Whining and complaining is easy to do, as it does not need any facts or logic, it just takes a feeling that things are not how you wish them to be. On the other hand, support requires hard facts, logical reasoning, and substantial understanding of the many facets of every side of the subject in question. When the support for a country in conflict and under international pressures is unilaterally condemned, it no longer matters what actions it takes in its own defense, the condemnation will continue unabated. Probably, this is a large part of why the friends of Israel take to criticism rather than laboring with the difficult tasks required for support backed by the truth. We may as well face it, many supporters of Israel are plain exhausted after spending much time and energy seeming to always be pushing a heavy bolder uphill all the time. So, how can one be blamed for taking the easy route of kvetching rather than the laborious and difficult task of continuing to give reasoned, well thought out support.
Much of the disillusion pro-Israel people run into are the constant accusations made against Israel in almost every question of actions Israel implements for protecting their citizens. When in all too many cases, Israel is set up by actions fully intending to force some degree of confrontation to set up prepared story line that is released immediately after the initial beginning of the confrontation. Often the prepared set of lies and exaggerations are released in advance of the confrontation allowing the media to pick up the prepared line before any facts have been gathered and processed. It is reminiscent of the truth of the old adage; “A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
Perhaps a series of examples would assist in displaying how this media chicanery works. During an Israeli operation to clear the terror factory working out of Jenin in the West Bank, came the story of the Massacre in Jenin. Initial reports quoting Palestinian Authority spokespersons told of the indiscriminate murder of over 200 Palestinian civilians. Within hours, the number had increased to over 500 massacred. By late in the day the reports were telling of thousands indiscriminately killed by Israeli troops who were on a murderous rampage leveling much of the refugee camp and shooting every Palestinian regardless of whether they were combatants or women and children. By the next morning, the body count approached 5,000. By the time, all the exaggeration had run its course there were 10,000 to 15,000 murdered, and most of Jenin had been leveled. When the dust cleared and an honest assessment had been taken, the real story was drastically different. The total damage in Jenin encompassed less that a single square mile, not most of the city. Even more astonishing was the total body count, which was less than 100 killed, with 23 of the killed being IDF soldiers and almost all the Palestinian casualties were combatants. Much of the damage was due to explosive devices placed in many of the houses to detonate to kill IDF forces who may take cover in or near these houses. Even the United Nations examination of the events in Jenin validated the Israeli accounts.
Another case in point was the reported killing of 12-year-old Mohammed al Durah. French reporters for French national TV filmed Mohammed and his father as they hid behind a wall and an abutment caught between Palestinian and Israeli forces in heavy combat. Despite having over 30 minutes of recorded video, France Channel 2 showed only about two and a half minutes of heavily edited footage. The conclusion reported by the French news sources was that the Israelis had mercilessly gunned down this unfortunate youth in cold blood. After over a year of hearing in the French courts the truth finally was released vindicating the Israelis of responsibility for Mohammed’s death. Still, even under the threat of being found in contempt, the French news service still did not release the entirety of their video but instead turned over about 25 minutes of still edited film. Despite their attempt to conceal the truth, the courts found the French news agency to have presented what they knew was a lie holding Israel as the guilty party. Again, the lie gets out immediately while the truth comes out often painfully slowly.
One of the best examples of the slant against Israel and her supporters comes from the recent Flotilla Megilla. Despite the Israelis releasing the full length of video concerning the violence perpetrated against their soldiers by the “peace terror activists” upon boarding the ship Mavi Marmara, many news networks used the heavily edited and grotesquely slanted Turkish video that mostly showed the end of the conflict as the Israelis had received permission to use deadly force. The entire 45 minutes before the IDF soldiers were loosed to use force to protect themselves and rescue their fellow soldiers was not included in many broadcasts. The entire assault using metal pipes, chains, baseball bats, flash bang grenades, Molotov Cocktails, and even some firearms was not shown and kept from the casual news viewer who gets their news from CNN, BBC, and other major networks. This one time the Israelis got their message out almost as quickly as did the Palestinian and Turkish message was released. Of course, we had the half a week build-up prejudging Israel as the ones who potentially use disproportionate violence to enforce the blockade of Gaza. What we learned from the Flotilla Megilla is that it does not matter how quickly the pro-Israel side, even fully backed by hard facts, is disseminated, as the Media almost universally will disregard the full truth and use edited material made to vilify Israel at any cost, even the cost of murdering the truth.
So, what would the conclusion be from this knowledge? Simply put, Israel is never going to get a fair shake from the world media. Israel can fully expect total condemnation and vilification by virtually every country, NGO, World Organizations (ie the UN), and unfortunately even many of the liberal Jews. Israel is fated to be hated and held up for ridicule while being damned and condemned no matter what the facts or truth. So, remarkably, we can expect Israel to take precautions to protect innocents taking measure beyond that taken by any army in all of history. The truth be told, Israel willingly risks their own finest of their youth to protect and minimize collateral damage or the death of non-combatants. Unfortunately, supporters of Israel may as well resign that Israel’s enemies have been known to use ambulances as weapon and munitions supply wagons, exaggerate and distort at every turn victimizing Israel, and the truth that when a Palestinian combatant falls they are stripped of their weapons and thus counted as a civilian casualty. All that can be done is make the truth known as much as possible through any means available but remember that the truth does not matter in all things Israel.
Beyond the Cusp