There is a saying usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin that goes like this: “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” To this motto we could add “war” because as long as men exist, they will always exercise their “self-attributed rights” to wage war against each other. Reasons abound for the annihilation of our neighbors, not that any of these reasons would necessarily be justifiable, at least ethically!
Just like everything else in the world, war has morphed over the centuries and actually has dramatically evolved since the end of World War II in 1945. The obvious change in war is the use of weapons that are increasingly becoming more refined and precise. Long gone are the days of bayonets, horses and trenches. War has evolved and continues to evolve alongside technology. The most sophisticated missiles can now find a target buried underground AND hit it with breathtaking precision within a few meters. So as conflicts continue to exist, world leaders all agree that conventional warfare is a thing of the past.
But there is another aspect of war that has also changed with the advent of the Internet, emails and social networks, and that is media coverage. We started to see the power of the media during the Vietnam War. No war before was so heavily televised and brought so many daily updates about the front lines to those at home. In looking back, even though the media was far from being only a positive addition to the conflict, it can be argued that, within reason, reporting was still bound by morality and a quest for the truth.
Journalistic values continue to exist though in diminishing numbers, except when the topic includes Israel, then they are practically nonexistent. The demon of “double-standards” constantly lurks over the Middle East looking to report stories that are as far fetched as they are numerous.
Unfortunately, they don’t seem so ludicrous to the masses and great damage is inflicted upon Israel in particular and the Jewish people in general. This double-standard doesn’t seem to be applied to any other country or people group on the planet and I believe that this media war on Israel is possibly as dangerous as any other weapon, conventional or not. As the world has been watching the Israeli-Gaza conflict unfold as well as the announcement of a cease-fire, I can see four reasons why the new WMD or Worldwide Media Distortion is doing unrepairable damage to Israel.
- It demonizes the victims
Being of their own volition or out of deliberate misinformation from their source, media outlets continually lambaste Israel with a stigma of culpability that runs a bit deeper each time it is presented to the world. This libelous root feeds from the world’s ignorance or even worse, the desire to remain ignorant. Israel defends itself against thousands of rockets and all of a sudden Israel is the attacker. We are witnessing a constant inversion of reality.
For instance, this ABC report (view here) brought to us by Alex Marquardt who tells George Stephanopolous that Palestinians are “simply defending themselves” or that “true peace cannot come along until Israel stops targeting people here in the Gaza Strip.”
Additionally,CNN’s interview of Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal by Christiane Amanpour is also very revealing as we watch her trying to get a straight answer from Meshaal about Israel’s right to exist. Words used by Hamas’ leader such as “victims ” (Palestinians) , “attacker” or “aggressors” (Israelis) are never challenged as Amanpour goes along with Mr. Meshaal, who masterfully avoids any definite answer.
Not to mention the horrendously antisemitic cartoon published by British Newspaper The Guardian, laced with the libelous message that the Jews control the world and that Israel is attacking Gaza in anticipation for the upcoming 2013 elections. To add insult to injury, it is important to note that the cartoon actually received a lot of praise from The Guardian readership.
What about the Vatican’s position on the conflict? Not one word has been said to denounce the constant rain of rockets from Gaza onto Israel, but the moment Operation Pillar of Defensewas initiated, the Holy See was quick to point the finger at Israel, in again, what appears to be a complete role reversal. They [the Jews] apparently are trying to kill the “New Jesus” symbolized by the Palestinian people, according to Cardinal Gian Franco Ravasi
- It victimizes the perpetrators
While the victims are being vilified and turned into the “New Nazis of the Middle East” or “Perpetrators of the Real Holocaust”, rockets keep being shot from Gaza onto Israel as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (a new development that shows the increase quality, technology and precision). In its attempt at thwarting Hamas outpouring of rockets, Israel is targeting weapons caches and military launching sites with a precision that nears the miraculous. As a matter of fact, very few civilians would be hit if it was not for Hamas using children, women and the elderly as human shields. All the while, Hamas is propagating photos and videos of children being wounded and killed by Israelis right and left (like this one) that first appeared on October 28 and was actually from the conflict in Syria that absolutely didn’t involve Israel whatsoever. But don’t confuse them with the facts, just dish out out more dirt on Israel, that’s all they care about!
Hamas delights in the gory propaganda using dead children to make itself appear as the poor innocent victims trying to defend themselves. This graphic image shows Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh holding a dead child in his arms. As it turns out, the child was not killed by the IDF but by a Hamas misfired rocket. Look for that retraction anywhere in the mainstream media, good luck!
The examples abound and remain either unchecked or unchallenged by the media, further validating this overwhelming inversion of reality that could belong to a Twilight Zone episode if not so tragic.
- It reaches millions instantly
Another aspect of the real danger posed by the media, is the instant reach that social media outlets like Facebook© or Twitter© have around the world. Take for instance, this picture of a wounded Palestinian child hit by the IDF. The opposite is actually true as this was an Israeli girl hurt by Hamas.
But we expect the enemies of Israel to use every method available INCLUDING ANY MEDIA OUTLET. What should not happen, is the placating of lies by a myriad of unethical journalists and reporters all over the globe. Is it ignorance, hatred, stupidity or a combination of all three, I am not sure, but the results are devastating.
BBC reporter Jon Donnison re tweeted this picture to 7,000 of his followers as a Gaza casualty. Not long after, he had to recant when it was proven that the photo was from the Syrian conflict (between Muslims I must add). Damage was done as the re-tweet was again re-sent to at least another 100 people and God knows how many more by now.
We live in an age when it is technologically possible for anybody with a camera-equipped cellphone to send a picture or video instantly to millions of viewers as well as most media outlets at once. It is obvious that this new method of propagating the news isn’t necessarily all bad and it greatly depends on the intentions of the sender. The medium utilized to send a message can either be a tool or a weapon, but I am afraid that in the case of Israel it is almost always a weapon aimed at distorting the truth. I liken this virtual gossip to the opening of a feather filled pillow in a wind storm and then trying to find all the feathers to stuff them back in, it is simply impossible.
- It deters from real issues and incites the world against the Jewish people
While the world is busy buying lies about the conflict between Israel and Gaza, many more people are being massacred in Syria, more uranium is being refined in Iran, more weapons are being stockpiled in Lebanon and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi changed the Egyptian laws to position himself as a powerful dictator. But it’s not that important because “Israel continues to kill innocents” and in an age of postmodern tolerance and submission to radical Islam, it is easier to hold hands and globally fight this “cancerous tumor” that is Israel than to seek the truth.
As you read this, a cease-fire was brokered between Israel and Hamas by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Mohammed Morsi. This is possibly a small defeat for Israel and it is most definitely being shouted as a victory by Hamas who simply will use the time to regroup and reload for the next attack. Will it bring peace? Most certainly not!
It is a good thing to know that even if Satan is working behind the scenes to demonize Israel and destroy all the Jews, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is on Israel’s side. So even though worldwide media distortion against Israel is likely to continue and increase in the near future. It is biblically safe and reassuring to say that God was the first Zionist. Now that’s the truth for a change!
Psalm 121:4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.
©2012 Olivier Melnick