Friday, November 24, 2017

A look at TV news from Israel, week of November 19-24, 2017

In Israel, TV news isn't always the same as news-in-print. Sometimes, Israel's TV news reveals truths about Israel and the Arab-Israel conflict you might not notice in newsprint. 

The TV news report below could be a case in point. It's from November 21, 2017. 

The first of the five TV news stories below is about a car owned by an Israeli that was stolen and set afire. One of the Israel news sites that ran this story was the website, arutzsheva  ("David Rosenberg, "3 Israelis rescued from Schechem", arutzsheva, November 21, 2017). That report was different from the TV report below in one important way--religion.

Religion is big in Israel. Some love Judaism. Too many don't. This love/not love dialectic shows up often in news reporting, if you're alert to its existence.

The incident in question occurred in the Israeli city of Schechem, known to the West as 'Nablus'. Schechem/Nablus is an Arab town. The arutzsheva report strongly suggested the three Jews had gone there for religious reasons--to visit the Tomb of (the Biblical) Joseph. 

The TV story also mentioned the Tomb. But it suggested a visit as just one reason the Jews had gone there--not the sole reason.  

Some Jews consider Joseph's Tomb to be Holy. They want to pray there. But because Schechem in under the control of the Palestinian Authority, going there is dangerous for Jews.

 Jews are still allowed to go there. But they must coordinate with the IDF.  

The 3 Jews mentioned in the news traveled into Schechem without IDF permission. 

No one reporting this story understood why the 3 went to Schechem. The arutzsheva story gave the strong impression that these three, like others before them, went to Joseph's Tomb for a religious purpose.

The TV report didn't mention any religious motivation for the three Jews until the end of its report. But that mention gave no direct link to them. Was the Tomb reference at that point an afterthought? 

This TV news report is titled, "Your Morning News from Israel". It's from a relatively new Israel site, ILTV. It's dated November 21, 2017. It's 6:06 minutes long.

I'll discuss the reports below:

How complex and confusing is the  Middle East? Well, the first news story suggested an unease with religious Jews, something that some in Israel's Jewish media haven't yet come to terms with. That story also illustrated how dangerous the Middle East is for Jews, religious or not. The second news report seconded this last idea, but for a completely different reason.

This second story was about a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation. The UN was said to be worried. It worried that, if this reconciliation effort failed, war with Israel will become increasingly likely. 

How's that? Why would a Hamas-Fatah rift provoke war with Israel?    

To a rational person, if Hamas-Fatah reconciliation efforts broke down, you'd expect war between Hamas-Fatah. War with Israel because of an internal Arab rift makes  no sense. 

But it does make sense--because this is the Middle East. In the Arab Middle East, war with Israel is driven by hate, not politics. 

The next  story, about the possible cancellation of a $500 million dollar arms deal with India, hints at a different issue, something you might have missed as you read newsprint stories about Israel.

It suggests how Israel might deal with the hate it faces.

With this third story, we see that India has apparently cancelled a $500 million dollar defense contract with Israel. But is that what really happened--or, is this news story simply a more-of-the-same Middle East nonsense report, where Israel signs an agreement with (you name the country), that country then denies any such agreement has occurred, and the agreement nonetheless lives on--quietly and in secret. 

Does the described  'contract cancellation' really bode ill for Israel's future relationship with India (as the news reader suggested)--or, is this news story a fake, set up by Israel to showcase for any country who seeks business with Israel (but is afraid to do so for political or diplomatic reasons) how it can in fact do business with Israel by playing a game of  'backing out'?

Is Israel going to suffer because of this 'cancellation'? Or, will the supposed 'cancellation' announcement help Israel bring in more business by demonstrating a cover story countries can use when engaging with Israel? 

 The fourth story, about creating some kind of 'normalization' with Saudi Arabia, is similar. It answers the question, how can Arab countries agree to do business with Israel?

Palestinian Authority officials reject any kind of 'normalization' with Israel. It wants to destroy Israel, not cooperate--normalize--with it. It demands that all Arabs follow suit.

So, how does an Arab country seeking to cooperate with Israel do that? It's simple. It cooperates, Then it denies any such cooperation.

How do we describe such a relationship/non-relationship? As the news reader suggested, we call it 'complicated'.

What's the truth here? Well, it's complicated.

What can we deduce from all this 'bad' news for Israel? Well, it's complicated.

The last TV news story--about musicians who stand with (or, against) Israel--is no different. How do you sort out for yourself all those 'hate-Israel' voices? 

According to some, the answer to this question is, it's complicated.

You should watch Israel TV news. You can learn a lot about the Middle East. 

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