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Roger L. Simon

Benghazi, Gaza, and the Killers of CNN

November 20th, 2012 - 12:01 am

Has Benghazi helped Israel?

It’s hard to calculate the amount, but it seems likely that the evolving Libyan scandal has been useful to Israel in its struggle with Hamas in Gaza.

The embarrassing — even humiliating — mishandling and subsequent misnaming of the terror attack on the U.S. consulate/CIA installation has made the administration look quite ridiculous in its claim that al-Qaeda and similar Islamic extremist organizations were on the run. With four Americans dead in Benghazi, the reverse appears to be true.

Sympathy for Islamofascists is not at a high point and, consequently, Barack Obama, not always Benjamin Netanyahu’s best friend, has been remarkably understanding of Operation Pillar of Defense, affirming, while in Thailand, that “we are fully supportive” of Israel’s right to act against Hamas.

During an interview I conducted Monday with David Siegel, Israel’s consul general for the southwestern U.S., Mr. Siegel, one of the Jewish state’s key diplomats in this country, was effusive in his praise regarding the president’s solidarity with Israel in its current struggle. (The interview is now available here on PJTV.)

We will see how this plays out in the next few days when the inevitable pushback occurs, but conservatives, who were in such strong opposition to Obama in part because of his Middle East policy, may have to eat a small portion, at least, of crow.

The Israelis also have to thank Obama to a degree for the better treatment they are getting from the mainstream media this time around, for the moment anyway. Yes, the New York Times (probably the most reactionary institution in our country today) remains blissfully unaware of the presence of terrorists in the Gaza Strip, bellowing on about the destruction of media buildings by Israeli forces without noting that shielding themselves inside the buildings were four senior leaders of Islamic Jihad.

And yes, CNN bought yet another Pallywood production hook, line and sinker, years after the notorious Mohammed al Dura case and the “Green” man in the Lebanon War and who knows how many other incredibly obvious counterfeits. Anderson Cooper should don a dunce cap for this and spend a long time in the corner.

Through it all, you have the sense the media is chomping at the bit to go forward with their traditional anti-Israeli narrative, but Obama’s attitude is impeding them for the moment. Who knows how long it will last? But everything possible should be done to encourage the president’s new outlook.

Of course, there would be no Gaza War ever if Hamas, Islamic Jihad, et. al. did not lob missiles at Israeli civilians day in and day out to provoke one. Israel would have no interest in fighting otherwise. Only Hamas would. And only Hamas does, by creating a deliberately asymmetrical war that results, again deliberately, in the killing and maiming of its own people for the benefit of the media.

For McLuhan, the media was the message. For Hamas, the message is the media publicizing their message.

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