The Difficulties presenting the tragedy in Sderot when comparing the statistics from Gaza. The media does not highlight the fact that most of these children where killed when they were acting as human shields for terrorist groups.
According to the Israeli Air Force Commander, 97 percent of rockets, missiles, and mortars that are being launched and fired towards Israel, by the Hamas and Palestinian militia terrorist organizations- are being fired from among the civilian population in Gaza, hiding and assimilated from within the residential homes, neighborhood and family homes.
The international media will only cover the situation in Sderot when there is death and serious injury–when it bleeds, it leads–the psychological damage is difficult to present in the media and is largely ignore.
Media coverage=> => sympathy for the Palestinian cause=> legitimacy for terrorism
Understanding the Power of Media
In order to achieve permanent peace and security we need to undermine the legitimacy of the terrorism.
The Hamas war against Israel must be de-legitimized. Hamas and Fatah terrorist networks, along with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other networks, garner support and legitimacy for their cause through the most effective source available–the media. The legitimacy that the media gives to the ‘Palestinian cause” enables these Palestinian terror networks to continue to operate against Sderot and the western Negev civilians, generating little to no international outcry or condemnation. This scenario must change.
Sderot Media Center’s efforts to balance the picture: media advocacy- exposing the human suffering that terror causes, and therefore neutralize the legitimization of terror.
For the past twenty years, the Palestinians have outmaneuvered the Israelis in framing the conflict for the world media. The turning point came during the 1982 Lebanon War, when the Palestinians initiated a propaganda campaign to cast themselves as the defenders of human rights and the Israelis as the violators of human rights. This picture is the accepted version of the Arab-Israeli conflict among most European and western countries.
Understanding how media affects public opinion, public conscience, decisions by government officials, etc. is crucial.
YOU might understand the concept of propaganda, but your neighbors who have just read the headlines in the NY Times and have seen the AP photo of dead children from Gaza- will be easily justified in thinking that the exclusive aggressor in this conflict is Israel.
– Giving the necessary time and attention to the Sderot situation.
Shula, a mother of five children asked me the following question: “How can 5 seconds of a radio news broadcast effectively convey what Sderot residents endure every time a rocket is fired? In the last rocket attack on my home in Sderot, I was treated for shock and brain damage and was hospitalized for six days for brain damage that was induced by the shock of the rocket attack.”
– In order to change your and your neighbor’s point of view, we have to change the balance of the media coverage of Sderot- Gaza.
The Ongoing Rocket Threat on the western Negev
No government information policy exists in Israel today. Such a policy is desperately needed to accurately present Israel’s side in the international media. Because the international media’s spotlight is on Israel, it is imperative that Israel develop an information policy that responds to Palestinian accusations and misinformation.
Palestinian and Arab Propaganda remains unaddressed and for the most part accepted.
Recognition of the problem of rocket fire. As long as there is no recognition of the severity of the rocket fire and its devastation on Sderot within the Israeli government, we face a very serious problem. Danny Dahan, a Sderot grocery store owner says:
“Knowing the problem is already 50 percent of the solution. ”
Part of the problem is that we’re just not getting it-the threat of the Qassam rockets grows each day. How many more cities are awaiting a similar fate to Sderot? The problem is that a reality like in no other place in the world is getting worse. We have missiles being fired towards residential homes, neighborhoods, schools and kindergarten.
There is a battle for media coverage in this conflict. We need to understand that the media is the most powerful tool that is used to shape world opinion, especially in matters of the Middle East, and the Israeli-Arab conflict. If we want people to be accurately informed and have a balanced idea of what is taking place between Israel and the Palestinians, the story of Sderot and southern Israel must be presented in the media.
The Palestinian terror networks that target Israeli civilians uphold the same ideology that Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and other global jihad networks act upon.
Sderot is a symbol. It is the front line of the Jewish people, of the state of Israel and the western world of democratic nations that face the threat of fundamentalist Islamic jihad terrorism.
The city of Sderot could someday be a city next to you. We need to give the people of Sderot and the western Negev a voice and face in the international media before it’s too late.
The legitimacy for Israel’s right to exist and defend herself lies in presenting the crisis in Sderot. Legitimacy can no longer be given to terrorists or acts of terror to justify any cause. By showing the world the human faces of Sderot, the international community will have to recognize that the actions of Palestinian terror networks and their leaders is not legitimate or acceptable.
Strength in Unity.
Our strength is unity- it has always been.
Unity => identifying => experiencing=> knowing=>
The strength of media lies in it’s ability to evoke reaction from humanity. When terror is used to harm and terrify innocent people, than the media must expose the wrongs of terror and terrorism. If the media is used correctly, it can be a powerful ingredient as an antidote to terror, where governments and army cannot be.