Ridiculous Anti-Israel Propaganda : The Seal Who Broke The Siege Edition

Israel has had a new celebrity in recent weeks.

A seal.

seal

Nope, wrong one.

An unexpected visitor spotted sunbathing on a beach in Tel Aviv is turning heads and causing a media buzz.

But it’s not American film director and Tel Aviv mainstay, Quentin Tarantino, or another Hollywood celebrity — it’s Yulia, an endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

The seal cow first appeared south of Tel Aviv’s main beachfront last Friday. On Tuesday, Yulia drew clusters of curious onlookers to the rocky beach south of Jaffa’s historic center.

These seals are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with as few as 350 mature specimens estimated to exist in the wild. Its populations have dwindled due to historic seal hunting, fishing, and habitat destruction.

Rarely spotted on Israel’s shores, the dwindling Mediterranean monk seal populations are believed to survive only in a handful of places in the Mediterranean Sea. According to marine protection groups, the endangered species only has about 600-700 individuals in existence in the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, and northeastern Atlantic Ocean.

Still, her appearance is a sensation.

“This is a very rare event that a monk seal stays for such a long time on the shore,” said Aviad Scheinin, a marine biologist from University of Haifa.

Yulia is molting, a multi-day process of shedding her winter coat, he explained, during which time she has been resting on the shore and taken occasional excursions out to sea.

Scheinin said fellow researchers from around the eastern Mediterranean have identified Yulia as previously spotted in Turkey and Lebanon in recent years. She is estimated to be around 20 years old.

“I’m researching marine mammals for 20 years; this is the first time that I’m actually seeing such a thing, and I can hardly sleep at night because of that,” he said.

A feelgood story, to be sure.

Which means you can trust the Buzzkillingtons of the neighborhood to try and co-opt it.

It all started after reports Yulia was spotted off the Gaza coast.

But it turns out that photo is from Israel’s Sharon region 6 days ago,

so the Israel-haters sharing it as proof Yulia was seen off Gaza are – shock, horror – being dishonest.

In fact, there is a chance Yulia was not seen off Gaza at all:

But leaving that aside for a moment, even if Yulia did make it to Gaza, the idea she broke “the oppressive siege” is ridiculous to say the least.

It is quite amazing just how the Israel-haters are able to co-opt anything.

Hat tip: Michal

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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