More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Misleading Headline of the Day

..comes courtesy of the AFP:

Israel gripped by Syria war fears

Yeah, right. Them and which army? (ok, that would be the Iranian one, but the question was rhetorical).

Trust me, Israel is not gripped by any such fears. But don’t take my word for it. Read the article to which the headline is attached, and you won’t find much in the way of correlation between it and the headline.

A reported Syrian troop build-up near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights has fuelled speculation in Israel about a future conflict, more than three decades after the two enemies last went to war.

Syrian armed forces appear to be moving closer to the armistice line as Damascus spearheads an unprecendented armaments drive, shrieked Israel’s Haaretz newspaper from its front page Thursday.

“The Syrian armed forces are being strengthened in a way unprecedented in recent memory with the help of generous funding from Iran,” wrote military affairs correspondent Zeev Schiff.

Brigadier General Yossi Beidatz, the head of military intelligence research, has also warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is preparing for conflict with Israel, possibly through Hezbollah, which fought a 34-day war with Israel last year.

Haaretz said the main thrust of Syria’s armaments drive was missiles and long-range rockets, with its navy being bolstered by an Iranian missile similar to one fired by Hezbollah, killing four Israeli sailors last summer.

Syria is also close to concluding a deal with Russia to procure thousands of advanced anti-tank missiles, of the sort Hezbollah used to such lethal effect against Israeli armour last year, Haaretz reported.

“It appears that the Syrians have moved forces closer to the border (armistice line) with Israel on the Golan Heights,” wrote Schiff, noting similar movements prior to the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

—-

Syria has test-fired ballistic missiles, such as a Scud-D surface-to-surface missile, which would put most of Israel within range, Haaretz reported.

Yes, Israel is paying attention to developments up north, but to state that we are gripped by fear is dishonest. As is the next statement from the report.

Israel is still smarting from its deadly pounding by more than 4,000 Hezbollah rockets that killed some 40 civilians last summer.

Actually, I think a more accurate statement would be that we are still smarting from our lack of a cohesive and effective response. We did not demonstrate to Hizbullah that attacking Israel means paying an extremely high price. Instead, they lived to fight another day and replenish their supplies for the next round. As for being pounded by rockets, this is still occuring on an almost daily basis, so we are unfortunately used to it.

One aide, Amos Gilad, said he saw no immediate danger of war but that Syrian weapons purchases highlighted the need for Israel to remain combat-ready.

“The fact that Syria is strengthening its military capabilities does not mean we’re going to be attacked tomorrow but certainly we need to be prepared,” Gilad told public radio.

“There is no danger of war. There is no deployment of forces indicating that Israel would be threatened by an offensive tomorrow.”

How the AFP’s Jacques Pinto reads into this that we are gripped by fear of war is beyond me. But then again, he has a French-sounding name, so he is probably well qualified to talk about the fear of actually fighting.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Scroll to Top