The spread of flotilla sickness
The reaction to Israel exercising its legal right is but the latest example of the West’s willingness to wallow in lies and hypocrisy
The flotilla episode provided the trigger for a frenzied demonstration of the world's collective loss of mind over Israel.
Israel did what it was entitled to do and what any other country at war would do: intercept boats that might be carrying weapons for an aggressor regime. Since six out of the seven intercepted boats then proceeded peacefully to Ashdod where their cargo was checked, this was demonstrably not an Israeli "attack".
Conversely, as everyone could see from the video evidence, on the main boat the attack took place against the Israelis - who then killed nine of their jihadi assailants solely to protect themselves from being lynched, kidnapped and murdered.
Yet, for this, Israel has been hysterically denounced across the world for an act of aggression and even piracy - an onslaught, in effect, upon Israel's right to defend itself, without which no country can exist.
The claim that Gaza is starving is the opposite of the truth: its markets are stacked with produce, and every week Israel allows in thousands of tons of aid across the border. As its organiser admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian aid at all but was designed to break the sea blockade - and thus open up a weapons channel for Hamas. This manipulative and mendacious exercise was but the latest attempt to weaken Israel ready for the slaughter through an ever tightening noose of lies, demonisation and delegitimisation.
How is it possible that so many - Jews included - believe all these lies?
We have endured the fabricated claims of Israeli massacres in Jenin, the 2006 Lebanon war and Cast Lead; the charge that Israel is an "apartheid" state, that it has committed genocide, ethnic cleansing and is starving the people of Gaza; that it is the aggressor in the Middle East.
How is it possible that so many believe all these lies? How can so many Jews believe them? As I have described in my new book, The World Turned Upside Down (please forgive the commercial) the witch-hunt against Israel is the pivotal example of the West's repudiation of reason itself, leading to a widespread inversion of truth and lies, justice and injustice, right and wrong.
The "progressive" left-wing intelligentsia now subscribes to a world-view that, over a wide range of issues, subordinates truth to ideology. This manifests itself in utopian creeds that hold that the world would attain a state of perfection if only it wasn't for capitalism/America/ industrialisation/men/the nation state/those damned Jews.
Since these creeds are axiomatically the embodiment of virtue, all who dissent must be treated as moral outcasts and their views stifled. From this Manichean mindset, which decrees that all who are not the left are a) the right, and b) intrinsically evil, it follows that anyone who challenges the lies generated by ideological dogma is by definition right-wing and evil. As a result of this knee-jerk name-calling, people dismiss such inconvenient truths even when they stare them in the face.
This terrifying mindset is the left's default position. That is why this madness towards Israel is not confined to gentiles. Indeed, even Jews who consider themselves to have the interests of Israel at heart sometimes tragically end up believing the lies and supporting positions that would destroy it.
Which partly explains why some communal leaders busily suck up to the enemies of Israel in the faith or political worlds, even telling them on occasion that "in private I agree with you".
So we find ourselves in this nightmare situation. The Great Flotilla Derangement has created the impression that, as Iran moves towards completing its genocide bomb, the rest of the world senses an endgame and is moving in on Israel for the kill.
Melanie Phillips is a Daily Mail columnist