One of the pressing problems and consistent complaints concerning Israel is the near total lack of Press and News reports displaying Israel in a good light. The way most news coverage of the Israel Muslim/Arab confrontation skews each situation favoring the anti-Israeli agenda is absolutely beyond reason and simply revolting. Partly, a reason for this derives from the fact that Israel is an open and free society. This allows every internal argument, varied demonstrations, and every side represented within the Israeli society to be revealed, warts and all. The same openness does not exist in the areas under Palestinian control. News agencies and reporters fully understand that it is required for their reports, pictures, film clips, et al must be approved by the ruling group, Palestinian Authority for the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. This was made clearly evident after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States that when film was shown on the news of the World Trade Center towers collapsing and the Pentagon burning, Palestinians were dancing in the streets, riding cars honking horns wildly, distributing candies and sweet pastries, and every other sort of celebratory activities. Virtually none of this was reported in the Western press except for one source that was eventually picked up by other news groups and bloggers/ That source was an independent Italian film crew that took film and transmitted them live back to Italy where later that evening the pictures were broadcast on a few Italian Television Stations. After one showing, these clips were not shown again for some time as the Palestinian Authority immediately complained to the Italian government and threatened to ban all Italian, possibly even all European news sources from their territories. The threat was understood and the news sources of the supposed free world were cowed.
Another problem for Israel is the seeming tremendous and powerful liberals and post-Zionists are by far more vocal than the Zionist and Religious sectors of Israeli society. These actually small minority groups can inflate their importance due to two factors. First, their condemnations of Israeli policy, especially when the more conservatives are in power, is extremely attractive as it validates the propaganda put out by the Palestinians and Muslim World. Second, these groups have deep pockets due to financing by leftist and anti-Zionists throughout the world, particularly in Europe. This enables a closed loop that cooperates and reinforces each other. Many NGO’s of European or United Nations origins are self-tasked to vilify Israel and sanctify the Palestinians. These groups funnel monies to the radical groups inside Israel who then hold rallies and seminars at Universities which are then diligently reported as a major and significant group that actually tells the truth, truth being Palestinians angelic, Israelis demonic. The NGO’s then quote these articles to raise funds with which they further finance the post-Zionists generating more reports.
Many place the blame for the bad press Israel receives on the Israeli Government for not getting a positive message out to the rest of the World. Examples that are usually pointed out are that as soon as Israel takes measures to actively defend against terror attacks, the Palestinian spokespeople are out before the first engagement has taken place. Often, these spokespeople will lay the foundations claiming that atrocities are coming as soon as any Israeli action is organized. It is easy to get your side out if you know ahead of time what you will report, truth be damned. A simple example comes from the last confrontation between the IDF and Hamas in Gaza a couple of years ago. Hamas forces set up a heavily fortified position with bunkers on the rooftop and fortified window emplacements along with multiple rocket and mortar launchers on the roof of an auxiliary supply storage building connected to the main Gaza Hospital. When the Israelis finally had no choice but to take down the entire fire-base, immediately came the reports of Israel leveling a hospital. It took just under a week after the end of the shooting to investigate and reveal the truth, but the truth did not matter as the lie had been screamed in headlines of every European and many American newspapers and led the nightly news. The difficulty for the Israelis is best summed up by the Winston Churchill truism (he had so many that between Churchill, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and a very few others exist a saying for near every situation); “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Propaganda is easy and quickly disseminated, researched and validated truth takes far more time and effort. Also, propaganda can be readied before the fact, the truth, by definition, must wait until after the fact and places requirements that must be met.
Could Israel do a better job in getting their side out? Yes, there is plenty of room for improvement. Would it actually make a difference? That is far more complex a question. It requires honest answers to a few other questions. Would sources outside of Israel even bother to report the Israeli side? If they did, would it be without injecting their own partialities against Israel? How many people who are not already supporting Israel and knowing the truth would even care and listen? With the current race of governments lining up to recognize a “Palestinian State” surrendering all of Old City Jerusalem and once again denying Jews access to the Western Wall ever consider that Israel is the victim and not the Palestinians? Would the myth of millions starving in Gaza despite the fact that Hamas is turning away aid as they are out of space to store additional supplies? Name me one myth against Israel that an Israeli hyper-activist efficient information spokes-group could turn around. I can’t think of a single issue where truth matters when denouncing, boycotting, sanctioning, or whatever would change. How can it when there are Israeli professors that sign petitions to bar themselves, their colleagues, their Universities and everything Israel from the functions in the rest of the world. The other choice would be to become a closed totalitarian police state like that of the Palestinians, and I, for one, am glad Israel chooses freedom over putting up a façade.
Beyond the Cusp