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‘Retarded and obsequious’

November 5, 2009


The Reuters news desk, along with many foreign journalists in Israel, received a peculiarly worded beeper message in English from the Israel Defence Forces Spokesman’s Office on Israel’s seizure of a ship carrying hundreds of tons of Iranian-supplied arms on Wednesday.

It read as follows (the strangely worded part is in bold letters):

IDF Spokesperson Update: ‘FRANCOP’, the weapons laden ship intercepted by the Israel navy, left the Ashdod naval port yesterday evening, after all of the arms and munitions had been unloaded. The ‘FRANCOP’ has continued on its way, sailing towards its original port of destination after the incidents of yesterday. Israel Navy personnel released the ship without complications and with best wishes for their continued safe journey. (This is a retarded sentence for foreign press, comes across as obsequious) the arms unloaded were transported overnight, under the supervision of sappers, to an IDF ammunition base in central Israel, where the weaponry will be properly and safely stored.

The spokesman’s office issued an apology in a subsequent beeper message. An officer in the spokesman’s office told Reuters the unusual commentary in the original message was the result of a mistake committed by a low-ranking soldier.

PHOTO: Israeli soldiers stand near munitions displayed at the port of Ashdod November 4, 2009, that according to the military was found on the Antigua-flagged Francop vessel, intercepted overnight in the Mediterranean Sea, 100 miles (160 km) from Israel. Israeli naval commandos have boarded the ship carrying Iranian-supplied rockets destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and taken the vessel to an Israeli port, the government said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Amir Cohen


“Retarded and obsequious” is a good description of the media\’s coverage of Israeli news. No one believes that this was anything other than a propaganda operation.

Posted by hass | Report as abusive


We could have had a blog on the rearming of Hezbullah, which shows a growing threat to Israel.

Or we could have had a blog on how Israel relied on the UN ceasefire and withdrew from Lebanon in good faith, only to find that the UN is still unwilling to disarm Hezbullah. Proving that UN ceasefires are no longer worth listening to.

Or a blog on potential links between Iran and terrorist groups in the areas around Israel.

But instead we have an article on an inappropriate word used in an Israeli beeper message.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

i agree with anon. you’ve got nothing better to do with your blog than this? (which apparently, you don’t even understand.)
retarded and obsequious is actually an excellent description of the mainstream news media’s coverage of the arab-israeli conflict. retarded in informing their readers, as a result of their being obsequious is their attitude towards the arabs.


The original blogger must live in an irony free zone.

Posted by Speedybullet | Report as abusive

what exactly was this blogger thinking? how dare you criticize israel in any way? this ship full of weapons bound for hezbullah are cupcake compared to the massive shipments of weapons that go from the U.S to israel. so this story is in reality irrelevant to anything.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

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