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The Cross of Bethlehem II

Israel’s Propaganda War on Iran

“Threats to Israel have declined in the past year”

 

 

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“I Don’t Know”

 

By the end of February 2010, I published American Weather Balloon, a short article analyzing an extraordinary piece published by the New York Times. The American article openly targeted Iranians, requesting very specific information regarding developments in their country’s nuclear program. It tried to answer the question why Iran had moved nearly its entire stockpile of low-enriched nuclear fuel to an above-ground plant on February 14, 2010. The authors’ thesis was “I don’t know,” which is an amazing one for an article published in one of the planet’s most circulated newspapers. Was this an open letter to a secret mole in Tehran? The idea is not preposterous; after all the IDF uses codified messages broadcast through the Army Radio to perform quiet recruitment of reservists. The Western electorate has become so placid and unworried about the actions of their governments, that such odd articles and activities are not only allowed, but also completely ignored.

U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis

U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis

Much afterwards, a few days ago, I published “Israel will win due to Technological Advantage!”, which analyzed Western propaganda techniques in the post-Nazi era. I claimed that Goebbels ruined it. The Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in Nazi Germany had been so effective in his propaganda that it transcended the Reich’s borders and timeline. Even now, such an attempt of manipulation by the state would be immediately recognized and rejected by the masses. Since then, Western governments have been subtler in the implementation of propagandistic techniques, subsequently described. Several readers were distressed at what was claimed there; after all Westerners are fond of their manipulative media.

Against all odds, these two provide the perfect background to an astonishing statement uttered by NATO's European Commander, U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis to the U.S. Congress. The statement was as a central item in the September 5, 2012, online edition of Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper which is known also as “The Voice of the Shin Beth,” the local secret police. Before commenting on the admiral’s words, I must say that even Haaretz acknowledged in the body of the article that the news was old. The testimony had been given last spring, on an unspecified date. Later on, the testimony to Congress was published on the website of the Federation of American Scientists, where Haaretz claimed to have found it. In other words, this data was being oddly delayed.

 

Netanyahu Ruined It!

 

Before giving to the words of Admiral Stavridis the place of honor they deserve, one must warn the readers that in his years as Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has behaved like the boy in Aesop’s Fables, crying “Wolf, wolf!” at every opportunity. The only update he allowed himself was to replace the cry with “Iran.”

Regardless of the occasion—a meeting with voters, AIPAC or a casual visit at the White House—Netanyahu keeps warning of Iran’s aggressiveness and of an imminent war. The justifications change according to the circumstances, yet the mantra seems eternal: “Iran is an existential threat to Israel.” Netanyahu—like his ministers—constantly ignore any assessments showing their claims are false, including the CIA assessments regarding the defensive nature of the Iranian military forces. For so long has Netanyahu been shouting “Iran, Iran!” that probably even the most dedicated Zionists are beginning to question the cry. Simply, even they have noticed that the real problems in Israel are social in nature; the recent images of an Israeli man setting himself on fire were a very convincing point in that direction.

 

Who is the Wolf?

 

Let me begin with the admiral’s bottom line: “Threats to Israel have declined in the past year.” This is amazing and contradicts everything we hear over the self-defined “balanced media” of Western Democracies. Most articles published these days run along hysterical tones, predicting violent attacks on Israel from almost every sheep in the neighborhood. It is worthy to cite a few more words by this admiral:

“While Israel is certainly in a volatile region of the world, I would argue that the threats to Israel have not increased in the last year. If you take the broad view of the history of the modern state of Israel, it is certainly more secure now that it was in 1948, 1967, 1973, or even during the First or Second Intifadas.
“Israel currently has signed peace treaties with two of its four neighbors. A third neighbor, Syria, is currently undergoing a period of serious internal unrest and is in no position to threaten Israel militarily. The terrorist threat posed by Lebanese Hezbollah from within the fourth neighbor has been deterred from overt attacks since the war in 2006.
“Moreover, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has renounced violence. Unrest in the West Bank has subsided significantly over the last few years. Similarly, since Operation Cast Lead in 2008, rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip have never been more than sporadic. The most recent attack, from March 9-12, saw nearly 250 rockets launched without causing a single Israeli casualty.
“Second, since the Arab Spring, Israel faces a more uncertain neighborhood. This effect, particularly in Egypt, combined with the continued Iranian nuclear program gives the Israeli government reason for concern about the future.”

The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Barlow

The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Barlow

Some of these statements are somewhat questionable and their style is disturbing, but overall, the assessment is credible and very mild. There is no danger of an immediate war. Yet, Israel keeps milking the USA for financial help in the development of weapons aimed at destroying the imminent threats posed by … nobody. Mainstream media in Israel and the USA is talking war. This seems to be a new variant on Aesop’s fable; in the one enacted by Netanyahu, the boy is the wolf.

 

American F18 | During the Attack on Libya

American F18 operated by Canada | During the Attack on Libya

 

 

Truthful Lies

 

It is very difficult to read Western media and dismiss the events surrounding the Iran-Israel bilateral relations. A disaster is being cooked up; the cook is a Westerner. A subtle reminder of this came in the form of the odd article reported here. Think about it. Haaretz placed it as the central item in the “Diplomacy and Defense” section, but only months after the statements were made. The more serious among the readers probably stopped reading it after they found the age of the item. Then, access to the article was restricted. It was a locked item, accessible only to subscribers. Haaretz wanted to restrict access to the news and keep track of who read it.

In Hebrew there is a definition for such a behavior; the phrase can roughly be translated as “to escape duty,” it means to do the minimum possible under given circumstances. Haaretz daily plays the drums of war. Yet, one day the war will be over. The entire world will then discover that the accusations against Iran were false, as were those regarding the Iraqi WMD. That day, Haaretz will claim to have dutifully performed its journalistic job. “We published and warned,” they’ll proudly say, forgetting to disclose the delay and restrictions on the item.

Western readers keep ignoring propagandistic techniques used on them, while enthusiastically applauding their deceitful leaders. Deep in his cold tomb, Goebbels is proud of his faithful followers.

Haaretz Article - Note the Key

Haaretz Article - Note the Key

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All texts and background photo © Roi Tov 2004—2014 tovroy@aol.com

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