1) Is Israel winning the media war?
2) What more could Israel be doing on the media front?
The Tundra Tabloids’ answers
When evaluating how well the Israeli position is being heard, one has to review what both the media and the politicians are saying. Whether or not they agree with the Israeli position is one thing, but are they mouthing Israel’s talking points while they’re doing it?
Winning the media war
1) Yes, based on the evidence, when reviewing the reports in the Finnish media, the Israeli government’s positions are being expressed (though not as much as one would like). At least in Finland, in spite of the intense media bias, with a few lone exceptions, the public at large remains (a) either unconvinced by Hamas’ excuses, (which can be seen in the lack of viable protests) (b) though they sympathize with what is happening (loss of innocent life) they are voicing support for Israel, which can be read from the many responses in the comment sections that accompany articles on many of the media’s websites.
Just last night, Finnish MTV3’s, Kari Lumikero, gave an excellent report that gave the viewer a taste what it’s like to live under the threat of Qassams, 8000 of them during the last few years, and the 15 seconds given to seek to shelter from them. Israelis were interviewed and shown to be sympathetic towards the loss of life in Gaza, but have had it with the threat of rockets from Gaza on a daily basis.
In regards to what Israel could be doing better.
2.) There again appears to be a gross lack of understanding on the part of the media concerning the use of force, what is justified and what is not. The mantra of the “disproportionate use of power” is widely seen in the editorials, which reflects that there has not been enough information disseminated to the media in regards to what force Israel is allowed to use under international law. The very idea that a Qassam rocket has no military use, being solely a weapon to terrorize a civilian population, and the use of such a weapon is a war crime, is lost on the public at large.
There has to be a way to compete with the wire services, which serve as a conduit for highly biased and flawed news stories to much of the media. The trust in which the news media places in these wires services is high, and they need to be exposed in a great way where they get things badly wrong. If the MFA set up a unit that exposed the wire services on a daily basis through live Vlogging, it would help expose them on a regular basis as well as turn their gross errors into a media event. The You Tube videos and Vlogging are great ideas, but they need to be consitantly updated.
As for a visual sign of Israel support here in Finland, look no further than channel MTV3 who is running an online poll, in which the reader is asked whether Israel’s ground attack in GAZA is one of self defence? The Yes (Kyllä) department is way ahead. KGS