Our World: Hizbullah’s media champions
A few weeks shy of the 10th anniversary of Israel’s May 24, 2000 unilateral withdrawal from south Lebanon, last Friday Yediot Aharonot chose to devote its weekend news supplement to a retrospective on the event. It included a fawning five-page interview with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who ordered the withdrawal during his tenure as prime minister and defense minister. It also included a two-page spread featuring interviews with the IDF commanders who carried out the withdrawal, recalling their adrenalin rushes as they retreated their forces across the border.
Nearly hidden between the two puff pieces was a little article titled “We told you so.”
It featured an interview with retired former Meretz leader Yossi Sarid who opposed the withdrawal. He told Yediot that in hindsight, he’s glad the withdrawal went through, even though it led directly to the wars that followed. Following Sarid’s self-congratulatory modesty, Yediot gave former defense minister Moshe Arens and National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau a sound bite apiece to lash out at the withdrawal. That base covered, the paper dismissed them both as “right-wingers.”
ALTHOUGH UPSETTING, Yediot’s treatment of the Lebanon withdrawal was not surprising. The unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon – which was a failure on every rational level – was a strategy concocted and championed for the better part of a decade by Yediot and its media colleagues at Israel Radio. The paper’s decision to publish a 10-year anniversary retrospective two weeks early was undoubtedly an attempt to preempt and prevent any further discussion of the withdrawal.
Yediot praised it as a work of operational genius because no one was wounded, kidnapped or killed during the 48-hour retreat. Of course, by presenting force protection as the IDF’s highest goal, the paper ignored basic strategic realities.
The fact is that the withdrawal was an operational fiasco. In its rush to the border, the IDF left behind huge quantities of sensitive equipment that Hizbullah commandeered. Israel abandoned thousands of loyal allies from the South Lebanon Army and their families to the tender mercies of Hizbullah. These were men who had fought shoulder to shoulder with the IDF since 1982. Those who managed to escape to Israel before the gates were locked were treated as unwanted deadweight by Barak and his media flacks, who couldn’t be bothered with the treachery at the heart of the operation.
READ IT ALL!
Perspective, that's what's always missing from media's propaganda. Lucky for them, they rely on public's short memory and that new fools are born each day. (פריירים לא מתים, הם רק מתחלפים - במקרה שלנו הם גם מתים וגם נשכחים)