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Hizbullah Goose Steps at Israeli Border

By Israel News Faxx Services

This photo of a Hizbullah parade (taken before the war) shows new terrorist recruits, using a Nazi-style salute, pledging allegiance to destroy Israel. The parade shows the Israeli town of Metulla just beyond the border.

Record-Breaking Rocket Barrages Hit the North. Israel Agrees to 48-Hour Halt in Aerial Attacks. Hizbullah May Have Blown Up Qana Building

By Israel News Faxx Services

In a dramatic turn around of events, Israel agreed around midnight Monday to suspend aerial attacks in southern Lebanon for 48 hours while it investigates the cause of the deaths of as many as 60 civilians in the Lebanese village of Qana Sunday morning. The announcement of the halt in aerial activity was made by the U.S. State Department and not by the Israeli government.

Hizbullah vowed on Sunday to retaliate for the air strike on Qana. "This horrific massacre will not go without a response," Hizbullah said in a statement.

Israel will also coordinate with the United Nations to allow a 24-hour window for residents of southern Lebanon to leave the area if they wish, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told a briefing in Jerusalem.

Some 37 children were among the dead in the IAF strike early Sunday on a building in the southern Lebanon town of Qana, Lebanese police said. Several houses collapsed and a three-story building where about 100 civilians were sheltering was destroyed, witnesses and rescue workers said.

An IDF investigation found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF.

"The attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear," Brig. Gen. Amir Eshel, head of the Air Force Headquarters told journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, following the incidents at Qana.

Eshel and the head of the IDF's Operational Branch, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisnkot said the structure was not being attacked when it collapsed, at around 8 a.m. The IDF believes that Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse.

Another possibility is that the rickety building remained standing for a few hours, but eventually collapsed. "It could be that inside the building, things that could eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things that we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained there, Eshel said."I'm saying this very carefully, because at this time I don't have a clue as to what the explanation could be for this gap," he added.

Eshel said that an additional attack took place at 7:30 a.m., but added that other buildings were targeted. "This was an attack on three buildings 460 meters away from the structure we are talking about. Four bombs were dropped and all of them are documented by the planes' cameras. They all struck their targets.

In addition, we carried out a filming sortie that photographed the village during the afternoon showing that the three targeted buildings we struck. We have verification of strikes on the building and that the bombs reached their targets," Eshel said.

"An attack that took place at two in the morning struck two targets, both of them 400 meters away from the building (that collapsed). They were also destroyed. The attack between 12 and 1 a.m. struck the area of the affected house, and there were accurate strikes on the target. We are asking the question – what happened between 1 in the morning and 8 in the morning… we understand this building was attacked between 12 and 1 in the morning, seven hours before it was seriously damaged," he said.

Brig. Gen. Eshel explained that "since the start of fighting in Lebanon 150 rockets from a very high number of rocket launchers have been fired from the village and its surrounding areas, at a number of sites in the State of Israel. Within the village itself we have located a diverse range of activities connected to firing of rockets, beginning from forces commanding this operation – because such an operation needs ongoing command to direct it – and logistical sites that serve this end."

"From this village rockets are fired almost every day across Israel. The operation carried out overnight is an extension of operations that didn't start last night but before, and during this night we struck a number of targets in the village. All of the targets are being meticulously sifted," Eshel added.

Virtually all of the world's nations except for the United States and close allies bitterly condemned Israel for the bombing attack, but the IDF has said it is not clear what caused the explosion that level a three-story building, buying victims, including more than 21 children.

The IDF said it bombed the structure around midnight Sunday and attacked another Hizbullah terrorist facility around 7:30 a.m., but that the report of the explosion that resulted in the killing of the civilians was received only around 8 a.m.

"Israel deeply regrets, is greatly saddened, by this attack on innocent civilians in Lebanon. Israel takes full responsibility," government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said.

Lebanese army soldiers opened fire on IDF helicopters attempting to land in the Bekaa Valley Sunday night and prevented them from landing, according to Lebanese sources quoted by Reuters News Agency.

The helicopters flew away without damage after apparently trying to land Israeli soldiers near a town in the area. It was the first reported firing by the Lebanese army on the IDF since the Hizbullah terrorist war began July 12.

Hizbullah terrorists fired a record 148 rockets at northern Israel on Sunday. More than 80 of the missiles hit Kiryat Shmonah. Many fell in the center of town, causing heavy damage.

The northern town has been hit with more than 450 rockets since the war began 19 days ago, according to Army Radio. At least four people were hurt in the barrage, including a Ha'aretz news service reporter who sustained moderate to serious injuries.

Four people were injured by flying shrapnel in barrages in Kiryat Shmonah earlier in the day, with seven more suffering from shock. Six fires broke out in the city and the upper Galilee, including several forest fires. Teams of firefighters were working to extinguish the flames. More than 550 fires have been touched off by rocket attacks in the area since the start of the war.

Other rocket attacks were fired at Tzfat, where most landed in open areas around the city. No one was injured and no damage was reported. Four rockets hit the Rosh Pinah – Hatzor area and four more fell in the Ma'alot area. Tiberias was hit by two rockets. Rockets also landed in Haifa and the Krayot.

Eight rockets were fired at Nahariya, damaging two vehicles and several empty buildings. Eight missiles also slammed into Akko, causing heavy damage. One rocket scored a direct hit on a home, and another landed near a kindergarten.

Hizbullah identified the missiles as Khayber 1 rockets, a name that refers to a Jewish tribe in the Arabian Peninsula that converted to Islam after being defeated in battle.

The Problem of Marketing, Not of PR

By Ra'anan Gissin (Commentary)

Throughout Israel's wars it has been claimed that Israel has a public relations problem, that we've got a problem getting our message across to garner support. I disagree. After seven (or more) wars, Israel's problem is not PR; rather, it is a strategic problem of marketing.

As opposed to most countries, Israel fights defensive wars, and first must defend its very existence. The existence of a Jewish country is not taken for granted.

From this perspective, the second Lebanon War, which has been defined as a war to dispose of the threat of rocket fire at Israel, dismantle and disarm Hizbullah and to implement UN Security Council decision 1559 has been defined by the operative goals of the operation. But when Israel sets out to explain that it is fighting for its very existence, the main message must be that this is a war for our home.

In other words, this is not a war for Resolution 1559, but rather it is the same war over the League of Nations decision about Jewish rights to national independence and sovereignty. It is about the rights of Jews to live securely in their own country. This is the point the PR campaign about Lebanon II should have revolved.

In contrast to Israel's four previous conflicts with Lebanon, this time the "stars" were with us. The starting point of this war, both in Lebanon and Gaza, was an attack on Israel across an internationally recognized border. Furthermore, we won the support of President Bush, who was nominated by history to lead the free world's fight against global terror following the September 11 attack.

But these favorable conditions, which gave us freedom of action in the opening days of the war, will not continue for ever. They are dying away, because they are not backed up by appropriate PR.

An effective PR establishment would concentrate on the following points.

  1. Faith in the justice of our cause: The message must begin and end with the fact that we are fighting for our homes. This must be done with a unanimous, clear voice, by using spokesmen who can get the message across in a global village. We would do well to remember that it is not enough to look good on screen, or to speak English. People must "get" the message, and they must remember it. The true test is the test of results, not of sayings.

There is no more "Middle East" terrorism. Islamic terror we are dealing with in both Gaza and Lebanon is global. It is directed and funded by countries such as Iran and Syria and it is part of their strategic planning.

Our message must go hand in hand with the fact that we are for our right to be a normal people, free in our land. In our fight with Hizbullah we are an example of a "defensive democracy" fighting Islamic terror tying not only to humiliate the IDF, but are also trying to bring about the dismantling and destruction of Israel, and to replace it with something else (an Islamic republic).

  1. Types of war: Despite the fact that Lebanon II is not the first of its kind, it is a model for Western democracies, including Israel, will have to fight in coming years. This is all-out war, against a non-state enemy, in heavily-populated civilian areas, with every attempt made to blur the distinction between innocent civilians and terrorists.

This requires us to take into account the possibility that terror groups will try to create fictitious shows for the media to de-legitimize the fight against them – or the possibility of removing the threat of terror and reaching of goals.

The other possibility is to agree to terror attacks on our soil, with large numbers of casualties and terrible consequences for the country's ability to continue to function.

  1. Blurring lines between home front and battle front: In this kind of war, the home front becomes the battle front. From a strategic and PR perspective, this means that even when there are favorable diplomatic conditions, using appropriate military means (technology, intelligence, etc.), and military success is bound up in the home front's ability to withstand.

This requires us to deal with the home front in our PR campaigns, not only when war breaks out, but in the planning stages. The phrase "The whole country is the army" that we have used since 1948 becomes even more crucial in the context of wars such as Lebanon II.

  1. National PR: Israel has demonstrated some of the most advanced weapons technology in the world during this war, allowing for both day and nighttime battle, pinpointed strikes and the ability to take out the highest targets (as was done by the air force). But whereas Israel enjoys at least a 20-year technological advantage over Hizbullah, that organization enjoys at least a 10-year advantage over Israel with using the media to get its message out.

The al-Manar channel enjoys a $15 million budget and is connected to every satellite network in the world. It successfully transmits the organization's message, better than any of our PR bodies (al-Manar's budget is significantly higher than the PR budget for Israel's foreign ministry).

Their PR people are professional, fluent and believable, and they invest a lot of resources not only in priming journalists, but also in taking them on tours and building the story. They build intimate, strong connections with the journalists, and make sure to stick with them.

There are no shortcuts here. In order to succeed with the media and get the message across it is not enough to speak with journalists. We must brief them, feed them, and take them with us. This is always an iron-clad rule in war time.

  1. PR campaign: We must consider privatizing our marketing efforts. For years, Israeli officials have appeared cumbersome and left-handed when trying to get Israel's message across. This has been true during peace time, and all the more during times of war.

Israel is a very attractive "product," especially to Jews around the world. We are surprised all over again every time Jewish communities line up to support Israel. There are strong Jewish communities in the United States, Canada, France, and South America. Perhaps the time has come to enlist more than their donations during times of crisis, but also their PR abilities and ability to market Israel in their home countries.

More and more, the world agenda is being determined by non-governmental organizations. Some of these groups are bad – terror groups, for example – while others are positive, such as human rights groups, economic aid groups, and others. In this light, we must prepare to enlist these forces for Israel's benefit to market Israel abroad, to both Western and Arab countries, and the Arabic-language media.

Israel has always been good at creating generic products, but never good at marketing. Therefore, it is in Israel's interest to help those forces that have this ability and the desire to market Israel, and to get its message across effectively. I have no doubt that if we give these organizations the job, they will see it as a national project, and they will enlist good-willed volunteers to do the job.

At the end of the day we must remember that Israel's PR (note: there is no good English translation for the Hebrew word "hasbara") is uniquely Israeli, both due to its special position and due to the fact that many groups around the world don't recognize the country's right to exist.

Therefore, we must consider Israel's PR in strategic terms for the long-term, with the understanding that Israel's messages are not obvious to everyone. It must be continually developed, adequately funded, and afforded the visual and theoretical assets it needs.

We must think about getting the message across that Jews, too, have a right to live as a normal country, and we must pay special attention to the message of deterrence. If there is to be any hope for a viable diplomatic process Israel must send a clear message to its enemies and those who rise up to destroy us: It is better to deal with us than to mess with us.

Ra'anan Gissin was a senior media advisor to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon)

Gibson's Anti-Semitic Tirade -- Alleged Cover Up

By Reuters

'F*****g Jews... Jews are responsible for all wars in the world.' No, these are not new signs of a Neo-Nazi rally; this is allegedly what the actor said when arrested for DUI.

Oscar-winning director and actor Mel Gibson apologized on Saturday for driving while drunk and for his "belligerent behavior" towards the deputy sheriffs who arrested him.

"I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable," Gibson said in a statement issued by his publicist.

Gibson, 50, was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning for speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, the beach town north of Los Angeles., showbiz website owns by AOL, has four pages of the original report prepared by the arresting officer in the case, L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy James Mee. According to the report, Gibson repeatedly said, "My life is f****d."

Law enforcement sources say the deputy told the actor that he was supposed to cuff him but would not, as long as Gibson cooperated. The report says Gibson then said, "I'm not going to get in your car," and bolted to his car. The deputy quickly subdued Gibson, cuffed him and put him inside the patrol car.

Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you." The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

The deputy became alarmed as Gibson's tirade escalated, and called ahead for a sergeant to meet them when they arrived at the station. When they arrived, a sergeant began videotaping Gibson, who noticed the camera and then said, "What the f*** do you think you're doing?"

A law enforcement source says Gibson then noticed another female sergeant and yelled, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

Deputy Mee then wrote an eight-page report detailing Gibson's rampage and comments. Sources say the sergeant on duty felt it was too "inflammatory." A lieutenant and captain then got involved and calls were made to Sheriff's headquarters.

Sources say Mee was told Gibson's comments would incite a lot of "Jewish hatred," that the situation in Israel was "way too inflammatory." It was mentioned several times that Gibson, who wrote, directed, and produced 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," had incited "anti-Jewish sentiment" and "For a drunk driving arrest, is this really worth all that?"

"I am deeply ashamed of everything I said, and I apologize to anyone who I have offended," Gibson said.

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