Saturday, 13 November 2010
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
he also called on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit: "it is very important that we help the family, that we help this poor young man and that we see him as soon as possible, safe and healthy, back in the arms of his family"
and he also "said his decision to not meet with Hamas stemmed from the Gaza leadership's refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel".
Monday, 8 November 2010
I’ve always been a proud supporter of Israel and interested in media and journalism, so it was inevitable that I eventually started this blog in June 2009 – just about the time I’d finally had enough of the continuous and absurdly biased and inaccurate coverage of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
My main motivation for this blog was as an outlet for myself, to record the media’s hypocrisy and express my feelings on the subject. This was after spending much time getting into pointless and frustrating online arguments with Israel-hating lefties and terrorist supporters who repeatedly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing and Naziism, and ignore all the facts, logic, and evidence you throw at them.
It feels like the media and internet are so vast, how can we possibly counter all the hate and lies? - but it works to our advantage as well. There are so many outlets for expression that anyone and everyone can get involved in fighting Israel’s media war, and make a difference even by doing something as small as clicking ‘play’ on a YouTube video. Within a day of the notorious flotilla incident in May, Israel’s footage of their soldiers being stabbed and attacked on the Mavi Marmara was on the front page of YouTube, which then generated hundreds of thousands more views. The footage was later used in a BBC documentary of the incident, so informative and balanced that Israel’s critics were incensed. All of this was achieved simply by people watching the video and sharing it online.
Some of the most powerful online videos are only 30 seconds long, such as those by Free Middle East, or “What makes a hero?” by YouTube member aussievideodude. The IDF itself records footage and posts clips on its YouTube channel, and Honest Reporting do educational videos and podcasts. Just as effective – if not more so – is the use of humour in videos, such as No Laughing Matter’s mock interviews, Latma’s satirical news channel, and Elder of Ziyon’s ironic videos, like “The Humanitarian Crisis of the Gaza Mall”. Sometimes ridicule is the only way to get people to take another look at themselves.
Twitter is a great website for posting information as it happens and sharing it fast. When Israel was helping in Haiti after the earthquake there, they used Twitter not only to update followers of their efforts, but also to communicate with people who required aid. And last year on the third anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s capture, there was a campaign to create awareness of his plight that succeeded in getting his name as one of the top trends that day (until Michael Jackson died). If you have an important link related to Israel, post it with a related tag like #Israel or #IDF so it can be found easily. On the other hand, Twitter can also be used to directly fight back against anti-Israel bias. Chas Newkey-Burden has described how on his blog he fisked an article that a journalist had tweeted, and then sent his post to the journalists’ followers – succeeding in getting some of them to rethink and even retweet his blog.
On Facebook you can share news stories and videos, and discuss the Middle East conflict with other members – on both pro and anti-Israel groups. In one of my more enjoyable exchanges on a Facebook group, I simply responded to my opposition’s ranting with links to pictures and videos clearly in Israel’s favour; I didn’t even have to write anything, and he was so livid he could barely type (or maybe he just had a bad education). The key is not to emote, but to remain calm and polite (however painful it is). Remember that it is the Palestinian leadership who act against the interests of both sides, and so demonizing and boycotting Israel does nothing to help the Palestinian people.
Another essential way to fight Israel’s media war is to submit complaints and letters in instances of media bias or inaccuracy – you are likely to find plenty of cases yourself, or just follow media monitoring sites like Honest Reporting, Just Journalism, CiF Watch and Reuters-Middle East Watch.
And finally, there are the blogs, where you can choose to either get into heated debates with leftist, Israel-bashing bloggers, or else keep up to date on the latest news from Israel and the Middle East that you’d never otherwise find in the mainstream media, and share your own thoughts and frustrations with fellow Zionists and bloggers.
My blog is not in the league of must-reads like Elder of Ziyon, Chas Newkey-Burden’s Oy Va Goy, Robin Shepherd, Honest Reporting and CiF Watch, but I recently had a reader post this very humbling comment that makes it all worthwhile:
“I just found your blog during an angry debate with my viciously anti-Semitic, pro-Palestine aunt, during which she called me a Zionist and sneered that I might have Jewish blood. I just wanted to let you know you're doing a bang up job and I'm glad there are people like you out there. Sometimes I swear it feels like I'm the only pro-Israel person in the world.”
So whilst I started the blog for myself, never thinking it would have an impact on anyone else, it was extremely rewarding to find that it is actually making a bit of a difference, at least for one person in their fight for Israel.
Everyone can do something. And even when you feel like banging your head against a wall – maybe the brick wall that’s ignoring you – don’t give up. You are definitely making a difference.
For more advice and ways to fight Israel's media war, join http://www.facebook.com/israelonline.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
"the tensions stem from an urban development plan pushed by the Israeli-run municipality that would see the destruction of 22 out of 88 homes that were built without legal permits... The presence of dozens of families of Jewish settlers living in and around an archaeological site in the crowded Arab neighbourhood just outside the walls of the Old City has further inflamed the situation."