"Israel has established a standard of its own - it and its supporters have erected what is probably the most substantial propaganda apparatus in modern history (in all history, given technological facilitation?). The mythical Goebbels' operation was small fry by comparison. The Zionist enterprise out-rivals the Soviet Union's post-WWII Cominform, not least because the latter's members were anathema to Western establishments whereas the former has been taken to their bosoms." (Israel's cheer squad and Sydney University - Part 1, Evan Jones, independentaustralia.net, 18/6/15)
Jones is spot-on, of course. For me, his comments call to mind the Israeli practice of picking up, and patching up, Syrian 'rebels' a little the worse for wear after a hard day's work in the emirate-in-progress just across the border (along with a handful of injured kids, for reasons that will become apparent as we proceed).
Here, for example, is an extract from one of the more recent news reports on the business:
"Since February 2013... the Jewish state has provided medical care to injured Syrians. So far, 1,600 of them - most badly injured - have been treated in hospitals in northern Israel. The effort has produced uplifting stories of injured Syrian children saved by Israeli doctors. But the majority of patients have been young men of military age, and... their affiliation with the various rebel groups remains shrouded in secrecy.
"Since 1974, a United Nations peacekeeping force has been stationed in the Golan Heights to monitor the cease-fire line between Israel and Syria. For the past year, most of the peacekeepers have been stationed on the Israeli side after Nusra abducted a UN battalion from Fiji in Syria (they were later released). In their latest report to the UN, the peacekeepers mentioned several meetings along the border between armed Syrian rebels and Israeli soldiers. They saw the Israelis take injured Syrians into their vehicles and load rebel trucks with sacks. What was in those sacks remains unclear, but Israeli sources, speaking in an off-the-record briefing, say the contents included food and blankets for the winter. [LOL]
"The UN report doesn't specify which rebel groups the Israelis were helping... But the main force operating in the area, Israeli sources say, is Nusra.
[See my 12/12/14 post A Side of Israel the World Too Rarely Acknowledges.]
"What the Israeli military will say on record is that it is offering medical care to injured Syrians. Over the past year and a half, for instance, Israeli doctors in the Rebecca Sieff Hospital [aka Ziv Medical Centre] in Safed have treated around 500 of them..." (Inside Israel's secret war in Syria, Assaf Uni, newsweek.com, 18/6/15)
OK, so Israel's been patching up the limbs of those tearing Syria limb from limb... and handing over sacks of whatever to the anti-Asad lads. Nothing unusual there. In fact, it'd be newsworthy if it didn't have an iron in the Syrian fire.
What is unusual, however, is how the Israelis have been conducting their covert exercise in destabilisation and regime change in Syria (involving a de facto alliance with an al-Qaeda (AQ) affiliate, the Nusra Front, dear to the heart of our own Zaky Mallah, but proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Australian authorities) under the cover of an overt propaganda exercise, projecting Israel as a Good Samaritan, disinterestedly ministering to the medical needs of a traditional enemy.
And non-Israelis, it seems, have been instrumental in the latter effort. Non-Israelis like Australia's ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma and his lovely wife, Rachel Lord, for example.
"In the town of Safed... the frontline of the conflict in Syria feels very close. At Ziv Medical Centre, without fanfare or publicity, they are treating a steady and growing stream of wounded Syrians... Ziv Hospital is a profound example of humanity and decency at its most compelling. It is Israel at its very best, and a side of Israel that the world too rarely acknowledges." (Origin no bar to Israel lifesavers, The Australian, 31/8/13) (See my 3/9/13 post Our Man in Tel Aviv 2.)
And here's Rachel:
"Barely 4 months into her new position as diplomatic spouse, the 37-year-old former human rights lawyer is on a crusade: She wants to make the world aware of the humanitarian work being done at a small Israeli hospital up north where close to 150 victims of the civil war in Syria... have received treatment in recent months. On Thursday morning, she and her husband, Dave Sharma, hosted the first big event to take place at their official residence... since arriving here this summer: a gathering of members of the diplomatic corps to acquaint them with the activities of Rebecca Sieff Medical Center in Safed... It was just a few weeks after they arrived in Israel, with three little girls, that lord and her husband first read in the papers about the medical treatment Sieff hospital was providing Syrian victims of the fighting in their country, all at its own expense. Lord, who had worked previously as a Syria expert in the Australian foreign service, was intrigued and immediately jumped at her husband's suggestion that they take a trip to the hospital to witness first-hand what was going on. 'There were children with limbs blown off, who could barely move, the same age as our girls.' As a mother seeing those kids... I was literally in tears... It was a story about Israel, she mused, that is not often told. 'Israel tends to get lots of negative press. It's rare to hear stories about such incredible humanitarian work going on here'." (Ambassador's wife offers relief to Syria's civil war victims - and to Israeli hospital, Judy Maltz, Haaretz, 25/10/13)
In fact, Ziv Medical Centre has even become one of the pit-stops on the rambamming circuit for Australian politicians. (See my 10/6/15 post Is AIJAC Getting Its Money's Worth?)
You really couldn't make this stuff up: far from the prying eye, Israel's Operation X in Syria is lending God-knows-what material support to AQ, while Australian diplomats and politicians praise the work of its propaganda arm at Ziv Medical Centre as "a profound example of humanity and decency at its most compelling," and "incredible humanitarian work."
Meanwhile, down in Gaza...