There is no doubt that civilians in Gaza are suffering in the current conflict. Civilians suffer in every conflict.
But the nature and extent of that suffering will not be found in the media — and cannot be found in the media — because all news reports and images of suffering Palestinians are carefully choreographed as a part of staged media events. Western news agencies depend on Palestinian stringers for their news, and must depict the approved version of events in order to retain their access to the news hot spots in the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, many Western reporters and photographers are in ideological sympathy with the enemies of Israel, and thus are willing to be complicit in the staging of news events.
So the grieving women arrange themselves in the appointed places and weep for the cameras. Volunteers take turns throwing rocks, discharging weapons, and pretending to be corpses. Hamas places all its important command centers and armories in the middle of civilian population centers, guaranteeing a feast of innocent corpses for the uncritical Western videographers.
AFP, Reuters, CNN, and AP dutifully run the stories. Shrieking women, volunteers carrying casualties through the rubble in the midst of dust and smoke, corpses buried under shattered masonry…
But none of it is guaranteed to be real. All of the information coming out of Gaza is questionable, every single byte and pixel of it. Whatever the truth might be, it will not be found in the Western news media.
If the wall-to-wall anti-Israel news coverage keeps the Jewish state from retaliating, then Hamas gets to kill Jews and terrorize southern Israel with impunity. If Israel strikes back, the Palestinians get unlimited free propaganda via all the sob stories in the Western media. The pressure inevitably builds, and eventually the State Department will turn the screws and force the Israelis to back off. Then the situation returns to the status quo ante, except that the citizens of Israel are a little more exhausted and demoralized.
It’s a win-win situation for Hamas.
From the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes this op-ed (pdf) by Amos Oz.
Mr. Oz is a famous Israeli novelist and an associate of Shimon Peres. In the past he has been noted for his dovish stances on political issues. However, unlike many of Israel’s suicide-lefties, he has his limits. During the war with Hizbullah in 2006 he spoke out prominently against the peace-at-any-price movement, and he is doing the same thing now over the current crisis in Gaza:
Israel Must Defend Its Citizens- - - - - - - - -
by Amos Oz
The systematic bombing of the citizens in Israel’s towns and cities is a war crime and a crime against humanity. The State of Israel must defend its citizens. It is obvious to everyone that the Israeli government does not wish to enter Gaza; the government would rather continue the ceasefire that Hamas violated and finally revoked. But the suffering of the citizens surrounding Gaza cannot go on.
The reluctance to enter Gaza stems not from indecisiveness but from well knowing that Hamas is actually eager to cause Israel to embark on a military operation: If dozens or even hundreds of Palestinian civilians, women and children are killed in an Israeli action, radicalism would gain strength in Gaza, Abu Mazen’s rule in the West Bank might collapse, and Hamas extremists could replace him.
The Arab world will rally together around the atrocious sights that Al-Jazeera will air from Gaza, and the world court of public opinion will rush to accuse Israel of war crimes. This is the same court of public opinion that remains unmoved by the systematic bombing of population centers in Israel.
Massive pressure will be exerted on Israel to restrain itself. No such pressure will be placed on Hamas because there is no one to pressure them, and there is almost nothing left with which to pressure them. Israel is a country; Hamas is a gang.
What remains for us to do? The best thing for Israel is to achieve a total ceasefire in exchange for alleviating the blockade of Gaza. If Hamas insists on refusing the ceasefire and continues bombing Israeli citizens, we must take care lest the military action play into Hamas’ hands. Hamas’ calculation is simple, cynical and evil: If innocent Israelis are killed — good. If innocent Palestinians are killed — even better. Israel must act wisely against this stance, and not out of the heat of the moment.
Hat tip: KGS.