Lies, damned lies and Israeli propaganda

Feb 19, 2024
Close up of Israeli Flag

The smoke and dust had only just settled from the armed incursion by Hamas in the Gaza envelope of neighbouring Israel on October 7 when the IDF began releasing “eyewitness” stories of Hamas’ beheading of babies and the rape and mutilation of women. These alleged horrific acts were immediately picked up by Israel’s enablers in the western media and so the world went into cataclysmic shock. Israel was a victim once more.

The US president reacted with disgust and sadness when he said what he had just seen was shocking. The problem is he never saw any pictures because they didn’t exist. Once more the White House and the western media has accepted an unverified claim of Israel’s IDF even though the White House ultimately retracted the comments.

But the damage was done even though it has now been established that what was claimed was a complete pack of lies. There was only one dead baby and it was not beheaded. As for the rapes and mutilations, Israel did not allow any post-mortems because they said the bodies had to buried immediately. In other word no forensic evidence was obtained. And their so-called eyewitnesses turned out to be either completely unreliable or serving members of the IDF. But even today you hear politicians and media reporters worldwide repeating the same discredited lies.

It was also reported that around 1200 Israelis were killed that day by Hamas. But it has now been revealed that possibly several hundred were killed by Israeli missiles from aircraft and tanks due to the implementation of the Hannibal Directive which Israel has used previously. The Directive orders the IDF to eliminate Israelis who have been captured and could be used for a hostage exchange; an outcome Israel fears and loathes.

Although false, all these early claims positioned Israel as the moral champion fighting the evil of Hamas. It was just the first, in many attempts, to win the hearts and minds of not only Israeli citizens but also the world at large. Israel does not want anyone to believe the Hamas resistance can be justified.

False claims and outright lies are not new. Israel has form in this regard. Lawrence Wilkerson, a former US army officer and Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, said recently that Israel is an inveterate liar and everything that comes from the government is pure propaganda.

Take the case of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. While working for Al Jazeera and wearing a Press ID, she was shot in the head while covering an IDF raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank in May 2023. Witnesses said she was shot by an Israeli soldier, a claim immediately denied by the IDF who blamed Palestinian militants. But following some international outrage and investigations by the US and the UN, Israel finally admitted she was shot by an IDF soldier.

The lies and disinformation have been going on since the foundation of Israel. Although never declared, Israel has one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. This became public when an Israeli 747 cargo plane, in October 1992, crashed into an apartment building in Amsterdam. Israel proclaimed it was carrying flowers and perfume and only later being forced to admit it had been carrying toxic chemicals for the manufacture of Sarin gas. And so it continues.

Since October 7 the Israeli government and the IDF have been working overtime to manufacture consent. Their claims of underground tunnels and operational headquarters beneath hospitals and schools suggest these institutions are fair game for death and destruction except they haven’t ever produced any real evidence to suggest this is true. In the last week a tunnel at the Qatari Hospital turned out to be a water collection tank.

What is perhaps the most appalling aspect of these attempts to persuade public opinion is the way governments and the western media have blindly accepted Israel lies. Guilt ridden Germany, Israel’s second biggest enabler behind the US, refuses to allow any protests that support Hamas or condemn Israel. German newspapers never mention Gazan casualties, only referring to deaths as resulting from citizens being used as human shields. Proprietors of newspapers such as Der Spiegel have instructed their journalists to be pro-Israel, a directive like Lachlan Murdoch’s at The Australian.

Most recently we have the case of Hamas militants infiltrating UNRWA, the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees which was set up decades ago following the 1948 Nakba and the refugee crisis that followed. Israel has been trying for decades to discredit the organisation and so it was no surprise that two weeks before the IJC handed down its initial judgement on the Genocide case before it, Israel announced that 12 members out of 30,000 employees participated in the October 7 attacks. This resulted in a dozen western countries, including Australia, withdrawing funds from UNRWA. Did they verify the Israeli claim? No. They took it on blind faith that Israel was been truthful. They weren’t. In the last few days Channel 4 News in the UK has revealed they have now read the classified document and there is no evidence UNWRA staff were involved. Yet here we have western governments cutting off vital aid simply because of Israeli disinformation.

And these disinformation campaigns are not just coming out of Israel. The Australian Jewish Association did its bit for the defence of Israel with the now discredited “gas the Jews” video.

The formula for lies and disinformation is well known. Go early, claim-don’t justify and repeat, repeat, repeat.

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