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Battle for the Holyland
April 5, 2002 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Battle for the Holyland : A very interesting Frontline episode that outlines the tactics used by both the Israelis and the Palestinians in fighting their war. (Most PBS affiliates will rebroadcast the special soon.) Does anyone who saw the special have a reaction?
posted by yevge (8 comments total)

 
I was really impressed.
Never quite saw anything that brought me such a quick thumbnail idea of what life must be life there.
It was to the point and fleshed out at the same time.

To understand the collateral damage, the dead civilians and pedestrians you see so often reported, it helps to see the tactical maneuvering that causes it.
posted by dong_resin at 4:04 PM on April 5, 2002


Thanks for the tip. I've set my TiVo to record it.
posted by Jeremy Bowers at 4:42 PM on April 5, 2002


I thought it was a good show--but I was annoyed by the conspicuous reminder that the IDF had reviewed the taped footage.

Thanks for the typically biased tip BBC; but just what are you trying to imply? Was it scrubbed? Was it altered?

Give me a break!

Does anybody out there actually believe that the IDF would be stupid enough not to review the footage shot with their forces before it aired the exact nature of their equipment and personnel worldwide?
posted by Tiger_Lily at 5:25 PM on April 5, 2002


This week's episode of NOW has an excellent feature on the Isreali settlements in the West Bank. If you liked the Frontline episode then this is also worth checking out.
posted by homunculus at 7:42 PM on April 5, 2002


I thought it was a good show--but I was annoyed by the conspicuous reminder that the IDF had reviewed the taped footage.

Give me a break!

Does anybody out there actually believe that the IDF would be stupid enough not to review the footage shot with their forces before it aired the exact nature of their equipment and personnel worldwide?


Given that there was a recent story about an Israeli TV broadcaster that violated the IDF preview agreement by showing footage of Palestinian civilian casualties I think that comment is honest and justified. Of course it would have been better if they said whether they had to cut scenes or not since this special had footage of Palestinian civilian casualties.
posted by srboisvert at 9:30 PM on April 5, 2002


Exactly my point srbiosvert, which is why I added:
"...what are you trying to imply? Was it scrubbed? Was it altered?"
posted by Tiger_Lily at 10:29 PM on April 5, 2002


"...the conspicuous reminder that the IDF had reviewed the taped footage..."

Quite possibly they don't know whether any scenes have been cut or not. If the footage is from the Israeli media, it may have already been scrutinised by military censors before the BBC got it. The Israeli media voluntarily submit to military censorship - which is why they are currently allowed in the West Bank and foreign media are not. Neither the media nor the IDF would mention if anything had been censored.

This is of course pretty normal practise during a war - exactly the situation with the American media in Afghanistan, for example.
posted by riddley at 12:04 AM on April 6, 2002


yeah, i saw that NOW episode. the part that got me was the video with IDF refuseniks. from the transcript:

ABESHOUSE: Driving on the West Bank, you continually pass military vehicles and checkpoints. Tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are stationed in the West Bank and Gaza, and thousands of reserve troops are rotated in and out on a regular basis. In Israel all men under 45 are expected to do reserve duty for a month each year. One of their main responsibilities is to protect the settlers.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, ISHAI: Our job was to secure roads that only settlers drive through; our job was to protect the settlements.

ABESHOUSE: These reserve combat officers and soldiers are part of a group that has taken a stand against serving to defend the settlers. The group insists that occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is itself a threat to Israel’s long term security and the moral standing of the nation’s military.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, YANIV: When you are inside occupation you cannot be moral. There’s no such thing as being a good occupier, a moral occupier.

ABESHOUSE: In this video shot earlier this year, but never seen in the United States, the reservists denounce as immoral the orders they received while serving in the West Bank and Gaza.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, ISHAI: During the first two weeks, the open fire orders we received were – whoever picks up a stone, shoot him, period.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, DAVID: No one can ask you to do such things – to shoot people, to hold ambulances from going, to destroy houses without even knowing who lives there.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, YANIV: You prevent people from passing, you surround them in their own villages, you prevent them from going to work, you make them stand for hours and hours in traffic. Only the disturbance you cause to the normal life of innocent people is in and of itself cruel occupation.

ABESHOUSE: This reserve artillery officer said there are different standards applied to Arabs and settlers in the West Bank.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, ISHAI: There are two kinds of people. There are white people who speak Hebrew and there are dark people who speak Arabic. One kind you are not allowed to touch because they are citizens of Israel, and its sacred, and the other kind you can just do whatever you want to them and its OK, because they are Arabs.

ABESHOUSE: The group issued a declaration against fighting in a war to preserve the settlements.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, DAVID (Reading from statement): We who know that the territories are not Israel, and that all settlements are bound to be evacuated in the end. We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israeli defense forces in any mission that serves Israel’s defense. The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose, and we shall take no part in them.

ABESHOUSE: 30,000 reservists were called up for the current Israeli offensive. Most reported, but the number of so-called "refuseniks" signing the declaration continues to grow. There are 390 today. 12 have already been sent to prison.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, YANIV: This is where you need all of your courage; this is the hardest battle.

ABESHOUSE: The refuseniks say they are patriotic Zionists, but they are worried about Israel’s future. It’s estimated that by the year 2010, there will be more Palestinians than Jews in the combined area of Israel and the West Bank. Unless the Israelis give the West Bank back, they will have to rule as a minority dominating a majority.

ISRAELI RESERVE SOLDIER, NOAM: In my opinion, in ten twenty years , people will look back, and they will grab their heads, and say 'what have we done, what have we wrought, what happened here in Israel?'
posted by kliuless at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2002


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