The media is a potent weapon in the hands of terrorists and Israel has been on the receiving end many times. As HonestReporting has documented in its interactive Big Lies resource (click on the image below), Palestinians have scored PR victories in the cases of Mohammed al-Dura, the Jenin “massacre”, the Gaza Beach incident, staged photos from the 2006 Lebanon War and many other Pallywood productions.
With Israeli troops operating on the ground in Gaza and Hamas increasingly backed into a corner, Professor Richard Landes warns of what may be around the corner:
Whether by Israeli accident or Hamas engineering, expect a spectacular civilian massacre in the coming days, followed by an orgy of Pallywood photography, amplified by a compliant Western media, and even greater fury in the streets of the Muslim and Western world. It’s in the Hamas playbook… and will be until the media gets sober. Here’s the background, and the obscenity that will probably be played….
The pattern has long been clear, and most recently carried out with explosive effectiveness in the Lebanon war of 2006… when Israel is winning, get yourself a civilian massacre. Make sure that you have shocking civilian casualties that rally all the key players to your side – the other Arab nations and groups and individuals who are secretly, quietly rooting for your defeat, but who, once the images of dead children appear on the TV screens, watch the Arab street riot, and eventually can’t avoid siding with you, the “victim” … the European leaders and diplomats who piously kept an even-handed approach in the hopes that Israel might swiftly decapitate the snake … and the journalists and talking heads who have been chomping at the bit to jump on Israel for their disproportionate response.
But what if the Israelis don’t make a mistake and kill a significant number of people in one blow, like Gaza Beach or Kfar Qana? Would Hamas actually concoct a massacre of their own people? …
Read Professor Landes’ complete article here.
Hamas continues to fire rockets on Israeli towns and cities, operating from within civilian areas, using human shields with total disregard for its own people in Gaza. It is inevitable that Palestinian civilian casualties will occur despite Israel’s best efforts to avoid this scenario. The media has been fooled by Pallywood productions many times in the past. This time, we expect another libel to appear.
HonestReporting is putting the mainstream media on notice. Reporting Palestinian claims at face value, creating a new Big Lie and failing to retract or apologize later is unacceptable. The media has been forewarned.
DOUBLE STANDARDS – PROVING OUR POINT
In all of the above cases, the media failed to verify Palestinian claims, placing ultimate trust in “Palestinian eyewitnesses” or so-called “human rights” organizations that are actually Palestinian advocacy groups. All too often the media is happy to accept, without question, the Palestinian version of the story. And yet, we never see the Palestinian narrative described as “propaganda”.
The current conflict is also taking place on the airwaves, in the printed press and online. Israeli spokespeople have quite legitimately taken the initiative to get the message out during the Gaza operation. The effectiveness (particularly when compared with past operations) has itself created news stories in some media outlets.
But why does the BBC’s Paul Reynolds consider the Israeli message to be “propaganda?” And why does he treat IDF video sources with such skepticism, particularly in stark contrast to Palestinian sources? Instead Reynolds states:
The Israeli propaganda effort is being directed to achieve two main aims.
The first is to justify the air attacks. The second is to show that there is no humanitarian calamity in Gaza.
Both these aims are intended to place Israel in a strong position internationally and to enable its diplomacy to act as an umbrella to fend off calls for a ceasefire while the military operation unfolds.
Israel has pursued the first aim by being very active in getting its story across that Hamas is to blame. The sight of Hamas rockets streaking into Israel has been helpful in this respect.
It has also allowed trucks in with food aid and has stressed that it will not let people starve, even if they go short.
Israel appears to think its efforts are working.
One of its spokespeople, who has regularly appeared on the international media, Major Avital Leibovich, said: “Quite a few outlets are very favourable to Israel.”
Why is this a “propaganda effort” and why should Israel have to justify defending its citizens against Hamas rocket attacks?
RESOURCES AND MATERIALS UPDATE
Please use the following small selection of resources and opinion pieces to help combat anti-Israel media bias:
Israel’s Policy Is Perfectly ‘Proportionate’, Alan Dershowitz, Wall Street Journal
Israel’s Gaza Defense, Wall Street Journal
Hamas’s Military Force in the Gaza Strip, The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
The Gaza rules, Victor Davis Hanson, San Francisco Chronicle
Video: The Israel Experience – See what it’s like to meet a missile up close.
Video: Finding hope beyond the Gaza conflict – Amidst the violence and confrontation in southern Israel and Gaza, Israeli and Palestinian doctors work together to save a Palestinian baby’s life.
Flickr photos from Israel’s towns and cities under fire.
Also refer back to other case studies of Palestinian media libels by using our Big Lies interactive resource and forward it to your family and friends.