Information Warfare: You Cannot Handle The Truth

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July 7, 2013: The Israeli government is becoming more active in countering Palestinian Information War efforts, which have succeeded in gaining the support of many in the West. The Palestinians have turned themselves into the persecuted and oppressed underdog with Israel often depicted as the bad guy. This is despite the fact that it is the Palestinians who have more often acted in bad faith and have been quite openly waging a terror campaign against Israel for over a decade. In response to this the Israeli government is feeding the foreign media more and more embarrassing details of Palestinian deceptions. Despite this, it’s been slow going, if only because most journalists are reluctant to admit they have been played by the Palestinians.

A major part of this new Israeli Information War strategy is to collect lots of evidence of Palestinian duplicity. Much of this is made possible by the growing use of digital security cameras and UAVs over Palestinian areas. For several years now Israel has been placing more cameras (either fixed or in vehicles or aircraft) in areas where its forces confront angry, or armed, Palestinians. This is to get video of what actually happened in situations where Palestinians get killed and then accuse the Israelis of war crimes. Often Israeli troops are being ambushed or otherwise on the defensive. No matter, if Palestinians get hurt the Palestinians have learned that the media is willing to believe some outrageous lies and blame everything on the Israelis. All these videos, aggressively distributed by the Israelis, are becoming a real problem for Palestinian propagandists.

For over a decade Israel and the Palestinians have been fighting an Information War over who is doing the most damage to each other’s civilians. Both sides take a markedly different approach to how they deal with documenting and publicizing casualties. The Israelis photograph and record any available data on anyone killed in areas they control. In addition, the Israeli press (which includes pro and anti-government outlets) scrutinizes the deaths for possible headlines. So the Israeli count of who died, and whether or not they were fighters or unarmed civilians, is generally considered accurate. The Palestinians, on the other hand, severely restrict media access to combat areas they control. The Israelis do this as well but not as consistently, persistently, and deceptively as the Palestinians.

Palestinians also play with the numbers and have even been caught staging funerals using "corpses" that were actually live people pretending to be dead and representing fake fatalities. In at least one case an Israeli UAV camera caught one of these phony funerals in which the corpse fell off the stretcher, got up, and got back under the shroud. The video of this went viral and from that the Israelis realized that they had a lot of similar video evidence of Palestinian efforts to deceive the media. So now the Israelis are turning that around with energetic searches for such video or photographic evidence of Palestinian deceptions, and then getting that rebuttal out there in a big way.

This has hurt the Palestinians in other ways. The Palestinians will claim as high a number of dead Palestinians that they think they can get away with. In cases where a third party was able to double check, the Palestinians were found to be exaggerating the number of their dead by five to ten times. Now, after years of having their deceptions revealed, the exaggeration is a lot less. That is considered preferable to being shamed by another exaggerated count being exposed as a lie.

Palestinian leaders are also getting into trouble with many of their Western donors over public statements by Palestinian officials made in Arabic that got translated by Israeli activists and distributed. One example of this occurred last April after a Palestinian civilian stabbed a Jewish civilian to death in the West Bank. Palestinian officials promptly went on local electronic media praising the killer as a heroic fighter for Palestinian freedom. Another official praised the enterprise of the killer and urged more such killings. He gushed that, "If we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning." That official was also heard discussing how peace negotiations with Israel are only a tactical ploy, to weaken Israel until Palestinians are strong enough to kill all the Jews. 

All this inflammatory stuff was said in Arabic, because the Palestinian officials know that this sort of thing is most popular with Arabs and hard to explain to Westerners. All this is because of some advice they took from their former Soviet patrons, who urged the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) to reform their educational system so that after a few decades all the children going through it would be adults with a very different view of Israel and the world. That worked and the result is that, in this fantasy world employed by most Palestinians, Israel does not exist. Oh, Israel is there for all to see, but in Palestinian schools the maps of Israel are not labeled Israel. What is Israel is labeled as Palestinian, with perhaps a footnote to mention that Zionist oppressors temporarily occupy a lot of Palestinian territory. The Israelis are depicted as bad people, who steal from the virtuous Palestinians and are assisted by other evil people, like the Americans. Everything bad that happens, including the rampant corruption of Palestinian politicians, is blamed on Israel. At the same time, Palestinian terrorists who have killed Israeli women and children are hailed as heroes and children are encouraged to be terrorists, especially suicidal ones. It’s not just the terrorists who get this treatment. Yasser Arafat, who led the effort to create the Palestine people and the fantasy Palestine taught in schools died of apparent natural causes three years ago. But now Palestinian children are being taught that Arafat was poisoned by Israelis. 

The basic problem is that, for the last two generations, it has been Palestinian policy to teach their children, and anyone that will listen to these Arab language screeds, that Israel has no right to exist. The kids get indoctrinated with anti-Semitic propaganda at a young age and as adults they continue to be bombarded by anti-Semitic rants. Thus most Palestinians (unless they were educated outside of the Middle East) take it for granted that any peace deal with Israel is just a tactical move in the effort to eventually destroy Israel and drive all Jews from the Middle East. People outside the Middle East have a hard time comprehending this attitude. But it is very real and can be seen on Palestinian web sites (not so much on the non-Arabic language ones, although even there the anti-Semitic line is leaking through more and more). Israel goes through the motions of negotiating, to keep its Western allies and trading partners happy, but few Jews in Israel see any chance of real peace with the Palestinians, given the current attitudes within the Palestinian community.

Palestinian attitudes towards the non-existence of Israel goes beyond teaching their kids that Israel doesn’t even exist. While Arabs love to call Israelis "Nazis", it is the Arab world that is the true heir to the Adolph Hitler's vision of how the world should be. A major weapon in the Palestinian arsenal is anti-Semitism. For a long time, even before World War II, the racial hatred tactic was particularly popular in the Arab world. This was partly the result of Islamic radicalism, which pushed hatred of all non-Moslems, not just Jews. But as more Jews began moving into Jerusalem and surrounding areas in the late 19th century, more of the Moslem racial animosity was concentrated on Jews. This way the Palestinians could still solicit the West for charitable donations while still having some non-Moslems they could hate intensely.

This is not the usual ethnic animosity found in Europe but something more in line with the extreme violence of the Nazis. In fact, during World War II, the Nazis were very popular in the Arab world (and still are). Translations of Hitler’s “how to” book (Mein Kampf) are best sellers in the Arab world. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (the highest Islamic official in the area) spent World War II in Berlin (to avoid arrest by the British). Iraq, which had become independent during the 1930s, declared itself a German ally in 1941 (and was promptly invaded and re-conquered by three British divisions, before the Germans could get many troops into the territory of their new ally). After World War II, the Arab language media continued Nazi-grade anti-Semitism. The Arabs had enough sense to tone down this race hatred, and pro-Nazi, line in their non-Arab language media. But in Arabic, it’s all hate all the time.

Over the last few decades, and especially since the end of the Cold War, many Westerners have adopted the anti-Semitic angle in denouncing Israeli attempts to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism. Such self-defense measures are now seriously discussed as "war crimes" in the West. To the Arabs, the very existence of Israel is a "war crime," but the Arabs have been unable to do much beyond fanaticizing about destroying Israel, along with teaching a new generation that even the historical facts of Jews in the Middle East are lies. Now they have many political activists and progressive thinkers in the West fanaticizing along with them. Tangible gains from this ethnic hatred strategy have been scant so far. Many in the West are appalled by it, and the leadership in most Western nations does not buy into it. But much of the popular media does and incidents of anti-Semitism, including assault and murder, are on the increase in Europe. Arabs see their anti-Semitism strategy as a success, as Arabs tend to take solace in symbolism, given their lack of substantial progress in destroying Israel. So every anti-Semitic attack in Europe is a victory, as is every European politician who denounces Israel for non-existent war crimes or ignores the very real atrocities that the Arabs commit against each other. To many Arabs, living the fantasy is easier than dealing with reality.

The Palestinians believe that time, and God, are on their side. Meanwhile, they use negotiations to gain whatever small advantages they can. The ultimate goal, as is plainly displayed on official Palestinian web sites and official documents, is the expulsion of all Jews from what the United Nations erroneously calls “Israel.” While not all Palestinian students believe the lies, enough do to keep the others quiet or succeeding in fleeing to the West.

 

 


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