29 December 2008

Gaza War Message Confusion (what is the Goal?)

What is the message coming out of Israel? I am getting the feeling that the Government of Israel has not exactly decided what the goals are or how victory will be defined. A quick glance at some of the English speaking reports leads me to ask this question.

Barak: This is 'all-out war' on Hamas is an example. Maybe it is a badly worded title by JPOST but maybe not. In this article we find the unfortunate typical Israeli voice of indecisiveness.

"This operation will be extended and deepened as we find necessary. Our goal is to strike Hamas and stop the attacks on Israel. Hamas controls Gaza and is responsible for everything happening there and for all attacks carried out from within the Strip. The goals of this operation are to stop Hamas from attacking our citizens and soldiers," said Barak.
. This is a far cry from:
UN ambassador: Israel seeks to 'destroy' Hamas

NEW YORK (AP) — Israel's ambassador to the United Nations says the goal of the current offensive in the Gaza Strip is much broader than ending Palestinian rocket attacks. She says Israel wants to destroy Gaza's ruling Hamas movement.

In an interview Tuesday, Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said Israel's main goal is to "destroy completely" what she called a "terrorist gang."

She would not explicitly say that Israel wants to topple the Hamas government. But she said a return to the terms of a recent six-month truce would not be enough.

Shalev says Israel wants stronger assurances that the rocket fire will stop. Israeli leaders have said they do not want to reoccupy Gaza.

More than 300 Palestinians have died in the three-day air offensive.

Here, I was all ready to post about how Israel seems to have a strong public message about the war, specifically the remarks of Tzipi Livni Israel Slams Media Bias, Netanyahu Joins PR Efforts, Netanyahu joins Gaza op PR effort and this contradiction hit me. How on one hand does the Israeli Ambassador to the UN talk about destroying Hamas and the PM, DM and opposition leader speak as if the mission is merely to hold Hamas responsible for rocketing sovereign Israel until they either promise to stop their bad behavior or have been temporarily separated from the ability to do so.

I can only hope that the words from the Knesset are merely for consumption by the world press while the Amb. are closer to the truth. That would seem to be the reverse however of what a hasbara campaign would call for. One can only hope that the message disconnect is planned for some reason. I fear that it isn't. See The Gaza Picture Show - Sultan Knish for more. Israel should not accept anything less than destruction of Hamas's ability to govern if not exist. To return to some form of manageable cease fire is ludicrous.

Update The Jpost article referenced above "Barak: This is 'all-out war' on Hamas" has been changed by Jpost to "MKs trade volleys over Gaza op". The same quote I inserted above from Barak is still in the article.
new article.
CNN has picked up the same quote from Barak which is all over the web now. This quote seems to be political grandstanding by Barak.

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What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.

Children's Poetry Booklet Recalled After Arabs Complain
(Israeli censorship kowtows to Arabs.
When Will We Tell The Truth Without Fear)

(IsraelNN.com 7 Sivan 5768/June 10, '08) Ynet's web site and Arab complaints against a ten-year-old boy's poem about terrorists has resulted in the recall of all of the Nes Ziona municipality's children's poetry booklets.

Ynet boasts that its coverage of the poem resulted in its being recalled.

The text of the poem (Ynet's translation):

Ahmed's bunker has surprises galore: Grenades, rifles are hung on the wall. Ahmed is planning another bombing!What a bunker Ahmed has, who causes daily harm.Ahmed knows how to make a bomb. Ahmed is Ahmed, that's who he is, so don't forget to be careful of him.We get blasted while they have a blast!Ahmed and his friends could be wealthy and sunny, if only they wouldn't buy rockets with all their money.

Poetry competition director Marika Berkowitz, who published the booklet, was surprised at the protests and told Ynet: "This is the boy's creation and this is what he wanted to express. Of course there should be a limit, but I think the there is no racism here. 'Ahmed' is a general term for the enemy. These are the murmurings of an innocent child."

The Education Ministry told Ynet: "The local authority that published the booklet should have guided the students in a more correct manner through the schools. The district will investigate the issue with the local authorities."
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