Why Israel Isn’t Getting Credit for Protecting Civilians in Gaza

John Spencer isn’t an Israeli apologist. Spencer is a 25-year U.S. Army veteran, who is currently chairman of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point. In a recent Newsweek article,  Spencer expresses his belief that Israel has created a new standard for urban warfare that does more to prevent civilian harm during urban military operations than any other army in human history.

The title of Spencer’s article,  Israel Has Created a New Standard for Urban Warfare. Why Will No One Admit It? asks a question that is not answered in his article, Why doesn’t anyone know about this?  This article is an attempt to answer that question.

The failure of mass media to pick up the story of how Israel is attempting to protect civilian populations is probably an example of how the media is prejudiced against Israel. It also reflects advertisers’ observations that the Jews are a tiny little market segment, but the Muslim community (which is half the size of the Jewish community in the US)  is a huge market segment worldwide and that, since media is now global, they are more concerned with reaching Muslim communities than having the truth about Israel’s magnanimous military gestures publicized.

Many people are not aware of how the globalization of communications has changed the priorities for news organizations, which need to appease the prejudices of Muslim audiences in order to attract advertisers who are reaching out to Muslim markets.

Then we also have to factor in the social media problem. Because Jews are such a small segment of social media user population, their contributions to social media will be overwhelmed by the autonomous contributions from individual Muslim contributors on social media and the organized disinformation campaigns by foreign actors opposed to Israel’s existence.

As far as the Israeli strategy is concerned, however, I think it is an ill-considered attempt to sway public opinion because the Israelis – like the Democratic party – are incompetent at public relations (which is amusing because the “father’ of public relations and propaganda, Edward Bernays was himself Sigmund Freud’s nephew and therefore a Jew.)  As a result of that incompetence, they are getting no credit for their humanitarian efforts.

The tactical impact of the policy is adversely affecting the efficiency of Israeli operations, which means that, instead of bringing this conflict to a swift conclusion, the strategy results in tactics that are prolonging the conflict.

The mistake the Israelis are making – and I am sure this is Netanyahu’s own stupid idea – is that they are trying to wipe out Hamas so that they don’t have to go through more reiterations of the same attack and response scenario.  The reason this is a mistake is that there is an inexhaustible supply of recruits for Hamas. This is because joining Hamas gives individual Gazans status….and employment. It’s how young Gazans can make money.

Of course, the kicker is that Israel can’t stop until they have retrieved all of the hostages….and that is really what this war is all about