January 5, 2011
Why Israel Is Losing the Information WarBy Rob Miller
Many people who are informed about what's actually happening in the Middle East constantly wonder why Israel fares so badly in the information wars. The following example gives us a pretty good idea why.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a "Palestinian" activist, died on January 1. Saeb Erekat, the right fork of Yasser Arafat's tongue, claimed that she died during a demonstration in the "Palestinian" town of Bil'in, killed by "poison" contained in tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers at the demonstrations after it deteriorated into what could best be termed a riot.
"Palestinian" President Mahmoud Abbas called Abu Rahmah's death a "new Israeli crime carried out by the occupation army against our helpless nation."
She was given a martyr's funeral as the victim of an Israeli "war crime," with crowds of mourners and the usual "Palestinian" stringers who work for the dinosaur media in attendance.
The story was almost instantaneously reported around the world as fact by the AFP, the Guardian, the AP, the Independent, UPI, Voice of America, and even the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, among others, while TIME's resident Israel-basher Tony Karon got off a piece celebrating this as the occasion of an alliance between "Palestinian" activists and Israeli leftists.
The real story? According to the IDF, there's no evidence that Abu Rahmah was even at the Bil'in demonstration, nor does she show up on any of the videos. There's no evidence that she died from inhaling tear gas (if it was in fact "poisonous," why weren't there other deaths?), and the death certificate shows the cause of death as "Inhaling gas of an Israeli soldier according to the family."
That's an indication that no doctor actually examined Abu Rahmah, but that the death certificate was simply filled out by a nurse or orderly. And the accounts of her actual health are contradictory.
Was Abu Ramah the victim of an honor killing exploited by the PA? It certainly wouldn't be the first Pallywood production we've seen.
And really, none of the facts matter at this point.
Run with me for a second. Let's say that evidence surfaces that Abu Ramah was never at the demo and that this was an honor killing rather than death by tear gas. What changes?
By the time the truth comes out, the Palestinian propaganda machine and their allies have already publicized their version, it's gone around the world, and the media has already gone on to the next story. The Muslim world will certainly never hear the truth, Israel's enemies in the West will simply take the Pal version as factual, and the media circus will have moved on.
And that's the core of the problem.
Jews culturally are geared toward parsing facts and evidence, which is one reason so many of them are attracted to the legal profession. Anyone studying the Talmud or Gemara (commentaries on Jewish law as given in the Torah) essentially receives a legal education in miniature.
But what happens when you're up against people who care nothing for facts and everything about impact and propaganda? What happens when you fight an information war against people who care nothing for the truth and merely want to consume your flesh?
In today's media climate, you're left foundering, trying to decipher the facts while the other side has already made its impact.
This is the sort of thing that happens when you play defense instead of offense: the other side controls the game, and you're limited to reacting.
That's why Israel has been losing the information war.
Israel would be far better off going on offense by publicizing the Palestinian Authority's inherent corruption, the status of women and homosexuals, its official endorsements of terrorism against Israel's civilians, and its refusal to make a single concession in any negotiations
As for Abu Ramah, instead of reacting to the "Palestinian" narrative with frantic attempts to dredge up facts, Israel would be far better off simply calling out Erekat and Abbas for lying, challenging them to prove that Abu Ramah was there and that the IDF killed her, and reminding the world of all the other fairy tales the Palestinians have spun over the years.