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.
By participating in this pas de deux, the media are complicit with Hamas in that killing and maiming because it is done for them. It happens so the media can report it. They might be shocked to hear it, but if they stopped to think for a second, the media would realize that the war, on Hamas’ part anyway, would not exist if no one publicized it. Without publicity, Hamas couldn’t be less interested. And the Israelis, unprovoked, would never send a single missile into Gaza. Everyone knows that.
So Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the others fight for the benefit of the media. That’s it. That’s their sole motive — to show Israel as brutal with the help of the press. They live for the Israelis to make a mistake — and if the Israelis don’t, they invent one.
By participating in this charade, the media are effectively racist, treating the Palestinians like “ignorant wogs” from the days of British imperialism, incapable of taking care of themselves or of making a decent society for themselves. The media portray the Palestinians as victims, therefore encouraging Palestinian victimhood.
They are also “objectively pro-fascist” in Orwell’s term, because Hamas is an Islamofascist organization and they are doing Hamas’ will.
CNN et. al. rarely report the obvious — that if Hamas devoted a tenth of the time and money to hospitals, schools, and other civic institutions that they do to amassing an arsenal of 12,000 missiles and whatever else, the Gaza Strip would flourish like a paradise.
For now we can thank Obama and Benghazi for keeping this murderous roundelay a bit in check. Evidently the ceasefire dickering has already begun. Apparently the Israelis have the temerity to be asking for a long one. I don’t know if that matters. Hamas and similar organizations live on hate — and hate lasts thousands of years. It has to be stopped at the core.
I have a different suggestion for the Israelis to start with one simple and basic demand — for Hamas to change its charter that calls for the extermination of Israel. Without that, what will have changed?