Ending the "Cycle of Violence"

March 16, 2008 22:00 by

These cartoons from The Times of London are indicative of many media’s widespread misconception that Israel and the Palestinians are involved in a “cycle of violence” where both sides act in a “tit for tat” manner. The reality is quite different. Referring to the weekend’s horrific terrorist murders of eight young students, the Jerusalem Post’s editorial eloquently explains:

 

That the vicious assault has been widely reported and understood this weekend as the purported latest round in a “cycle of violence” is evidence of a failure to recognize what is truly at stake here.

It has been suggested repeatedly in international coverage of the attack that Israel must have known something like this would happen in the wake of the IDF’s operation in Gaza earlier in the week. Attack, it has been said, begets counter-attack, begets reprisal, begets revenge, and on it goes.

 

In truth, however, there is no cycle of violence. There is no spiral of attack and counter-attack relentlessly unfolding here.

What we have, rather, on the one hand, is a sovereign nation’s desperate effort to live in its homeland, seek peace with those of its neighbors who will partner it, and defend itself against those who seek its destruction. And, on the other, we have the forces of militant Islam, firing rockets across Israel’s sovereign borders, murdering Israelis wherever they can be found vulnerable, indoctrinating their people with a vicious intolerance of Jewish historical rights in this region, and simultaneously spreading a perverted interpretation of Islam that purports to require each and every believer to carry out personal jihad in the name of God against the infidels – be they Jews, Christians or unbelieving Muslims.

 

Some media went as far as to suggest that this so-called latest “cycle of violence” began with the death of a Sderot student in a Qassam rocket attack, escalated to extensive IDF military operations in Gaza and culminated with the Jerusalem terror attack. How can the media ignore the thousands of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza over a continuous period of years and the recent escalation caused by firing of Iranian-made GRAD-type Katyushas into the city of Ashkelon?

Please respond to the media’s ”cycle of violence” and bring an end to this cycle of distortion.

“DISPROPORTIONATE”?

Like in the 2006 Lebanon War, critics of Israel and some media have described recent Israeli military operations as “disproportionate”, while failing to define what a proportional response would be. Israel has also variously been accused of violating ”international law” without any real definition of this term. The end result is to deny Israel’s right to self-defense. As Efraim Inbar explains:

 

Israel follows strict legal standards for military procedures. Legal authorities are invariably consulted before the approval of military operational plans and all military actions are subject to stringent judicial review by the Israeli High Court of Justice – an institution with impeccable credentials.

The often-aired charge of disproportionate use of force by the Israeli military betrays ignorance of international law or plain desire for Israel-bashing. The proportionality of the damage done in course of military action is measured in relation to the goal to be achieved by the use of force. The legitimate amount of force for the removal of the rocket threat from a quarter of a million of Israelis is the true test of proportionality. Causing the death of any number of armed Hamas terrorists is obviously a proportionate course of action. Even hundreds of Gazan civilians hurt in a defensive battle as collateral damage are worth the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians.

Moreover, the civilians in Gaza cannot claim immunity to the consequences of the war that their leadership is conducting against Israel. Hamas was popularly elected in 2006 and every public opinion poll continues to indicate substantial support by Gazans for Hamas, as well as for terrorist attacks on Israel. Unfortunately, killing Jews is popular among the Palestinians.

FIGHTING ANTI-SEMITISM ON WEB 2.0

Andre Oboler examines how social networking and content collaboration are being used to target Israel and the Jewish people:

The main threat Web 2.0 poses to the Jewish people and their supporters is the creation of a culture where antisemitism has social acceptability, particularly among young people. In such an environment, the promotion of conspiracy theories, the demonization of Jews and the Jewish state, and the use of Jews as scapegoats become a norm and may lead to real violence against the Jewish people…

The spread of Antisemitism 2.0 relies on the ignorance of the masses, the ability to manipulate them, and the pure democracy of Web 2.0 where each uninformed opinion counts just as much as an expert’s analysis. Web 2.0 is a mass movement that lends legitimacy to the majority opinion and uses peer pressure as an effective tool against those who disagree with the consensus.

In a Web 2.0 world, information is not usually imparted directly from authority. It either arrives through social networks or is sought out directly by individuals. The search methods in Web 2.0 favor the volume of supporters of a narrative and have little relationship to the degree of truth in the narrative.

Read the full JCPA paper here.

HonestReporting is taking the lead in addressing Web 2.0 applications through online tools such as our 24HR Megaphone alerts, YouTube video channel and our expanding Facebook community. Sign up to all of these to help combat Anti-Semitism 2.0.

 

 

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