminder for Israelis of the October 2000 Ramallah lynching (this Israeli Channel 2 footage requires no translation). And, by yesterday evening, as I became even more incensed by the double standards of the international reaction – and, especially, that of the Arab tyrannies and the two-faced Turks – I found succour in the soldier’s song, also appropriated by football fans: “F*ck ‘em all! F*ck ‘em all! The long and the short and the tall . . .” 

I ended a pretty horrible day with an adapted rendition of “If you hate Leeds United, have a go” (to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain). 

The terrorists had “ha[d] a go”. Nine (do we have a minyan yet?) are on their way to their 72 (I prefer them younger myself) Virgins. And I, for one, am not going to mourn them or apologise. 

Yes, f*ck ‘em all!


23 responses to “Raid on Terrorist Flotilla: Footie Songs Say It Best

  1. Michael Benjamin

    Amazingly the comments by readers in the Times on line was very favourable.
    But the macro management was reminiscent of Lebanon. That should have changed and hasn’t.

  2. Amen.

  3. Josh Haruni

    A very good Armenian friend of mine sent me a sobering message this morning which simply read:
    ‘Now you know…’

  4. Shit! I forgot “Who the f*cking hell are you?!” for Ivelostmydinnerjacket!

  5. Indeed!

  6. Henri Berest

    You’re forgetting the classic

    “I would rather be a Paki than a Turk”

    another Leeds Classic I believe

  7. Daniel Marks

    Mike, thank you for an excellent piece.

    Though maritime embargoes is not my area of expertise, my gut feeling also is that the plan was not brilliant. It had apparently been based on the assumption that the “human rights activists” were human beings. Never an easy assumption to make with anti-Semites.

    Kopaloff yesterday in an off-blog conversation suggested that this mistake was “criminally negligent”. I’m not a lawyer either, but I think this might be pushing it a bit. I’m sure we’ll learn for next time, Either way I’m glad it was Labor leader Barak who was responsible, if it had been a Likud man there would be demonstrations everywhere and the press would be demanding his resignation.

    On the bright side, the ship didn’t get through and our boys are all alive. This is in itself a miracle and we should all thank G-d. We should also hug our children one extra time and thank him that these are his sons and daughters.

    As usual we’re screwing up our public relations campaign, but that’s a given and always has been.

    Whether it was all worth it we’ll know in a few weeks. If they try again and we back down the answer will be no. If they don’t, or we don’t it will be yes. I have a suspicion it may be the latter, but I’m no prophet.

    Here’s hoping

  8. Having nothing to do with footie or Leeds united, I’ll stick to Bart Simpson’s view of the situation: ” Well, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t….”

    And to Daniel – don’t worry, they’ll be after Barak’s head too this time. Justifiebly. As opposed to the 2006 Lebanon war where the press was just looking for a scape goat, It would be much easier for all of us if someone up there (and I mean up there in the Knesset) did the honorable thing and take responsibility. I’m afaraid, though, we burried the last of these truly responsible types yesterday in Tel Aviv.
    (Lova Eliav truly deserves a post, Mike….)

  9. If I might add, Daniel, for the commitment phobes amongst us: we should also hug our dogs one extra time and thank Him that these are His dogs.

    Thank you, Henri. I also overlooked the subtle Leeds classic “Die die Turkey, Turkey die” (also to the tune of She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain).

    PS I have received a chain mail stating that the IDF has posted a video on YouTube explaining what happened, but that YouTube want to remove it, using the excuse that not enough people are clicking on it. Sounds like bollocks, but just in case it is not . . .

  10. Mike
    Govt need to put u on TV and say it like it is – not some apologising twat like barak who can hardly speak english

  11. Anthony Mammon

    Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said this week: “If the ships reach Gaza it is a victory; if they are intercepted, it will be a victory too. And therein lies the problem, all these brilliant Jewish minds, capable of ANYTHING, and yet we are unable to win a public relations campign

  12. Isreal carries out on board checks of multiple vessels on a daily basis, these are mostly just routine checks on merchant vessels.
    Israel has also carried out boarding raids on terrorist vessels on numerous occassions , with enormous success.
    The problem with this particular raid, was that the vessel in question was claiming to be a humanitarian mission and therefore the operation needed to be done in such a way as to quell international fears of Israel hard handedness, but also to protect our soldiers in case the humanitarians on board were not quite as humanitarian as they painted themselves to be.
    unfortunately the latter scenario came to pass and the IDF had to use live ammunitton to extricate itself from a bad situation.
    As far as the Israeli military is concerned this operation was a success, the bad guys lost we got home mostly in one peice and the bad stuff will not get to gaza, eventually the aid wil get through.
    Yossi Avrahami is very much in my mind in these dark days , both for how he died but mostly for how he lived, always full of hope.

  13. Although hypocrisy is by no means the privilege of any one state or person, as a Greek who actually has a lot of Turkish friends and has spent considerable amounts of time in the beautiful country of Turkey, I feel compelled to mention the illegal occupation of the northern part of Cyprus for the past few decades as well as the virtual decimation of Turkey’s Rum Orthodox community whose numbers have dwindled from 110.000 in 1923 to about 4.000 people in 2010, through systematic aggressive action perpetrated by the state and its cronies (e.g. the 1955 staged pogrom against the city’s non-Muslim inhabitants) as illustration of Turkey’s dark history regarding intimidation, militarization and aggression. I won’t go into the subject in depth but Turkey definitely has to look at itself in the mirror well, try to make up for these wrongs and make sure its ways are clearly changing before it aggressively interferes with others’ affairs. Even though there has been some improvement in Turkey in the past few years, the country has a lot of soul-searching to do and would do best by avoiding to score points at the expense of neighbors by utilizing “humanitarian missions” to promote it’s own interests unabashedly.

  14. “Like watching the Keystone Cops! What a shambles…”

    This comment, spotted on a friend’s Facebook “Wall”, best sums up for me the execution of the IDF action. Shayetet 13, the supposedly elite naval Special Forces unit which carried it out, might now have to be renamed something similar-sounding . . . though rather less polite.

    None of this means, of course, that the action was not justified, and I think many Israelis and Jews are feeling a deep sadness at the hypocrisy and double standards of the world reaction (the isolated voices supporting Israel are the usual ones, for example this one).

    My view, as I wrote recently, is that this is anti-Semitism plain and simple . . . though such knowledge doesn’t make it any less depressing.

    I’ll have to find comfort, again, in this.

  15. Never mind boneheaded football chants. How about a few plays of Dylan’s Neighbourhood Bully?

    Maybe the Noo Yawk Times has wised up its Middle East coverage since the 80’s. It now has Isabel Kershner, with her ear to the ground on these things as its freelance Middle East correspondent, check out her report.

  16. Mike,
    I think you are showing a little bit of ignorance about what exactly the cammandoes were trying to achieve, Had they been allowed to assume that this was a terrorist vessel, then the operation would have been carried out in a different manner.
    They were forced to assume that this was a peaceful humanitarian aid vessel and therefore go about the business of checking the aid on board in that manner.Exactly in the same way thewy checked the other 5 vessels in the flotilla.
    They were not allowed to use live ammunition as primary weapons, and they were not allowed to land more than one person at a time nor were they allowed to use covering fire to land.
    the other option was not to check the vessels at all.
    I believe rightly or wrongly that Israel as a country needs to protect itself, If humitarian aid missions will not subject themselves to security checks then they should not be allowed in fullstop.
    Just as we all have the right not to undergo security checks at an airport, but if we weish to travel we have to undergo them similarly in this situation.
    Ihave no idea if you remember much of Woodys lessons on the British Constitution , but the first job of government is to protect its citizens, he said this often and he said it loud. Israels government has the same responsibility.
    Personally I think the Shayetet did very well in a bad situation.

  17. Ellis, perhaps I wasn’t clear (because of my silly play on words) – I don’t blame the Shayetet commandos themselves, but the clueless intelligence and planning behind the operation (which, as I have clearly stated, I believe was fully justified).

    Anyway, I am just waiting for Israel to be linked in some way with the carnage in the Lake District. I dunno, perhaps the killing of those beautiful Turkish peaceniks sent our Derrick over the edge!

    PS Dovid, Neighborhood Bully is one of Dylan’s worst tracks, which – in spite of its fine sentiments – would depress me even more.

  18. For any melchett mike readers who haven’t come across this yet . . .

    Or this . . .

  19. ron dombey

    Hi Mike,
    I am not a Chelsea fan , however like most us during the year of Avraham Grant took an intersest in their antics.My gut feeling was also in
    football field terms. It reminded me of Terry’s
    slip-up on the penalty spot.
    However with great fans , and finances in order went on to win to win the double .

  20. Neighbourhood bully is NOT one of Dylan’s worst tracks and it contains truth a plenty. The Flotilla is perhaps an attempt by some Turks, Arabs and others to kick in Israel’s door. Too many people expected the Israeli’s not “to fight back or have thick skin” just to lie down and take the hits.

    Bullying is a universal, all encompassing problem which at times can be as depressing as Middle Eastern current affairs. Recently I read into this subject a little, after being bullied at work.

    I found that anyone who is bullied at work has 3 survival options:

    1. Leave
    2. Live with it
    3. Stand firm and take action

    Middle Eastern current affairs and Middle Eastern politics are far more complex than common place, run of the mill bullying at work. That said there is this similarity. Perhaps from the early day’s of Zionist development up until the late 1960’s, Israelis were bullied something rotten. Their response over time was to choose either or both of options 2 and 3 above and triumph in the face of adversity. Nowadays Israel is portrayed as a bully and when faced by belligerent enemies I think sometimes its choices remain the same.

  21. I won’t argue with you about your All-Time “Scum” XI, Dovid, and you won’t argue with me about Bob. You are out of your league. Capiche?!

  22. Daniel Marks

    Who bullied you Dovid?

  23. Mike, if you’re out of my league in the Bob stakes then consider this a cup tie. Football talk is common place and often boring. Dylan’s music is interesting and imaginative so why not?

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