Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An IDF Pilot Speaks Out

I wrote last week regarding the state of the Israeli media and the manner in which their extreme criticism was causing harmful negativism.

In today's Maariv, a fighter pilot writes a column in which he calls for the media to focus on Israel's victories. See the article here.

"Throughout the fighting, the media has created a feeling that 'we are losing!' It does this by the hysterical and over-the-top coverage of the home-front, and also correspondents who rely less on hard facts and more upon their personal beliefs, estimations and imagination."

He points to a series of successes; first among them being the surprise and resolute Israeli response to the initial Hizboalla attack.

"There is no doubt that Nassralla is sitting in his bunker, pulling his hair out, and wondering why this is happening to him, and how he didn't predict it.

True! They still retain some of their missile capability, but the number of hits in open fields and countryside is an achievement which is a product of the colossal pressure felt by those who launch the missiles and their fear of being hit.

Can you try to imagine the management of an organization whose institutions are all destroyed to pulp, their military positions have been eradicated entirely, and the homes, and apartment buildings of their activists…have been wiped out?

Try to imagine the Lebanese government weighing up the cost to its country, in the future, when it needs to decide whether to allow Hizbollah to take control; and all this without the IDF having harmed their major national infrastructure (water, electricity, ports, gas)…"

He continues:

"I do not want, in a democratic country, to see a media that is one-sided or a journalism that follows the party line. However, there is no doubt that solidarity and national responsibility are definitely things that I would expect from every citizen and certainly the media in wartime."

He calls for realistic expectations:

"…it is impossible to fight in an environment that offers no tolerance for casualties and mistakes, despite the titanic efforts expended in preventing errors. "It is not on a silver platter"….And anyone who has reached the point of weariness, or thinks otherwise, I beg him to wake up and open his eyes."

He ends with the following:

"If you want to help Tzahal and the country in its current effort – fly an Israeli flag on your balcony, smile at us in the streets, believe in us. We believe in ourselves: the country, the people, the army, in the justice of our cause, in the enormity of our achievements thus far, and in the greatness that we shall achieve."

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