Posted tagged ‘Israeli media’

Palestinians Escalate War on Journalists

August 12, 2017

Palestinians Escalate War on Journalists, Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil, August 12, 2017

They said they did not know what “sensitive information” Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) were trying to hide.

Today, it is safe to say that the situation of the freedom of the media under the PA and Hamas is not much different than that under Bashar Assad’s Syria or even North Korea.

Palestinian journalists’ hateful obsession with Israel brings them no dividends. Rather, such venomous bias diverts attention from the true challenges and threats they face from the PA and Hamas. By expending their efforts in this twisted fashion, the journalists aid and abet their leaders in building dictatorial regimes that suppress public freedoms.

As part of its overarching effort to silence critics, President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) has resumed its war against Palestinian journalists who refuse toe the line or are suspected of being insufficiently loyal to their leaders in Ramallah.

But this is nothing new: Abbas and his team have long been notoriously intolerant of news stories that reflect negatively on them in particular and on Palestinians in general.

In the past few days, PA security forces arrested six Palestinian journalists from Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron. The journalists — Mamdouh Hamamreh, Qutaiba Kassem, Tarek Abu Zeid, Amer Abu Arafeh, Thaer Al-Fakhouri and Ahmed Al-Halaykeh — are suspected of “leaking sensitive information to hostile parties.”

This is the first time that Abbas’s PA has made such a ridiculous charge against Palestinian journalists. In an attempt to justify the latest crackdown on freedom of the media, Abbas’s news agency, Wafa, published a statement by an unnamed “senior security source” who said that the detained journalists were being interrogated about their role in “leaking sensitive information to hostile parties.” The detained journalists, meanwhile, have gone on hunger strike to protest their incarceration.

Upon hearing about the baseless charge, many Palestinian journalists said they did not know whether to laugh or cry. They said they did not know what “sensitive information” Abbas and the PA were trying to hide.

“We don’t have nuclear facilities,” remarked a Palestinian journalist from east Jerusalem sarcastically. “It’s clear that the Palestinian Authority leadership is using the security issue as an excuse to justify its punitive measures against journalists.”

Another Palestinian journalist from Ramallah scoffed at the charge against his colleagues. “This is the most ridiculous claim I’ve heard in years,” he commented. “It reminds us of Arab dictators who accuse their opponents and critics of revealing state secrets and consuming narcotics.”

That the PA leadership has refused to provide further details about the nature of the offense committed by the suspected journalists has only reinforced the belief that they were targeted as part of an ongoing campaign by Abbas and his lieutenants to silence critics and deter other journalists from doing their job or reporting any story that could reflect negatively on the Palestinian leaders.

Some Palestinian journalists take a different view of the matter. These reporters trace the arrest of the six journalists to a desire to pressure Hamas to release two journalists it is holding in the Gaza Strip: Amer Abu Shabab and Fuad Jaradeh.

In other words, the PA security forces are holding the six journalists hostage until Hamas frees the two newsmen it is holding. The journalists detained by the PA work for Hamas-affiliated media outlets in the West Bank.

Notably, the two Palestinian regimes – the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip — have hardly championed freedom of speech and freedom of the media. In fact, the two parties share the same values when it comes to silencing all forms of criticism. Dozens of Palestinian journalists have been targeted over the past two decades by both the PA and Hamas.

These regimes have their own special way of defining freedom of the press. That is, the press is utterly free to blacken the name of Israel. The name of Hamas or the PA, however, is sacrosanct: criticism of either would land a Palestinian reporter behind bars or in an interrogation room.

Hamas and the PA prefer that the press pound Israel. Short of that, they tolerate journalistic critique of municipal services or the shortage of medicine in hospitals.

Today, it is safe to say that the situation of the freedom of the media under the PA and Hamas is not much different than that under Bashar Assad’s Syria or even North Korea. The failure to achieve a free media for the Palestinians is yet another sign of the Palestinian failure to build proper and transparent state institutions.

The Palestinians have no functioning parliament, no open debate and no free media. In the West Bank, the media is controlled, directly and indirectly, by Abbas and his loyalists. In the Gaza Strip, the only “media” is that which is controlled by Hamas — again, directly and indirectly.

But there is an interesting twist to the latest story of Palestinian Authority and Hamas assaults on freedom of the media. Sadly, many Palestinian journalists do not seem to care much about the harassment and suppression of their colleagues at the hands of their leaders in Ramallah and the Gaza Strip.

Instead of organizing widespread protests to demand the release of their colleagues who are being tortured by PA and Hamas interrogators, Palestinian journalists are still scapegoating Israel. Incredibly, they continue to incite against Israel despite the fact that they are being detained and tortured by the PA and Hamas.

Instead of demanding the release of their six colleagues from PA prison, some Palestinian journalists are protesting because some Israeli (Jewish) journalists came to Ramallah last week to cover the visit of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

The presence of the Israeli reporters in Ramallah enraged several Palestinian journalists, who took to social media to condemn the Palestinian Authority leadership that gave them permission to come and cover the monarch’s visit.

The presence of Israeli reporters in Ramallah last week, to cover the visit of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, enraged several Palestinian journalists, who took to social media to condemn the Palestinian Authority leadership that gave them permission to cover the visit. (Image source: Palestinian President’s Office)

In this cartoon by Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, an Israeli journalist, carrying a microphone dripping with blood, is interviewing a dog.

Such incitement was easy to find on Palestinian social media websites this week. The presence of several Israeli Arab journalists seemed to roll right over the racist, raging Palestinian journalists — it is the presence of Jewish journalists that they cannot stand.

This attack on Israeli journalists has been backed by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), a Fatah-affiliated group headed by Nasser Abu Baker, a correspondent of the evidently unprofessional Agence France-Press: Baker has also run for election in the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

In a statement published in Ramallah, the PJS strongly condemned the presence of Israeli (Jewish) journalists in Ramallah and urged Abbas to hold accountable whoever gave the Israeli journalists permission to come to the city to cover the Jordanian king’s visit.

It seems that for the PJS, the presence of Israeli (Jewish) reporters in Ramallah is more disturbing than the arrest of Palestinian journalists by the PA and Hamas.

For the record, in recent years the PJS has served as a mouthpiece for Abbas’s office; instead of defending the rights of Palestinian journalists, it devotes more than 95% of its words and actions to denouncing Israel and whipping up rage against Israeli journalists.

Palestinian journalists’ hateful obsession with Israel brings them no dividends. Rather, such venomous bias diverts attention from the true challenges and threats they face from the PA and Hamas. By expending their efforts in this twisted fashion, the reporters aid and abet their leaders in building dictatorial regimes that suppress public freedoms.

Bassam Tawil, an Arab Muslim, is based in the Middle East.

Fake News: Trump Caved to Arab Pressure on Jerusalem Embassy Move

January 25, 2017

Fake News: Trump Caved to Arab Pressure on Jerusalem Embassy Move, The Jewish PressLori Lowenthal Marcus, January 25, 2017

us-consulate-in-jerusalemUS Consulate in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: Magister via Wikimedia

Several Israeli-based media outlets are repeating a story from an Arab media outlet that the U.S. Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is “off the table” due to Arab pressure.

But let’s look at the evidence thus far produced and line it up against reality.

The reports claiming the Trump administration has backed down from its stated commitment to move the embassy assert the reason that is happening is because of pressure placed on the new administration by the Palestinian Arab leadership.

A story in the Times of Israel quoted a report in the Arabic media outlet Asharq Al-Awsat. That report mentioned that assurances were given to Palestinian Arab leader Mahmoud Abbas and the PA’s perennial negotiator Saeb Erekat in a meeting held on Tuesday with “David Blum,” of the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

But there is no David Blum in the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

The US Consul General in Jerusalem (serving “Jerusalem, Gaza and the ‘West Bank,’ that is, not Jewish Israelis) is Donald Blome. In other words, there must have been a mistranslation going from Arabic to either Hebrew or English.

A quick search of the actual American diplomat in Jerusalem, Donald Blome, reveals that he was appointed in July, 2015 by President Barack Obama, not by President Donald Trump. Given that Blome’s alleged message of reassurance to the Palestinian Arabs that the new administration was bowing to their pressure, it beggars the imagination that Blome was speaking on behalf of Trump.

There is still more evidence that this explosive “evidence” is, at best, an unofficial remark from a sympathetic holdover from the last – exceedingly hostile – administration. In an updated version of the report on the matter from the very source of the rumor, there have been significant substantive changes in the report.

The first difference is that the name of “David Blum” no longer appears in the report. There is no longer any name associated with any American government office as the source of the claim. This is what the report now says:

A senior Palestinian official told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Palestinian leadership has received reassurances that a plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been suspended.

The sources added that based on official information, the plan to move the U.S. embassy was no longer under consideration.

While the sources declined to disclose the party that conveyed the reassurance message to the Palestinian leadership, they stressed that authorities in Ramallah were now relieved from the pressure that was caused by such threat.

So Erekat and Abbas’s names are gone, Blum’s name is gone, and the meeting on Tuesday is no longer mentioned.

This latest rumor, especially one boasting that Arab pressure led the Trump administration to cave on a significant campaign promise should be treated as merely the latest ephemera intended to create divisions between the Trump administration and its Israeli and pro-Israel supporters. That, and the effort to make Arab threats of violence seem all-powerful, thereby becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Any statements about whether and when the U.S. Embassy is moved to Jerusalem should only be given credence when made by a Trump administration official whose jurisdiction extends to this matter.

Israeli media defects show thru Bibi’s cigar smoke

January 14, 2017

Israeli media defects show thru Bibi’s cigar smoke, DEBKAfile, January 14, 2017

(Might the dislike of Trump by the Israeli left, the intensely negative coverage of Trump by America’s “mainstream media” and the apparent cordiality of the Netanyahu – Trump relationship stimulate the anti-Netanyahu media coverage in Israel — at a critical time when Netanyahu’s attention needs to be devoted to warding off or at least ameliorating Obama’s last efforts to doom Israel?– DM)

The torrent of alleged misdemeanors pouring out day after day against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, across the front pages and prime-time news broadcasts of Israel’s mainstream media, this week developed a new angle: Predictions from the same quarters of a summer election.

If the heavily biased media were counting on the police to produce hard evidence to support their charges, they were premature. No evidence of criminal conduct has yet come to light, despite leaked innuendo to favored reporters. Police investigators continue to dig hard, spurred on by the insatiable media appetite for sensational “revelations.”

Known for his penchant for the good things of life, Netanyahu’s fondness for Cuban cigars, paid for by good, very rich, friends, is no crime; nor is imbibing expensive champagne in their company – even if both are provided as gifts in lavish quantities.

Equally, even in democratic countries, politicians are not accused of criminal activity when they engage senior newspersons in hush-hush, give-and-take swaps of favors. It is pretty much par for the course.

However, Netanyahu’s secret conversations two years ago with his arch foe, Arnon Mozes, the publisher and editor of the wide-circulation tabloid Yediot Aharonot, are being branded by the media as “extremely serious.” According to tape recordings leaked from the same police investigation, the deal on the table was this: Mozes offered to tone down his paper’s virulent campaign against the prime minister. Netanyahu would in turn “arrange” to cut down the circulation of the free tabloid Israel Today, which was established by the Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson as a platform for the prime minister to counter the systematic media campaigns against him.

Mozes was – and still is – in serious financial trouble: his paper can’t’ stand up to the competition by Israel Today. But the bargain he hoped for was unlikely to take off for three reasons:

1. The prime minister doesn’t own Israel Today. The paper’s editorial and business staff is not compelled to obey him – only the proprietor. So if Netanyahu did indeed strike a deal with Mozes, which is not proved, he would have been selling a favor that was not his to sell, and liable to be sued, if by anyone, by the real owner.

2.  According to the recordings, Netanyahu repeated that he needed to discuss the issue with Adelson. It sounded as though the prime minister was willing to consider a deal, but deferred to the owner for the final word. He even suggested that it might be possible to persuade Adelson to buy Yediot from Mozes and merge it with Israel Today.

3. Yet in their daily “revelations” on this affair, senior reporters doggedly maintain that Netanyahu calls the shots in the free tabloid. They refuse to back down from the picture they have built up in one false report after another that Netanyahu dictates editorial policy at Israel Today.

What would they say if Adelson got fed up with Netanyahu and decided to turn the paper against him? He is perfectly free to switch the paper’s editorial support to whomsoever he chooses without consulting the prime minister.

Therefore the firestorm around the “Netanyahu affair” is focusing increasingly on the pack of attackers snapping at his heels. The publications which hammer at his culpability are being exposed themselves as far from being practitioners of the neutral, honest, professional, ethical and honest standards they preach for others.

It is common knowledge in the industry that, for years now, the leading news media have habitually sold out to various political and financial interests. The names of the pens, editors and publishers for hire are known to their colleagues.

But the general public is clearly in on the secret. They know which paper or reporter is the hired mouthpiece of a politician or business interest. They are not fooled by the sanctimonious protestations of “values” and “ideals” by the pundits and columnists promoting government critics.

Rather than being scandalized by Bibi’s ways – which are no secret –many have given up reading newspapers and following TV and radio news programs – and not just because they prefer the Internet. Stacks of newspapers on offer for free at cafes, supermarkets, or gas stations are left untouched.

The paucity of readers is countered by a large print to jack up advertising rates. In a flagrant breach of ethics, some newspapers deceitfully hide advertising plugs in regular editorial content, while TV “consumer” programs may be “sponsored” for pay, without informing the public that the “advice” on offer is tainted. In some magazines, cover stories are on sale to the highest bidders, as are prominent interviews in other media.

Certainly, not a few professional journalists who plied their trade honestly have quit the media and given up writing in disgust. The Press Council, which was founded originally as an independent forum for adjudicating on matters of ethics, has held silent in the face of flagrant violationsfor the past 11 years — ever since the appointment of retired high court judge Dalia Dorner as its head – and slept soundly when the Israeli communications media descended to the pits.

Opposition rivals seeking to topple Israel’s third-term prime minister have found a ready bludgeon, the corrupt mainstream media which is more than willing to push its ferocious onslaught on Netanyahu, confident that he can be railroaded into throwing in the towel – either by stepping down or calling an early election.

Netanyahu has so far shown no sign of weakness. He insists that the charges against him are trumped up and he will outlive them all.

Patience is a virtue

January 3, 2017

Patience is a virtue, Israel Hayom, Dr. Haim Shine, January 3, 2017

For years, the leftist Israeli media has waged a timed and organized campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, a campaign the likes of which has not been seen in the history of the country. A Bibiphobic psychosis born of the Left’s deep frustration, dismay and helplessness at its inability to carry out regime change through the ballot box. Desperation that intensified after the last elections, in which millions were invested, mostly from foreign sources who collaborated with well-known figures in the Israeli media to take down the Right.

Every day, Israeli citizens were force-fed stories and about the Netanyahu family; a series of rumors and accusations circulating endlessly. A journalist creates a headline in the morning, the television networks echo it at night and esteemed pundits, including lawyers, pile on with their creative theories. “Truth of the day” at its most wretched.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s statement Monday made it clear that most of the cases made famous by the Bibiphobes were groundless, including claims of illegal financing in the 2009 elections, tilting the Likud primary election results, receiving benefits abroad and the double-billing of travel expenses, dubbed “Bibi Tours.”

I am sure many Israelis remember the media frenzy over “Bibi Tours” all too well, but as it turns out, those things never happened. There is no doubt that those who celebrated the allegations won’t do any soul-searching regarding their contribution to the erosion of public faith in much of the media.

While many in politics and in the media treated Netanyahu’s statements — that nothing would come of these alleged affairs because there would be nothing to find — with blatant cynicism, as it turns out, he was right.

In their battle against Netanyahu, the media — in their efforts to pressure the attorney general to advance the interests of those propagating the allegations — have trampled on Mendelblit’s credibility.

There are allegations Mendelblit instructed the police to investigate. That is the role of the police. But here too, one cannot expect the media to allow the police to do their work without interfering and creating smoke screens. In the coming days, we will hear and read countless speculations. A degree of restraint, patience and caution is important to afford the media the respect it deserves, as it is essential to democracy. And perhaps, in relation to these allegations, it will turn out that nothing will come of them because there was nothing to investigate. Time will tell.

J-Street Makes Best Pro-Trump Pro-Israel Endorsement Video Ever

November 3, 2016

J-Street Makes Best Pro-Trump Pro-Israel Endorsement Video Ever, Jewish Press, November 3, 2016

Thanks to Brian of London, who only had to do some really minor tweaking, J-Street put out the best pro-Trump pro-Israel video ever.

The truth is, even without the tweaks the video would be a stunning endorsement for anyone who is pro-Israel.

The Old Generals’ Old Plan

May 31, 2016

The Old Generals’ Old Plan, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, May 31, 2016


Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The Israeli Left is a one trick pony. As it sees things, all of Israel’s problems – with the Palestinians, with the Arab world, with Europe and with the American Left – can be solved by giving up Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem (along with Gaza which we gave up already).

Once Israel does this, the Left insists, then the Palestinians, the Arab world, Europe and Bernie Sanders voters will love us as they’ve never loved us before.

The events of the past quarter century have shown the Left’s position to be entirely wrong. Every time Israel has given the Palestinians land, it has become less secure. The Arabs have become more hostile.

The West has become more hostile. The Palestinians have expanded their demands.

Because of their negative experience with the Left’s policy, most Israelis reject it. This is why the Right keeps winning elections.

Given the failure of its plan, the Left could have been expected to abandon it and strike out on a different course. But it didn’t. Instead it has tried to hide its continued allegiance to its failed withdrawal strategy by pretending it is something else.

A central component of the Left’s concealment strategy is its use of former generals.

Over the past quarter century, and particularly since the Palestinians began demonstrating in 2000 that they have no interest in a state living side by side with Israel, the Left has carted out retired generals at regular intervals to proclaim that continued allegiance to the Left’s failed policy of withdrawal is not irrational.

Every couple of years, a new initiative of former generals – often funded by the EU – is published.

Each in turn uses whatever the popular memes of the day may be to repackage their call for withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and the partition of Jerusalem.

The media, itself dominated by the Left, backs these initiatives. The retired war heroes are paraded before the cameras and presented to the public as responsible adults who have grudgingly entered the political fray, despite their aversion to it, because of their patriotism. Just as they heeded the call of duty and led forces in wars of earlier generations, so today, we are told, they heed the call again, in yet another last-ditch effort to save the country.

Just in time for Avigdor Liberman’s swearing in as defense minister, a new group of old generals released a new version of their old, discredited plan.

A group calling itself “Commanders for Israeli Security” has mobilized an impressive roster of 214 generals that have signed on to a new position paper called “Security First: Changing the rules of the game, a plan to improve Israel’s security-diplomatic position.”

The group has a great website replete with a highend web commercial that has been flooding social media feeds for the past several days. The ad shows a person ripping up a “Peace Now” bumper sticker and replacing it with a call for “Security now, peace later.”

Their plan, the ad proclaims, will improve Israel’s security, strengthen its international position, repair the cleavages in Israeli society and set the conditions for future negotiations with the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, like every leftist plan to date, if the generals get their way and the government takes their advice, the results will be precisely the opposite of what they promise. As has been the case with every other well-packaged withdrawal plan, Israel’s security will be harmed. Our international position will be wrecked. Bernie Sanders voters along with the Europeans will expand their devotion to bashing Israel. And the Sunni Arab states that now flock to us will again abandon us.

The generals’ new package involves opening their plan with a hawkish call for continued Israeli security control over Judea and Samaria, until the Palestinians decide to make peace with us.

But as we soon see, that was just throat clearing.

Having established their sober-mindedness, the generals turn to the Left’s unchanging fantasy.

They call for the government to formally relinquish Israel’s sovereign rights over the vast majority of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

They call for the government to permanently stop respecting the property rights of Jews in the areas of Judea and Samaria outside of the security perimeter.

The more than one hundred thousand Jews who live in those areas, they insist, must be denied all right to property, save the right to sell whatever they now own.

They must not be allowed to build anything – no new houses; no new communities; no new infrastructure.

As for the communities inside the perimeter, the generals insist that those should be permitted to continue respecting Jewish property rights, within limits, albeit. For instance, those communities must not be permitted to expand beyond their current construction boundaries. In other words, Jews can build up, but not out.

Jerusalem, which they believe should never have been unified in 1967, should be effectively partitioned.

The generals call for the municipal government to stop administering the city as a unified mixed Jewish and Arab city. Instead, they say, the city should set up a separate governing authority for Arab neighborhoods in eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem. That separate authority should be responsible for all planning and zoning activities in Arab neighborhoods as well as the education system and every other aspect of the daily lives of the Arabs of the city.

Gaza, which has been operating as a Hamas state since 2007, is also brought in from the cold. The generals call for the government to continue to supply Gaza with everything that Hamas demands – water, electricity, employment in Israel, a Hamas-controlled port. They even call for Israel to allow Europe to pay the salaries of Hamas terrorists.

Moreover, the generals recommend that the government announce that Gaza, Judea and Samaria and partitioned Jerusalem are one political entity, despite the fact that they aren’t.

The generals insist that by taking these steps, Israel will prove its devotion to peace and keep the dream of a Palestinian state alive. As a consequence, they say, the Palestinians will be happy and stop trying to murder Israelis. The Arab world will line up to sign peace treaties with Israel. Europe along with Bernie Sanders’ voters will bury the hatchet and embrace Israel.

The problem with the generals’ newest plan and the ones its replaces is that they all ignore basic facts.

There is no Palestinian constituency for peace with Israel. The more Israel offers the Palestinians, the less interested they are in settling.

By announcing that Israel renounces its claims to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and treating the Jews east of the 1949 cease-fire lines as second class citizens, the generals will not only widen Israel’s social cleavages. They will tell the Palestinians that they are right to feel contempt for us. The worse they behave, the more we will offer them. The more Jews they murder, the more the Jews will turn against one another.

As for improving Israel’s international position, it is hard to understand why the generals refuse to learn the lessons of the Gaza withdrawal. Despite the fact that Israel uprooted 24 Jewish communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, and removed its military forces from the area, without exception, the international community insists that Israel still “occupies” Gaza. How can the generals expect the world to act more fairly towards a more limited withdrawal plan from Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem? As for Gaza, Operation Protective Edge brought out into the open the fact that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab states support Israel in its war against Hamas. They do so because they fear Islamic State and Iran more than they hate Israel, whose power they trust.

If Israel announces its intention of leaving Judea and Samaria, which the Arabs know will become a Hamas enclave faster than Gaza did, the Arab faith in Israel’s power will diminish. As a consequence, if Israel follows the generals’ advice our relations with the Sunnis will worsen, not improve.

It is a tragedy for Israel that the generals have allowed the Left to use them in this way. Their role in perpetuating Israel’s destructive adherence to the devastating two-state policy model diminishes their past contributions and endangers Israel’s future.

No one has a monopoly on values

May 22, 2016

No one has a monopoly on values, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, May 22, 2016

No one has a monopoly on values, including the Left and the media. Nearly 40 years ago, in May 1977, the media witnessed the victory of Menachem Begin’s Likud, the fulfillment of what was for it an apocalyptic prophecy. Almost 40 years have passed, the Likud is still in power (and an “unimportant” peace deal was signed with Egypt on the way), and the media still doesn’t understand how the people can choose differently. Since the media is never wrong, it takes care to create an imaginary reality for us in which the citizens of Israel are dying of hunger in the streets, the survivors are fascist occupiers, and those who believe in the sanctity of the land of Israel are messianic or right-wing extremists. There is no other option.

After claiming a monopoly on values (just like the Left, and sometimes part of the Right), the media consistently tries to bring the latest person to leave the Likud into its ranks. In the past, it was Roni Milo, Ariel Sharon (both before the disengagement from Gaza and after it), and Gideon Sa’ar, and now outgoing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Things must be really dreary on the Left if the media needs to pick on the Right time after time.

The desire to present current events (the Hebron shooting of an immobilized Palestinian, the speech by the deputy IDF chief) as watershed events in the history of relations between the military and the state is factually incorrect. Unpleasant to say, it’s even nonsense. We’ve known much harder periods in terms of the military’s relations with the country as a whole — after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, for example, or the disengagement in 2005 — but memories are short.

Do you remember that war more than four decades ago, in which 2,600 soldiers were killed due to a serious intelligence failure? Back then, people really did leave the country. They didn’t just threaten to, they simply left. “A fallout of weakings,” the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called them. The schism was immense. The darkest scenario had come to pass: Society lost faith in the army. Is that the situation today?

Today, they are trying to create a new reality, like in 1973 after the war, but the opposite — the upper military echelon has lost faith in the people. Yes, you read that correctly. The Middle East is so quiet that those in uniform have free time for a new pedagogical role — handing out grades to society. The media, of course, welcomes it, because this conduct fits in with its own agenda.

Let’s suppose for a minute that the Left was in power, and senior officers were to take matters of value and morality into their own hands, but in the other direction: to the right. Would the media embrace them in that case, too?

In the reality in which we live, a senior officer (major general) who compares processes taking place here to the Germans in the 1930s is a man of values, but an officer who invites his soldiers to pray before an action in Gaza? That’s darker, even reminiscent of Iran. It’s a shame that Albert Einstein isn’t here to test the theory of moral relativism in our country. Perhaps we should recall Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s command prior to the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, when he called on all Allied soldiers to “beseech the blessing of Almighty God” before the operation?

Since it was announced that Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman was joining the coalition, everyone has been whipped into a frenzy. As if the man hasn’t already served as foreign minister, as if Israel’s defense minister decided to launch wars and wasn’t overseen by the prime minister and the cabinet and the military leadership. Again, we have apocalyptic predictions by the chorus of pundits, which last week proved that its understanding of the political system is as limited as its understanding of the people’s wishes.

And another brief reminder, not from 1948 or 1973, but rather from March 2015, when Israel held elections. Remember? The people made the media eat dirt, and it can’t forgive them.

In that same election, the people spoke clearly and said “Right.” In effect, the Right had a bloc of 67 mandates. Yisrael Beytenu’s place was in the coalition. What just happened is a correction. Incidentally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu actually wanted Isaac Herzog and the Zionist Union to join the government, but Herzog couldn’t supply the goods. What we’ve gotten instead is a stronger coalition. In other words, the government now has a better chance of surviving. The media, of course, can’t accept the move as a positive one so long as it hopes the government will fall. So what does it do? “Pollute” (a term from one of the news broadcasts on Saturday) the process. Lieberman, who as of Saturday was worthy as an anti-Bibi member of the coalition, has suddenly become a pathetic, inexperienced guy, and Netanyahu is supposedly busy just trying to hang on politically — as if Shimon Peres, in his time, only dreamed of resigning.

All the events of this past week are essentially political. It’s amazing to see how experienced journalists are horrified by coalition moves. Haven’t we seen dirty tricks and political opportunism in the past? Haven’t we sometimes made territorial concessions that matched the needs of the hour more than ideology?

This weekend, I returned from France, the nation of human rights. The news shows talked with concern about anarchists who were creating disturbances and damaging property. Their economy is bogged down; their political system is having a hard time producing leaders; absorbing refugees is a problem; and the extreme Right, which won the European Parliament election in 2014, is threatening to repeat its performance in next year’s presidential election. Surprisingly, I didn’t see any French analyst or journalist expressing concern on a live broadcast that his children might leave the country.

The media must always remember that here, the people are sovereign. We should remember that the chosen people (I suppose that this makes me a condescending fascist) is also the people that chooses, and its vote counts for more than ratings.