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The Russians Love Their Children Too

Most Russians support this war.

The Washington Post just published the results of a survey, according to which 58 percent of Russians support the war and only 23 percent oppose it.

The Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, found that Vladimir Putin’s personal approval rating in Russia rose 6 percent in the week ending February 27, three days after the war began, to 70 percent.

Even though we’re talking about polls in Russia, it can be assumed that most Russians support the war and their president.

One may also assume that, as Sting wrote in his 1985 song, they love their children too.

Ostensibly, this is an astounding and inexplicable finding. Russia invaded another country, sowing horrific death and destruction, without any legal or moral justification. How can one be Russian and support such horror?

Any Israeli who’s amazed by these findings should remember what happens when Israel goes to war.

There has not yet been a war of choice that the media and public opinion did not support, at least in its initial stages, cheering it on enthusiastically, blindly and obediently.

A study by the Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel (Keshev) of the Second Lebanon War – also a violent invasion of a sovereign state – determined that

“Except for a few exceptional instances, … all of Israel’s main media covered the war in an almost entirely mobilized manner. … The media created a general atmosphere of complete and absolute support and justification of the war, and systematically suppressed questions that arose as early as the first day of the fighting.”

Israel also applauded the first Lebanon war, the more terrible one, at first, as well as every brutal invasion of the Gaza Strip. In fact, the violent Israeli operation that was not supported by the majority of the public, orchestrated by the media while running roughshod over anyone daring to express opposition, has yet to be born.

Israelis have saluted every war their state pursued, just like the Russians.

Israel is not Russia. Here they don’t arrest thousands of opponents every day, and the media is free. It is for precisely this reason that the small proportion of opponents to war casts a much heavier pall on our society. It’s obvious that for most Israelis, their country’s justification for occupying Lebanon or invading Gaza is much greater than Russia’s justifications for invading Ukraine. Ostensibly, there’s no comparison.

That is what had to be proved:

Most Russians, too, are convinced that there is no war more justified than their war with Ukraine.

In both Israel and in Russia there is brainwashing, with the media bearing most of the responsibility, here and also there. Here the media is free, in Russia it is not, making the Israeli media much more culpable. In Israel, the media also incites and encourages war.

Perhaps looking at Russia, where the indoctrination, the intimidation and the silencing are much more egregious, can help us to see more clearly our own flaws at times of war.

Most Israeli correspondents are covering the war in Ukraine in a ridiculous manner, running from refugee to refugee, far from the main action.

Watch the stories of the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville and see what genuine war reporting is. This is how most foreign military correspondents cover Israel’s wars.

Everything has already been written about the enthusiastic mobilization of Israeli media for the war effort and the self-censorship, as well as about the shameful way they cover, or don’t cover, the occupation. During wartime it reaches a nadir.

Military correspondents are attached to a military unit and don’t see anything, except for the commanders and the soldiers they admire; there is a single narrative, trumpeted out by a media chorus. Here at home, the worship of the military is sanctified, particularly in times of war, and expression of opposition is seen as treasonous – in Russia as in Israel, even if so far it’s only in Russia is it grounds for arrest.

Israelis and Russians love their children. So how is it that again and again they agree to send them to such needless wars, sacrificing them for such foolish objectives? Ask Yedioth Ahronoth and Channel 12 News.

Source: Gideon Levy – HAARETZ