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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Israel's premeditated media failure

Caroline Glick has a great column in today's JPost in which she tears apart Israel's mainstream media (MSM) for not telling us the things we need to know. A few excerpts:

Events on the northern front and in Gaza over the past few days demonstrated that Israelis are denied a free flow of accurate information regarding their national security. On Monday, Ha'aretz reported darkly, "Iran has transferred to Lebanon rockets that reach Beersheba." The report stated that the Iranians recently provided their proxy Hizbullah with Zelzal-2 rockets capable of hitting every major city in Israel.

Yet while this report is true, it is neither startling nor earth-shaking for anyone who has been closely observing developments in south Lebanon over the past few years. The recent shipment of Zelzal missiles does not constitute a departure from well-formed Iranian, Syrian or Hizbullah policy patterns.

The first time that a shipment of Iranian Zelzal rockets to Hizbullah was reported was in early 2003. Just as this week it took the media one day to forget about this Zelzal shipment, in 2003, the reports received almost no attention. At the time the Israeli media and the government were busy convincing the Israeli public to support the road map which was then being written by Yossi Beilin and Tony Blair.

Like the 2003 report before it, the meaning of this week's report is clear. Iran today is perched on Israel's northern border. Against the backdrop of Iran's nuclear weapons program and its ballistic missiles capabilities, Iran's presence on the northern border dramatically impacts Israel's national security posture. If before the IDF's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000 Hizbullah and its state sponsor constituted a challenging, bloody tactical threat to Israel, today they are a strategic threat. In short, this week's story about the Zelzal missile shipment reveals what a terrible mistake Israel's retreat from south Lebanon was.


JUST AS the already forgotten report on the Zelzal missile shipment showed how ill-advised the withdrawal from southern Lebanon was, this week two reports revealed a no less disturbing situation in the abandoned Gaza Strip. Tuesday, as the socialist economic gurus in the media and the government argued in favor of slashing the IDF's budget in light of the withdrawal from Gaza, we were informed that the IDF returned to Gaza two months ago.

Palestinian terrorists Tuesday morning videotaped Israeli forces in the ruins of the Israeli community of Dugit attacking a Palestinian terror squad as it prepared to launch a Kassam rocket on Ashkelon. On Wednesday the IDF admitted that it has been deploying commandos in Gaza to prevent rocket and missile launches for the past two months. [I have not reported that one previously on this blog. CiJ]. That deployment had been kept secret to prevent the public from learning just how ill-advised last year's retreat was. The need to deploy ground forces in Gaza today proves unequivocally that the only way to defend Ashkelon and the other communities bordering Gaza from attack is by deploying IDF boots on the ground in Gaza.


When one sees how news is distorted and truth is hidden from the Israeli public; when one understands how the legal system in Israel constrains permissible speech, one sees that while the Israeli economy may be chugging along, the public consciousness of the Israeli body politic has fallen victim to a premeditated failure of the marketplaces of information and ideas. If the Israeli people wish to survive in an increasingly dangerous strategic environment, ways must be found immediately for these failures to be corrected or circumvented.
Read it all.


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