Haaretz editorial: Israel ‘expedited’ breakdown of ceasefire

The big meme in the western-dominated media has been that even if Israel’s “retaliatory attack” against Gaza has been slightly (!) disproportionate, still, it was justified because after all it was Hamas that broke the tahdi’eh (ceasefire) and has even, according to several accounts I’ve read today, “has been firing rockets non-stop into Israel over recent days.”
Not so. And intelligent Israelis understand that to be the case.
Israel violated the tahdi’eh numerous times throughout its six-month term, often lethally. Hamas violated it only a few times, and worked strenuously (and often, though not always, successfully) to persuade the other Palestinian groups in Gaza to abide by it, too.
In November, one month before the expiry of the mutually agreed tahdi’eh, Israel sent a sizeable ground force into southern Gaza to destroy suspected tunnels there.
That was the big violation Haaretz was referring to today, when its editorial writers noted that,

    Israel’s violation of the lull in November expedited the deterioration that gave birth to the war of yesterday.

So why do so many writers in the western-dominated media continue with their accusations that Hamas is fully to blame?
In the realm of economic policy, Willem Buiter and others have coined the term “cognitive capture” to describe how financiers managed to persuade regulators and legislators to look at the financial world almost wholly from their viewpoint.
It strikes me it’s also a good term to describe the way pro-Israeli organizations in the US have almost completely succeeded in having the country’s commentators and politicians look at the Middle East almost wholly through their eyes.
Another term for “cognitive capture” would be “brainwashing.”
Both terms, however, seem unable to capture the degree to which those “captured”, or brainwashed, may in both these cases have actually internalized the messages of those seeking to “capture” them. It also fails to capture the degree to which the powerful forces doing the “capturing” succeed in their capture/brainwashing task ab initio by sustaining powerful campaigns to ensure that no-one who even questions their mindset or is capable of bringing an independent, querying mind to their task is even allowed into the positions of influence that they seek to control.
Anyway, it’s very depressing to see– yet again!– the degree to which the US media and pols just fall in lockstep behind the “official” Israeli government explanation and framing of the current, extremely tragic events…. And they do this to a degree far higher than many of the media and pols in Israel do!

3 thoughts on “Haaretz editorial: Israel ‘expedited’ breakdown of ceasefire”

  1. BRAVO ! you have hit the nail right on the head with this commentary. I only hope that some in the new administration transition team read your column and get it up to Obama.

  2. The “cognitive capture” of the US media applies to all of the neo-con enterprises, not just Israel. TPM notes today that, thanks,at least in part, to the “reporting” of the US media, Bush is about to sign some sort of mutual partnership deal with the loose cannon lunatic running Georgia. The US public still knows so little of the truth of the Russian military intervention there. And once again, the media is reporting the Gaza massacre as a one sided story, and lamely quoting the Bush administration line. Are they simply too lazy to investigate and do real journalism, or is it something more sinister?

  3. It seems to me that the Israel lobby has succeeded in adding themselves to the ingroups of Americans (and, to a lesser extent, Europeans) whilst excluding the Palestinians (and Muslims more generally). The absurd word “Judeo-Christian” illustrates this. This is partly because Israeli lifestyle and culture is similar to “Westerners'”, and partly because of post-Holocaust guilt. From there, ingroup bias is sufficient to ensure those effected interpret reality in Israel’s favour.
    Another explicit example of this dynamic concerns Georgia, with McCain declaring “today, we are all Georgians”.

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