I'm up late...couldn't sleep, so I was scanning the news feeds over a cup of tea.  After reading the latest on the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, I find myself disgusted by the news reports, but no longer capable of being shocked.

This won't be a long diary...just a brief missive upon what I contend is the nationalization, by PM Netanyahu, of a tactic used by mostly ultra Orthodox settlers in the West bank...Price Tag.  It has now morphed from being the sporadic actions of a few zealots in the West Bank into the nations defense posture and military strategy.

Reports coming out of Gaza now describing Israeli airforce targeting the homes of Hamas government ministers.  I assume most of these people are married and have children...as well as neighbors.  It now seems that the IDF is also targeting media outlets.  Two buildings housing press outlets from the region have been specifically target and destroyed.  One reporter for Beirut based Al Quds satelite channel lost a leg in the explosion.

How do you deal with potentially embarrassing press accounts and negative publicity?  Israel's answer seems to be to destroy the media outlets that might disseminate that news.  As the NYT points out in an article I just read:

The ability to gain access to and influence media coverage is critical to both sides seeking to promote their rival claims and versions of the events and arguments underpinning the conflict, recalling the 2008-2009 winter invasion of Gaza that brought international condemnation of Israel.

Both the Guardian and the Observer, meanwhile, have interesting articles on how both Israel and Hamas are carrying this conflict over into the social media battlefield, using Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube to get out their messages, their spin, their own preferred images of what is happening now...


While I no longer find it possible to be shocked by any of what transpires in the I/P conflict, the reactions of my own government still have the capacity to sicken.  When asked to comment on Israel's choice of targets in the escalating conflict, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes would only say:

“We believe Israel has a right to defend itself, and they’ll make their own decisions about the tactics that they use in that regard”
Maybe it's just me, but in spite of the old adage that all is fair in Love and War, targeting media outlets and the personal homes of your foe's government members, are not acceptable rules of engagement.  

They deserve official criticism by our own government, not tacit approval.  


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