Call me Ishmael.
After years in the service of the watchdog of democracy, I decided to join the Naval Commando of the Jewish homeland to defend it from its enemies.
But alas, the ship I have joined today sets out on the most dangerous of missions I have taken part in thus far. For it is led by the mad Captain Bibi, and our quest is to hunt down the Big White Boat, known as Mavi (Marmara) Dick.
At first I was in full admiration of thy captain, but his insistence on revenge and boarding the White Boat hath scared thyself and my crew-mates. Only my colleague, Starbuck, has had the courage to confront Captain Bibi over his folly, calling out the futility of the journey.
But Captain Bibi would hear nothing of it. He accused the Mavi Dick and its passengers of hatred and responsible for the state of decline in the Jewish Home.
“Who told thee that I search only for revenge?” cried Bibi; then pausing, “Aye, Starbuck; … aye, my hearties all round; it was Mavi Dick that dismasted me; Mavi Dick that brought me to this dead Mideast policy I stand on now. Aye, aye,” he shouted with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose; “Aye, aye! it was that accursed White Boat that razed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!” Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: “Aye, aye! and I’ll chase it round Limassol, and round Tyre, and round Alexandria, and round perdition’s flames before I give it up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that White Boat on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls lifeboat out. What say ye, men, will ye splice hands on it, now? I think ye do look brave.”
The men seemed very excited. Only Starbuck remained unperturbed.
“But what’s this long face about, Mr. Starbuck; wilt thou not chase the White Boat? art not game for Mavi Dick?”
“I am game for his so-called humanitarian aid, and for the jaws of Death too, Captain Bibi, if it fairly comes in the way of the policy of the siege of the land they call Gaza ; but I came here to enforce the siege alone, not my commander’s vengeance. How many future activists will thy vengeance stop even if thou board this White Boat, Captain Bibi? it will just make the world angrier with the Jewish State.”
But Bibi commanded to sail on towards Mavi Dick.
“Hark ye yet again – the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event – in the living act, the undoubted deed – there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the White Boat is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough. It tasks me; It heaps me; I see in it outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the White Boat agent, or be the White Boat principal, I will wreak that hate upon it. Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me”, said Captain Bibi.
Captain Bibi went down to his chambers in the boat’s belly, enraged by Starbuck’s mutiny. “What I’ve dared, I’ve willed; and what I’ve willed, I’ll do! They think me mad – Starbuck does; but I’m demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that’s only calm to comprehend itself!
I, Ishmael, was indeed finally beginning to comprehend the full madness of our captain. The White Boat swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Bibi, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Mavi Dick. He piled upon the boat’s white stern the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.
From the ship’s bows, nearly all the commandos now hung inactive; unprepared with only paint guns and asbestos gloves mechanically retained in their hands, just as they had darted from their various employments; all their enchanted eyes intent upon the Mavi Dick, which from side to side sent a broad band of overspreading metal bars and knives and clubs as it rushed. Retribution, swift vengeance, eternal malice were in its whole aspect, and spite of all that mortal man could do, the solid pounding of its so called “peace activists” were of such brute force, till men and timbers reeled.
And even after the Mavi Dick’s “triumph”, where 9 of its activists were killed by me and my crew-mates, thus exposing the folly of our mission, Captain Bibi continued to blame the rest of the world with hypocrisy and sentiments against semites.
And as the crazed Captain Bibi continued to hail the Mavi Dick escapade a success, he punctured yet again the very life raft of which the Jewish Home clung to, thus quickening it’s descent into the depths of the Mediterranean Sea.