Has Israel Gained on the Public Relations Front?
Most commentators seem to accept that, for all the suffering that Israel has had to endure on the surreal battlefield that is Gaza; for all the massive demonstrations against her around the world; for all the pain that she has had to endure on hearing echoes of the kristallnacht of over seventy years ago coming from parts of Europe regarded until recently as safe again for Jews – nevertheless, Israel has probably come out of the bloody Gaza adventure with more friends, high and low, and fewer dedicated enemies than she had before the war began a month ago.
Israel’s previous intrusions into the Hezbollah-held portions of Lebanon in 2006 and into Hamas-held Gaza in January 2008 and 2012 ended with Israel in a worse situation than before on all fronts – including both the propaganda front and the security front. Israel’s agreement to end these earlier campaigns and to withdraw its army before its enemies in these places surrendered their rockets followed upon persuasion by its supposed allies, with the United States at their head, that both of these enemies had learned the wisdom of seeking peace, that expert United Nations forces would disarm the terrorists in quick order and send the rockets back where they came from. Instead, as everyone with a brain or a place to put one anticipated, the importation of missiles immediately resumed and stockpiles soon multiplied. The UN observers took the money and looked the other way. Before long, life for a great portion of Israel’s citizens became a daily hell, measured in ten-second air- raid warnings.
Today, at great cost, Israel seems to have brought the bulk of public opinion in our part of the world around to realization that the suffering of the people of Gaza has been received from the hands of the Hamas gang that purports to be its government. Among many who were still eyeless about Gaza when this began, the scales fell a day after the first three-day truce was accepted. Imagining that the conflict had now stopped, several journalists now came out of the closet to confess that their accounts of the behavior of the Hamas leaders had in effect been issued under threat to life and limb. (“Foreign Press Association Protests ‘Blatant, Incessant, forceful and Unorthodox Methods Used by Hamas to Pressure Media in Gaza,” [http://www.algemeiner,com]www.algemeiner,com, August 11, 2014; “Hamas Admits Deporting Foreign Journalists Who filmed Rocket Launches,”IPT News, http://www.investigativeproject.org., August 15, 2014; “Hamas Launches Rockets in Shadow of Orthodox Church,” Aug 8, 2014. http://www.investigativeproject.org. ]
For myself, the most revelatory moment came during the interview that Osama Hamdan, the official press spokesman for Hamas, gave to Lebanon’s Al-Quds television July 28 and that was picked up by CNN on August 4, just as terms were being announced for a ceasefire. Hamdan is seen and heard proudly asserting that, among other accomplishments, Hamas had finally got the world to understand the true nature of the menace of Israel: the Israeli campaign in Gaza was patently for the purpose of replenishing low supplies of the blood of Christian children which, “as everyone knows,” the Rabbis need for constant levels of production of ritual matzoh. Asked to repeat the statement Hamdan did not flinch: “This is not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film …. The Israelis concentrate on killing children.” (www.algemeiner.com, August 5, 2014.]
That this is Hamas’ thinking is not news to Israelis, who can keep up-to-date on the serialized dramatizations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion running regularly on Arab television channels well within their reach. (‘Protocols’ Appear in Plot As Egyptian TV Series Continues,” Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, ADL Archive, adl.org, 2013.) But it seems to have come as news to Western TV broadcasters, who imagine themselves enlightened above the generality of viewers in the deeper causes of all things. (See Craig Carter, “Hamas Writes the Script and the Western Media Obediently Reads it Word for Word, “thebayviewreview.com, August 5, 2014.)
Indeed, this theme – the satanically-inspired, industrial-scale harvesting by Jews of the blood of Christians and other non-Jews — is preached weekly in the mosques and relayed by Palestinian television news broadcasters to all citizens. Warnings about the Israeli blood-harvesting are promoted daily via PA television’s children’s shows and in the authorized curriculum in its schools. Popular songs are sung about the theme. Yet none of our major news media outfits seems to be aware of this reality.
In our part of the world, passing notice of the historical blood libel is taken in sections of college history texts on European history, with perhaps a side-glance at its ghostly effects in hearts and minds of extreme anti-Semites of the 20th century like Adolf Hitler. But the blood libel was not invented in Europe. Its deepest roots have always been in the Arab Middle East. It is kept alive as vibrant proof of why Islam cannot accept that Jews should live anywhere where Muslims also live.
(Clips of television sermons and other messages expatiating on the theme of Jewish harvesting of blood can be found at the site of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute, http://www.memri.org,. Among recent items are:
#3387 – Syrian Opposition Member Osama Al-Mallouhi Recounts Antisemitic Blood Libel and Says: Do They Want Syrian Blood for Their Matzos of Zion?
Al-Nas TV (Egypt) – March 26, 2012 – 02:02
#2454 – Egyptian Hebrew Lit. Professor Ibrahim Farid Denounces the Endorsement of Antisemitic Myths by Arab Media and Institutions
Al-Faraeen TV (Egypt) – April 9, 2010 – 04:42
#2443 – Blood Libel on Hamas TV – President of the American Center for Islamic Research Dr. Sallah Sultan: Jews Murder Non-Jews and Use Their Blood to Knead Passover Matzos Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza) – March 31, 2010 – 01:03
#1393 – Egyptian Researcher Muhammad Al-Buheiri: Jews Still Use Christian Blood to Bake Passover Matzos Nile Culture TV (Egypt) – February 25, 2007 – 07:20 .]
Whatever Hamas’s spokesman imagined that he was accomplishing, his discourse on Jewish blood harvesting has hopefully made clear to some people who have so far pretended not to be able to understand why those people just can’t get on what has made getting on impossible since the moment that the Holy Qur’an came into the world.
A Jewish Liberal’s Perspective on Hamas the Conflict.
When the last light-bulb goes on inside the skull of the last and most highly-placed liberal American journalist the skull will be that of Thomas L. Friedman, of the New York Times. Freidman’s stock-in-trade for two decades now has been his confident refusal to see any moral disparity between the causes that engage (on one side) the Jews and (on the other) the Muslims. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all part of the conspiracy of medieval minds against science. The road to salvation from this tyrannical mindset is described at length in his book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999) and passingly in other books and in scores of editorial items.
Fortunately, Friedman tells us, medieval minds everywhere are even now discovering computer technology, which has the magic quality of dissolving the persuasive force of religion. Hi-technology combined with knowledge of market economics leads to (among all the other blessings), Macdonald’s! “No two countries that both had McDonald’s had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s,” he asserts. (www.nytimes.com/1996/12/08/opinion/foreign-affairs-big-mac-i.html) There has to be a prize for this!
Friedman belongs to no religion and no ideology, of course, but hovers above all in Olympian detachment. With respect to our theme – the Gaza war and its lessons – he took note recently of “an apocalyptic jihadist agenda” that energizes the Hamas side, But, he hastens to remind us, there are religious crazies everywhere.
The religious nationalist-forces have the real energy in this region today. More and more, this is becoming a religious conflict. The Times of Israel reported that, at the start of this war, “in an official dispatch sent to battalion and company commanders on July 9, Givati Brigade commander Colonel Ofer Winter” — one of Israel’s top officers on the Gaza front — “told his subordinates that ‘History has chosen us to spearhead the fighting [against] the terrorist “Gazan” enemy which abuses, blasphemes and curses the God of Israel’s [defense] forces.’” Frightening.
Contemptuous of all religious imagination, Friedman is exempt from making relative distinctions about the moral dimensions in religion. Friedman has noticed that the whole community of Islamists, including the party that stands at the head of the Palestinian resistance, are religious zealots. But balance is everything; and to achieve this, he offers the example of one well-placed Israeli individual, uninhibited by censors, who tells soldiers that “the enemy abuses, blasphemes and curses the God of Israel’s forces.” This insight allows him to level the moral playing field at once, and at the same time to disassociate himself, along with all readers of the New York Times, from civilization.
Latest Proofs of What is at Stake For All of Us in the Contest in the Middle East.
Discussion of the goals and objectives of the Palestinians without reference to the deep sources of their ideology in Muhammad’ curses is inexcusable. Fortunately (I believe), awareness of this bottom line to the anti-Zionist cause in the Muslim world is being advanced by each new declaration from Hamas’ and each new video from the new Islamic State recording of the death marches of their enemies — Christians, Yazidis and various segments of the Muslim community who imagine that they are true servants of Allah but are not so in the eyes of the newly-proclaimed Caliph of All Muslims. (www.dailymail.co.uk, July 29, 2014.) Does any serious person doubt that this is precisely the scenario that Hamas envisages unfolding when Israel lies prostrate before its heroes and martyrs?
Every day, it seems, experts trot out new graphs demonstrating the latest connections among the ever-proliferating terrorist groups, noting arcane differences in their recent histories and their game-plans, but only hinting at their financial sources. Fascinating though this all may be, the bottom line for most of us must be that this ever-ramifying menace arises out of the ever-growing need of Muslim young men to fulfill the letter of Allah’s command: “Fight [the unbelievers] until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief] and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone” (Qur’an II:190-191.)
Meanwhile, our politicians, echoing their foreign policy experts, tell us that the unhappiness that the people of Gaza feel about their lot is only incidentally about religious matters, and will go away once a proper port has been built along the Gaza strip.