I don’t know how the IDF chooses names for its operations but there is certainly no subtlety applied to them. Operation Cast Lead could have easily been called “Operation Spray Bullets”. The latest operation is called Operation Pillar of Cloud, which presumably refers to the cloud of smoke that billows skyward after an air strike. It’s as subtle as a brick in the face.
The issue of proportionality is one that is alien to the Israeli state. A few homemade rockets land on its soil and kill no one and it responds by assassinating Hamas’s military commander Ahmad al-Jaabari. If the situation was reversed and the Qassam Brigades killed the racist Avigdor Lieberman, you can imagine Israel’s response: they would roll into Gaza with heavy armour and as many chemical and biological weapons that they could muster… but even without such provocation, they would do that anyway.
Let’s be clear about something: western news outlets have taken their information from IDF press briefings and as we know, those briefings only put forward the lie that Israel is the damaged party and that its response was purely defensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. The first wave began on 5 November when the IDF shot and killed Ahmed Nuwabi, a man with learning difficulties, who apparently had “approached the border fence”. 3 days later, the IDF tanks and bulldozers rolled into Southern Gaza and killed a 13 year old.
Today, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague said that Gaza “had to bear principal responsibility”. How about that for balance? As I type this I have BBC News Channel on in the background. Matthew Amroliwala is interviewing someone from Hamas. Amroliwala repeats Hague’s line and that of the IDF. This is the BBC. “Nation shall speak peace unto nation”and all that crap. With that kind of coverage it’s little wonder many people in this country are completely ignorant of the facts and see Israel as the “good guy” in this binary narrative.
Ben Brown is now reporting from Kiryat Malachi about a Hamas rocket strike. He’s interviewing a policeman with a suspiciously antipodean-sounding accent. The BBC reporter in Gaza reports that he “has seen rockets being fired from Gaza”. This is the first thing he says. He only mentions the IDF attacks towards the end of his report and even then, the overall narrative is one of Israel good/Palestine bad.
Brown returns, he talks bout how Israelis “live in fear from rocket attacks”. And the Gazans don’t live in fear of Israeli attacks? Get real.
UPDATE 16/11/12 @ 1119
I’ve noticed that the Israelis have now changed the name from “Operation Pillar of Cloud” to “Operation Pillar of Defence”. A subtle change but the word “defence” in the hands of the Israelis and the Americans means exactly the opposite. I also noticed that I had 2 visitors from Israel to this blog. I wonder if they… nah, surely not?