Is Israeli media sending the wrong message to our enemies?

Some call it a war of attrition; others call it psychological warfare. Whatever words one chooses to describe the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, it all amounts to one goal, another attempt by Israel’s enemies to demoralize the Jewish nation.

I say “Israel’s enemies” because as we slowly learn, the conflict is no longer confined to our enemies in the South. We are beginning to see some trickle of a conflict, albeit isolated, from the Lebanese side and the Syrian one.

However, it is not Israel’s enemies that concern me so much nowadays. I am more concerned by their useful idiots, the ones who serve as their messengers in their efforts to aid those who wish to bring about  Israel’s demise and achieve their goal of getting Israel to its knees. Yes, I am referring to the media and those who quote it.

True, the attitude of the local press and the dissatisfaction of its members and others may be the consequences of the failure of the government to explain matters sufficiently well. Unbeknown to us and as hard as it may be for some of us to accept, our leadership may have its own reasons for being cautious and concerned that full disclosure may undermine Israel in the long run and. That, though, is a whole different issue and needs to be dealt with separately.

Here is what worries me.

When I read in the papers or hear it amplified on the news how “successful” the mortar shells are and the havoc they cause among us, including death, when I read how frustrated and helpless some residents are in the face of these and when I hear about the stifling of the voices of those who remain defiant, I can only picture the big smile that spreads on the faces of some Qatari temporary residents. I can see them rubbing their hands together and raising a toast to the “success” of the Hamas “freedom fighters” who with a small simple homemade bombs can spread fear and panic in our communities and terrorize a whole nation.

Make no mistake, that “success” is not limited to the enemies in South of Israel. Recently, I have been reading messages by those who claim to quote Israeli media describing how residents along the Lebanese border are leaving their homes en mass for fear that on Rosh Hashanah, some Hizballah members will come out crawling from some tunnels, butcher them, kidnap them and take them as hostages.

Now, I do not live along the Southern border. Neither do I live along the Northern border. I cannot speak for people who live there and who experience such fear. Not to acknowledge such concerns is unfair and inconsiderate. However, the claim by some parts of the media and those who quote them that such a risk does exist on our Northern front despite the fact that our military sources denied it is wrong, irresponsible and dangerous.

Wrong, because one would have hoped that following the Gaza tunnel experience and the disclosure of the purpose of those tunnels, the IDF would have learned some lessons, maybe not all lessons but at least some, and that the safety and security of the residents of the North would be of prime importance to it. Irresponsible, because with the daily reality facing Israeli citizens, with many having their nerves already exposed, spreading such rumors only adds to their jittery feelings and settling panic. Finally, there is the danger associated with spreading such rumors, the danger of aiding the enemy’s sense of victory. I can imagine the elders of Hizballah sitting in their underground bunkers, reading such messages and claiming victory without even having to fire one single rocket.

Is that what we want? More importantly, is that what we need at this stage in Israel’s war on terror?

At times like these we need people to think, not panic!

About the Author
Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks is an English teacher and a pro Israel advocate. She lives in Israel and has recently published her first novel, "On A Wing From The Holy Land."