Sunday, November 26, 2023

By Daled Amos

There is always concern about Hasbara, Israel's ability to counter anti-Israel propaganda, especially during conflicts with Hamas terrorists in Gaza. When it comes to the reaction from the IDF, there are obvious problems where there is a need to get the facts out quickly while making sure the information is confirmed. Just as important, the spokesperson has to have a good command of the language of the audience to which he is speaking and must also speak confidently and coherently.

This has been a continuing concern.

There is also the need for Israeli spokespersons to present Israel's case when interviewed on live TV by journalists who are not necessarily sympathetic, or even objective. Some recent examples show that Israeli spokespersons can hold their own. Those same examples call the objectivity and ability of the journalist into question.

Here is Mark Regev, former Israeli ambassador to the UK and currently an adviser to Netanyahu. The journalist doesn't attack anything Regev said or Israel has done. She just makes a disturbing comparison in passing and Regev reacts immediately.

He doesn't just challenges the comparison of Israeli hostages with Palestinian Arab prisoners. When the interviewer attempts to defend herself by bringing up the example of a 14-year-old Palestinian Arab, Regev challenges her again to reveal what crime the boy had been imprisoned for. She could not.

Here is another example, this time with Israeli Government Spokesman Eylon Levy. Here,
Kay Burleigh of Sky News, says she spoke to an unnamed hostage negotiator who 
made the comparison between the fifty hostages that Hamas has promised to release, as opposed to the one hundred and fifty that are Palestinian that has said it will release. And he made the comparison between the numbers and the fact that does Israel not think that Palestinian lives are valued as highly as Israeli lives?
Just look at Levy's eyebrows -- and listen to his sharp rebuke.

In both interviews, the deliberate attempt by journalists to make Israeli hostages comparable to violent Palestinian prisoners is disturbing. It also reflects the narrative that we will continue to see in the media.

Burleigh's attempt to portray the larger number of Palestinian Arabs being released as reflecting poorly on Israel reminds me of a paper published in 2007 that theorized that,
Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers' eyes.

Something that would be seen as reflecting positively on the IDF is turned into a negative. Nevertheless, the paper won a Hebrew University teachers' committee prize.

But Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord noted the absurdity:

It is noteworthy that Palestinian propaganda around the world frequently accuses Israelis of murder and rape. Such that this situation is unique: An army is found blameworthy of rape, and is also blameworthy of not raping.

Here is one last example. The interviewer is not speaking to an Israeli spokesperson. A British doctor is describing his experience in the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza and how hospital staff was ordered not to enter certain areas -- and warned that they would be shot if they disobeyed.

In response to the doctor being threatened with being shot for going into certain areas of the hospital, she responds:

They would say there could be many other reasons that you would be told not to go to a particular area of a hospital. It's not unusual.

She's right, of course. They -- Hamas -- likely will say there are other, perfectly rational reasons why they forbade free access in a hospital to a doctor using the threat of death. But it is jarring to hear her do their work for them.

Defending Israel in the media, and having to have an immediate answer to questions that are usually unsympathetic is a daunting task. Especially when the media asks what they consider questions in the interests of "evenhandedness."  When done successfully, it is reassuring.

But these media confrontations, like the current Gaza War itself, are far from over.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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