Monday, March 12, 2012

The Two Wars of Gaza

Life is anything but normal in Israel’s south. School has been canceled, public gatherings have been limited, and the sirens sound repeatedly. Since Friday, some 200 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, striking cars and buildings in large population centers like Beer Sheva and Ashdod, and reaching as far north as Gadera. Luckily, there has been no loss of life, thanks in part to the success of the Israel Defense Forces’ Iron Dome air defense system, which has intercepted a large percentage of the Palestinian rockets.

Israel is currently fighting two wars in Gaza. One is, quite obviously, against the members of terrorist organizations who don’t hesitate to fire at Israel’s citizens wherever they may be. Israeli forces respond by targeting the rocket launch sites. Some 25 terrorists have been killed but some Palestinian citizens have lost their lives as well. There is no indication when this latest cycle of violence will end.

The other war Israel is fighting over Gaza is taking place on the international and social media front. As Varda Epstein posted in a blog entry entitled “One Hundred Plus Rockets and They Report the Response”, the media has focused on Israel’s actions, and not on what Israel is responding to. When Varda went online Saturday night, after a Shabbat of continual rocket fire, she came across headlines like these:

CNN: “Officials: Latest Israeli airstrike in Gaza bring death toll to 17

Fox News: “Toll from Israel Gaza strikes now 15 militants

CBS: “Israeli airstrikes kill 15 Gaza militants

“130 rockets is a HUGE number of rockets to fall within a 35 hour period on a populated urban area... but CNN prefers to discuss 24 retaliatory airstrikes, without even mentioning that they were, in fact, retaliatory.  The imbalance here is, if you’ll excuse the pun, striking,” Varda Epstein wrote.

As for the battles in the social media, the IDF Spokesman pointed out today that “two photos tweeted in the past 24 hours, both allegedly depicting the results of Israeli air strikes in Gaza in recent days, have been proven false.”

Palestinians and their supporters circulated a photo of a man carrying a bleeding young girl stating that she was “another girl killed by Israel.” The photo actually dated back to 2006 and depicted a girl who was injured by falling off a swing. The other example showed the explosion of a building, again attributed to the latest Israeli military actions, but this photo also dated back to 2006.

One million Israeli citizens are currently living under the threat of rocket attack. All Israelis must remain strong to face the challenges of the ongoing two wars of Gaza.

Illustrative map is from the Israel Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.

1 comment:

  1. The rockets were in response to Israel's first strike against militants on Friday. You make it sound like they just started launching the rockets.

    Also, only 29 rockets were in populated areas, 27 were dealt with by the Dome. Not that it matters since the intent is the same but 130 rockets did not reach populated areas.