July 21, 2006

The View From Tel Aviv

SMH reports Little interest in deaths and no sense that Israel has gone too far:
When attention turns to the victims of Israeli missiles, the footage usually turns grainy. This is because Lebanon forbids Israeli reporters from entering, so most stories of the army's strikes are relayed via Arab television.

Alternatively, the footage of the strikes is Israeli-filmed and in black and white, shot through the sights of fighter jets.

Like the US in its Iraq campaign, the army releases such recordings to confirm a prevalent assumption about its campaign: the vast majority of Israelis believe that - unlike the Katyushas that fall haphazardly across the country's north - its missiles are aimed with precision at legitimate targets. The editor of the Israeli English-language newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz, said Israeli media reflected the view that the military had responded appropriately to the threat from Hezbollah.

"As in any country, the major concerns are those closest to home," Horovitz said.

"But there is no sense here that Israel has gone too far. The Israeli narrative of the conflict is that six years ago Israel pulled back from Lebanon and now has its soldiers kidnapped and comes under unprovoked rocket attacks. There is much more of a concern that the army needs to be able to see the job through."

To provide relief from the bloodshed and to show normal life continues, the big-circulation tabloids, Maariv and Yediot Ahronot, run stories about births, weddings and circumcisions in bomb shelters. Inside, the toll in Lebanon is more difficult to find.


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