Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mass Media and Israel

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, it is well known now that Israel has been pushing into Lebanon to get rid of Hezbollah. To date, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have pressed into the southern regions of the country and have been able to successfully bomb many Hezbollah locations. Throughout this all though, we have heard of unfortunate tragedies in the conflict. While the Israelis themselves say they did not mean to kill a number of citizens, some of which were children, in Qana. According to Israeli intelligence, the location that was bombed was often used by Hezbollah.

However, what is most interesting in looking at the information coming out of Israel is the way in which it is being reported. If you watch CNN or read their website, Israel comes off as an evil force. Listening and reading the words coming out of this news source indicates that CNN wishes to report a rather negative stance on this conflict.

FOX News, often called the bastion of Republican press, reports Israel will press on in their campaign against Hezbollah, but does acknowledge the protests that have come out against the Israelis and the international community due to the accident in Qana.

But these are American news sources. The Jerusalem Post reports that the Prime Minister in Israel is saying it will take another 10 to 14 days for the campaign to dislodge Hezbollah from Lebanon to be complete. In a VERY interesting story that is only being told from the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, said that Hezbollah has often targeted Israeli citizens for their attacks, but used their own citizens as human shields. As such, Hezbollah wants to cause civilian casualties while Israel tries to avoid it.

Fact of the Matter

The fact of the matter on this situation is that Israel is fighting for its own survival. Since the origins of the nation, Israel has fought to just have its own borders. Now the nation finds itself in a position where they need to protect themselves and their honor. What I have found rather interesting is how a number of people have said they were against our own War on Terror, but they were pro Israel. Why is it they are in favor of one nation fighting terrorism and not the other?

The answer some would give is that we “fought for oil,” but Israel is fighting for kidnapped soldiers to be released. What we need to do is face facts: terrorism is the new face of evil. Muslim groups have already said they want to free the lands that were once Arab, basically recreating the old Ottoman Empire. This a world that still believes in 15th century ideas, but has 21st century technology.

It has already been seen that some people will go to extremes in order to protect their own interests. Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic both used human shields to protect factories. What will stop terrorists from doing the same thing, but under the guise of something else?
No matter what the conflict may be, there will be tragic situations that occur where innocent people are killed. Terrorists want large amounts of destruction with the highest degree of casualty rates. Think of 9-11. Are we beginning to forget the tragedy of that day already? If I were to guess, Hezbollah has probably tried to set things up so that Israel would look like a monster when IDF pushes their own attacks. You can claim this is a conspiracy theory and such, but the fact still remains that groups like Hezbollah and dictators will always use innocent people in order to protect their ultimate desires.


Idunois said...

You know, I like your blog. I like it because you and I seem to view things in opposite ends of the spectrum.

I didn't want to blog upon this situation because of the high opinions upon the situation in the blogosphere. Plus, I thought so many people post about it; I should not include another, but once again I find myself with a different view than yours.
We created Israel after World War II. The reasons for it can be endless; either we cared to give them their own land, or didn't want all of them to enter our country, it doesn't matter at this point as we did create it. But in creating it we took the land from others who it properly belonged. We did not have a right then. Some people hold a grudge for that and for that reason do they still fight over the territory. Should we take sides promising freedom for one but none for the other. If we are fighting for freedom then we must side with those who suffer from injustice. We support Israel. We give them weapons and funding from our deficiting budget yet we can not support innoccent bystanders who are being killed in the name of the war on terrorism. We do not allow our own military to kill innoccent bystanders, why should Israel be held any less accountable? I believe they have a right to protect themselves, but when is it going too far?

Idunois said...

by the way, hear hear to your post upon moderating comments. Have to enjoy the opposition because it can only strengthen your own resolution by pointing out weaknesses or objectives that are needed to be studied.

BDM said...

Thanks for your comments. Always good to know I have a fan. As for the creation of Israel, certainly there was a call for it. Let us not forget Saudi Arabia said the jews shoul get Germany. Infact, Israel cites the Balfour Proclamation as their claim to the land. I don't know if you have read it, but it really is only one sentence recommending a Jewish state in the area of Palestine. Technically speaking, we could blame a lot of the problems in the Middle East on the British, since they had once governed the entire area. Playing the blame game thugh gets us absolutely nowhere in the end.

Certainly innocent people should be protected, but is it fair to use innocent people as tools of war? Interestingly enough, your question of where does it go too far is something that kind of came up in the book I am reading now. Harry Turtledove's The Grapple poses a situation where citizens of conquered states begin to grab their shotguns and shoot at their enemies. In order to keep them down, the army takes hostages and executes them, the idea being if you keep it up, we will keep it up. While we haven't gotten that far in our dealings with people in the war zones, one does wonder if things will ever go that far.