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New Media and Gaza: To Whom Should We Turn for Analysis?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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The IDF has launched a YouTube channel covering its operations in Gaza.

This step recognizes that the battle in Gaza is also a battle for world opinion, and that Israel –and every other democratic state facing a terrorist threat– needs to provide accurate information about all operations in as timely and direct a fashion as operational security will allow. With Hamas enjoying the advantage of Arab television stations eager to broadcast pictures of the carnage, Israel needs to continue to convey the IDF’s attempt to minimize the death and injury to innocents.

Noah Pollack is reporting that YouTube is censoring the material, which is very troubling. How in the world is the world going to know what to believe when third parties attempt to referee competing claims via censorship?

The YouTube channel, even if uncensored, is still only raw data. Where to turn to for the sort of analysis that conveys how crucial this battle is, and how jumbled the alliances.

Jeffrey Goldberg writes:

I’ve been talking to friends of mine, former Palestinian Authority intelligence officials (ejected from power by the Hamas coup), and they tell me that not only are they rooting for the Israelis to decimate Hamas, but that Fatah has actually been assisting the Israelis with targeting information.

Egypt is certainly hoping to see Hamas uprooted from Gaza. Anyone who favors peace in the region via a negotiated settlement has to hope for the same thing. This is the hardest thing for many in MSM to grasp –Hamas is al Qaeda with better pr. The American coverage I have been reading and hearing is not conveying the nature of Hamas or the desire of many of Israel’s Arab neighbors and potential peace partners to see Hamas routed from Gaza.

I’ll try and line-up Goldberg for when I get back. I missed his January, 2008 book Prisoners, or I’d have already had him onto discuss and included the conversation in The War Against the West. I’ll also try to find Robin Wright, whose Shadows and Dreams spent a lot of time delineating the divides among the Arab world that work both to empower and isolate Hamas. If Israel’s objective is to destroy Hamas so as to empower the PLA to return to Gaza and reunite the land over which a negotiated settlement can proceed, journalists and analysts like Wright and Goldberg, Michael Totten and Bret Stephens, and Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi will be as key as YouTube to explaining this to the American audience again confused by the strange alliances and brutal rules of the Middle East.
Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror (Vintage)

The War Against the West

Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East

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