Sunday, January 11, 2009

An important article about the lies the Western and Israeli media tells about Gaza, written by an Israeli journalist.

NEARLY SEVENTY YEARS ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called "the Red Army" held the millions of the town's inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.

This is the description that would now appear in the history books – if the Germans had won the war.

Absurd? No more than the daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam: the Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as "hostages" and exploit the women and children as "human shields", they leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured.

IN THIS WAR, as in any modern war, propaganda plays a major role. The disparity between the forces, between the Israeli army - with its airplanes, gunships, drones, warships, artillery and tanks - and the few thousand lightly armed Hamas fighters, is one to a thousand, perhaps one to a million. In the political arena the gap between them is even wider. But in the propaganda war, the gap is almost infinite.

Almost all the Western media initially repeated the official Israeli propaganda line. They almost entirely ignored the Palestinian side of the story, not to mention the daily demonstrations of the Israeli peace camp. The rationale of the Israeli government ("The state must defend its citizens against the Qassam rockets") has been accepted as the whole truth. The view from the other side, that the Qassams are a retaliation for the siege that starves the one and a half million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, was not mentioned at all.

Only when the horrible scenes from Gaza started to appear on Western TV screens, did world public opinion gradually begin to change.

True, Western and Israeli TV channels showed only a tiny fraction of the dreadful events that appear 24 hours every day on Aljazeera's Arabic channel, but one picture of a dead baby in the arms of its terrified father is more powerful than a thousand elegantly constructed sentences from the Israeli army spokesman. And that is what is decisive, in the end.

War – every war – is the realm of lies. Whether called propaganda or psychological warfare, everybody accepts that it is right to lie for one's country. Anyone who speaks the truth runs the risk of being branded a traitor.

The trouble is that propaganda is most convincing for the propagandist himself. And after you convince yourself that a lie is the truth and falsification reality, you can no longer make rational decisions.

An example of this process surrounds the most shocking atrocity of this war so far: the shelling of the UN Fakhura school in Jabaliya refugee camp.

Immediately after the incident became known throughout the world, the army "revealed" that Hamas fighters had been firing mortars from near the school entrance. As proof they released an aerial photo which indeed showed the school and the mortar. But within a short time the official army liar had to admit that the photo was more than a year old. In brief: a falsification.

Later the official liar claimed that "our soldiers were shot at from inside the school". Barely a day passed before the army had to admit to UN personnel that that was a lie, too. Nobody had shot from inside the school, no Hamas fighters were inside the school, which was full of terrified refugees.

But the admission made hardly any difference anymore. By that time, the Israeli public was completely convinced that "they shot from inside the school", and TV announcers stated this as a simple fact.

So it went with the other atrocities. Every baby metamorphosed, in the act of dying, into a Hamas terrorist. Every bombed mosque instantly became a Hamas base, every apartment building an arms cache, every school a terror command post, every civilian government building a "symbol of Hamas rule". Thus the Israeli army retained its purity as the "most moral army in the world".

THE TRUTH is that the atrocities are a direct result of the war plan. This reflects the personality of Ehud Barak – a man whose way of thinking and actions are clear evidence of what is called "moral insanity", a sociopathic disorder.

The real aim (apart from gaining seats in the coming elections) is to terminate the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the imagination of the planners, Hamas is an invader which has gained control of a foreign country. The reality is, of course, entirely different.

The Hamas movement won the majority of the votes in the eminently democratic elections that took place in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. It won because the Palestinians had come to the conclusion that Fatah's peaceful approach had gained precisely nothing from Israel - neither a freeze of the settlements, nor release of the prisoners, nor any significant steps toward ending the occupation and creating the Palestinian state. Hamas is deeply rooted in the population – not only as a resistance movement fighting the foreign occupier, like the Irgun and the Stern Group in the past – but also as a political and religious body that provides social, educational and medical services.

From the point of view of the population, the Hamas fighters are not a foreign body, but the sons of every family in the Strip and the other Palestinian regions. They do not "hide behind the population", the population views them as their only defenders.

Therefore, the whole operation is based on erroneous assumptions. Turning life into living hell does not cause the population to rise up against Hamas, but on the contrary, it unites behind Hamas and reinforces its determination not to surrender. The population of Leningrad did not rise up against Stalin, any more than the Londoners rose up against Churchill.

He who gives the order for such a war with such methods in a densely populated area knows that it will cause dreadful slaughter of civilians. Apparently that did not touch him. Or he believed that "they will change their ways" and "it will sear their consciousness", so that in future they will not dare to resist Israel.

A top priority for the planners was the need to minimize casualties among the soldiers, knowing that the mood of a large part of the pro-war public would change if reports of such casualties came in. That is what happened in Lebanon Wars I and II.

This consideration played an especially important role because the entire war is a part of the election campaign. Ehud Barak, who gained in the polls in the first days of the war, knew that his ratings would collapse if pictures of dead soldiers filled the TV screens.

Therefore, a new doctrine was applied: to avoid losses among our soldiers by the total destruction of everything in their path. The planners were not only ready to kill 80 Palestinians to save one Israeli soldier, as has happened, but also 800. The avoidance of casualties on our side is the overriding commandment, which is causing record numbers of civilian casualties on the other side.

That means the conscious choice of an especially cruel kind of warfare – and that has been its Achilles heel.

A person without imagination, like Barak (his election slogan: "Not a Nice Guy, but a Leader") cannot imagine how decent people around the world react to actions like the killing of whole extended families, the destruction of houses over the heads of their inhabitants, the rows of boys and girls in white shrouds ready for burial, the reports about people bleeding to death over days because ambulances are not allowed to reach them, the killing of doctors and medics on their way to save lives, the killing of UN drivers bringing in food. The pictures of the hospitals, with the dead, the dying and the injured lying together on the floor for lack of space, have shocked the world. No argument has any force next to an image of a wounded little girl lying on the floor, twisting with pain and crying out: "Mama! Mama!"

The planners thought that they could stop the world from seeing these images by forcibly preventing press coverage. The Israeli journalists, to their shame, agreed to be satisfied with the reports and photos provided by the Army Spokesman, as if they were authentic news, while they themselves remained miles away from the events. Foreign journalists were not allowed in either, until they protested and were taken for quick tours in selected and supervised groups. But in a modern war, such a sterile manufactured view cannot completely exclude all others – the cameras are inside the strip, in the middle of the hell, and cannot be controlled. Aljazeera broadcasts the pictures around the clock and reaches every home.

THE BATTLE for the TV screen is one of the decisive battles of the war. Hundreds of millions of Arabs from Mauritania to Iraq, more than a billion Muslims from Nigeria to Indonesia see the pictures and are horrified. This has a strong impact on the war. Many of the viewers see the rulers of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority as collaborators with Israel in carrying out these atrocities against their Palestinian brothers.

The security services of the Arab regimes are registering a dangerous ferment among the peoples. Hosny Mubarak, the most exposed Arab leader because of his closing of the Rafah crossing in the face of terrified refugees, started to pressure the decision-makers in Washington, who until that time had blocked all calls for a cease-fire. These began to understand the menace to vital American interests in the Arab world and suddenly changed their attitude – causing consternation among the complacent Israeli diplomats.

People with moral insanity cannot really understand the motives of normal people and must guess their reactions. "How many divisions has the Pope?" Stalin sneered. "How many divisions have people of conscience?" Ehud Barak may well be asking.

As it turns out, they do have some. Not numerous. Not very quick to react. Not very strong and organized. But at a certain moment, when the atrocities overflow and masses of protesters come together, that can decide a war.

THE FAILURE to grasp the nature of Hamas has caused a failure to grasp the predictable results. Not only is Israel unable to win the war, Hamas cannot lose it.

Even if the Israeli army were to succeed in killing every Hamas fighter to the last man, even then Hamas would win. The Hamas fighters would be seen as the paragons of the Arab nation, the heroes of the Palestinian people, models for emulation by every youngster in the Arab world. The West Bank would fall into the hands of Hamas like a ripe fruit, Fatah would drown in a sea of contempt, the Arab regimes would be threatened with collapse.

If the war ends with Hamas still standing, bloodied but unvanquished, in the face of the mighty Israeli military machine, it will look like a fantastic victory, a victory of mind over matter.

What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. This will have severe consequences for our long-term future, our standing in the world, our chance of achieving peace and quiet.

In the end, this war is a crime against ourselves too, a crime against the State of Israel.


(Uri Avnery is an Israeli journalist, peace activist, former member of the Knesset, and leader of Gush Shalom. He is a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).)

Web link


chico said...


Wendin said...

Hello there, Miss Yasmin Ahmad. The war had caused countless damages to both sides especially Gaza. Due to this catastrophe, funds for medical aid and daily personal necessities are of extreme essential. fund-raising activities had been carried through out. I'm just a ordinary student having to express my concern about this case. I have some ideas about these fund raising activities but hadn't anyone to contact to. I would like to enquire if Miss Yasmin Ahmad would like to have one of her movies being premiered for the purpose of charity in aid to all the victims.

and here's my email address if Miss Yasmin is interested:

yasmin said...

kathleen, we're in the middle of arranging for "muallaf" to be screened at cineleisure at the curve, with the aim of garnering corporate donations in the cause of gaza.

man said...

bila ni yasmin, dah lama tunggu dah muallaf ni,
i think this is the right time

thoyol said...

kak yasmin,

nice article there..

anyway, none for normal people screening ker??

nak tengok gak.. :)

CT said...

Kak Yasmin,

Alhamdulillah. Mercy Relief Singapore & Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura have collaborated in a fund raising project for the humanitarian relief to Gaza, starting from 10 January - 9 February 2009.

There are various ways that we can contribute.

. Tele-Mercy
1900 112 1010 (for a $10 donation)
1900 112 1050 (for a $50 donation)

· Cheque
Cross to: 'Mercy Relief Limited', and indicate "Gaza Conflict Relief" on the reverse

Send to: 160 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #01-1568, Singapore 310160

· ATM Transfer / Internet Banking
To Mercy Relief's DBS Current Account 054-900493-6

For queries, please contact Mercy Relief at 6332 6320 /

Chahya said...

Sis Yasmin,
Thank you for the links you provided previously. It's effective, at least on my part.

Kris Law said...

I am speechless after reading this lengthy article.

PS: New entry in my blog. Same issue, different length.

shahariah said...

The atrocities in Gaza has left me with a deep feeling of contempt against the zionist. What a cruel and heartless people they are.

For the first time, I am driven to react. I was inspired by K.Yasmin to start a fund raising drive on a company wide scale. What I thought was a sincere effort faced some stumbling blocks. Determined, I persevered on a personal scale. The funds are now slowly trickling in. Within 2 days RM650 has poured in. Even that is amongst a group of few close people to me. Alhamdulillah!

K.Yasmin, thank you for the inspiration without whom I would not have experienced the myriad of emotions when undertaking this drive and that has given added value and dimension in my otherwise one dimensional life.

Dr. J - You are the woman of the day. When I face stumbling blocks, I remind myself of your bravery and tenacity and that kept me going. I wish you continued success.

fadz said...

Muallaf doing smtg for charity is v.good, good luck!

louisyap said...

i wish Malaysians did more than boycott.

I love your work! You left a comment on my blog recently, and yes i do wanna watch Muallaf and Talentime. :)

Louis, 18

Wendin said...

that's awesome...glad to hear that... when the screening is on, do remember to make an announcement on the blog!then i'll know when to check it out. watched the trailer's just what i had in mind earlier on....GREAAT!

Anonymous said...

They just make me support Hamas MORE AND MORE AND MORE !

Jae Senn said...

This war is getting out of hand. And I must salute Dr. Jem for being so courageous to be right there, in the space between the bullets and the fire-fights.

Plenty of kudos to you for doing your small part in highlighting a war that is getting more insane. It's starting to look very clear indeed that Israel has lost all concern for civilians in the Gaza Strip. Looks like they're determined to re-capture Gaza after the disengagement a few years ago..

ridha said...

Salam alaykoum madame Yasmine

WE WILL NOT GO DOWN (Song for Gaza)
(Composed by Michael Heart)
Copyright 2009

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight,-Gaza-va-changer-la-face-du-monde-!_a28382.html?PHPSE

Ina lilah wa ina lilah raji'oun

akudandia said...

hye there sis yasmin,,
i've read ur blog.. tears coming all over... just cant stand the feels that overcome.. it's just so pain.. looking at those blood of 'em.. as i believed they are my family too.. =( tq for all the information u wrote down.. how could those people do diz...
y shud all the childrens become their target... it is just becoz of the promised land.. how could they :'( tq also for the link.. hope my lil donation would give 'em a light and clear path..
Dear God.. save 'em.. my family..

Jumping Jane. said...

i know its odd to say this on such post, but saya rindu! ;(

lemonie said...

that was devastating. Thanks aunt Min for this article. I wouldnt have known about it if its not because of you. I'll print them and distribute. Perhaps this will help alert the people around me. I learn so much yet my heart is broken. Let us all pray for Gaza.

Haj said...

Hi Yasmin,

I am a silent reader of you blog and was happy to syumble upon it once I realised your fortnightly articles in NSTP were missing.

I loved Sepet for showing how M'sians actually interact and SPEAK! (a multitude of languages).

Because of your writing about this issue I have to share what a friend of mine Sheema Aziz wrote on Facebook. She is the most passionate person I know when it comes to Palestinian rights, so I have to share what she wrote so well with you and I couldn't find how to e-mail you so I've pasted it here.


Israel & Gaza: some important points to ponder
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 10:42am

People, I hate what's going on in Gaza as much as anyone else who is pro-Palestinian. In fact, I am and always will be a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights. I fervently believe in the need for an independent and self-governing Palestinian state comprised of the West Bank and Gaza. Make no mistake of that.

I am just as sickened as you by what is happening in Gaza. I don't agree with it, and it's a tragedy that things have come to this. My heart bleeds just as much as yours for the Palestinian people - perhaps even more. However, my heart also bleeds for the countless innocent Israeli citizens who have been victims, and continue to be threatened by, Palestinian terrorism. Which, by and large, no supporters of Palestine have bothered to condemn.

AND, after being drowned by wave after wave of one-sided condemnations of Israel, I do feel strongly compelled to point out the following:

1. Solidarity with and concern for Palestine should NOT be made on the basis of religious sentiments such as Muslim unity. Palestine is a universal human rights issue and should NEVER be turned into a religious issue. Plenty of Palestinians are non-Muslim (there are significant communities of Christian Arabs in major cities such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and even Gaza itself), and they deserve our compassion and support just as much as the Muslims. Perhaps even more so, as they have often been the target of discrimination BY PALESTINIAN MUSLIMS.

2. Boycotts are quite possibly the least effective way of addressing ANY political issue. When people boycott a product or company, they are indirectly affecting the livelihoods of countless ordinary citizens who are employed by these companies and depend on their jobs to make ends meet. And, if people insist on looking at this issue through Muslim lens, please remember that many Muslims around the world are employees of these companies too.

3. Why don't Muslims call for a protest and boycott of Hamas and other millitant Islamist and terrorist organisations? Lest we forget, Hamas and other such organisations are actually the ones largely to blame for the current tragedy in Gaza (not to mention the bad reputation Islam and Muslims are getting around the world). Yes Hamas may have been democratically-elected, but its very charter calls for the destruction of Israel - if that isn't an invitation to war, I don't know what is. I don't necessarily agree with how Israel has responded to the issue, but since Hamas took over, Gaza has consistently been the source of thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities (can anyone say Sderot?), timed to hit just before and after school, tens and thousands of mortars fired on Israeli villages and kibbutzim, countless bullets fired at random civilians by snipers, and of course, the ubiquitious suicide bombers. Of course it doesn't justify Israel's current aggression, but think a little: can we really blame Israel for retaliating? If your citizens were living in constant fear of their lives due to indiscriminate attacks from a neighbouring territory, what would YOU do?

4. While we're on the subject of Hamas, since they took over how much effort have they really made to improve the lives of ordinary Gazans? Instead of pumping money and effort into improving basic needs such as homes, infrastructure, healthcare and education, they instead zealously continue to focus on threatening the lives of ordinary Israeli citizens (this includes regularly smuggling in weapons from Egypt - what a novel concept of nation-building). And they do all this with absolutely no regard for Palestinian life - Hamas officials, knowing full well they are targets of the Israeli millitary, have absolutely no compunction about hiding out in civilian areas, thereby using other Palestinians as human shields and endangering the lives of their very families, friends and neighbours.

By all means, condemn those actions of Israel which are unjust and unprovoked. I simply ask that you also turn the same critical judgment onto the Palestinians (or at least, Hamas) and learn to see what they have done wrong too - for neither side is completely blameless. Learn to equally condemn injustice and aggression committed by both sides. Do not perpetuate the victimhood mentality.

Only then can we have some hope of creating peace.

P.S. And while we're at it, how about sparing some thought for the countless acts of injustice and aggression committed by other Muslims around the world, sometimes against fellow Muslims? Darfur, anyone? Or even a non-Muslim issue. Burma??