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Tweets and silences of propaganda war


March 14, 2012
Sarah Benton


Dearth of coverage in Israeli media on Gaza carnage

The Israeli media once again fails to show the impact of Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip.
Omar Rahman, +972
12.03.12

I personally think it’s insane that on the Haaretz website there is not a single headline or article that even refers to what the Israeli military is wreaking on Gaza, where 23 have been killed in the last four days and over a hundred injured from fighter jets and gunships, according to Ma’an.

The closest you get is coverage of the homemade projectiles fired out of Gaza in which no people were killed. Some “light” injuries were reported though.

“A woman and one other person sustained light to moderate shrapnel wounds as a result of a grad rocket striking Ashdod. The woman was evacuated to Rehovot’s Kaplan Hospital. Four Israelis were also treated for shock. Damage was caused to store buildings and cars in the city.”

The reporting, or lack thereof, demonstrates once again the callousness Israeli society holds for the carnage they create in Gaza. You would expect more from the media, however.

It reminds one of the Israeli response to ‘Cast Lead,’ the Israeli War on Gaza that killed over 1,400 people, the majority of them civilians.

When civilians are killed, like the 65-year old Gazan man and his 30-year old daughter, as happened Sunday night, Haaretz finds it convenient to add the ready-made Israeli military response.

“In a statement, the IDF spokesperson said that as a result of the fire it looks like citizens who were not involved in the combat were harmed.

“This case demonstrates the terrorist organizations’ use of civilians as human shields, and the fact that they open fire deep inside civilian populations,” the IDF spokesperson said.”

One does not expect a public outcry in the streets of Tel Aviv, at least not anymore. But we do expect the media to do their job.


In propaganda battle, PM Spokesperson tweets old photo
Noam Sheizaf, +972
12.03.12

The IDF is recently putting a lot of effort into propaganda campaigns, and especially new media ones. The army has a blog,  a Flickr account, a Facebook page  and a Youtube channel; officers from IDF spokesperson unit are very active on social networks, where they argue with journalists and activists and at times even endorse certain (rightwing) political positions.

A recent entry in the IDF Spokesperson blog encouraged readers to help the army “spread the truth” about the military escalation in the south. Another entry was dedicated to a tweet from a Palestinian blogger, which showed a photo of a wounded Palestinian child, allegedly wounded in the attack on Gaza. The photo was old, plus it was photoshopped. The blogger who posted it apologized (she explains the affair here). But the IDF blog concluded (emphasis in original):

“This isn’t the first time people have spread false information about the IDF. Meanwhile, lies are still being tweeted throughout the web.

Share this post to fight misinformation–set the facts straight about what’s going on in Israel and Gaza.

So here is my contribution to the important battle against misinformation. A tweet by Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, showing a picture of a mother and two children seeking cover from a rocket attack:

So here is my contribution to the important battle against misinformation. A tweet by Ofir Gendelman, a spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, showing a picture of a mother and two children seeking cover from a rocket attack:

[See original]

This picture is from 2009. Asked by a journalist why he knowingly posted old pictures without mentioning when they are from, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson replied:

I am not a news agency nor am I a reporter. The photo is genuine and illustrates the tragic condition in the south.

And dead Palestinian kids? No need to go to the archives for those: There is no shortage of photos from recent IAF attacks.

UPDATE: Ofir Gendelman tweeted this clarification, stating that the photo he posted wasn’t new.

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