In the annals of IDF lies this, perhaps, isn’t the worst or most insensitive. It doesn’t falsely claim a Palestinian murdered in cold blood actually died from Palestinian fire. But it does expose the banality of the deceit the IDF perpetrates on Israel and the world. The IDF official Twitter account posted this tweet:
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 24, 2014
The facts in the text are accurate as far as they go (more on this below). But the deceit lies in the picture. It doesn’t show Hezbollah missiles, nor even missiles in Hezbollah’s arsenal. The IDF spokesperson couldn’t be bothered to find such a picture which would actually match the text. Instead, he found an ominous photo of missiles that conveyed the menace and threat he sought to dramatize. So he used it. Authenticity or accuracy be damned.
The original image pictured North Korean SCUD missiles and South Korean Hawks missiles at the South Korean War Memorial. It was published in this South Korean TV channel website.
Now as to the substance of the tweet itself: the IDF is in the midst of the major budge battle in which it must prove its critical role in protecting Israeli society from the perils that menace it from outside. What better way to do this than to show the world the missiles poised to annihilate Israel?
Nor should we neglect that at least twice in the past decade, Syria and Iran have offered in negotiation to reign in Hezbollah and turn it into a purely political movement, rather than an armed militia. The first offer was from the Khatami government in 2003. The Bush administration scored this offer. In 2009, just before Operation Cast Lead, Turkey was mediating between Syria and Israel and was about to begin face-to-face negotiations aimed at resolving all the outstanding issues between the two, including Hezbollahs future role in Lebanon. Ehud Olmert had an opportunity to end a decades old stalemate. Instead, he chose to go to war on Hamas. Turkey prime minister Erdogan angrily denounced both Israel’s attack on Gaza and Olmert’s perfidy. The result has been five years of profound hostility between Israel and Turkey (culminating in the execution of ten Turkish activists by IDF paratroops at point blank range).
So before we accept Israel as a cowering victim in the shadow of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal, let’s acknowledge the times Israel snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I have only so much sympathy for a nation which does its best to provoke the ire of its neighbors and then turns to the world expecting sympathy.