Dear Mr. Prosor,
Your contribution in the Wall Street Journal of March 23th 2012 baffles me. You are the ambassador to the UN of the state of Israel. Have they not provided you with a spin doctor? Is no one available to comment on your drafts? Do you not have enough staff to check your facts? Propaganda is a profession mr Prosor. It’s not a job for mere ambassadors. You need to leave it to the experts.
You claim the international community is blatantly, and unjustly, disregarding the rockets Hamas terrorists are firing into Israel from Gaza. In you contribution you lament:
…over the past decade, the ratio of rocket attacks to words of condemnation from the United Nations Security Council is 12.000 to zero.
Here’s a word of advice. If you want to play the underdog, you should always understate you case. Not overstate. Because some people reading your text will start checking your facts. Bastards like me. If they find out that it’s even worse than you say, you can sit back and relax. But if they find out you’re exaggerating, you spent your time writing for nothing. They just won’t read on and even if they do, you’ll have lost their confidence.
Just five minutes of browsing delivers the figures for rockets fired from Gaza. They’re from your own ministry of foreign affairs: 4.728 rockets between 2001 and 2010, less than half. If you want to get close to your statistics you have to add 4.442 mortar attacks during the same period. And even then you still are 2.830 short of your claim of 12.000 ‘rocket attacks’.
Five extra minutes of browsing and you find figures that come a bit closer to yours. That’s mainly because they’re up to date: 11.625 attacks, just 273 short of your 12.000. But again we need to count rockets and mortar-grenades together. Only 7.222 attacks really are rockets.
What’s worse, the newly found figures also include the fatalities. We didn’t ask for them, nor were we looking for them. But now that we found them, what does it tell us? A mere 31 dead for 11.625 attacks. That’s a disastrously bad perfomance (less than 0,5%). These are no terrorists as we know them, these are bunglers. I almost felt sorry for them. Even Israeli traffic does a better job. No wonder the UN Security Council is not paying attention.
You try to paint a gloomy picture of impending doom and by accident we find out it’s by far not as bad as you want us to think. What you say is just propaganda. What else may be wrong that we don’t know about?
See what harm a bit of browsing can do when you don’t do your job properly? And that’s not all. Because when average readers find out someone is being careless about his facts, or worse, they start reading your text much more attentively, but this time to find more mistakes.
Here we come to the central argument in your contribution, in which you claim that an Israeli attack on Gaza is imminent and only depends on a stray rocket hitting the wrong place, i.e. causing a lot of casualties:
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets fall on your head, you have a right to defend yourself. It’s a simple equation. Calm will return to Gaza when rockets stop falling on Israel. However, one rocket that explodes in the wrong place at the wrong time -in a grocery store, shopping mall or school- and Israel will be forced to respond in a completely different manner. Time and time again, Israel has warned the world that Gaza is an disaster waiting to happen.
But an Israeli intervention is not ‘inevitable’, nor it is ‘a disaster’ waiting to happen. Regardless how devastating, no rocket attack ‘forces’ an intervention. No Hamas terrorist has the ability to push an Israeli red button. And no Israeli officer is ever going to say: ‘Oops, look what happened, we intervened!’
You are portraying Israel as a victim, helplessly kicked around by circumstances and completely out of control. This is a blatant misrepresentation of the situation. Israel is not helpless, it has a choice, it can and does decide for itself. We all know decisions like that are hard and at times even cynical. Nobody likes to make them. But that does not mean the choice isn’t there. Israel is in control of itself, not Hamas. The devil did not make you do it, it was you yourself.
By trying to shift the blame in advance of its actions you have done the state of Israel a disservice. You should resign or hire some people who know about manipulating public opinion and who are metriculous about facts. Because with enemies like you, Hamas doesn’t need friends.