Russia Today, a television network funded by the Russian government, has stepped up its anti-Israel propaganda in the past week to an unparalleled level. A notable example is Abby Martin, a presenter on RT, who has a long history of making incendiary anti-Israel comments on her program “Breaking the Set”. Her statements range from wild exaggerations to outright falsehoods. Some of these comments are so blatantly and almost embarrassingly false, with presenters making allegations that even Arab TV channels don’t make. Here is an analysis of her statements made on yesterday’s program:
MARTIN: “Every single military age citizen in Israel is forced to serve in the IDF”
FACT: Military service is voluntary for Israeli-Arabs (with the exception of Druze men).
MARTIN: “Gazans armed with homemade rockets…”
FACT: Iranian supplied rockets such as the Fajr-5 have been used to attack Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
MARTIN: “Israel receives over $3 billion a year in U.S. military aid, that’s more foreign aid than what the U.S. gives to every other country in the world combined”
FACT: Here is a list of just some of the countries receiving U.S. aid: Afghanistan – $10 to $20 billion for reconstruction, training the Afghan military and debt write-off (most of it is listed separately from the foreign aid budget). Egypt – $2 billion, Pakistan – $2 billion, Colombia – $1 billion, Mexico – $1 billion, Palestinians – $800 million (directly and through the UN), Jordan – $500 million.
MARTIN: “Israel continues its 6 decade long illegal and aggressive military occupation of Gaza”
FACT: Egypt illegally occupied Gaza in 1948. Israel captured Gaza in 1967 in a defensive war. Israel left Gaza in 2005.
Abby Martin also compared the proportionality of the respective Israeli and Palestinian death tolls. She should take a look at how Russia acted during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya. The death tolls were far from proportional:
Soviet war in Afghanistan deaths: 15,000 Soviets (all military). 1-2 million Afghans (mostly civilians).
Deaths from two Chechan wars: 15,000 to 20,000 Russians (all military). 100,000 to 200,000 Chechans (mostly civilians).