We turned Gaza into a wasteland and killed thousands of innocent people. All in the name of love

Coverage of the attack at Eli [West Bank], news broadcasts ■ That’s the whole warped concept in a single sentence: We beat Hamas because of love. Under the auspices of this lyrical expression Israel is becoming a barbaric state.

The Palestine Project

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By Rogel Alpher • Translated by Sol Salbe

Israeli television has lost it. In a gradual process, which began on the historic and very traumatic day’s transmissions on 7 October, it sank into a quagmire of nationalist blindness and boneheadedness. It lost the ability to cover reality. Anyone who wants to know what is happening in Gaza cannot learn a thing about it from Israeli television. What’s going on there is absolutely Orwellian.

These are reports, analyses, and interviews of the sort that characterise dictatorial regimes: tremendous achievements, a great victory. Even on the 146th day of the war, 100 Gazans who died trying to get aid are treated like the trampling of an ants nest. What stands out in presenting the attack at the entrance to Eli [in which two people were killed] is the wall-to-wall reference — by everyone, there is not a single righteous person in Sodom — to the West Bank settlement of Eli as being regarded the same as Tel Aviv [An allusion to a comment made by then Prime Minister Sharon]. It’s all part of the “War for Home.” All soldiers are heroes. All civilians are heroes. We are all giants. Hallowed. These are Glory Days.

I haven’t become obsessed with Ayala Hasson. I Swear to you I haven’t. I actually planned to write about the news program on the staid channel 11 or the centrist channel 12 or the trashy channel 13 or the explicitly fascist Channel 14. But it seems to me, nonetheless, that on the 146th day, we have extracted a statement for the ages from Hasson, and it needs a response. “Do you know why we are beating Hamas?” she asked in her Socratic, rhetorical style. And it goes without saying: “Because of love. Because of our love for the country. Because of faith.” This is so characteristic of blindness and boneheadedness. We have turned Gaza into a wasteland — with love. We have killed many thousands of children and women and other non-combatants — with love. We dropped bombs with love. Even the soldiers who were killed by friendly fire were killed with love. And so were those abductees of ours that we killed. Every home we destroyed, we destroyed with love. And in general, blood is shed with love or not shed at all.

That’s the whole warped concept in a single sentence: We beat Hamas because of love. Under the auspices of this lyrical expression Israel is becoming a barbaric state. Television lyricism masks reality and makes this falsehood possible. Is Netanyahu’s tender for finding a name for the war still open, or has Yair [Netanyahu] won it already? Let’s call it the War of Love (with the option to call a missile boat The Love Boat). The War of Love has no expiry date. It is not a time-bound event. It is a lifestyle. It is faith- vased. The belief that we are all heroes and hallowed and victors and have accomplished great achievements in Gaza. Then in Lebanon. And all the time on the West Bank (“Samaria”, in TV language). This love will never end. That is why it has no strategy. Strategy has a beginning and an end. We have replaced strategy with fate. It’s all deterministic. We are born, we fight, and die. With love.

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