Israel burns, Hezbollah rejoices
Photo: George Ginsberg
Arab networks celebrate fire disaster: Many Arab media outlets have been taking advantage of Israel's fire disaster to disparage the Jewish state and rejoice over its misfortune.
Meanwhile, officials in Jerusalem presented a grim assessment of the public relations damage suffered by Israel as result of its inability to effectively fight the fire.
"The PR damage in the world is huge; Israel is perceived as fully incompetent," one source said.
"The great Carmel fire embarrassed Israel's firefighting capabilities and proved its almost complete incompetence," a report by Hezbollah's al-Manar network said. The Lebanese station said the poor performance came despite Israeli claims regarding the IDF Home Front's full readiness to cope with any emergency and face the implications of an all-out war.
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The Qatar-based al-Jazeera network reported that "Israel failed to contain the fire." The popular Arab station also noted that the Jewish state had to plead for international help in order to bring the blaze under control.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry officials in touch with more than 15 foreign governments described the global amazement at Israel's requests for help. Officials in Greece, Italy and Germany expressed their surprise at Israel's helplessness, one source said.
"We have no doubt that in Damascus to Tehran and Beirut people are seeing these problems," the source said. "Everyone is asking how a state…that went through several wars and is supposed to keep in its warehouses proper equipment for military tests suffers from a shortage of planes and firefighting materials."
Ronen Medzini contributed to the story
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