LETTERS
Israel won battle but lost Gaza war

THE worrying report by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), which unveils a feeling of insecurity by the Jewish population of Scotland, is in itself both alarming and, at the same time, lacking in one vitally important factor - the negative reporting by the media during the war with Gaza in 2014.

Undoubtedly, the conflict between Hamas and Israel produced an inordinately negative reaction by the public, which has led to a steep rise in anti-Israel feelings and antisemitism.

This, in my opinion, was exacerbated to a very great extent by TV news reports throughout the conflict and during the aftermath.

We all witnessed the almost hysterical way in which reporters were filmed running after injured civilians, who were always seen to be carrying severely injured children in their arms, followed by screaming and wailing local inhabitants.

This was eagerly portrayed by the media who were always on the spot to record these events. At no time did the media focus on the plight of the Israeli citizens, who spent day after day sheltering from the incessant rocket attacks from Gaza, not only during the conflict but for many months before it.

They also failed abysmally to pinpoint where these rockets were being launched from - mostly heavily-populated areas including schools and hospitals.

I unreservedly condemn the British media for being the cause of the anti- Israel feelings in the UK, but at the same time, I condemn the Israeli PR machine for its inability to project the facts of the conflict and its effects on civilians within its own borders.

Israel's public relations organisation has been (and still is) abjectly benign in the way it has failed consistently to project to the world the Israeli side of the matter.

While I put the blame firmly on the doorstep of the media for having created the ill-feelings towards Israel, and the resultant fall-out of increased antisemitism, I must apportion a percentage of the blame on Israel's failure to combat the heavily-biased reporting from the world's media.

With regard to the conflict of 2014, it was an example of winning the battle but losing the war.

Harold Lawson,
19 Tiree Place,
Glasgow.

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