Friday, January 16, 2009

The One Area Untouched By The New Israeli Hasbara

It's great to hear about Israel's use of Twitter, YouTube, and blogs to battle negative PR and present the facts. But apparently the message is not getting to everywhere that it should.

According to Ha'aretz:
For West Bank residents, Hamas' declarations of victory are a little more credible. Al-Jazeera also faithfully broadcasts all the announcements issued by various unknown Palestinian factions about their alleged successes in the Gaza fighting. The running captions at the bottom of the screen report non-stop on wholly fictitious events. The Popular Resistance Committees announce that they have destroyed a Merkava tank; a Hamas official says his organization blew up the chemical factory that's on fire in Ashdod; there are numerous false reports about IDF soldiers being killed. Hamas propaganda films immortalizing a strike on Israeli soldiers are broadcast over and over again. The viewer can't help but conclude that, at any moment, following in the footsteps of the Egyptian military in 1948, Hamas' forces are about to reach the Ad Halom Junction, at Gaza's northernmost point, and that the IDF is readying for a desperate battle to push them back.

An East Jerusalem journalist who was asked about this was more skeptical about the Israeli version of events. "Why do you refuse to publicize the number of your casualties?" he asked. When told that this statistic is available for all to see, he claimed that the IDF hadn't managed to get to any Hamas fighters at all, and had killed only civilians. For more than a few people in the West Bank, the IDF operation in Gaza still constitutes proof of Hamas' success and the Israeli fear of having its army enter an urban area. When Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh eventually emerges from his bunker, he will stand alongside Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar and proclaim his organization the victor - and plenty of people in the West Bank will be ready to believe it.

Haniyeh will have a harder time convincing Gazans.
Well yes, there is that.

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