Daily Alert

29 December 2008

Gaza War in the Eyes of the BBC and Me

The BBC selected to publish the following annotations from commentaries around the middle east. In general, the media coverage from the non-arabian world has been honest. It will take a few days for the MSM to find a reason to turn on Israel. Maybe it will be the disproportionate force case Yid With Lid has written about. Maybe it will be something else.

My guess is that playing along hand in hand with the "disproportionate force" argument we will soon hear and read the argument that the continued assault on hamas will work to damage peace efforts instead of improving them. In theory, if you are a real peacenik, dismantling hamas should cause you to rejoice. Israel would, after all, this demented logic dictates, make peace with the PA/Fatah, but hamas is in the way.

At some point we will hear the "extreme" argument. That one goes something like, Israel's credibility is so low now amongst the arabians that the PA cannot make peace without jeopardizing it's ability to lead. blah blah blah. In the minds of the antiJew, Israel has no right of self-defense and any action taken to defend herself is either "disproportionate" or damages the "peace process". The immorality of this illogical position should be apparent to everyone. It promotes continual, long-term low-scale attack and reprisal conflict. This sort of conflict fits the arabian mentality nicely but not the Jewish one. War should be conducted to win, win decisively and win quickly. The IDF can do this if the government of Israel lets the generals run the war.

A few APRPEH comments follow the newspaper editorials (as usual, APRPEH comments are in the dark blue). Unfortunately, I can understand what the arabians are saying more so than the Israelis. I do not sympathize with them but they more clearly play the part of outside sympathetic observer than the Israeli lack of will portrayed below.



Mideast papers on Gaza - BBC

Commentators in the West Bank-based Palestinian press are united in dismay at the Israeli operation in Gaza, condemning it as an "ugly massacre".

Some also voice their fury at what they see as the inaction of the region's Arab states and the West's support for Israel, while one commentator fears the operation will only drive more of Gaza's young men into the arms of radical Islamists.

In Israel, press commentators are broadly supportive of the army operation, and insist that it is up to Hamas to stop the violence, by ending firing of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. One writer, however, disagrees, terming the operation a "crime against humanity".

EDITORIAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

As the Arab and international silence continues, the credibility of Europe, the United States and the Arab regimes is collapsing. It is becoming very clear that the Palestinians are required to be a broken people... However, they forget that the many massacres to which our people in the Gaza Strip have been exposed will only increase their steadfastness.

The West's credibility increases by not siding with terrorists. Maybe there is a message here for the so-called 'palis'. You are the ones with no credibility.

BASIM ABU-SAMMIYA IN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

The Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip is an ugly massacre. However, the public protests by the Arab countries are not enough on their own. We have become used to being massacred and to dying under the rubble while hearing statements of condemnation and the commotion of demonstrations. However, after a day or two they disappear only to leave the sounds of shells and missiles.

If the arabian countries had spoken up earlier and condemned the daily rocket and mortar fire at civilians within Israel, Gaza would not have faced the brunt of the IDF. As it is, collateral damage has been minimal. The reporters must be embedded with hamas.

KHALID AL-HARRUB IN AL-AYYAM

What is happening now is the ideal situation for the recruitment of the angry young men who feel collectively insulted. The picture that the Islamists on the streets are painting is that Israel, supported by the West, is waging a war of extermination against the Palestinian people as powerless Arab regimes watch idly.

Yep, blame the victim. It is Israel's fault that Islamists exist. That picture may well be educational. Angry, young Islamists are the problem not the cure.

SAMIH SHBEIB IN AL-AYYAM

The main objective of the Israeli operation is not to destroy Hamas's rule [in Gaza], because this would entail a land invasion and lengthy occupation of the Gaza Strip. What it wants is to deal Hamas and the resistance a painful and effective blow in the Gaza Strip, in order to weaken the resistance and force it to accept a truce according to Israel's conditions.

Sounds like this reporter has a direct line to Olmert. Olmert may well be thinking this. Barak may also be thinking this even thought he is saying otherwise. I don't trust either of them. Let's hope Israel shows the fortitude for the full scale ground offensive.

EITAN HABER IN YEDIOT AHARONOT

This is a strange, unique war. It has no defined borders. There is no occupation and no victory. It could end in an hour or in a year. The way in which it develops will be dictated to a large extent by the Palestinians: They stop firing, we will also stop firing. They'll continue? Their end will be bitter.

They will stop firing hopefully because the offensive has been successful in destroying the enemy ability to fire. Please think before you print. (no offense intended)

BEN KASPIT IN CENTRE-RIGHT MA'ARIV

The ground operations are due at some point. At some point it will be possible to take control of territory in Gaza and effect great damage. Hamas can halt the whole affair at any given moment if it agrees to renew the truce on acceptable terms. Meanwhile, Hamas is conveying stubbornness.

Stubborness? You must be kidding? These are blood thirsty hamites. They are not stubborn. They are at war as we, the Jews must understand. Any renewal of the truce is an acceptance of defeat at this point. Hamas must be rooted out or at the very least left with a few underlings and some broken PCs.

JONATHAN GEFFEN IN CENTRE-RIGHT MA'ARIV

Just like in the first days of the Second Lebanon War, we are again in euphoria. The media, like then, is full of prattle about the morality of the war. Have we not learned that every war, no matter how justified, is a crime against humanity? Most of the public is united around the only consensus we have ever had: war and bereavement, Holocaust and disasters.

This is so sick. All war is a crime against humanity? And when you must fight to defend yourself, your rights, your home and your children and refuse to do so, is this not also a crime against humanity?

EDITORIAL IN LEFT-OF-CENTRE HA'ARETZ

Re-establishing the ceasefire on better terms and with better supervision is a reasonable goal. Toppling the Hamas regime, or eradicating the last rocket factory where the last Hamas member is making the last Qassam rocket, are not reasonable goals, in part because they are unachievable without a prolonged presence on the ground in Gaza.

Not attempting to destroy Hamas is not a reasonable use of force. Even if the goal is not achieveable it must be a goal and it must be attempted. There will be no balance of power otherwise. I don't recall daily rocket fire and mortar fire falling into Israel when there was a "prolonged presence on the ground in Gaza.

ALEX FISHMAN IN CENTRIST YEDIOT AHARONOT

In order to stop the firing [of rockets] there is a need to reach a settlement, and in order to convince Hamas to reach a settlement we are now breaking its bones - in part to ensure that the price it demands is not high. However, we have not yet decided what price we are ready to pay. It is worth our while to decide quickly so that others may not decide for us.

These are the terms: no rockets ever, no mortars ever, no missiles ever, no kidnapping of Israelis ever, no importation of weapons ever, no Al-qaeda presence ever, no Iranian training or weapons ever, no leaving Gaza or entering Gaza ever without full security check ever, no tunneling to Egypt ever, etc. These are the terms take it or leave it. If you take it, maybe we will tolerate your presence. Maybe.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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