Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gaza: Links Updates

More links of interest on the current crisis;

Sadly, all the death and carnage Israel has wrought will be for nothing, says Jane's Defence Analyst; "With a military victory for Israel over Hamas not possible, the security situation in southern Israel and Gaza will not improve, even in the longer term." - and the view is echoed by Gary Younge;

"The trouble is that over the last seven years, the war on terror has been thoroughly discredited - not only morally, but militarily and strategically....Meanwhile, Israel has been busy implementing the very tenets of the war on terror that have served the US so badly, primarily that intractable political problems can be solved solely by military means with the aim of not simply bombing your enemies into submission, but eliminating them altogether and then creating resolution on your own terms from the rubble."

You may (or may not) know that Israel has banned the press from Gaza (though reports are coming out thick and fast anyway) but that is not the only media 'management' they are up to. Evidence has emerged that the Israeli government is looking to recruiting volunteers to 'sell' their message on forums and websites. The recruitment email looks like this;

Dear friends,

We hold the military supremacy, yet fail the battle over the international media. We need to buy time for the IDF to succeed, and the least we can do is spare some (additional) minutes on the net. The ministry of foreign affairs is putting great efforts in balancing the media, but we all know it’s a battle of numbers. The more we post, blog, talkback, vote - the more likely we gain positive sentiment.

Of course, governments manipulating the media in war is nothing new - witness our own governments shameful activities over Iraq and Afganistan - however this is the network media version of that struggle.

And finally a real call recorded on the Isreali army's 'shop-a-terrorist' version of Crimestoppers. In short - they got punked:

EI: I have some information for you on members of terrorist groups that are in Gaza.

Israeli officer: Oh I hope so...

EI: You don't know what the terrorists are doing here in Gaza and we want to be saved from them ...

Israeli officer: Yes, I think everyone should do exactly what you're doing because we're all fed up with them. All they do to us is bad things.

EI: Exactly, the people in Gaza feels the same but the world can't hear our voice.

Israeli officer: Oh they will hear sir. You know they've [people of Gaza] started to phone us and ask for help, and ask us what they should do, and we've helped a lot of them. They thanked us for that and we want to help more people.

EI: But you know the terrorist groups are all over the Strip. I mean there's no place in the Strip where there aren't terrorists. They're all over the place.

Israeli officer: You just wait. We'll get to them, you'll see.

EI: But as you know, it's not easy for one to talk from Gaza, to give you information, it's not an easy thing.

Israeli officer: Look, firstly it's not easy, second thing, we've got other ways to reach you, very good ways not on this line and in the end your assistance to us will end up helping you too. Every person who doesn't have to be hurt in Gaza helps us and helps you. We benefit and you benefit. We want to destroy this Hamas leadership who are hiding, afraid for their lives. They are hiding and others are being killed because of them. What are we fighting each other for? Over nothing!

EI: Ok, let's talk ... let me give you some of the information and then we'll talk some more. Do you have a pen?

Israeli officer: Yes. I have a pen and I'm writing.

EI I want to give you names of the biggest terrorist organizations, not just in Gaza, but in all Palestine.

Israeli officer: Ok, let's see

EI: Ok, the first one ...

Israeli officer: You mean to tell me they're all from Hamas?

EI: All of them are people ... you'll see. The first one, his name is Ehud Barak [Israeli minister of defense].

Israeli officer: Ehud Barak? By God there's no one like you ...

EI: Second, Gabi Ashkenazi [Israeli army chief of staff]

Israeli officer: Do you know him?

EI: Of course.

Read the full thing: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10114.shtml

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