Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ha’aretz – Israel’s Newspaper Of Broken Record

There are some who have the audacity to declare that Ha’aretz is Israel’s “newspaper of record.” As one who has lived in Israel for over twenty years, I don’t think that “paper of record” describes Israel’s lunatic leftist rag. It could be better described as Israel’s “newspaper of broken record", perpetually returning to the previous groove and sounding the same chorus over and over again. That’s what they sound like lately as they repeat in two different articles the same mantra: The IDF failed in the recent Lebanon war because it was busy with “occupation” instead of training for war. I don’t know which article came first. Here’s a bit from Ze’ev Schiff, “Policing in Gaza has blunted IDF fighting abilities”:
One of the main conclusions of the war against Hezbollah will be the fact that the fighting abilities of the ground forces deployed by the Israel Defense Forces in Lebanon have been blunted by years of police action in the territories.

Most units, in their training and operations, followed fighting doctrines of police forces and not of standing armies. Hezbollah trains, fights and is equipped as an army, utilizing some of the most advanced anti-tank missiles and other weapons.
Yeah, right. Hezbollah fights as an army, but Schiff “forgot” to mention that they use human shields! The rest of Schiff’s article can be similarly fisked.

The next one is an anonymous editorial entitled, ”Save the IDF”. Here’s a whiff:
There are all kinds of ways to investigate the Lebanon war and learn its lessons, but it seems the main lesson will not be learned in the foreseeable future. The army is not to blame for the fact that it has been dealing with ongoing security in the occupied territories for almost 40 years now - or, more precisely, since 1987, when the Palestinians began a violent revolt against the occupation. The "Israel Policing Forces" are engaged mainly in defending Israel against terror perpetrated by an occupied population. They have neither the resources nor the time to prepare for a real war.
Apparently this is how Israel’s paper of broken record will continue to put a spin on what happened in Lebanon. They certainly won’t let the facts confuse them.


Olah Chadasha said...

While I agree with your conclusion about his article, I believe Schiff does have a point on the erosion of military training since the Intifada started. Schiff fails to recognize or differentiate between the past 6 years and the past 39 years since 1967. Is he actually going to dare to say that the military has been poor at fighting since June 11th, 1967???

No, it is painfully obvious that while he talks about "occupation" being the bane of Israel's problem, he is only merely referring to the last 6 years. You would a man of Schiff's reputation would understand the difference. Then again, it is also painfully obvious that the point of his article was not to crtique the Army's current ability to fight conventional wars, it's about his political ideology and pointing out that if "only Israel weren't an 'occupying' force, Israel would have won in Lebanon". Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact of the matter is, both the government and the military establishments have in fact dropped the ball on military training and preparation for conventional ground war and have simply cut corners at the expense of our soldiers ability to fight effectively, efficiently, and save lives. There is no such thing as logistical cohesiveness anymore. I don't want to go into why these problems exist as they might not be public information, but the point of obvious. "Occupation" is NOT to blame for the Army current status. The government and military's higher echelon is at fault for its latest disasterous and disgusting debacle.

Cosmic X said...


Your points are well taken. Another point that I should have added is that it seems to me that the zigzags on the political level were as much to blame for the outcome of the current war as the IDFs lack of training and prepareness.

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