“Strengthening the IDF’s Hand After Operation Cast Lead”

That’s the title of the bill, put forward by Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense, today.

Ha’aretz, in a statement that proves that sterilized writing doesn’t equal balanced reporting:

"There is growing concern at the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Justice that Israeli officers will be singled out in a wave of suits for alleged human rights violations during the recent 3-week offensive against Hamas."

Ha’aretz also quoted PM Olmert in yet another fine moment of diplomacy:

"Now after the operation, the organizations are trying to settle accounts with the State of Israel, and one of the central arenas in which they are doing so is the arena of international law, by means of the moralistic diplomatic tact that characterizes these groups."

And just to add to make sure you understand what it means to be a "hero" in Israel, Barak added that the IDF is "the most moral army in the world," and that troops would receive governmental backing against accusations from abroad and "self-flagellation" from within Israel.

The cherry on top of this like-totally-objective article would be the closing paragraph:

"More than 1,250 Palestinians were reportedly killed during Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the coastal territory. Israel has been harshly criticized for the large number of civilians among the Palestinian dead, of whom they numbered more than half according to Gaza officials."

So many things wrong with this tiny paragraph, I decided to number them!

  1. Over 1250, over 1330- does it really matter?..
  2. "… Israel’s offensive against Hamas…" – It often happens in Israeli media that Hamas is a name for Palestinians in general.
  3. "… in the coastal territory." – "Coastal territory"?! What was the point of this phrase?! To say that Gaza is on the beachside? Or is this a new way to avoid saying "besieged" (or god forbid "occupied") territory.
  4. "Israel has been harshly criticized" – Is this the part where a five year-old stamps his foot and screeches "but it isn’t faaair!"
  5. "… of whom they numbered more than half according to Gaza officials." The words to watch for here are "they" and "Gaza officials". This is a clear cut case of creating the "other" and the "enemy".

I don’t want to be petty or anything, but "my" country will protect murdering war criminals. It won’t, however, protect me from war, or overzealous cops. Just saying…

For a more balanced report with some international insight, I suggest you head on to Al-Jazeera.

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