Who can sleep at a time like this when a real time blood libel has started against the State of Israel?
During the night reports started to come through of a missle strike on a Gaza hospital.
My first thought was that Hamas operatives may have been storing weapons, or been in hiding on the site. Israel would not bomb a hospital and risk civilian casulties unless there were extraneous circumstances such as the rescue of hostages or the prevention of a missile assault.
The social media and international reports started syndicating. The real time blood libel unfolds. Here are some screen shots of what appeared in Australian media within an hour or so of the incident:
Struck by the allegations that this was an Israeli missile strike, and knowing that Hamas are waging as much of a propaganda war as it is a terrorism campaign, I started to look at the Israel coverage. Within the first few minutes of the event the breaking news items said that the situation was unsure, but checks were being made. Then came some fairly forthright statements from the Israeli military and President:
It only took me minutes to research the other side of the story and work out that this was not the result of an Israeli military action. Yet, as I write the news stories and comments are streaming in, still implying Israel is at fault. Still repeating Hamas allegations as fact. Giving a “death toll” when it may take days or weeks to determine the number of casualties. The speed in which Hamas has claimed a body count is not realistic.
Israel has been quick to issue the above communications from its official channels, but it makes no difference. The public relations damage has been done.
As today unfolds we will no doubt see the Israeli claims dismissed as “lies”, and the imaging on media will be of the victims in Gaza. There will either be innuendo such as “Israel denied the strike” or no context at all, simply to construct a narrative that Israel is inhumanely targetting civilians.
The statement “Truth is the first casualty of war” was first attributed to Aeschylus, Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC – 456 BC).