August 2007

The propaganda machine

20 August 2007

It is an honour of a kind, I suppose, to briefly have the most active thread on the CiF site. But not much of one when 95 per cent of the posts rarely rose above the level of vitriolic name-calling. The posters probably know that by now I am immune to playground taunts of “scum” and “Nazi”, but the abuse, I suspect, is meant more as a warning to others who might criticise Israel. Keep quiet — or else.

This week marks a year since the end of hostilities now officially called the Second Lebanon war by Israelis. A month of fighting — mostly Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanon, and rocket attacks from the Shia militia Hizbullah on northern Israel in response — ended with more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and a small but unknown number of Hizbullah fighters dead, as well as 119 Israeli soldiers and 43 civilians. But many significant developments since the war have gone unnoticed, including several that seriously put in question Israel’s account of what happened last summer.

Iran is the new Nazi Germany and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Hitler. Or so Israeli officials have been declaring for months as they and their American allies try to persuade the doubters in Washington that an attack on Tehran is essential. And if the latest media reports are to be trusted, it looks like they may again be winning the battle for hearts and minds: Vice-President Dick Cheney is said to be diverting the White House back on track to launch a military strike.