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75 comments, In Series: Middle East Articles

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The Middle East Propaganda War

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Photo Fraud in Gaza by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

We live in the age of the televised war.   War as shock and shame has given way to war as entertainment and opining.   Most of the media gets high ratings for relatively little risk.   Although journalists do still die in "theater," gone are the days when the only way to get the story was to accompany soldiers for days on end in the muddy field, though these excursions were often more honest, less censored, and ultimately, more influential.

However, journalists ensconced in media towers are no longer necessarily safe. Israel is now targeting journalists there too, with high-speed planes firing more-or-less precision missiles, blowing up media headquarters, occupied or not .   Leila Fadel, NPR's Cairo bureau chief states:

"The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continued today by sea and air. According to local sources, one strike left a family of at least 10 - mostly women and children - dead. Another struck a media building and injured six journalists, raising concerns that journalists in Hamas-run area are now targets."

Journalists in Gaza demanded a UN investigation into why Israel "targeted them" in Gaza:

"Reporters Without Borders called the Israeli attacks "deliberate" and, in a statement released Wednesday, stated that "journalists are entitled to the same protection as civilians and should not be regarded as military targets.'"

Israel claims that these journalists are biased towards the Gaza cause, though that does not excuse destruction of media property and the killing of those who work there.   A more complete analysis would have to include the reasons why Gaza-based journalists are uniformly pro-Palestinian, but then again, Israel can also claim that while Israeli territory allows for a wider range of opinions, even some pro-Palestinian, in Gaza, pro-Israel or even unbiased journalists risk their lives and can be accused of being CIA spies, a charge that can result in a brutal death.   According to one recent National Geographic reporter:

"Every time a journalist comes here, (a tunnel worker) shouted, a tunnel is bombed. How, he yelled, could he tell that we weren't spies? I'd noticed that when Ayman tried to persuade tunnel operators to speak with me, the word "Mossad" was often uttered. They presumed that if (camera operator) Paolo and I weren't with the CIA, we must be with the Israeli spy agency. The tunnel worker's paranoia is understandable, given that Israel's surveillance of Gaza is constant, as the ceaseless buzz of drones overhead attested."

There are hundreds of tunnels in Gaza and constructing them is both a vital lifeline and a major source of employment for its citizens.

Both sides of the recent skirmish in the crowded and teeming Palestinian-Gaza territory have taken advantage of this confusion to engage in a propaganda war, filled with misleading and even dishonest depictions that the too-trusting mainstream media have been complicit in promoting.   That media war now includes, on the Palestinian side, s pecifically: photos that have been doctored (sometimes showing multiple images of the same post-explosion "smoke plume"), set up (with incongruous elements like children's stuffed toys lying in pristine condition amid piles of rubble, for example, implying that children were in the area), false attributions (sometimes deliberately) of Israeli attacks that turn out to be "friendly fire" accidents from Hamas rockets, or staged attacks (with prone figures imitating wounded or grieving victims, who then show up at other sites weeks later, in seemingly the same condition, or who walk away right after the photo shoot, unharmed). 

See a 3-minute clip here: The inside story of the media war against Israel.

The man in the photo in this article's opening was filmed just a few minutes after this was taken, walking around and apparently unhurt.   And yes, it does seem as though the militants in Gaza sometimes use people as human shields deliberately, as a tactic to inflame the West (it's working).

But, if the Gaza media is so complicit and biased, and so easily proven to be so, what is behind the Israeli strategy to bomb media centers too, beyond simple demoralization and sowing confusion among Gaza residents?  Why not allow the Gaza media to embarrass itself with false stories, or are there other specific examples of Gaza media reporting Israel is trying to suppress?  This report from Russia Today describes specific targeting of Gaza media sites and personnel: http://rt.com/news/gaza-media-center-strike-977/.   A responding tweet by the IDF:


Israeli Defense Forces Tweet by IDF

was nonsensical.    Why would the IDF target general media to prevent Gaza commanders from communicating with each other?  That is an entirely different set of channels, equipment, personnel, and purposes, etc.   If they're not, than Israel needs to show more clearly how the media in Gaza is directly aiding and abetting the enemy.

The New York Times' David Carr might have uncovered some of the new conflicts-of-interest when he wrote:

"But other factors are worth considering. At a time when news outlets in the United States are cutting foreign operations for monetary reasons, cheap and ubiquitous technology has lowered the entry barrier for others who want to engage in journalism, some of whom are already in the theater of conflict and may have partisan motives. Many of those newer players are young and inexperienced in ways that make them particularly vulnerable in the middle of dangerous conflicts.

Other journalists have close affiliations with partisan forces in these conflicts.

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http://newthinking.blogspot.com/

Scott Baker is a Senior Editor/Economics Editor and Writer at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post.
Scott Baker is President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist group. He has written dozens of (more...)
 

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Here is an excellent article from an Israeli persp... by Chris Cook on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:00:50 PM
Your link is to a typically unbalanced view. ... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:33:56 PM
I agree with you. That article "from an Israeli pe... by E. J. N. on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 8:39:28 PM
I understand Mr Baker has an appreciation for nati... by Chris Cook on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:20:10 PM
I shouldn't have spoke to soon about the first lin... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:04:09 AM
1.  The Jewish people, and culture, is inextr... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 3:15:59 AM
Then, Scott, since Israel is a first-world nation,... by Linda Milazzo on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 6:52:56 AM
also I would like to state unequivocally that the ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:07:02 AM
...but I don't see much hope of that happening in ... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:42:25 AM
but a) Fundamentalists in the Israeli society are ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:06:44 AM
This is not like a dispute between neighbors over ... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:16:53 AM
Matthew that the former Soviet Jews do not believe... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 6:16:39 PM
of the incompatablity.click here... by Matthew Jacobs on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:29:10 AM
"The fundamentalist in Israel don't serve in the m... by Michael Gillespie on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:13:48 AM
of the belief that Israel is not the official God ... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:24:56 AM
"The fundamentalist in Israel don't serve in the m... by Michael Gillespie on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:18:29 AM
That's why I'm Fan #29... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:55:43 AM
is not that the Palestinians just wouldn't except ... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:41:11 AM
lies with Israelis. Israel has pushed the Pal... by Linda Milazzo on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 1:15:58 PM
of the Israelis Stole the Palestinian Land. This p... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 3:43:51 PM
that Israel does not except  the Palestinian ... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:08:15 PM
Linda - you might want to watch this short video, ... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:19:09 PM
"Then, Scott, since Israel is a first-world nation... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:01:26 PM
I agree with you. That article "from an Israeli pe... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:46:45 AM
E.J when you speak of the Israelis it's the Govern... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:01:22 AM
I speak of the Israeli government as the main caus... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:36:08 PM
I speak of the Palestinians in general because the... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:26:46 PM
" I speak of the Israeli government as the main ca... by Matthew Jacobs on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:41:59 AM
"CNN has been caught in a photographic lie over ... by Michael Gillespie on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:53:32 AM
Gee, I don't know.  The two CNN photos look l... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:26:06 PM
That's because there were two tractors involved. T... by Chris Cook on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 5:28:28 PM
coming out that part of the World that you haven't... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:31:24 PM
"CNN has been caught in a photographic lie over ... by Michael Gillespie on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:16:59 AM
An IDF bulldozer operator deliberately ran over - ... by Matthew Jacobs on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:26:19 PM
The simplest Answer to the conflict between the Je... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:50:16 AM
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jesus and all p... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:49:29 PM
What points I brought up where you disagreeing wit... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:49:33 PM
between Allah and the Christian God. Not sure but ... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:00:37 PM
We're going to pretend that one side didn't ste... by Joe Giambrone on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 1:26:28 PM
"I don't travel. If I did, I probably wouldn'... by Chris Cook on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 3:08:02 PM
Muslims may in fact accept Israel.  Indeed, t... by Michael Gillespie on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:12:25 PM
Asimov was probably incorrect in his never forget ... by Chris Cook on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:43:52 PM
"If you want peace, you have to stop stealing the ... by Matthew Jacobs on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:02:03 PM
... by giving back the land they won in a war from... by Alex Howard on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:55:15 AM
thing that came to my mind is ...WHY?  You se... by Matthew Jacobs on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:39:45 PM
Also, as I have said before here on OEN several ti... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 5:53:22 PM
As for biblical theology and prophecy, your erudit... by Chris Cook on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 6:08:30 PM
If I succeed finally in being able to communicate ... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:47:40 AM
E.J. states:  The stone is an esoteric symbol... by Burl Hall on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 4:49:36 AM
Burl, that's true of "Babylon," which is a symbol ... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:08:50 PM
Maybe England should take the land Israel uses bac... by Alex Howard on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:03:55 AM
I can see there is no use debating with you. So I ... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:38:22 PM
So are you here only to say your piece without any... by Matthew Jacobs on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:10:36 PM
There is no use debating with you either, especial... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:54:12 PM
 What would the Prophets and the Golden Rule ... by Matthew Jacobs on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:29:24 PM
Of course, I cannot speak for Solomon. But since y... by E. J. N. on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:44:27 PM
I don't remember whether it was 25, 26, or 27 stat... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:47:32 PM
Now we have  the  people, who are ' not ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:10:34 PM
The 'right of Return" to anyone. It is an internal... by Matthew Jacobs on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:20:14 PM
I have posted many comments here at OEN with infor... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 12:59:49 PM
It was tough for me to pick only three good things... by Maxwell on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 7:40:01 AM
I've always thought the litmus test of acknowledgi... by Maxwell on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 7:51:23 AM
that what we see here again and again is the ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:03:59 AM
I appreciate this article for many reasons, not th... by Alex Howard on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:49:04 AM
Are you implying a man like Stephen Lendman is an ... by Chris Cook on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:30:04 PM
That's the title of this article, which tells the ... by E. J. N. on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:49:02 AM
The message promoted by the Coalition I joined sug... by E. J. N. on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:32:01 AM
Christian Crusades where foisted on the peaceful b... by Matthew Jacobs on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 1:09:20 PM
Part of the reason European Christians launched th... by E. J. N. on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:24:04 PM
 1st Christian Crusade was the issue not what... by Matthew Jacobs on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:16:00 PM
Matthew, you of course ignore what I wrote:"Part o... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 1:16:49 PM
The Middle East Propaganda War .Well that's what y... by Matthew Jacobs on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 1:57:34 PM
In my comment .... I paraphrased a section on the ... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 1:12:15 PM
Here is the Introduction to the article on The Cru... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 1:32:09 PM
It's hard for me to understand the focus of a prop... by Cheryl Biren on Monday, Dec 3, 2012 at 8:37:07 PM