Tag Archives: Hamas

21Nov/12

Old wars in a new Middle East

Strategic Outlook/ the Commentator

For the first time since the Gulf War, sirens were heard this past weekend in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. News stations broadcasted scenes of confused residents running for shelter along with instruction on what do when you hear a siren.  Fortunately, people here adapt quickly.  All of the sudden, long-hardened residents from down South were reassuring their friends and family in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Rishon LeZion: “You have more than a minute before the missile hits” they say, “down here we only have 15 seconds!”

The escalation in Gaza and the Israeli response, a.k.a Operation Pillar of Defense, is the first Israel-Palestinian escalation to unfold in the “new” Middle East.  The last two years, the years of the Arab Spring, minimized the Palestinian focus of the Middle East. Instead, citizens of the region were out on the streets, taking down dictators, and installing new governments.  The people of the Middle East are still finding their way as blood continues to be shed in Syria. Israelis and West-Bank Palestinians had their own “mini spring” in the form of demonstrations against economic policies and rising prices although these issues will be left for the coming elections. As for the Gaza Palestinians, well, they were neither allowed to demonstrate nor to elect any leadership since Hamas took control of Gaza in a military coup in 2007. Continue reading

07Jun/10

Where is the peace train?

“Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again”

Cat Stevens/Yossouf Islam

Caspian Weekly
Events surrounding the “Freedom Flotilla” tragedy continue to unfold, but the world is already flooded with demonstrations, denunciations and calls for retaliation. The Israeli attempt to board six civilian ships for security reasons resulted in 9 dead and over 30 injured.  It has been dubbed by most news outlets as “deadly,” “inhuman,” or a “disproportionate use of force” at best.

Condemnations have come from virtually all diplomatic circles.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced the violence and demanded explanations. Russia’s Foreign Ministry dubbed it a “gross violation of international law.” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak decried the use of excessive and unjustified force, and Turkey said its relations with Israel may not recover due to this “inhumane attack.” Continue reading

04May/10

Talk is not cheap

Talk is not cheap

By NIR BOMS AND IDO MIZRAHI
Jerusalem Post 03/05/2010

In the face of Palestinian incitement, Israel must return fire through spokesmen fluent in Arabic, and take initiatives to present alternatives.

Many in Israel were appalled when an animated video clip was posted last week depicting Noam Schalit, old and bitter, walking around with a photograph of his captive son Gilad, 20 years after his abduction. This cruel cynicism, the brainchild of the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, succeeded in drawing attention. The movement’s Web sites professed that the clip was aimed at the Israeli public, which is expected to pressure the government to carry out a prisoner exchange. But a more thorough reading reveals that in actuality the target audience is mostly the Palestinians themselves, and the timing of the clip’s publication is not coincidental at all. Continue reading

09Jun/09

The Other Gaza War: Hamas Media Strategy during Operation Cast Lead and Beyond

Chiche, Fabrice & Boms,Nir  (2009) “The Other Gaza War: Hamas Media Strategy during Operation Cast Lead and Beyond” in  Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol. 3. No. 2.

A simple search in Google for the word “Gaza” will yield over 67 million results, while a search for its neighboring Israeli city of Sderot-located just a few miles away from Gaza City and a target of the last few rounds of confrontation between Israel and Hamas-will yield a little over a million (a ratio of 60:1). A more interesting comparison demonstrates that a search for “Hamas,” a local terrorist group, receives twice the number of “hits” (27 million) as a search for the international terrorist network “al-Qa’ida.” These results can be explained by a number of factors, including the high level of interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the way different terms are coded on the internet. But the rather impressive Hamas media presence that was apparent during the recent campaign in Gaza can also be attributed to the calculated and successful media strategy implemented by Hamas and some of its supporters. The notion of a “media war” is nothing new when it comes to terrorist groups. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qa’ida’s second-in-command, declared in 2005 that: “We are in a battle, and more than half of it is taking place in the battlefield of the media. We are in a media battle for the hearts and minds of our umma Continue reading