The blame to the media, of course. Faced with international criticism of the disproportionate use of force against Palestinian protesters in Gaza, Israel found a leader: journalists.
Hard not to see a concerted campaign in the sudden series of official statements on this theme. A classic diversion, already observed for example at the time of the war of summer 2014 in the Gaza Strip, which aims primarily at foreign organs.
For their part, Israeli journalists are not allowed to go there for security reasons. So they just talk on the phone with locals. Most of the time, they rely on analysts or sources within the military, themselves distant observers of reality in the Palestinian territory.
"Blind reviews of Israel"
On the other hand, since the end of March, the international media has sent many correspondents stationed in Jerusalem or special envoys to testify of the "March of the great return" among the demonstrators. Many also went to press briefings every Friday by the Israeli army across the border near the Nahal Oz kibbutz. The recurrent accusation made against them by the authorities is to ignore the real nature of the mobilization.
"The mask fell on the so-called #MarcheduretourGaza, " wrote Twitter on May 16, the spokesman of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon. No " popular march " or anything like it. A violent crowd of Hamas terrorists, with deadly intentions. All. Will the whiny professional critics of Israel have the honesty to apologize? I will not bet on it … "
On May 18, interviewed by Hadashot TV on the media backlash Israel was waving on the cover of the March, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman offered an economic explanation for the "festival of hypocrisy." "There is a Jewish state in the world. And there are fifty-seven Muslim states, all of which have bigger budgets, he says. In the end, the one who pays chooses the music. When you review the international channels – CNN, France 24, BBC – you see that 90% of all ads come from the Arab world. "
Complicity with Hamas
Spokesman of the army, General Ronen Manelis brigade has cracked to share a platform in the Wall Street Journal , to proclaim the eternal love and demanding military for the truth, in comparison with the lies of the Islamist movement in power in Gaza. "Hamas spokesmen orchestrated an extremely well-funded terrorist propaganda operation ," he says. (…) The audience was the international media. Hamas gave everyone with a video camera access to the front row and free WiFi. "
Ronen Manelis went so far as to accuse journalists of complicity. "Some media have helped Hamas by publishing its lies rather than the facts," he writes, even proclaiming "between vanity and truth, the IDF always chooses the truth. "
This "truth", another spokesman for the military, Jonathan Conricus, expressed it quite differently, in an interview with representatives of the Jewish Federations of North America. This usual interlocutor of foreign journalists in Israel explained that the Palestinians had "knocked out" the Jewish state in terms of communication, with Hamas seeking the most deaths and injuries.
"We tried to minimize the Palestinian victims. Have we succeeded? Unfortunately no. Were there any mistakes? Have bullets missed their targets and reached others? Of course, yes, but the environment is incredibly chaotic near the border, "Conricus said, according to reports from the local press .
US ambassador against liberal media
The offensive of the Israeli authorities against journalists is accompanied this time by an unexpected participation: that of the American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
A long-time supporter of settlements in the West Bank, he was president of the American Friends of Beit El Institutions, named after a colony on the eastern outskirts of Ramallah. Since his appointment as ambassador by Donald Trump a year ago, he has been involved in public debate as an ardent advocate of Israel, cherished by the right and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu