Recent events that resulted in breaching Israeli borders have been attributed to the rise of the Arab Spring, and more specifically to Nakba, the “day of catastrophe,” or more accurately, the day following Israeli independence; and Naksa “the setback,” the start of the 1967 War. After pro-Palestinian protestors flooded Israel’s border on May 15th, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) geared up for the much talked about and anticipated “Naksa” day.
Unlike the Nakba protests, Naksa protesters only came from Syria. A New York Times journalist attempted to cover the day’s events with an article entitled “Israeli Soldiers shoot at Protesters on Syrian Border” which immediately included a correction that stated: An earlier version of this article erroneously attributed a quote by Ehud Yaari to an Israeli television station. However, Isabel Kershner, the journalist responsible for this piece, failed to correct other inaccurate and biased remarks.
For one thing, the title she chose is highly sensationalized and misleading. She then refers to the Golan Heights as “Israeli controlled.” The fact is that this strategic location on the Syria-Israel border was taken by Israel in 1967 during the Six-day War, and has been controlled by Israel ever since. But it is considered, in the context of UN resolutions and the various iterations of the so-called “peace process” to be disputed territory.
However, Kershner did touch on Syria’s tactic to use ‘Naksa’ protesters as a ploy to divert attention from its institutionalized killings, but she did not mention nor discuss a key part of the diversion: Assad’s bribery. The Syrian leader and his government offered thousands of dollars to protesters as well as money to the families of martyrs who died in the paid rebellion, a fact supported by websites such as CNN, Fox, Ynet news and Honest Reporting.
The reporter went on to write: “Israeli officials, who say they tried every nonlethal method of crowd control at their disposal before resorting to live fire, worry about being cast as the villain but admit they are in a bind.”
It is important to note that it is not unusual for Israeli forces to send warnings before they respond to an attack. For example, Israel sent leaflets advising citizens to evacuate before entering Lebanon after Hezbollah sent hundreds of rockets into northern Israel; Israel also sent leaflets into Gaza before Operation Cast Lead which was in response to Hamas sending over 8,000 rockets into Southern Israel.
All-in-all Kershner did not do justice to the Syrian infiltration.
The video below shows a member of the IDF warning the Syrians in Arabic: