Among the latest oddities and outrages in the Israeli media (including social and news media) are these:
An Israeli Facebook user, Nati Mor, posted this “panegyric” to the Palestinian people (translation by Ronnie Barkan, who found this gem). Though it’s one of the most extreme statements I’ve read in some time, it’s important because it represents the views of so many more Israelis, including many who would never be so bold as to express themselves like this publicly:
I have sought the original post in his Facebook page but cannot find it. Likely, either his friends warned him to remove it or, as is often the case, the Israeli military censor monitors such social media sites and contacts users to remove such incendiary posts.
Second oddity is a new children’s book about two street kittens rescued in Gaza by IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge (Tsuk Eytan in Hebrew). The book offers a severely truncated version of events leading to the war and focuses solely on the hardship and suffering it inflicted on Israelis. In fact, in the book Palestinians don’t exist, which seems fitting for contemporary views of them in Israel. The cats had no previous owners. They just came to the Israelis naturally as if they’d always known them and owned them. The names of the kittens? Tsuk and Eytan, of course.
The ending is a beautiful, warm dream with the kittens sitting in the soldier’s bedroom enjoying their safe, secure new home.
Israeli media, as I’ve written here, doesn’t consider its mission solely to report and analyze the news. Unlike all other western media, it also considers itself the cheerleader for the nation. It sees its role as holding the banner of national pride high for readers and the world to see. As an example, Yediot recently devoted an entire week to headline articles attacking BDS.
Now, Ronen Bergman, one of Israel’s best investigative journalists, profiled Dutch BDS activist, Frank van der Lind in Yediot. The article is quite interesting. But Ronnie Barkan brought to my attention the yellow box right next to the picture of van der Lind announcing future Yediot articles attacking BDS. It intrudes on the otherwise serious profile of the Dutch activist (Bergman had nothing to do with it or its placement), saying:
The baseless rumors about murders of children. Lies about apartheid. Inventions about ethnic cleansing. And the factual responses to all of these. How to beat BDS incitement against Israel.
The best analogy I could think of was a high school principal who, fearing its students would all fail their matriculation exam, prepared a cheat sheet offering the answers to the test. Israeli media are so frightened of BDS that they have to offer a primer for rebutting the arguments it offers. They fear that if Israelis don’t prepare for this onslaught of propaganda that the very state itself might topple.