Friday, August 11, 2006

Must Read Reporting from Israel

(I don't usually repost mainstream media content but I don't think many people have seen this and it deserves wider distribution. Ralph Peters, a former US Army Colonel, is reporting from Israel in collumns for the New York Post that bring to mind the legendary reporting of men like Ben Hecht. Some sections of the excerpted article.)

"DRIVING north to the war from Tel Aviv, the traffic thins gradually - until you realize abruptly that your car is the only one left on the road... But as you climb the hills of Galilee, you meet ever fewer vehicles on the roads. A short convoy of Humvees heads toward the fighting, followed by a pair of old Willys jeeps painted olive drab - the Israeli Defense Forces don't all have state-of-the-art gear, but make do with many leftovers from past wars. A military flatbed loaded with 155mm artillery shells labors up a curling mountain road. In a sheltered pass, a last, defiant gas station remains open.

There is no looting. The empty houses of the refugees are safe. Israel pulls together, and no police patrols are needed to protect these businesses and homes. Remaining behind in the north, emergency personnel do what must be done. Hospital staffs work underground in bunkers and bomb shelters, treating military casualties and victims of the terror rockets. Utilities function. The water runs.

But hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been driven away from their homes. You don't hear much about that. Journalists love to think of themselves as bold individualists - but the truth is that they're herd animals...And the herd has decided that the big story of this war is the suffering of Lebanese civilians - misery exaggerated skillfully by Hezbollah's propagandists. Dead or displaced Jews? Who cares? That's yesterday's news. Today's hot fashion statement is to champion Israel's genocidal enemies. And every ambitious journalist wants to be in style.

And then there are the chickens. Not cowards. Real chickens. Thousands and thousands of them, cackling away. Still in their coops. Untended, they'd die quickly. So farmers stay on the front, putting out feed between Katyusha barrages. Vineyards need tending, but grow unkempt. Summer crops rot. Terror rockets burn the fields and set fire to painstakingly reforested hillsides. (Where's Greenpeace when you need them?) It's as if Israel's enemies are jealous even of this reborn earth.

Driving south to file this series of columns, I gave a lift to a naval officer-candidate - even in the most-desolate spots, you see military hitchhikers. The IDF moves largely by private vehicles, buses and the thumb. The young man in the carefully pressed uniform told me that he'd been permitted a quick trip home because 35 Katyushas had slammed into his little village. The media didn't report that, either. They were posing on hotel terraces in Haifa, wearing flak jackets for the camera, 50 miles from the war.

NO innocents should die on either side. But they do. That's war. Yet the one-sided coverage of this conflict is disgraceful. The truth is that all of the dead or wounded, on both sides of the border, are Hezbollah's victims. Israel longs to live in peace with its neighbors. Can anyone honestly claim that for Israel's enemies?

Where is humanity's fellow-feeling for Israel? Where is the sense of justice?
The sorry answer is that a bigoted world couldn't care less. Nobody gives a damn. Except you, my fellow Americans. Except you."

The full article here

And a previous article here , another article here

And a postscript from another Ralph Peters article

"But I see what I do because the Israeli Defense Forces have made no effort to hide this war away. Although I'm bunking in a building full of soldiers, I have no minder telling me what message I'm supposed to carry away, what I'm "really" seeing. Despite the lies in all too much of the media, the Israelis are struggling to fight a moral war - against enemies who know no morality, fanatics who trot out the same dead baby repeatedly for sensation-hungry cameras.

So I'm alone with the war for a little while, counting the time to impact of outgoing rounds and ranging detonations by ticking off the seconds between the flash and the follow-on bang.

What's striking is that every Israeli round is aimed at a military target. Even though the intensity of the firing increased today, as the IDF intensify the offensive, there's no wanton destruction - just the ugly necessity of war.

But Hezbollah's rockets aren't aimed. They're merely pointed. In the general direction of Israeli cities and towns. Simply put, the Katyushas are terror weapons. That difference sums up this war for any decent human being."


Keliata said...

In the blink of an eye the mainstream media decided (post 9/11) that the arabs were the victims--in all wars and conflicts. The Abu Ghraib photos torturous; the beahing videos barely reported at all.

Regarding the Israeli causalties the most coverage I've seen involves images of Israelis in bomb shelters and people scrambling for cover after the air raid sirens sounds.

That's about it. Face it, they'd rather cover Lebanese blood and gore and rely on disreputable sources more interested in propaganda than truthfulness. And liberals gobble it up fast. Anyone who questions photos, reports, etc. are conspiracy nuts in their eyes and quickly discredited.

That's why it is best to read/watch several news outlets. Somewhere in the midst of all the lies, PR and spin you'll find a grain of truth and balance.


Yobeeone said...

Whoa! That was brilliant! You can tell the difference in a military man writing on a war compared to one who has never been there. Thanks for posting this!

Sultan Knish said...

yup the media comes with an agenda and it promotes it, during WW2 and post WW2 for sure there was far more attention paid to german and japanese casualties of the war than jewish ones for that matter

the media has no interest in covering jewish deaths, when they do it's accompanied by speculation worrying that this may result in israel taking military action

Sultan Knish said...

and quoting Julie Burchill's Haaretz piece

"All across the board, Lebanese civilians are referred to as "civilians" where Israeli civilians are referred to as "Israelis" - an eerie and sinister difference"

Yobeeone said...

Call me biased, but there are no civilians in Lebanon. Nor are they quite human. :] (yo makes chimp sounds and resumes her shabbos preps.)

Andy said...

When you read up on Brigitte Gabriel,, Israel Today, Arutz Sheva, and many others, how can you really believe the Arab propaganda. But the world chooses too and only, only American Christians and some from other countries are truly on the side of Israel. It's sad, sad, sad!

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