Reporting from the front lines of the PR war

Jacob Dallal, Director of Public Relations for the Jewish Agency in North America (JAFI is a UJC/Federation partner agency), was recently called up to do reserve duty in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, where he served for 5 years and hold the rank of Major. Jacob is reporting on the IDF's PR war for this blog.

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The land operation is coming to a head. We are reaching a critical juncture. The forces have been in almost a week. They went in Satuarday night and took up their position very much ahead of schedule in 13 hours instead of 2 days. Since then they have been holding positions, carrying out limited operations and arrests.

But now is decision time: either the ground operation deepens, for which reservists, who have been drafted and trained and are now ready; or, the ground operation comes to a close.

The status quo -- keeping the troops where they are now without deepening the operation -- will put the troops in danger. There will be more attacks on them. In this war, staying in the same place is not an option; no sitting ducks.

On the media front, things are deteriorating. The incidents involving civilian in Gaza are increasing. In most cases, Israel has denied involvement in the alleged incidents. But you can say no only so many times before the pictures and accusations become overwhelming. And that is the point at which we are at.

Meanwhile within Israel, public support is strong. People here are supportive of the operation, and especially, as always, of the troop on the ground. The number of rockets fired from Gaza -- and significiantly, the number of civilian casulaties they cause -- are decreasing. What started as 50-60 rockets is today down to around 20. But for the troops inside, Gaza in a leathal place.

So hopefully it will be a quiet shabbat for the troop inside and next week will see the opening of a bright horizon.

Shabbat shalom,

Jacob Dallal