Iran and Hamas: Manipulating the media
The Islamic jihadists may be crazy. If so, then they are crazy like a fox. While Hamas is taking pounding by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), the Islamic jihadists are, as usual, winning the propaganda war. Here’s how:
Funded and trained by Iran, the Islamic jihadists position their rocket and/or mortar launching sites inside school yards, hospital courtyards and high-density residential areas and fire them into Israel. Predictably, Israel exercises its inherent right of self-defense under international law and under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. And, as is intended by the Islamic jihadists, the Israeli counterattacks unintentionally cause collateral damage.
Predictably, the world media blame the victim, Israel, instead of the perpetrators – the Islamic jihadists. At some point, one would think the “innocent” Palestinians of Gaza would catch on to this deadly scam and expel Hamas -- the root cause of the Israeli counter-fires and ground incursions.
But then, the Palestinians have been scammed before. In 2000, at Camp David, President Bill Clinton badgered Israeli Prime Minister, Barak Ehud, into giving Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, virtually all Arafat had asked for, to include providing Israeli-held land for the creation of an independent Palestinian state in exchange for recognition of the State of Israel’s right to exist. Arafat refused because peace in the Middle East peace was not the objective of Arafat or Iran. Their objective was the elimination of Israeli, along with enriching Arafat’s Swiss bank accounts.
If ordinary Palestinians had to suffer, so be it. Given the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for signing a peace treaty with Israel, Arafat probably felt that signing the Camp David Accords of 2000 would be signing his own death warrant.
But, for a change, the world media blamed Arafat for the Camp David collapse. Stung by the hitherto not seen media response, Arafat ordered a terrorist intifada, to include suicide bombings of Israeli civilians. When the Israelis retaliated, causing unintended collateral damage, the world media returned to Arafat’s side. Soon, there were calls for a cease fire, calls for boycotts of Israeli goods, calls for the withdrawal of foreign aid for Israeli, and even talk of war crimes. Arafat and Iran had hit upon a sure-fire formula for success. Just as we saw the IDF forced to quell rocket fire from Lebanon in 2006, we are seeing the formula repeated in Gaza.
At the root of all this violence is Iran. Since coming to power in 1979, a coalition of Sunnis and Shiites, under the then leadership of Ayatollah Kohmeini (now under the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), have plotted the destruction of Israel. Michael Ledeen, a scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies says, “…when you hear people saying that Sunnis and Shiites can’t work together, you should run, because those people don’t know what they are talking about.” In today’s Iraq, that is exactly what we see: a coalition of Shiites and Sunnis. While not a Jeffersonian democracy, the Iraqi government is pleasantly pluralistic.
It is conflict with Israel and the West that feeds the warring frenzy of the “Arab youth bubble,” (cited by the late Samuel P. Huntington in his The Clash of Civilizations) and gives unemployed Muslims something to do. (In the 1960s, the U.S. experienced a “youth bubble,” resulting in thousands of youth eager to go to war – but only on college campuses against the Johnson and Nixon Administrations.)
The Israelis say, “If the Muslims would put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If we put down our weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” Michael Ledeen opines that Iran already has nuclear weapons. Of course, the time to nuke Israeli would be when the Iranians figure U.S. foreign policy has shifted toward them and away from Israel. For sure, that wont happen prior to January 20, 2009.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and a featured commentator for USA Today, studied at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Hamilton is a former assistant professor of political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
©2009. William Hamilton.