Last Friday, Reuters reported that IDF soldiers "threw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yanked a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents." The Diplomat, Marion Castaing, was quoted saying: "They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity. This is how international law is being respected here."
According to the report, Khirbet Al-Makhul, where this incident occurred, "was home to about 120 people. The army demolished their ramshackle houses, stables and a kindergarten on Monday after Israel's high court ruled that they did not have proper building permits." And added that "Israeli soldiers stopped the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivering emergency aid on Tuesday and on Wednesday IRCS staff managed to put up some tents but the army forced them to take the shelters down."
This article was posted on a website of an international news agency, which is supposed to be impartial. However, it is nothing but another biased news report that serves the anti-Israeli propaganda. Time and time again, foreign media fall into the anti-Israeli web of lies and instead of being a messenger of truth, the guardian of democracy; it disguises opinions and biased points of view as solid facts.
This report only shows part of the truth, conveniently matching the message Reuters wanted to pass along: Israel as a vicious ruler, whose army takes illegal and inhumane action in the name of democracy. This is yet another attempt to demonize the IDF, its soldiers, and the country it represents and fights for. The truth is, the foreign diplomats' attempt to erect tents in the area was an illegal act, for the Supreme Court ruled building there was illegal. When people are disgracing a Supreme Court rule in a democratic state, any state, what should the state do? Stop the illegal act. Israel is not different than any other democratic state. Therefore, IDF soldiers arrived, but the activists teased them, violently objected while throwing stones and striking the soldiers. Accordingly, the security personnel contained the violence with riot dispersal means, and that was enough to feed the foreign media's need for targeting the IDF. Pictures of the French diplomat lying on the ground with soldiers surrounding her, aiming a gun at her forehead were published, and the public was fed with a story of a strong army preventing humanitarian aid from innocent Palestinians.
Reuters assumed that no one will ask any questions. They assumed that no one will care that the gun in the picture is not really aimed at the diplomat, or that she and her fellow foreign diplomats bused their diplomatic privileges, or that the IDF soldiers are 18 and 19 year old teenagers who were trained to defend and protect, not to offend. As readers, we tend to accept news reports as solid, impartial truth, but we must remember that news are created by people with certain opinions. When it comes to Israel, the media enjoys feeding us with lies or partial truths, and sell us the story of an aggressor and a victim. It is a story readers find easy to "swallow," instead of the very complicated truth.
The IDF exists to protect us, the citizens of Israel, from the enemies surrounding us and wishing that there will be no Israel. Time and time again, they have publicly called for our deaths, and our high school graduates sacrifice three years of their lives and recruit the army to prevent it from happening. IDF soldiers are trained to protect, defend and keep us safe, not to abuse innocents. If and when a soldier forgets his role in the IDF, he is being punished accordingly, for the IDF has zero tolerance for such actions.
What we need to do is always remember to ask the right questions, and reveal the real story behind the headlines. But we mustn't stop there! We have to share the truth with others, so that those who haven't asked themselves the right questions will also know the whole truth.