Israelis make quick use of imagery to explain Hamas flotilla incident
The Israel Defense Forces made quick use of imagery to state their case concerning their enforcement of a blockade against Hamas-controlled Gaza, and the incident involving flotilla of civilian vessels reinforcing the terrorist group. In boarding one of the ships by helicopter, IDF troops can be seen using amazing restraint as they are set upon by mobs wielding clubs and metal bars. Obviously the Israelis did not board the ship shooting, or with intent to wound or kill. They seemed unprepared for resistance. This clearly was not a counterterrorism operation. One of the IDF soldiers is shown being thrown overboard.
The video of the predawn operation appears to be shot from an infrared camera. The vessel, the Mavi Marmara, is Turkish-flagged.
IDF also released overhead video of riots on land, showing that the provocations came from the Hamas side and not Israeli forces.
These videos and other images, including still photography and well-prepared legal analysis and eyewitness reports released by the foreign ministry, show how the Israelis have become much more nimble in the information sphere and can get its side of the story to the public almost in real-time.
Now, if the US military could only do the same with such a fast turnaround, we’d be much better off.
Having said that, the raid on the flotilla has backfired immensely against Israel, and appears to have handed a propaganda victory to Hamas and its international supporters. The lesson to be learned here is that while Israel has become effective tactically with the distribution of military information and images, Israel still suffers profoundly from an inability to use information and images strategically.