Monday, January 5, 2009

Gaza and the media campaign

Back to the Front
It's important to be aware that Israel is rolling out all its available means of propagating what's referred to in Hebrew as hasbara, i.e., pro-Israel propaganda. Some of the major US media are devoting extremely meager space to the Gaza situation on their editorial pages, or when they do provide editorial commentary, they call upon Israeli diplomats or similar spokespeople. (The New York Times is a case in point.) The editors of the New Republic are defending Israel right down the line, and now have gone to the extent of publishing this piece by Michael Oren, a historian of no small note who's also an IDF reservist. Oren tells us that his military assignment is to use his connections and skills to cultivate a positive media environment for "Operation Cast Lead." Personally, I'm taken aback by what he writes about the causes and rationale for this operation. That such a prominent historian of the Middle East could adopt such an unbalanced and historically myopic view is disappointing, to say the least.

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