Monday, December 29, 2008

How the Western Media is Falling for Israeli Spin

Wow, wasn't that an exciting fake-out Israel pulled over the weekend? I mean, Barak authorized the border crossings to be opened to lull Hamas into a false sense of security. No cabinet decision on the war was taken. Israeli spokesmen were only talking about a limited operation sometimes in the future. Hamas was expecting a quick and relatively painless retaliation.Then came Saturday, and, oh boy, were those "Hamasniks" caught with their pants down. Talk about surprise. Talk about unexpected shock and awe. All those terrorists dead and all those buildings destroyed.

Sorry, kinder, but the above is balderdash. And the balderdash is being sucked up by the Western media. Look, for example, at this report of Jeremy Bowen of the BBC, which is not exactly Fox News or the New York Post.

The first wave of attacks went very well from Israel's point of view.

During the Palestinian armed uprising after 2000, Israeli bombers attacked Palestinian security bases many times.

Often their attacks were expected, and they flattened empty buildings.

But at no time did they attempt an air offensive on the scale that they began on Saturday.

The ground for it was prepared by clever psychological warfare.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued warnings to the Arabic press that there would be bloodshed if Hamas did not stop rocket fire.

But at the same time, Israeli spokespeople told journalists that the war plan had not been authorised by the cabinet.

But it had been. So when the first wave of Israeli warplanes came in over Gaza they were able to attack bases and compounds that had not been evacuated.

That was one reason why so many people were killed so quickly

Oh, balderdash. Anybody who read Haaretz or Ynet knew that a major offensive was coming within days. How about this from last Thursday's Haaretz

On Wednesday, as an initial retaliatory measure, an Israel Air Force strike killed a Hamas gunman in the southern Gaza Strip, and wounded two other Palestinians. Israel's response will go beyond the air raid, an Israeli official told Haaretz.

"Our response will be substantial and painful to Hamas," the official said.

During a cabinet meeting about the situation in and outside the Gaza Strip, a senior Israel Defense Forces officer gave ministers in attendance an overview of the potential retaliatory moves that the defense establishment is planning against Hamas' regime.

Most strikes will come from the air and be aimed at facilities believed to be of strategic importance to Hamas' political and military leadership. However, the officer said that weather conditions are currently preventing the air force from launching the raids.

Guess when it stopped raining?

And BBC, please fire the journalist who gets his (dis)information from Israeli spokespeople. You didn't know that the cabinet had approved the Gaza operation? Well, for Chrissake, you should have read the Friday Haaretz, where the headline was:

70 rocket strikes in southern Israel; Cabinet approves military response

In the Hebrew edition, the cabinet was said to have authorized earlier in the week the Defense Minister and Prime Minister to decide on the timing of the operation.

I have in front of me the Hebrew print edition of Haaretz from Friday. The headline: "The Decision has Been Taken: The IDF Will Commence an Operation in Stages Against the Hamas in Gaza." And what are the stages? Significant air strikes followed by ground incursion, if necessary.

There may have been a certain amount of disinformation on Friday and early Saturday. But because I observe the Sabbath, I missed it. And it wasn't at all certain that the attack would commence on Saturday. But does anybody remember how long it took for Israel to attack Lebanon after the cabinet approved it? You guessed it – not long.

As for the success in catching the Hama leaders with their pants down…NOT A SINGLE SENIOR HAMAS LEADER, MILITARY OR OTHERWISE, HAS BEEN KILLED IN THE WAR SO FAR. If the attack came as a surprise, then how come we haven't killed anybody significant yet – except a Islamic Jihad leader.

In fact, from reports coming from Gaza, the greatest number of casualties so far were from a Police cadet graduation. Were the cadets faked out?

So why is Israel spinning this the way it is? Well, the answer is obvious – as part of the propaganda war, they want to repeat the 1967 Six Day War mystique of dealing a death blow in the early days of the war, a blitzkrieg, so to speak.

And what are the results after day three?

A lot of destruction of property. But the Hamas leadership, as far as we know, is intact, and still firing rockets -- more than one hundred today -- this time killing 2 Israelis.

So much for another Six Day War.


Anonymous said...

They seem to have come to their senses. The non US media are giving loud and clear the message enough already, and this will not accomplish the mission. The term "shock and awe" is being used ironically.

Anonymous said...

This whole business seems to be spinning beyond control. There can be little justification for such disproportionate use of force - if you apply 'an eye for an eye' and visit this upon your enemy, you will ensure that your enemy's descendants will require both eyes from your grandchildren. So, a 'blind alley' as strategy.

Anonymous said...

Well, the Israeli bombing has managed to kill 1 senior Hamas leader (along with the majority of his extended family)but seeing as he decided to stay out in the open and defy the Israelis that was hardly a major feat. Also, his death and the manner of it will gain Hamas more political capital than it will Israel. We might see some political casualties, but they're more likely to be Israeli than Hamas.