Living in delusion

Bradley Burston, Haaretz, August 9:

All too often, Israelis, as well as their supporters abroad, view the damage their military has wrought, though the prism of How Little The World Understands What We’re Going Through, and How Muslims Everywhere Now Hate Our Guts And Want Us All Dead Even More Than They Did Before.

There is obsessive coverage in Israel of how Al Jazeera suspends its regular broadcasts to air marathon footage of such incidents as the Qana bombing and parallel civilian deaths in the Palestinian territories, hours and hours of faces blown half away, bodies blown half away, endless loops of the shredded corpses of infants, the elderly and the handicapped.

For Israelis, the psychology is complex, the consequence relatively straightforward. The reality of terrible incidents is transformed through the hyperbole and unashamed bias of the Arab media, into something considerably less terrible for Israelis, and thus, a Lie We Can Live With.

It is this psychology that allows our spokespeople to say, with a straight face, that Israel is not a nation which kidnaps people, that in no way do we target civilian populations [though we are greatly pained at the deaths of civilians, the terrorists who operate in their midst bear the responsibility for their deaths], and that our army is the most moral fighting force in the world.

Then, of course, there is the supreme example of lying in the Middle East, as practiced by the very people who lie to themselves better than anyone.… 

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