NEWS & EDITOR’S COMMENT: The Israeli attack on Syria. Revealed: nothing

Israeli army begins to release details on Syrian air raid

Israel on Tuesday eased a strict news blackout on an airstrike in Syria last month, allowing the first publication of reports it struck an unspecified “military target” deep inside Syrian territory.

Israel’s military censor had imposed a total blackout on coverage of the Sept. 6 airstrike. But Tuesday, the office allowed preliminary details to be published after Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, confirmed the airstrike in a televised interview.

“Israeli air force planes attacked a military target deep inside Syria on Sept. 6, the military censor allowed for publication today,” Israel’s Army Radio reported. The headline on the web site of the Maariv newspaper was, “Now it can be revealed: Israel attacked in Syria,” while the Haaretz newspaper led with the military’s permission to publish “the fact” of Israel’s attack. [complete article]

Editor’s Comment — The AP ready-made headline for this piece is, “Israel Releases Details on Syrian Raid.” The IHT editor inserted the small qualification “begins to.” Either way, the truth is that now that the veil of censorship has been lifted, it has revealed nothing. Not one detail. To speak of an unspecified military target deep inside Syria is to announce that there is nothing to announce. And to place that informational empty space under a headline referring to the release of details is Orwellian.

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