Tuesday, June 7

You Say 'Nakba,' I Say 'Naksa;' Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

To all my media colleagues who take issue with my constant critique of our profession, it's because of abysmal coverage of events like "Nakba" and "Naksa" Day. You know, there's good reasons why the public largely thinks we're a bunch of media whores. Here are a few:
Simon Plosker over at Honest Reporting gives a good overview of bad news coverage of the so-called "Naksa Day" events along the frontier between Israel and Syria.
"Once again a flood of headlines present Israel as an aggressor responsible for the deaths of dozens of unarmed civilians. Was this really a peaceful protest or another Syrian-engineered attempt to breach Israel’s border? Where did the media get it right and where did it go wrong?"
Make sure to read the rest:

The following video is a warning issued by an IDF soldier to rioters approaching the Syrian-Israeli border near Majdal Shams, one which I heard broadcast live on the day in question:

Translation to English: "Stop! You are breaching an international border. We warn you not to damage security infrastructure. Whosoever attempts to violate Israel's sovereignty or security infrastructure puts himself in jeopardy. Please return to Syria."
Got that. Good, Now, here's a map of the area in question, courtesy of EoZ, who wonders, "So where was UNDOF on Sunday?":
UNDOF is the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in Syria. This is its mandate:
  • Maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria;
  • Supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and
  • Supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the May 1974 Agreement on Disengagement.
Here is a map showing its area of operations. I have highlighted Majdal Shams, where the riots were yesterday and on May 15th.

(Click on map to embiggen)
The map shows that the Arab rioters passed through miles of UNDOF areas patrolled by the Austrian contingent of UNDOF.

The entire UNDOF forces consist of around 1200 lightly armed peacekeepers.

So what did they do on Sunday to defuse tensions on the border?
Be sure to read the rest, and maybe you can provide an answer to his questions.


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