Thursday, February 14, 2013

Israel's gag orders and the futility of censorship

Image: Sacha Dratwa in what he described as "Obama style"

The above photo, shared by Lt. Sacha Dratwa from the Israeli Defence Forces is a sample of how Israel is scrambling to keep up with the hurdles the new digital age is causing. The man himself, according to the New York Time is "dentified last week by Tablet and Gawker as the man marshaling Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest to support and celebrate the actions of the Israel Defense Forces." Fair enough, and yet when an image of him was discovered which he has shared under the caption "Obama style".
The reply he issued was beyond the ridiculous for someone who is so new-media savvy. It starts with "There have been attempts to make use of private photos from my Facebook profile in order to publicly misrepresent my opinions." Hello? The man who is in charge of one of the biggest propaganda machines in the world is suddenly claiming that Facebook and new media can "misrepresent [...] opinions". Didn't he build his whole career on taking words and images and actions out of context to put them under different light so as for them to make more sense or less harm to his employers' ghastly agenda? So yes, from this image, we can deduce that Lt. Dratwa is a racist. He can deny it as much as he wants, he can say it has no relevance to the IDF official position and in extenso to the official Israeli position (in this case can anyone explain why the birth rate of the Ethiopian Jewish immigrant community is declining if it was not for a racist policy and a certain shot?)
Not only this, today a major story broke about the censorship bureau in Israel which prevents journalists from discussing certain stories. Realizing the futility of a pact signed between newspapers and the government which dates back to the 50s a judge allowed local media to discuss the issues in question, albeit after 16 hours of silence. The times when people had no access to information is now long gone, of course, what they do with that information and how they interpret it is something else.
This being said, I cannot but mention a man who was tried for treason in Israel (the supposedly biggest democracy in the Middle East), namely Mordechai Vanunu the man who publicly disclosed the existence of the Israeli nuclear programme (please check the Dimona reactor). So next time someone asks you if Iran is going nuclear, tell them it's only fair, after all it only counter-balances the other nuclear nation in the region.
Here's a joke: Why is Israel not signing the nuclear arms proliferation treaty? Because officially it is not a nuclear nation.
In other news: Lt. Dratwa is not racist and pigs can fly.
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