If you know nothing about the war and rely solely upon these stories and reports you receive a very skewed perspective that lacks context and context is everything. These articles do a very fine job of painting a picture of a Big Bad Israel that is intent on murder, mayhem and mischief.
The lack of context creates a very fine narrative for the sort of screenplay that movie watchers love. You have a noble underdog fighting to free themselves from the yoke of some oppressive tyrant. Pardon me for a moment, I think that I am getting a bit choked up about it.
What they neglect to mention is that the noble underdog helped to create the problem by indiscriminately firing rockets into Israel. Nor do they spend time discussing the actions of the peaceful government of Gaza. You know, the fine fellows of Hamas who like to engage in vigorous interaction with those they disagree with.
Take a look at the video and tell me what you think about people who settle their disagreements in such a peaceful manner.
You’ll forgive me for being a bit skeptical about the peaceful intentions of people who treat their fellows in such a fine fashion. But is that video really any worse than watching them use children as human shields.
It really comes as no surprise that certain groups are pushing to try Israel for war crimes or that much of this drama is taking place in the court of public opinion. In an earlier post I pointed out some of the flaws in the UN report and also gave some attention to some of the problems created by shoddy journalism.
But it is always worth noting that journalists are not fail proof and that they do make mistakes. So while the Guardian, HaAretz and others eagerly strive for a hard hitting piece let’s take a moment to consider some of these issues.
Yourish provides one example to review in Is Haâ€™aretz is pulling a Scott Thomas on us? and Yaacov Lozowick shares another in UK Journalists are Fools and we’ll hit the trifecta with Solomonia’s Who Makes Your News: An Outburst on Tape.
So before some of the fans of The Shack go apoplectic let’s cover a few basic points and then we’ll wrap it up.
The decision to go to war did not take place in a vacuum. No nation will ignore daily rocket attacks. It doesn’t matter how many people are killed by said rockets. There is no relevancy between the decision to defend people and how many are killed or injured by the rockets that precipitated the response.
I have never heard of a war in which civilians were not killed. It is a terrible tragedy and we can say that the victims died a senseless death. But we have to remember that it is war and that Hamas took an active role in trying to create a situation which would result in an invasion.
The problem was that they had their asses handed to them. So when they were unable to capitalize upon the war as a great military victory they switched to Plan B in which they try to delegitimize Israel’s right to defend itself.
Circling back to the topic of context I would anticipate that there are those of you who provide accusations of that being a PR trick. But the reality is that context is not a PR trick. It is the substance that is required to make an informed and honest decision. It is just too bad that so many articles seem to be lacking it.