Friday, August 26, 2011

Soccer Dad's Mideast Media Sampler 8/26/11‏

Today's sampler and analysis of Mideast media content from my pal Soccer Dad:

1) The One Sided Ceasefire

On Wednesday, the Washington Post's Joel Greenberg reported:
A tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was punctured Wednesday by a deadly Israeli airstrike that triggered rocket and mortar fire at Israel.
The airstrike killed one, Ismail Asmar, a leader of Islamic Jihad.

What ceasefire did Israel puncture?

According to Ha'aretz this past Monday:

Israel and the Hamas-rulers of the Gaza Strip have agreed to a cease-fire after five days of cross-border violence, officials said on Monday, after a previously reported truce was not implemented Sunday night.

Later the article reports:

A Hamas official said Sunday that the Gaza-rulers planned on enforcing a cease-fire on Sunday evening at 9 P.M., however 12 rockets have been fired from Gaza toward Israel since then.
Israeli diplomatic sources said earlier Monday that Israel has no desire for an escalation on its southern border, and that the Hamas decision to undertake a cease-fire is a unilateral step which Israel is examining its implementation.
Two things to note here:
a) Despite the ceasefire, 12 rockets were fired from Gaza.
b) Despite the claim in the first paragraph that Israel had agreed to a ceasefire, Israel apparently never agreed to one.

On Monday, the AP reported, Gaza rocket fire persists despite truce, drawing Israeli airstrike in retaliation, which begs the question what truce was in place if the rocket fire persisted.

Yesterday the AP reported:
The factions had called a cease-fire late Sunday, but it dissolved almost immediately in a volley of rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes in which some two dozen Palestinians and one Israeli were killed. The violence began with a militant attack that killed eight Israelis on the Egyptian border.
Again the report is only that "the factions" had declared a ceasefire, not Israel, and that a "volley of rocket fire" violated the ceasefire "almost immediately."

So the ceasefire that Israel "punctured" the other day was one that Israel had not accepted and wasn't even observed by the side that declared it! Apparently Hamas can declare a ceasefire and the media can then declare one was in place. (Yes there had a stop to the rocket fire from Gaza at the time Israel killed Asmar, but it doesn't appear that Israel had formally agreed to anything.)

CAMERA made similar observations about the AFP.

2) When their actions match their words (or silence) pay attention

In March, after the killing of the Fogel family the New York Times took care to report, Abbas Condemns Killing of Jewish Family. The article goes into great detail and even suggests that Israel was cynical for even bringing up the topic of official Palestinian incitement. There was, however, no similar report in the New York Times, last week after terrorists infiltrated Israel and killing Israeli civilians. That would be because, as Palestinian Media Watch observed,
The heads of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, have not condemned the series of terror attacks in Southern Israel along the Egyptian border last week.
I guess the reason the Times reported on Abbas's condemnation is because it really was news!

However PMW, noted something that recently WAS in the official Palestinian media:
The Palestinian Authority is telling its people that peace with Israel is not a goal. Instead, the PA says that all of Israel is "Palestine," and that no compromise is acceptable because this principle is "the only red line." This message was expressed by the regular cartoonist, Muhammad Sabaaneh, in the official PA daily.
So the Palestinian leadership doesn't usually condemn terror and produces propaganda that his hostile to Israel's existence. Is it any surprise when the IDF's spokesperson tweets?
The start to Israel's wknd: 1 more rocket hits southern #Israel, totally 5 in only a few hours. Please RT.

3) What follows a dictatorship?

In a tweet from Israel, Rep. Allen West observed:

History has evidenced that it is easy to depose a dictator, but radical islamic entities always find a way to exploit chaotic situations.
In a similar vein David Pryce-Jones writes about the "Arab spring" and Libya specifically:

The educated, the young, have shown themselves willing to demand something better, hence the Arab Spring. What might look like a protest against injustice and lack of opportunity is taking place in settings without a real political alternative to the discredited tyranny. This results in the anarchy of sects and tribes and ethnicities struggling to keep their identities afloat and even on top in a free-for-all.
A report from Libya tells us:

About two dozen bodies — some with their hands bound by plastic ties and with bullet wounds to the head — lay scattered on grassy lots in an area where Gadhafi sympathizers had camped out for months.
The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign.
Apparently the rebels didn't heed the editors of the New York Times:
The main rebel leadership group has struggled to secure areas under its control. It must make clear that reprisals against surrendering Qaddafi loyalists will not be tolerated.

4) Followup

Yesterday, I cited a post from David Bernstein about Sarah Lean Winston. The video he was critiquing was from two years ago, not about the Arab spring, as I had written. Thanks to Lynn for the correction.

please helps me write more gooder!

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