Media bias about the Israeli – Palestine conflict EXPOSED!
Israeli Government Willing to Deliberately Lie About the Facts on the Ground in Gaza
By Richard Jehn / The Rag Blog / January 11, 2009
The video above is only the tip of the iceberg concerning what the Israeli PR machine is doing. This blog has been the subject of scrutiny by organized Israeli propagandists insofar as a deliberate, targeted campaign of commentary was undertaken to discredit the facts cited by one of our writers. It is clear that these commenters are uninterested in what has actually happened: this is a propaganda campaign to counter our stories and statement of opposition to the Gaza invasion and genocide.
The single source of the numbers of comments to the Rag Blog article is the organization named HelpUsWin.org, apparently an Israeli student organization headquartered in the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, a university that claims the following as a founding principle: “A university that will help remove the walls of hostility in the Middle East, will serve students of all religions from this region and the rest of the world, will emphasize, in its research and its teaching, the importance of development and free movement in the space that is the cradle of humane culture, and will advance the principles of peace, freedom and dignity for mankind.” The hypocrisy of this claim in the current circumstances is beyond comment.
Here is how a Jerusalem Post article describes HelpUsWin.org:
Many supporters of Israel have grown frustrated with hostile feedback posted to Web articles and on blogs since the start of Operation Cast Lead nine days ago. A group of Israeli students has decided to fight back.
HelpUsWin.org is manned by social media experts and Israel activists around the clock, with the main “situation room” based at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and sponsored by the Stand With Us education organization. Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information.
HelpUsWin.org “situation room.” Photo: source.
Students and volunteers have been monitoring and responding to social media Web sites worldwide in several languages, to mount a public diplomacy offensive for Israel on the Internet.
“There is a misconception that the Internet is democratic, but that’s far from the truth,” said Alex Gekker, 24, a student in new media diplomacy at IDC and a volunteer at HelpUsWin headquarters.
But frankly, HelpUsWin.org is a small part of what is happening. Here is a letter I received from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office in response to my signing a petition opposing the assault on Gaza:
We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail regarding the IDF campaign to protect the residents of southern Israel.
For the past eight years, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have lived under the specter of incessant and indiscriminate rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. While people in other countries have carried about their normal routines, sending their children to school and walking their dogs in the park, the people of Sderot and its neighboring communities have been denied such luxuries – for fear of being hit by incoming missiles (http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=58&ar=panic02-V&ak=null). No sovereign nation should be expected to tolerate the daily targeting of its people, and yet the State of Israel has exercised maximum restraint and worked relentlessly to achieve a peaceful solution with the Palestinians.
Since seizing control of the Gaza Strip by way of a violent coup in June 2007, Hamas – a terrorist organization allied with Iran, Syria and Hizbullah – has escalated its assault on the State of Israel. Even a truce with Israel was abused by Hamas which persisted in attacking Israeli towns, while also conspiring to upgrade its terrorist capabilities, manufacture and smuggle massive quantities of weapons into Gaza and construct a network of underground tunnels for combat purposes. Now, after Hamas has unilaterally abandoned this ceasefire and expanded the range of its missiles to threaten close to one million Israelis, the State of Israel must act decisively to defend its citizens.
In 2005, the Disengagement plan brought an end to Israel’s presence in the Gaza Strip, with the hope and aspiration that its Palestinian residents would begin to govern themselves and prosper. Israel has no desire to re-establish its hold over Gaza, but has resolved – in self-defense – to gain control over areas from which rockets are being launched on Israeli towns, and to significantly disable the Hamas terrorist infrastructure. Ultimately, Operation Cast Lead aims to produce lasting change in the security predicament affecting residents of Southern Israel, and Israel expects the international community to lend its support in the fight against Hamas terror. Terrorism is terrorism no matter where it occurs.
At the same time, the IDF is taking great pains to direct its activities exclusively against terrorists. Hamas, however, callously places Palestinian civilians in harm’s way, using schools, mosques, other public institutions and even private homes as arsenals and bases of operation – effectively taking the Palestinians of Gaza hostage and using them as human shields. Responsibility for injury to civilians in Gaza rests solely with Hamas. In contrast, the State of Israel is doing its utmost to minimize any harm to the Palestinian civilian populace; hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid have been allowed passage into Gaza and this assistance will continue. There is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
The State of Israel seeks peace and will remain steadfast in its pursuit of a two-state solution that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live together as neighbors in harmony.
Prime Minister’s Office – E-Correspondence
This letter from the leader of the nation is rife with counterfactual material. There was no “violent coup in June 2007” whereby Hamas seized control of the Gaza. There was an election that was overseen by numbers of independent observers and certified as democratic. This was thoroughly documented in Jimmy Carter’s 2007 book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.
The PMO claims “there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.” This is simply ludicrous – the United Nations, numerous independent observers, and the international press have directly seen the conditions in Gaza, which were dismal prior to the invasion owing to the long-standing Israeli blockade, and have deteriorated significantly since.
And the video link in the letter is blatant propagandizing. The (unidentified) speaker refers to “heavy casualties” suffered in Israel. By the end of December, 2008 a total of 15 people had been killed by Qassam rockets since attacks began in 2001, this according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is well known that the casualties from Qassam rockets in Israel have been light in comparison with the dead and injured in Gaza (or anywhere else that Israel has attacked).
Even the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has video of its own crimes, which very occasionally finds the light of day.
Idfnadesk Doesn’t Want You to See
Frankly, these efforts by the Israelis to hide the facts, barrage factual reporting with negative commentary designed to obfuscate the facts, outright lying as in the letter from the Israeli PMO, and other more sinister, hidden efforts to affect the nature of reporting in North America on the conflict are detestable. It is time to stop the fighting and sit down at the negotiating table to end this war permanently. And it is most especially time to stop lying about what is happening in Gaza in order to sway the final outcome which must, of necessity, satisfy all parties concerned and end the bloodshed.
For a succinct listing of key points of misunderstanding about the Gaza Strip, we highly recommend Rashid Khalidi’s Op-ed in the New York Times of January 7, 2009.
Thanks to Larry Ray and Thorne Dreyer / The Rag Blog