Thursday, August 10, 2023

Israel's "hasbara" service is fouling up again

There was a recent incident around the same time as the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, where some Jewish shephards were attacked by Islamists with rocks, and one of the Jews had to kill in self-defense, but was badly injured. Yet he's made out to be the villain here, and the US government drew a moral equivalence, calling the Jews "terrorists", not unlike how parents in Virginia concerned about transsexuals committing violence in schools were called "domestic terrorists" by the US government too. The Arab suspects were arrested, but moral equivalence still seems to dominate:
Five Palestinian Authority Arab suspects were arrested Sunday night by IDF forces on suspicion of involvement in a lynch attack on Jews.

In the Friday lynching, one of the Arab mob was killed when a Jewish victim defended himself.

On Sunday, the arrests of Elisha Yered and Yehiel Indor were extended by five days, on suspicion that they were involved in the death of the 19-year-old Arab.

Indor opened fire since he was concerned that his life was in danger, but later found himself arrested, despite having suffered injuries to his head during the lynching. As a result of his injuries, he was not present at the hearing and was not interrogated.

In addition to suspicions of involvement in the Arab's death, Yered is also suspected of disrupting the process of investigation. He is a former spokesperson for MK Limor Son Har-Melekh (Otzma Yehudit).

During the court hearing on whether to extend the arrests of Indor and Yered, the police representative said that the crime of murder was "entered into the system automatically at the start of the investigation." Following the interrogation it was decided that the crime which they are suspected of is "manslaughter." The representative also said that "there is no claim that there wasn't violence from both sides."

According to him, the Palestinian Authority Arabs who were involved in the incident were not interrogated, despite the fact that it is "important," but he noted that "there is an intention to arrest them." He could not say whether Indor fired before he was injured, and the police file does not include a photo of the crack to Indor's skull, though it includes a medical document.

Indor's attorney slammed the police for not including a photo in the file despite the fact that police representatives have been at Indor's bedside throughout his entire hospital stay. He also claimed that family was not allowed to remain in the room during the operation. The police representative countered that the family was in fact given the opportunity to remain in the room.
They attorneys and others are rightfully concerned at all the resources that've been focused on the 2 shephards. And one can only wonder if one of the guy's connection with a right-wing Knesset member had to do with this persecution, which must cease.

Ariel Kahana addressed the PR failures here:
The killing of Muhammad al-Durrah has gone down as one of Israel's most colossal hasbara failures ever. After the incident, which took place at the outbreak of the Second Intifada, the Palestinians claimed that IDF soldiers killed the boy in Gaza, and then-IDF spokesperson quickly assumed responsibility and issued a public apology on Israel's supposed targeting of the 12-year-old.

When it transpired, several months later, that he was actually killed by Palestinian fire, it was too late: Public perception had already been cemented; the world was convinced that the Jews killed him and there was no fact, video, or investigation could change that false impression.

The IDF repeated its grave mistake from 2000 over the weekend, after the dust settled following the deadly clash between Jewish herders and dozens of Arabs in Burqa – a village off Nablus. The clash ended with one Palestinian dead and one Jew gravely injured. Although the facts were blurry, and despite one side's version of events taking hold, the IDF and the entire defense establishment were quick to label this incident as "Jewish terrorism." This narrative is what was communicated to the Israeli media and the US.

"We are greatly concerned about all the attacks that we saw in Israel, in the Palestinian territories over the weekend. We strongly condemn those attacks," US State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said this week. He added that "the IDF spokesperson called the attack in Burqa 'nationalist terrorism'."

Practically all those dealing with the incident – from the IDF, the Shin Bet security agency, and the Israel Police – have denied making a definitive determination that this was Jewish terrorism, or that they communicated as much to the Americans. In that sense, it appears that someone is lying. Part of Communications 101 is never to make your views clear until you have checked the facts with all sides of a story. In this case, Israel provided a version that adopted the account of only one side before it had the actual information of what unfolded; in fact, it is still unclear what really transpired.

Such conduct inflicts major harm that ultimately hurts Israel's image the world over. Rather than rely on the Palestinians for this incident, Israel should have simply said the following: This is an open investigation; the facts are not clear, but we will hold those responsible accountable. In fact, the cautious approach is all the more necessary in light of the judge's decision to let the main suspect in the killing, the settler Elisha Yered, be released provisionally on house arrest (pending appeal), and said the evidentiary material did not meet the minimum threshold to establish that crimes had been committed. His friend, Yehiel Indore, who sustained severe wounds in the incident, is still hospitalized and has yet to be interrogated due to his condition. The Shin Bet is no longer part of the investigation, suggesting this is no longer considered a Jewish terrorism case.
While it's lucky if they're stopping that narrative and angle, there's only so many more staffers who shouldn't continue to be employed at taxpayers' expense if this is how they're going to operate. They've caused only so much gigantic damage to Israel's reputation, and the worst part is they were probably doing it deliberately. Exactly why they don't belong in such positions. We must hope the injured shephard is cleared and recovers.

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