Kritische Auseinandersetzung mit den Medien

Moderate Reaktion der moderaten Palästinenser auf die moderaten Israelis Mittwoch, 31. Dezember 2008

Filed under: Israel — peet @ 22:21 Uhr
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Für die pro-israelische öffentliche Meinung gehen David Grossman (Link) und auch – etwas weniger – Benny Morris (Link) ziemlich weit mit ihren Aufrufen zur blauäugigen Besinnung und zu Friedensgesprächen. Ich habe schnell nach den palästinensischen Reaktionen darauf gesucht. Eine Meinung scheint in diesem Sinne exemplarisch zu sein. Sie gehört einem Palästinenser aus dem Libanon, der seit Jahren in den USA lebt und arbeitet. Er heißt As’ad AbuKhalil und ist Prof an der California State University. Ich zitiere:

Yesterday, the op-ed page of the New York Times asked Benny Morris (the advocate of ethnic cleansing) to represent the Israeli point of view. For the Palestinian point of view, the NYT asked…Benny Morris. Today, the NYT asked David Grossman to represent the Israeli point of view. For the Palestinian point of view, the NYT asked…David Grossman. The latter is considred a „dove“ or a „liberal“ by the schewed standards of the Zionist state. I never was impressed with those Israeli doves, ever. This „dove“ today declares that Israel has been „restrained.“ He presumably believes that more than 60 women and children killed is a sign of restraint on the part of Israel. (Link)

Hamas‘ bombastic rhetoric, especially in times of crisis, is worse than that of Ahmad Shuqayri prior to the 1967 war. But let me make this clear: I criticize Hamas daily but not this week because this is not about Hamas. This is about Israeli terrorist crimes agaisnt the Palestinian people. Don’t let liberal Zionists fool you: I am old enough to remember when Israel practiced the same terrorist crimes against the Palestinains when they were led by feminsit/secular/enlightened/communist organizations. But that cliche statement contained in all Hamas‘ threats to the effect that „we shall make the ground shake under their feet“ should really be shelved. In Arab organizations, the louder and higher the pitch of the threats, the smaller are the deeds, and vice versa.  (Link)

Im Bezug auf den ersten Posting würde ich den Artikel von Daoud Kuttab in der Washington Post (Link) empfehlen, wo die pro-palästinensische Meinung deutlich ausgesprochen wurde. Im zweiten Fall würde ich gerne wissen, was David Grossman darüber denkt. Wie sieht es also mit dem Friedensgespräch aus?


Die FAZ und die New York Times sind sich einig

Die beiden Zeitungen publizieren am selben Tag den Aufruf des israelischen Schriftstellers David Grossman zum Frieden. Also hier in Englisch, hier in Deutsch. Ich habe keine Lust zu prüfen, ob die Übersetzungen übereinstimmen. Die Methode ist dieselbe, der nützliche Jude soll das aussprechen, was die Medien ihrem Präsidenten /ihrer Bundeskanzlerin dringend sagen wollen. Da sie selber zu feige dafür sind, soll der gute Mann das übernehmen. Dort heißt er Grossman, hier – Grosmann. Immer Schwierigkeiten mit diesen Namen…

Der Friedensbeauftragte spricht von einer Vergeltungsspirale (tit-for-tat snares). Er ist sich ganz sicher:

eine Waffenruhe könnte die Hamas dazu bringen, ihr Vorgehen zu überdenken.

such a calculated cease-fire could lead Hamas to change its mode of response.

Die Genfer Initiative lässt grüßen wie auch alle Hamas-Spezialisten, die Terroristen so gut verstehen und deren Gefühle ausdrücken. Der nächste Preis ist David Grossman sicher.

Update: Auch die „Guardian“ publizierte denselben Text heute (Link). Meine Güte, und die „Repubblica“ schon gestern (Link). Gleichzeitig auch in der „Haaretz“ (Link). Ich glaube, die englische Fassung der „Haaretz“ unterscheidet sich von der NYTimes-Fassung. Kollegen von Grossman, Amos Oz und A. B. Yehoshua, haben sich in den anderen italienischen Zeitungen geäußert (Link).


Zweimal zum Thema Unverhältnismäßigkeit

Immer wieder und diese Tage besonders oft und stark erklingen Vorfwürfe an die Adresse Israels, seine militärische Antwort auf die kleinen niedlichen Kassam-Raketen sei unverhältnismäßig (disproportionate). Von einigen Texten, die dagegen argumentieren, möchte ich zwei verlinken, die das besonders klar und klug vermitteln.

Einmal von Shmuel Rosner in der „Slate“ (Link), daraus eine Stelle:

Israel’s failure in Lebanon was maddeningly visible, but the failure of the international community to provide better solutions is no less problematic. Security Council resolutions were implemented poorly, and the international forces sent to execute them have failed to achieve their goals. („[T]here will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon.“) Similar international community failures led to Israel’s decision to go to war against Hamas in Gaza. The Egyptians and other mediators have failed to persuade Hamas to end the shelling of Israel. Those assisting the Palestinian Authority failed to prevent Hamas from taking over Gaza; they also failed to provide a strategy to tame Hamas after the group took control and to help the authority resume power in the territory. Complaining about Israel’s failures is easy; providing alternatives is more difficult (except for those who think that Israel should just get used to living under rocket fire).

No reasonable, moderately compassionate human being can ignore the suffering of Gazans under Israeli attacks. But such is the tricky nature of modern warfare: How do we measure proportionality without reducing the concept to an impossibly pedantic tit-for-tat? (How would it work? For every rocket launched into an Israeli town, Israel would retaliate by launching a similar rocket? And even then, how could we achieve proportionality without making sure that Palestinians in Gaza have the same alarm systems and comparably effective shelters?) How do we measure „success“ in a situation where no side is likely to bring real closure to a volatile situation?

Und einmal von Alan Dershowitz im „Christian Science Monitor“ (Link). Daraus zitiere ich den Schluß:

There have been three types of international response to the Israeli military actions against the Hamas rockets. Not surprisingly, Iran, Hamas, and other knee-jerk Israeli-bashers have argued that the Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians are entirely legitimate and that the Israeli counterattacks are war crimes.

Equally unsurprising is the response of the United Nations, the European Union, Russia, and others who, at least when it comes to Israel, see a moral and legal equivalence between terrorists who target civilians and a democracy that responds by targeting the terrorists.

And finally, there is the United States and a few other nations that place the blame squarely on Hamas for its unlawful and immoral policy of using its own civilians as human shields, behind whom they fire rockets at Israeli civilians.

The most dangerous of the three responses is not the Iranian-Hamas absurdity, which is largely ignored by thinking and moral people, but the United Nations and European Union response, which equates the willful murder of civilians with legitimate self-defense pursuant to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

This false moral equivalence only encourages terrorists to persist in their unlawful actions against civilians. The US has it exactly right by placing the blame on Hamas, while urging Israel to do everything possible to minimize civilian casualties.

Update: Doch noch ein Text zum selben Thema, von George Jonas, in der „National Post“ (Link). Einige Fragmente daraus:

Following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday, President Shimon Peres spoke to the press. „Nobody in this world understands what are Hamas’s goals and why it continues to fire missiles,“ Peres said. „This shooting has no point, no logic and no chance.“

I hesitate to say that I understand something about the Middle East that Peres doesn’t, but Hamas’s goals seem clear to me. The first is the destruction of the Jewish state. The second is to make it seem right.

In fairness, Hamas has never made any bones about its first goal. As the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, put it in an interview with journalist Flore de Preneuf in August, 2001, „Hamas was established to resist and kick out the occupier. All of Israel, Tel Aviv included, is occupied Palestine.“

It would be difficult to speak more plainly. Ironically, the person who did, also in the watershed year of 2001, wasn’t even a spokesman for Hamas but for Yasser Arafat’s „moderate“ Palestinian Liberation Organization. „Our strategic goal is Palestine from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river,“ said Faisal al-Husseini in a moment of candour. […]

Israel suffered 77 dead at the hands of terrorist bombers and snipers in the first six months of 2001 alone. Yet when an Israeli helicopter gunship carried out a targeted attack against a Hamas office in Nablus that tragically killed two passing children in the street in addition to six Hamas officials, Powell reacted in a predictable manner. „This kind of response is too aggressive,“ he told CNN’s Judy Woodruff. „It just serves to increase the level of tension and violence in the region.“

Hamas firing rockets „has no point, no logic and no chance,“ President Peres said yesterday. With respect, it does. The point of Hamas’s rockets is the expectation that someone like Colin Powell will say that Israel’s self-defence increases „the level of tension and violence in the region.“ As such, it has an excellent chance, I fear.

Jetzt stimmt der Titel des Postings nicht mehr – dreimal ist nun mal mehr als zweimal. Das lasse ich aber weiterhin so stehen.


Zwei Meinungen zum laufenden Krieg gegen die Hamas Dienstag, 30. Dezember 2008

Mit einem gewissen, etwas zynischen Lächeln verfolge ich, wie die deutschen Medien versuchen, ihr Problem mit der Bundeskanzlerin zu umschiffen. Sie nehmen ihr ihre Unterstützung für die israelische Abschreckungsmaßnahme übel, können das aber nicht direkt sagen. Noch ein Eiertanz.

Inzwischen lassen sich weiterhin interessante englischsprachige Texte finden. Zwei davon möchte ich verlinken. Eine nüchterne Beschreibung der Quadratur des Kreises, vor und in welcher die israelische Regierung und Gesellschaft stehen, – dafür hat Benny Morris, ein bekannter israelischer Historiker, in der New York Times gesorgt (Link). Er beschließt so:

What is common to these specific threats is their unconventionality. Between 1948 and 1982 Israel coped relatively well with the threat from conventional Arab armies. Indeed, it repeatedly trounced them. But Iran’s nuclear threat, the rise of organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah that operate from across international borders and from the midst of dense civilian populations, and Israeli Arabs’ growing disaffection with the state and their identification with its enemies, offer a completely different set of challenges. And they are challenges that Israel’s leaders and public, bound by Western democratic and liberal norms of behavior, appear to find particularly difficult to counter.

Israel’s sense of the walls closing in on it has this past week led to one violent reaction. Given the new realities, it would not be surprising if more powerful explosions were to follow.

Erstaunlich ähnlich sieht ein anderer Autor die Lage, das ist Bret Stephens, ein erfahrener Journalist, diesmal beim Wall Street Journal (Link). Ich bringe den Text sicherheitshalber komplett:

If only it were a parable, the endless confrontation between Israel and its enemies would be the case of the hedgehog and the fox. The fox, said the Greek poet Archilochus, knows many things, while the hedgehog knows one big thing.

Once upon a time — say, from modern Israel’s first stages in the early 20th century until the 1973 Yom Kippur War — it was the Jews who played the role of the hedgehog. Zionism, for all of its factions and facets, revolved around the straightforward idea of getting and keeping a state. Doing so required land, people and arms, the more of each the better. Only secondarily was it about legitimacy, peace, economic growth, cost-benefit ratios or any other, more delicate, ingredients in the overall makeup of modern statecraft.

This was a heroic period in the movement’s history, not because it was without folly, setback or tragedy, but because Zionism was able to achieve most of its historic objectives against large odds. It was helped along by enemies who, implacable though they were in their hatred of the „Zionist entity,“ were beset by their own internal power struggles. To describe the Arab states of this period as „foxes“ is a stretch, since they tended to be incompetent. But it was a fox-like form of incompetence, in that the Arabs were trying their hand at many things.

Today, however, it is Israel that has assumed the role of the fox. It defeated the second intifada in 2005 and then promptly withdrew its settlements and soldiers from Gaza. It bombarded Lebanon for 34 days in 2006 not for the bald sake of victory (a word that appears to have been banished from the Western military lexicon), but for a much more ambiguous goal of „quiet.“ Israel pursues an identical aim in its current conflict against Hamas, where it previously attempted to walk the fine line between squeezing Gaza economically without quite prompting a humanitarian crisis.

All this fine-tuning of policy is in some ways natural to any state that has achieved basic national objectives and must balance competing domestic and international interests. But Israel’s problem is that it hasn’t yet fully achieved its national objectives. Its borders remain subject to revision. Its claim to statehood is denied by roughly a third of the world’s governments. The United States continues to maintain its embassy in Tel Aviv, notwithstanding countless congressional resolutions.

By contrast, it is Israel’s enemies who have become the hedgehog, none more so than Hamas. Since winning parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas has delivered a diet of economic ruin to the Palestinian people. In the run-up to the current fighting, Hamas was roundly warned — by Israel, by the Egyptians, even by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — not to renew its rocket barrages against southern Israel.

But Hamas knows one big thing, which it labels „resistance“ or, for Western audiences, „ending the occupation.“ Just what that means was made clear by Palestinian cleric Muhsen Abu ‚Ita in a televised interview. „The annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine,“ he said, „is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.“

This kind of genocidal incitement is more than idle ranting: Gigantic ambitions sustain political movements through hard times. Hamas is also sustained by the insight that Israel’s considerable military capabilities are unlikely to be matched by political will. It believes that whatever attacks come will be tempered by a host of humanitarian and diplomatic considerations. It believes that Israel wants to avoid a public relations debacle (so Hamas will do everything it can to engineer or fabricate one). It believes that the weight of international sympathy will be on its side. It believes, too, that the last thing Israel wants is to reoccupy Gaza, with all the costs and complications that entails.

Hamas believes, in short, that while Israel will do many things, and do them well, it will not do the main thing. And that, in turn, means that as Israel exhausts its target list, as eventually it will, the storm will pass. Then the green flag of the movement will fly defiantly over the tallest building left standing, its prestige hugely boosted — and Israel’s commensurately diminished — throughout the Muslim world.

Does all this also mean that Israel’s attacks amount to a fool’s errand? Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert likes to point out that no Hezbollah rockets have fallen on Israeli soil since August 2006 — never mind that Hezbollah is both politically and militarily more powerful today than it was before the war. A similar outcome in Gaza would be equally disastrous.

This is not a counsel of restraint, of which Israel has shown more than enough through years of provocation. It is merely to point out that no ingenious conceit can disguise the fact that war offers no outcome other than victory or defeat. This is one big thing that Hamas understands, and that Israel must as well. The fox cannot beat the hedgehog. But the bigger hedgehog can — and in this case must — defeat the smaller one.


Israel gegen die Hamas: Zwei Gedanken nach dem dritten Tag Montag, 29. Dezember 2008

Filed under: Israel,Medien — peet @ 22:20 Uhr
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Während immer mehr Tränen über die humanitäre Katastrophe im Gazagebiet vergossen werden, schickt Israel die direkte humanitäre Hilfe für die zivile Bevölkerung ins Gazagebiet. Darauf wird sehr wenig aufmerksam gemacht. Dieser Gedanke wurde heute von J.G.Thayer gut ausformuliert (Link).

Die israelische Armee fürchtete bis zu 300 Kassam-Raketen täglich infolge der angefangenen Militäraktion und ist mit dem aktuellen Stand bis etwa 60 insgesamt in drei Tagen überrascht. Ist das kein Erfolg? Oder anders gesagt, wird es jetzt weiterhin besser werden oder schlimmer?


ZDF ist nicht bei der Stange Sonntag, 28. Dezember 2008

In dem heute-journal von ZDF stellte der empörte Claus Kleber fest, dass Israel weiter irgendwelche Ziele im Gazagebiet angreifen kann, weil die US-amerikanische Regierung noch „bei der Stange ist“. Dass zerstörte Gebäude mit der Hamas zu tun haben, sei nur eine bloße Behauptung Israels. Man wunderte sich auch ausgiebig über die Zurückhaltung des deutschen Außenministers. Der Ton und die behutsam präparierten Nachrichten passten zusammen. Mit dieser Sendung wurden wir am 28.12 um 21.45 zugemüllt.


1′:45“ Zerstört wurden Gebäude, die Israel in irgendeinem Zusammenhang mit der Hamas sieht etc.
5′:10“ Die USA sind noch bei der Stange


Israel gegen die Hamas: nach dem ersten Kriegstag

Filed under: Israel,Medien — peet @ 13:49 Uhr
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Nach dem langen Zögern ist es nun soweit, der Krieg läuft wieder offen. Es gab offensichtlich keine Alternative dazu, leider. Die Auswertung der Nachrichten zeigt, dass es sehr knapp mit der Zeit werden kann. Die erste erfolgreiche israelische Operation brachte sehr wenige zivile Opfer im Gazagebiet. Ziele wurden richtig ausgesucht und genau getroffen. Die Zahl der getöteten Hamaskräfte und der zerstörten Infrastrukturen der Hamas wird in den nächsten Stunden noch steigen. Dementsprechend lauter werden auch die üblichen Stimmen, die über die unproporzionale Gewalt, humanitäre Katastrophe etc. reden. Israel hat bestimmt nur wenige Tage, bis wieder irgendeine Fälschung in der Art des Kana-Massakers auftaucht und zum Ende der militärischen Handlungen Israels führen wird.

Wir werden sehen, ob die israelische Politik und die Armee aus den Fehlern des Libanonkriegs 2006 gelernt haben.

Es gibt vorerst sehr wenig empfehlenswerte Lektüre. Einige Analysen aus der Haaretz sind gut und zwar von Barak Ravid (Link) und von Amos Harel (Link), auch im Blog von Shmuel Rosner bei der Jerusalem Post (Link), korrekt ist die Warnung von Lenny Ben-David (Link).