As the aid convoys approach Gaza by the Mediterranean, the media outlets step up its propaganda and PR campaign. The propaganda portrayed in these media outlets will never succeed to changing the damaged image of Israel.
The whole world knows the concrete facts about the state of Israel. The state of Israel has been built through blood, violence, ethnic cleansing, political betrayal and guerrilla wars against the unarmed Palestinians in 1948 and prior to that. More than 7 wars have been launched by Israel against their Arab neighbors in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt. Even, the attacks of Israel reached Tunisia and Iraq thousands of miles from that state!
Observers could easily notice an entire integration between Israeli media and the official stance of the government. Israel’s official stance is trying to tell the international mainstream that there is no siege in Gaza. This totally contradicts the facts being said repeatedly not by Palestinians but by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, OXFAM, USAID, CHF, UNRWA and tens of other organizations. These organizations clearly stated in their reports that Gaza is in Plight, crisis and inhuman living conditions. An example can be found in a report issued a few months ago by OXFAM.
Haaretz and Yediot Ahronot circulated a very piece of propaganda regarding the Israeli soldier detained in Gaza, Gilad Shalit. Both of them, cried on Gilad Shalit as if he was an innocent civilian captured from inside Israel. They didn’t show the way he was detained or why. Shalit was in the front, inside his tank firing at the borders of Gaza in Rafah. Shalit might kill few Palestinians in his short time with the army. Sadly, the newspapers tried to bring his issue ahead to the Freedom Flotilla which is carrying thousands of tonnes of aid to Gaza.
Both of the papers published articles stated that “organizers decline carrying a package to Gilad shalit” However, this turned untrue. I spoke with a number of organizers like ECESG and people from the Free Gaza Movement. They both said, “No one contacted us”. We are ready to take this package to Shalit. But in return, we need a commitment from Israel to allow Palestinian families to visit their sons, brothers, sisters, children, women in the dozens of Israeli jails.
Both of the papers are trying to draw the attention on the suffering of Gilad Shalit and his family. They aim at keeping the spotlight on him so less attention can be given to the Freedom Flotila. More importantly, by saying organizers decline to send this package; those organizers can be seen as inhuman, hypocrites and liars. Normal readers will think how come those organizers are going for a human aim to Gaza whilst they refuse to have this human package to captive fighting solider, Gilad!
The media in Israel tries hard to neglect the issue of Palestinian prisoners. There are 8.000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. They live under hard living conditions while their families are denied visits since 4 years especially those from Gaza.
The other part of PR-Propaganda campaign has been adopted by the Israeli government and backed by Israeli media outlets. The government mandated the foreign affairs ministry to explain with photos, statistics and numbers that there is no siege in Gaza. Even the Prime Minister of Israel himself, Binyamin Netanyahu, announced a list of luxurious restaurants that journalists should visit in Gaza. He tried to say that these places are running there is no siege. But the fact is that these restaurants are running because of the tunnels.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak insisted that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Yigal Palmor, said that “In a typical week, 15,000 tons of supplies enter Gaza. Truckloads of meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, milk powder, baby food, wheat and other staples arrive in Gaza on a daily basis. Building materials are also shipped in, when monitored by International organization so as not to be commandeered by Hamas for the fortification of bunkers.”
The statements of Palmor are mere falsehoods. He said a typical week. The typical week of crossing in Gaza before the siege was allowed more than 700 trucks of food and basics necessities into Gaza daily. This means Gaza strip requires at least 10,000 tonnes a day the overall would be at least 70,000 tonnes. Palmor continues to spread the Israeli propaganda by Saying, “Building materials are also shipped in”
The International community promised to rebuild Gaza and dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars for this aim. But Israel has denied and still the construction materials to get into Gaza. There is no doubt that aid convoy coming by sea will help the people of Gaza. If Israel cares about its image, then it has to adopt peace as a choice. It has to end occupation and lift siege. It has to give life to the children of Gaza. Israel should meet its so-called morals as an independent state. The actions of Israel are slow holocaust like and partly are genocidal towards the people of Gaza.
Israel will only get good PR when it gives the children of Gaza new life. Baby Feras, 6 months, who died a few months ago, will always chase those were behind the reason of his death.
By Sameh A. Habeeb
Palestine Telegraph Newspaper