SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)
Note: Images from this article were used in Three Practical Lessons from the Science of Influence Operations Message Design by M. Afzal Upal, Canadian Military Journal, Volume 14, No 2, 2014.
On 12 July 2006 Hezbollah guerrillas in
Lebanoncrossed the border into , killed eight soldiers and abducted two others. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said that a prisoner exchange was the only way to secure the release of the soldiers, who he said were being held in a secure and remote location. No military operation will return them, he said. The prisoners will not be returned except through one way: indirect negotiations and a trade. Israel
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah
The Israelis do not negotiate and in general do not trade with terrorists. Israeli forces retaliated against Hezbollah strongholds in
Southwest Lebanonthe same day. They sent troops across the border to search for the missing men. This rapidly escalated into a full-scale invasion and a surprisingly strong defensive reaction by Hezbollah who had thousands of rockets instead of the hundreds that Israel probably expected. Hezbollah even had an estimated eight or nine drones produced by . Their bunkers were equipped with computers and video systems that were able to watch Israeli military movement. Their bunkers were dug deep into the ground and fortified. Israeli forces struck Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallahs office and home in Iran 's Shiite-dominant southern suburbs, prompting the leader of the Party of God to declare open war against the Jewish state. This article is not about the war. We will mention some pertinent points briefly, but this article is about the psychological operations conducted by the Israeli Defense Forces and the Hezbollah Party. Readers who are interested in the military aspect of this short 34-day war must look elsewhere. I should also point out that translations differ, and in some cases the text does not translate to proper English. I have tried to give a translation of the message that is what I believe the PSYOP troops wanted to convey to the target audience and edited the grammar where needed. Readers will note that many of the leaflets are without translation at present. Any Arabic-speaking reader who might care to translate a leaflet and send the information to the author is thanked in advance. Beirut
Lebanese residents reading the leaflets dropped by Israel
During the Israeli retaliatory raids and invasion of
, the Israeli Defense Forces dropped a great number of leaflets on an almost daily basis. The leaflets were dropped from fighter aircraft using leaflets bombs, in containers on parachutes, and from helicopters. There are reports of them being disseminated by artillery shells both from land and naval ships, and one photograph showing a fragment of what is reported to be part of an American propaganda artillery shell may prove that the reports are true. Lebanon
IDF Military Psychologist Major Yotam
IDF Psyop Unit Illustrator
Hassan, what is keeping you awake tonight?
They had dropped leaflets in the past, but never to the extent that they did in July and August 2006. During the conflict, there were 47 leaflet missions over
, with a total of more than 17,000,000 leaflets dropped. In addition to that, more than 700,000 computerized voice messages were delivered to citizens in Lebanon . The Israeli Army reactivated its Psychological Warfare Unit and in a rare televised news broadcast they allowed a 20-year old unnamed female cartoonist to be photographed from the back as she designed leaflets showing the Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah as a snake or a scorpion with text that said that Nasrallah is leading Lebanon to ruin and is the blame for all the death and destruction. Many of the leaflets are brightly colored in pink or yellow and many contain cartoons and caricatures. Lebanon
Among the leaflets displayed were some that will be mentioned in this article and some that are yet unknown. They are; The Hezbollah leader as a puppet holding two rockets; Nine white tombstones on a black background; The Hezbollah leader as a spider in the center on a web; The Hezbollah leader hiding while Lebanese civilians are killed by four explosions, The face of the Hezbollah leader showing shock and awe; The Hezbollah leader behind three bound Lebanese civilians, and The Hezbollah leader walking off a cliff pulling a cedar of Lebanon (the national symbol) behind him.
Curiously, each of these prospective leaflets has its propaganda text in Hebrew. We assume that since the artist was Jewish she added the text to the leaflet in her own language, and if and when they were approved for dissemination and forwarded to the printers for mass production the text would have been translated into Arabic by a trained Israeli linguist.
Leaflet dropped by Israel over the Gaza Strip in September 2005
We should point out that at the same time
Israelwas dropping leaflets on Lebanonthey were also dropping leaflets on other contested areas such as . For instance, the following leaflet had been dropped the previous September over the Gaza Strip. Gaza
To the residents of the northern
The terrorist actions originating from your areas are forcing the
IsraelDefense Forces to respond harshly to those who are subjecting the citizens of the State of to danger. Israel
We call on the Palestinian Authority to shoulder its responsibility to prevent these criminal acts.
We warn you of the danger of remaining in the areas which are being used to launch terrorist actions and we advise you to leave your homes.
We are not responsible for the consequences if you ignore our warning.
Israel Defense Forces
IDF leaflet dropped by Israel over Lebanon
It is also worth noting that
Israelhad invaded before. On 6 June 1982 the Israeli Defense Forces entered Southern Lebanon in response to an assassination attempt against Lebanon Shlomo Argov, Israels ambassador to the United Kingdomand artillery attacks by the PalestineLiberation Organization against Northern Israel. During the first week of Israel's operations in , Syrian troops engaged in battles with Israeli forces. The Israelis destroyed or damaged 18 of the 19 Syrian missile batteries and, in one day, shot down 29 Syrian MiG fighters without the loss of a single plane. The operation was called Peace for Galilee and the Israelis occupied southern Lebanon until June 1985. Curiously, this invasion is claimed to be the reason for the creation of the Iranian and Syrian supported Hezbollah organization, which replaced the PLO in Lebanon Southern Lebanon. The IDF dropped leaflets on during the 1982 to 1985 period. On bright pink leaflet is all text: Lebanon
Announcement to the inhabitants of the southern villages
Due to the increase in terrorist activity and the launching of missiles from the south into
, the Israeli Defense Forces will act to curtail these activities. Israel
Calm must prevail on both sides of the border
If you want to pursue your day to day life in peace you must cease providing assistance to those engaging in terrorist acts or those helping them, and you should take it upon yourself to insure that no terrorist activity takes place in your area.
Dont allow your homes to become terrorist dens against
or the price will be very costly for all of you both collectively and individually. Israel
It is in your hands to stop the destruction and death.
There will be no excuse for those who have been forewarned.
The Commander of the Northern Israeli Defense Force
- Israeli aircraft drop leaflets over Tyre, Lebanon, encouraging residents to leave. The leaflets call Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a thief hiding among the Lebanese.
For the purposes of this article we will only discuss
. Israeli aircraft have been dropping leaflets since shortly after fighting began on July 12. Most of them were either against Hezbollah and its leader sheik Hassan Nasrallah, or called on residents to leave border villages. It is possible that the same leaflet was dropped on more than one occasion. For instance, we know that on at least five instances the same leaflet was dropped on multiple days. The dissemination of the same leaflet on more than one occasion occurred on 21 July and 23 July; 24 July and 30 July; 29 July, 1 August, 4 August, 5 August, and 12 August; and 3 August and 10 August. psychological operations of the Israeli-Lebanon war of 2006
Israeli Leaflet of 13 July
On 13 July, Israeli warplanes dropped thousands of leaflets over
South Beiruturging residents to stay away from the group's offices and buildings. The leaflet is all-text and says:
To the Inhabitants of Lebanon
Due to the terrorist activities carried out by Hezbollah which destroys the effort to find a brighter future for
The Israeli Army will continue its work within
Lebanonfor as long as it deems fit to protect the citizens of the State of . Israel
For your own safety and because we do not wish to cause any more civilian deaths, you are advised to avoid all places frequented by Hezbollah.
You should know that the continuation of terrorist activities against the State of
Israelwill be considered a double-edged sword for you and . Lebanon
The State of
Beware...he is a snake
On 15 July, Israeli planes dropped packages of leaflets on downtown Beirut attacking Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and depicting him as a Cobra with his black turban rolled into the shape of the snakes hood and about to swallow the Lebanese capital. The text of the green leaflet is:
To the Lebanese people,
He appears to be a brother, but he is a snake.
Second version without text
A second version of the same leaflet was dropped the same day, this almost identical except that there are some minor changes in the cobra's hood and there is no text to the left of the snake.
Israeli Leaflet of 15 July
A third leaflet was dropped on 15 July depicting the Hezbollah leader at the lower right cowering in a bunker while four explosions killed and maimed Lebanese civilians. The text warned that
resisting and attempting to bargain was futile:
Will resistance protect the homeland or sacrifice it?
Resistance bargaining is at the expense of the blood of the nation!!!
At the same time,
pounded the political headquarters of Hezbollah and the party's television station, al-Manar. Israel
On 16 July, Israeli warplanes dropped two different propaganda leaflets over southern
warning of more attacks. Lebanon
Need any favors?
The first leaflet includes references to President Bashar Assad of
, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In this leaflet Hassan Nasrallah is a cobra is dancing to the tune of the flute-playing leaders of Syria Iran, and the Palestinian group Hamas. The cartoon shows two bombs within the cobras hood, while the foreign leaders sit cross-legged on a map of Syria . The Nasrallah-snake says: Lebanon
Need any favors?
All text leaflet dropped over downtown
The second leaflet is all text and was dropped over downtown
To The Residents of
The Israeli army will increase its actions in
Lebanonagainst the continuing terrorist actions of Hezbollah to defend the citizens of the state of . Israel
For the sake of your own safety, and in our wish not to harm any civilians that are not implicated, you must keep away from the locations where Hezbollah is present and acting against the state of
. Including: Israel
Locations where missiles are fired in the direction of the state of
Locations of Hezbollah's arsenals and military equipment.
Hezbollah's centers south of
Beirutand areas under its control in the south of . Lebanon
Beirut's southern suburb, the center of terrorism.
The Israeli defense army calls on the Lebanese residents and Lebanese army to refrain from aiding, either directly or indirectly, elements of Hezbollah. Anyone who does will be putting their life in danger.
Know that the persistence of terrorism against the state of
is keeping you from a better future. Israel
The State of
Lebanese and Arab newspapers featured photographs of civilians sweeping up the leaflets and citizens burning them in public.
Lebanese television broadcast what Hezbollah claimed was an Israeli helicopter gunship falling to the ground near the Lebanese capital on 17 July. The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation said that it was an F-16 fighter jet. The Israeli military stated that none of its aircraft were shot down over
and the object shown burning and crashing was a container of propaganda leaflets dropping from an Israeli plane. Beirut
Israeli Leaflet - 17 July
This all-text leaflet has the following text:
To the people of Lebanon
Hezbollah declared war on
We all know
's enormous power and ability to mobilize her forces against terrorist organizations whenever necessary. Israel
If you sleep in a cemetery, you are bound to have nightmares.
is a powerful nation and determined to do whatever necessary to ensure the safety of her citizens!!! Israel
The State of
Brigidier General Miri Regev, the Israeli army's chief spokeswoman stated on TV that the Israeli Defense Forces dropped leaflets on 17 July warning residents of southern
to flee the area ahead of an impending attack. Similar leaflets had been dropped for the past week warning civilians to evacuate the area. Lebanon
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah as a puppet
On 18 July the Israelis dropped leaflets depicting Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah as a puppet. It is interesting to note that like the cobra leaflet depicted above, they were dropped with and without accompanying text. The hands that control the Hezbollah leader are labeled
Syria and . The text is: Iran
To Lebanese citizens
How long will you be marionettes in the hands of
Syriaand ? Iran
How long will Hezbollah, the Fifth Column, continue to put your independence and safety in danger?
Hezbollah and its leader are hurting the peace and prosperity of
that was created only after a great effort. Lebanon
Israel will continue to use all of its power to strike Hezbollah and to bring peace back to the area.
The State of
Israeli Leaflet - 18 July
An all-text leaflet was also dropped on 18 July. The message is:
Hassan, what are you afraid of?
You are afraid of appearing in public and you broadcast recorded speeches.
You fled to your shelter and you left your men frightened and exposed in the face of
's power. Israel
You carry out the orders of your masters and you break your promises to the people of
causing them painful losses. Lebanon
How long must the people of
pay for your cowardice and arrogance? Lebanon
the villages of Al Bazurya and Avasya July 19, 2006
Warning leaflets were airdropped on 19 July over the villages of Al Bazurya and Avasya in southern
to advise residents of coming IDF strikes on missile launch sites and cautioning that anyone near the sites is there at significant risk to their life. The leaflets text is: Lebanon
To the People of
Please follow the instructions below!!!
The Israeli Defense Force will intensify the targeting of all areas from which rockets are launched against
Everyone in the area will be under extreme danger!
As well as that, any pick-up truck or heavy vehicles moving south of the Litani river will be considered a suspicious vehicle transporting rockets and military equipment and will be a potential target for attack by the Israeli Defense Force.
Therefore, the above will be under extreme danger.
The State of
Israeli leaflets dropping
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah walking off a cliff
On 19 July the Israelis dropped a leaflet showing the Hezbollah leaders walking off a cliff, pulling the symbolic cedar tree of
behind him. Lebanon
We are standing on the edge of the abyss and we are determined to march forward
(Note) the word the Israelis used for abyss in their original Hebrew-language test leaflet is the biblical one used in Genesis for the pre-creation void.
All for Lebanon
On 20 July,
Israeldropped leaflets entitled All for offering attractive material rewards to people who give information about Hezbollah that helps the Jewish state's offensive against the guerrillas. The rewards could be anything from cash to a new house. The leaflet is similar to the All4Lebanon computer Internet website (see below). The leaflet depicts a Cedar of Lebanon at the left and is all text at the right. A very rough translation of the text in part is: Lebanon
A brief message to the Lebanese people
We turn to all those who can and want to help Lebanon, to remove the Hezbollah scar from your hearts and the heart of Lebanon, and to return to the previous period of independence and achievement.
Put aside sayings and slogans and contact us at the following addresses.
00-41-79-7886237 00-88-16-214-65627 Info@all4Lebanon.org
No caller's identity will be revealed. Secrecy is guaranteed and the reward we offer is tempting.
We would accept with great appreciation any information that can contribute to restoring quiet to the area, so that we can fight terrorists efficiently and carefully. Please help us so that we can help you protect
from this evil, and return life to the normal routine. Lebanon
For your own wellbeing, contact us from places where no one knows you
At the same time, there were a number of reports of
sending phone calls to Lebanese civilians. Some of the calls are as early as 5:30 a.m. They continue throughout the day with such recorded messages such as: Israel
Oh Lebanese people, we tell you not to follow Hezbollah. We will continue to strike and no one will bring your prisoners back from
except the Lebanese government. Israel
Hassan, have you realized yet that the Israeli army not as delicate as a spider's web? It's a web of steel that will strangle you!
This is the state of
. This resistance ... is forcing you to stay at home like rats. Israel
Who is it that's putting your life in danger? Who is using you as human shields?
We don't want to harm you. We're bombing the infrastructure so Hezbollah will have no means of firing its rockets.
We know you wanted to hit
, but you have confronted a house made of steel. This is the Israel Defense Forces. Israel
Other calls indicated that the Israeli state would not stop the attacks and asking everyone to leave the area south of the Litani.
Meanwhile, an Israeli source (possibly Israeli Intelligence) uploaded the Internet website All4Lebanon.org with a logo in the Lebanese national colors of red, white, and green incorporating a cedar tree and text in Arabic, English, and French. The website is an Israeli grey propaganda operation and the server for the website is NS.BARAK.NET.IL which was registered on 19 July 2006.
Some of the website message is:
Let us not be content with words! Whoever is able and willing to help
eradicate Hezbollah's evil and get back its independence, freedom and prosperity, whoever has information that could promote this purpose, is hereby invited to contact us at one of the addresses listed below. Lebanon
You may enter your personal details, but you can also provide your information anonymously.
Secrecy and appropriate financial reward are guaranteed.
Any information that will help us restore peace in the area and fight terror carefully and effectively would be welcome. Help us root out this evil and restore normal life to all the people who live in the region. For your own safety, please contact us from places where no one knows you.
Two phone numbers are listed along with one Internet address.
Some of these operations are mentioned by retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Tim Thomas said in an article entitled
, and Cyber PSYOP. The LTC invents some interesting words and definitions and I thought it might be worth adding his thoughts: Hezbollah, Israel
An evolving cyber phenomenon is underway: the concept of cyber psychological operationswhich are cyber operations (those that use the computer chip) that aim to directly attack and influence the attitudes and behaviors of soldiers and the general population. While armies continue to compete in digital battle space, local populations are now caught up in digital influence space battles. As a result armies can no longer stand between an enemy and the public as they once did
During the recent fighting in
in addition to the normal leaflet delivery propaganda bombs, the Israelis were using E-flets. What is an E-flet? It is a leaflet type message that appears on the Internet, usually through URL links to a website. In one case, a website gave the appearance of being Lebanese in content (a red, green, and white Lebanese flag). It was accompanied by bombastic patriotic statements to rise against Hezbollah. But the site had a +881 satellite number to call instead of a Lebanese number, and the server was NS.BARAK.NET.IL. Lebanon
Leaflet addressed to Litani River Villages Residents
On 21 July and again on 23 July, Israeli planes dropped leaflets warning residents to flee for safety beyond the
, about 13 miles from the border. This was made more difficult after an Israeli air strike hit one of the few remaining crossings over the river early the previous day, trapping hundreds of cars on the southern bank. Litani River
The leaflets say:
To the People in the Villages South of al-Litani River
Because of terrorist activities made from inside your villages and your homes against the State of
The Israeli Defense Forces must react directly and immediately against these activities inside your villages.
You must immediately leave your villages for your safety
The State of
Second leaflet addressed to Litani River Villages Residents
A second almost identical leaflet was dropped with just two minor additions to make the instructions more clear and tell the Lebanese exactly where the Israelis wanted them to go:
To the People in the Villages South of
Because of terrorist activities made from inside your villages and your homes against the State of
Defense Forces must respond directly and immediately against these activities inside your villages. Israel
For your safety!!!
You are ordered to immediately evacuate your villages and move north of the
. al-Litani River
The State of
Lebanese girl holds leaflet dropped on 22 July
Leaflet depicting Hassan Nasrallah hiding behind a Lebanese family
On 22 July, Israeli planes dropped leaflets over the southern city of
. The leaflets depict Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hiding behind a Lebanese family represented by a husband, wife and son in bondage. The husband clearly represents Tyre since a cedar tree is depicted on his shirt. The text is: Lebanon
Your defenders are your destroyers
Leaflets dropped from Israeli aircraft addressing Lebanese citizens explained that the destruction of Lebanon is the fault of Hassan Nasrallah (August 2006)
There is a second version of this leaflet that is almost identical except it contains one added line. That leaflet was dropped on July 25.
Israeli Leaflet - 23 July
To Hezbollah Supporters
Hassan continues to mislead you
Hassan is claiming that the leadership of Hezbollah is determined to work for your safety but why doesnt he show himself to you instead of hanging his picture around
Where is Naeem Qassim?
Where is Ibrahim Amin Alsayed?
Where is Hashim Safeydeen?
Hassan says that only one or two rocket launchers have been destroyed. If Hassan came out of his hideout for a second, he would know that many rocket launchers have been destroyed and many people have died.
In his latest speech, Hassan attacked Arab leaders and ignored the international community.
Is this what you want for
? To be isolated, surrounded and entirely under the mercy of Lebanon Syriaand ? Iran
The only truth in his speech is that this is only the start.
The three individuals named, also known as Naeem Qassim, Ibrahim Ameen Al Sayyed and Hashim Safa El Deen" are the senior leadership of Hezbollah.
Two more all text leaflets were dropped on 23 July. One was the warning leaflet for residents to flee for safety beyond the
first dropped on 21 July, the other is an all text leaflet. Litani River
Fragment of M129E2 leaflet bomb that was dropped
on Sidon, south Lebanon, July 24, 2006.
Lebanese children examine what's left on a M129E2
leaflet bomb that was dropped on Sidon, south Lebanon,
July 24, 2006. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho (LEBANON)
Leaflets were dropped on
Sidon, south , on 24 July. Fragments of an American-made antiquated M129 leaflet bomb were found and numerous photographs of the fragment were published around the world. Lebanon
Israeli Leaflet - 24 July
The same leaflet was dropped again on 30 July. The text is reported to be:
To Hezbollah militia activists
Do you really think that the battlefield looks like the propaganda clips on al-Manar TV, and that you could sprint so fast and easily up the highest hills?
Did you believe your leaders, who told you that those facing you are nothing but spider webs easily torn down by you?
They lied to you all these years; they are lying to you now.
You know very well that you were sent like sheep to be butchered, lacking military training and without proper combat gear.
You know very well that the reassuring words of your leaders are not sufficient for a resilient standing against highly trained soldiers that fight to protect their homeland, their people and their home.
You are nothing but mercenary, and the Lebanese people do not support you.
Run as far as you can, save your souls.
[Note: al-Manar (The Beacon) is a television station based in Beirut, Lebanon. It was launched by Hezbollah in 1991 with funding from
. al-Manar calls itself the station of resistance, and is instrumental in what Hezbollah calls its psychological warfare against the Israelis. In 2004, the station was estimated to be viewed by 10-15 million people daily worldwide. Its programming is geared to keep the Arab world focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and since the Iran U.S.invasion of Iraq, the Occupation of that country.] US
At the same time, The Guardian Unlimited published a report that
Israelis directing a multimedia propaganda campaign at the besieged people of Southern Lebanon.
Mobile phone users are being bombarded with text messages and phone calls, and a local radio station has suddenly had reports broadcast from the Israeli government's point of view.
Each day Israeli planes drop "propaganda bombs", which burst to send leaflets fluttering down on to streets and rooftops. Leaflets dropped yesterday morning described the Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as a coward who hid in a cave while the Lebanese people suffered the consequences of his actions. "He has attacked Arab leaders and ignored the international community; is this what you want for
?" it asked. Lebanon
Meanwhile mobile phone users regularly receive messages sent to their phones which appear as news updates, attempting to discredit Nasrallah or the party he leads. Titled News. a message sent early yesterday reported that the Hezbollah leader had prepared a secure bunker for himself and other senior Hezbollah officials to flee to in
The Israeli forces have also resurrected the old Voice of
Lebanonradio station, once operated by Israel's military ally the South LebanonArmy before it was defeated by Hezbollah in 2000. Previously funded by , frequency 103.7 is once again broadcasting the Israeli line. "Why do those people blame Israel for defending itself against terrorism?" the commentator asks in Arabic. "Why should we let terrorists bomb our homes?" Israel
The Frog and the Scorpion
One interesting leaflet uses an old adage to warn the Lebanese people that creatures that kill cannot change their nature. The green leaflet depicts Hassan as a scorpion crossing a river on the back of a frog, symbolically
. The frog asks the scorpion: Lebanon
Why, why are you stinging me?
To sting is my nature.
This leaflet is based on an old Aesops fable:
The Scorpion and the Frog
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."
The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"
Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."
According to a 1967 edition of Reader's Digest, There is a Lebanese version of the story that tells of a scorpion on the bank of the
Nilewho asked a frog to ferry him to the other side with the same results. In another Lebanese version of the story the frog swam across the Jordan River. Half way across the , the scorpion fatally stung the frog. When asked "Why did you do that?" the scorpion responded with the wisdom of the ages: "It's the Jordan Middle East."
The meaning of the Israeli leaflet is clear. No matter how generous Hezbollah is, how much money they give to the poor, how much food they distribute to the hungry, or how much they claim to be a legitimate political party, they are simply killers and will never change.
Hassan Nasrallah hiding behind a Lebanese family with added text
As we stated earlier, the second version of the Nasrallah hiding behind the Lebanese family with added text was dropped on 25 July.
At the same time, the Israelis reminded the international press that they had asked the Lebanese to leave the area for their safety. The text to the right of the vignette is:
To all citizens south of the
Due to the terror activities being carried out against the State of
from within your villages and homes, the IDF is forced to respond immediately against these activities, even within your villages. Israel
For your safety!!!
We call upon you to evacuate your villages for your safety and move north of the Litani River.
The State of
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah behind a spider web
On 26 July a leaflet showing the Hezbollah leader behind a spider web was dropped by Israeli aircraft.
He promised you that
would be a spider's web...but he encountered a web of steel. Israel
(Note) In another Israeli leaflet we see a similar statement:
Hassan, have you realized yet that the Israeli army is not as delicate as a spider's web? It's a web of steel that will strangle you!
Problems with the United Nations UNIFIL force started to appear about the end of July. Some of these are mentioned in the
paper, The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in Asymmetrical Conflict, Marvin Kalb, February, 2007. The author states: Harvard University
UNIFIL was the United Nations Interim Force in
. It consisted of roughly 2,000 troops stationed along the Lebanese-Israeli border from 1978 until the end of the 2006 war. Its mandate required full impartiality and objectivity. During the war, it published information on its official website about Israeli troop movements, information that in military circles might well be regarded as actionable intelligence. Lebanon
Take, for instance, its posting of July 25, 2006:
Yesterday and during last night, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north towards Bint Jubayl and south towards Yarun. Or, its posting of July 24, which disclosed that IDF forces stationed between Marun Al Ras and Bint Jubayl were significantly reinforced during the night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers.
It was part of UNIFILs responsibility to report violations of the ceasefire, including troop movements, to the U.N., but presumably this information was to be conveyed through confidential channels, not on the Internet, where the information in wartime could be as valuable as hard, military intelligence suddenly exposed to the light.
The Nine Tombstones Leaflet
On 26 July,
Israeldropped leaflets on listing the names of nine Hezbollah fighters it claimed were killed in the battles. Sidon
Quote from Nasrallah: We dont have any dead or wounded.
[Nine headstones with the names of dead Hezbollah fighters]
This is only a partial list! He continues to deceive you!
(Note) The Israelis will later drop leaflets mentioning 90 and 180 dead. One wonders if the number 9 has any special significance.
Israeli TV also broadcast footage of troops transporting corpses in body bags which the military said were the bodies of Hezbollah fighters.
Israelmanaged to intercept the satellite transmissions of Hezbollah's al-Manar TV channel, replacing it with Israeli transmissions that reportedly showed Hezbollah command sites and rocket launching pads which claimed it has raided. Israel
Israeli technicians hacked the signal and replaced it with a 90-second spot that begins with a gun sight superimposed on a crude drawing of Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, looking at the ground. The image is punctuated by the sound of three gunshots and framed on the top with the words, Your day is coming, coming, coming. The spot goes on to show Sheik Nasrallah giving a speech in which a voice says: There is no doubt that this is the strongest air force in the area. And we can't stand up against it. It features the view from Israeli bombers striking targets in
Lebanonand ends with an announcer saying, Nasrallah knows the truth, but he continues, as is his way, to drag into destruction, to throw sand in your eyes. Lebanon
The New York Sun adds:
Part of this is to instill fear," the former senior
Defense Force official said. "This is mostly aimed at the Hezbollah operative. This is instilling fear." The official added, however, that the most effective part of the message was that it proved Israel could take over Hezbollah's primary instrument of propaganda. "If you could destroy al-Manar, which we all know is a platform for destroying psychological order, it is one thing. But better than destroying it is using it against them," the official said. Israel
The Times of London stated on 28 July that
had encouraged Jewish students to track websites and chat rooms so that networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages. Nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students have downloaded special megaphone software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chat rooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. Israel
Were saying to these people that if
is being bashed, dont ignore it, change it, Mr. Cline said. A poll like CNNs takes just a few seconds to vote in, but if thousands take part the outcome will be changed. Whats vital is that the international face of the conflict is balanced Our problem is the foreign media shows Lebanese suffering, but not Israeli. Were bypassing that filter by distributing pictures showing how northern Israelis suffer from Katyusha rocket attacks. Israel
An Israeli attack on the village of Qana was heavily propagandized by Hezbollah because of the heavy death toll of more than 50 people killed, many of them children. One man removed the blanket covering his daughters dead body and asked: Is this a Hezbollah fighter? Are these missiles? Many men yelled in the streets: Its
America, its . Israel
What is most interesting about this atrocity is that there is an excellent possibility that it is a Hezbollah disinformation operation. If so, it was very well done. Some of the discrepancies claimed for the photographs are the body count not holding up to reported 57, Hezbollah might have been launching rockets from the top of the building that was destroyed, discrepancies in published photographs of rescue operations (time stamps, evidence of staging), and photos and video that seem to show Hezbollah operating among the general population, using them as human shields. Qana had been the site of a previous massacre, so it would be a perfect propaganda operation to cause an uprising of hate among the Muslim people. However, you must remain cognizant that the concept of calling this a Hezbollah disinformation campaign might be, in fact, an Israeli disinformation campaign, so you pick your side and you hope that you are correct.
On 3 August 2006, Human Rights Watch specifically accused
of war crimes. The entire concept of the Israelis hitting civilian targets with an indiscriminate callousness amounting to war crimes can be called into question by simply reading Hezbollahs own admissions. On 27 May, Sheik Nasrallah had publicly stated that the guerrillas were hiding among the civilians: Israel
Hezbollah fighters live in their houses, in their schools, in their churches, in their fields, in their farms and in their factories. You cant destroy them in the same way you would destroy an army.
News photos of Beirut, before and after the image was manipulated
Has the news been manipulated? Yes, there was a case of a Reuters photographer fired after one of the photographs by Adnan Hajj showed the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on an area of suburban
. It had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more and darker smoke rising from the buildings. There were many comments from both sides after this photographer was found to have manipulated another photograph showing an Israeli jet fighter. However, it must be remembered that he did not originate the photo; he simply added smoke to add contrast. It was a disturbing reminder that news photos can be tinkered with. Beirut
Strategically placed among the rubble, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, a Teddy bear and a wedding dress
There are numerous other cases of photo fraud. A New York Times slide show depicts two photos of a man assisting at the scene of a
bombing. He later pretends to be a dead man lying in the rubble. An Associated Press photo shows the same Arab woman wailing about the destruction of her home by the Israelis on both 26 July and 5 August. U.S. News & World Report shows a photo of what they claim is a Hezbollah fighter near a downed Israeli jet that is clearly burning automobile tires at a dump. Other photos use emotional additions to increase the dramatic effect. Four different published photos from major news services such as Reuters and the Associated Press all show bombed buildings in the background, while in the foreground we see pristine and perfectly clean objects such as a wedding dress, a child's stuffed bear, Mickey Mouse and finally Minnie Mouse. One Associated Press newscast showed no less than three pristine stuffed toys sitting in the ruins of a bombed building. It is clear that many of these pictures taken by Arab photographers are meant to increase sympathy for Hezbollah. Beirut
Kalb points out:
Ravi Nessman, the senior Jerusalem correspondent of the Associated Press, thought the influence of the bloggers, especially in the United States, was unprecedented. When the bloggers discovered that photographs had been doctored, the credibility of the bloggers skyrocketed and our credibility plummeted. After that everything that we did was suspect. And that makes it very difficult to cover a war, to have honest people who are trying, who are not doctoring photographs and have everything we say be examined, which is fair, but basically be questioned as a lie, and starting with that premise that the media is lying.
The history of faked photos emanating from
goes back many years. Dino A. Brugioni says in Photo Fakery, Brasseys, Virginia, 1999: Lebanon
Palestinians working out of Beirut released a number of fake photos, many condemning the Israelis and other opponents. As early as 1977 at its
Oslomeeting, The International Press Institute examined fake photographs and captions coming from . One photo of a supposed Israeli air raid made the front page of the Washington Post. Careful examination of the photos shows that the bombers were mirror images. Experts also concluded that the Israeli bomber shown could not have executed such a maneuver so close to the ground. Beirut
Another photo, which was awarded a prize in 1977, bore the caption, One can see how an old Palestinian woman is begging a Phalangist soldier not to separate her from her children, while the Beirut area of quarantine is burning and small children are raising their hands. However, the uniformed soldier can be identified as Palestinian by his weapon and American M-1. The Phalangists were armed with AK-47s.
The Lebanese Prime Minister was caught in what was either a case of hyperbole or just and unfounded statement. He declared that
Israelhad perpetrated a massacre and killed 40 people in the town of . Later, he was forced to admit that only one person had died. When the atrocity news is broadcast everyone hears it, but I suspect that when the apologies are submitted few people hear them. Houla
Hezbollah also placed red banners on bomb debris with messages like, Made in the
and Smart bombs for imbeciles. U.S.
Israeli Leaflet - 29 July
The Israelis disseminated an all-text leaflet on 29 July. The same leaflet was dropped again on 1 August, 4 August, 5 August and 12 August. The leaflet says in part:
To the Citizens of
The situation in southern
Lebanonwill continue to be dangerous as long as the Army of the State of Lebanonand the United Nations forces are not deployed on all of the territory of southern . Lebanon
For your safety!
We warn you to avoid the southern area until the deployment of the forces which are tasked with your protection and security in this area.
The State of
Dropped 29 July Leaflet Found on Ground
For the most part every leaflet I show in this article is a mint copy from the Israeli military. I thought it might be nice to show the reader what a leaflet actually looks like after it has been on the ground for a while in the rain. As you can see, once out in the weather the leaflet does not look nearly as nice as our filed examples.
Israeli Leaflet Second of 29 July
The above leaflet was also dropped on 29 July. The text is:
To the Citizens of
Hassan promised you that
Israelwould be a "spider web," and then was surprised when he collided with the state of and its army to find it was a "web of steel." Israel
Hassan promised you that Israel would be afraid to retaliate for the attack on it's sovereignty but was surprised at the strength of the attack against him and his party, and of the strength of the Israeli Defense Forces and State of Israel.
Hassan ignited the fire like a child playing with matches, and thought that he would achieve his goals and his ignoble master's goals, but discovered that the fire of the Israeli Defense Force was much stronger than he had anticipated.
Hassan continues to play his game and continues to destroy Lebanon. Will he understand that he was wrong and end your suffering and dispair?
The State of
Another all-text leaflet was dropped on 30 July. It was the same leaflet first dropped on 24 July.
Israeli Leaflet 31 July
A longer all-text message was dropped on 31 July:
Calling Hezbollah Militia to drop their weapons and surrender
The Israeli Defense Force is determined to eliminate the rocket threat toward the state of Israel and stop terrorism from
. The Israeli Defense Force will continue to work for as long as possible with all their strength to clear Lebanon South Lebanonof rocket and terrorist bases.
The Israeli Defense Forces operations in Maron A-Ras, Bint Jbeil and al-Tiba are merely examples of what the IDF can do.
Hezbollah Militia in the Southern Lebanon
Your respectable leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is protected in an underground shelter, in his cave with his family and friends.
Some people say that he ran far, far away to a territory where the sound of artillery cannot be heard, while you bleed and fight for him against
. the Lebanese national interest
We are asking you wherever you are to stop for one minute, and think for whose interest tou are fighting? To reach the correct answer and drop your weapons and immediately stop fighting the Israeli Defense Force and return home to your families safe and unharmed while you still can.
Your lives are very precious and more valuable than
and the goal youre dying for. Iran
They are very precious in the eyes and hearts of your mothers and sons, so safeguard your lives for the sake of them and for their future.
Note: On 25 July the Israeli Defense Force occupied the area stretching between the
villageof Maronal-Ras (Maroun al-Ras) and the town of Bint Jbeil(Bent Jubail) in the central region of southern . The victory came after a week of hard fighting. The Israeli Army, paratroopers, and armored corps forces with aerial backup completed the takeover with the loss of nine Israelis soldiers. Lieutenant Colonel Itzik Ronen of the 7th Armored Division said: Lebanon
We are currently occupied with collecting evidence, the bodies of Hezbollah terrorists, and conducting interviews, while preparing for the next stage.
A third all-text leaflet was dropped on 1 August. It is the same leaflet first dropped on 29 July.
Israeli Leaflet - 2 August
On 2 August, Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over Nabatiyeh in south
calling on Hezbollah guerrillas to surrender and warning them that we will get you wherever you flee. The leaflets were dropped a day after Israeli commandos stormed a Hezbollah-run hospital in Lebanon Baalbekin eastern Lebanon, where said it killed 10 guerrillas and captured five. The leaflet text is: Israel
Israeli Defense Forces worked courageously and strongly against the hideouts of your gang in
last night. Baalbek
You should know that you will not be able to run away and we will get you wherever you go, whether over or underground.
Your leaders have abandoned you and fled after sending you to death for the sake of foreign interests.
You have only one alternative:
The State of
The Israelis dropped two all-text leaflets on 3 August. The text of one is:
Due to the continued launching of wild firing rockets by the terrorist Hezbollah gang toward the state of Israel, and following the gang leader's declarations , that continue to gamble on Lebanons future - the Israel Defense Force intends to widen its activities in the suburbs of Beirut.
Residents of Haret Hreik, Beer al-Abed, Hay Madi and Alweis
For your own safety!
You must immediately leave these suburbs as well as any place in which Hezbolloh terrorist, terrorist terrorist elements or their followers are taking part in terrorist activities.
The expansion of terrorist operations by Hezbollah will lead to a painful and harsh response by the
Defense Force and the results will be painful not only for Hassan's gang and its criminals. Israel
The State of
Second Leaflet 3 August
To the People of
IsraelDefense Force acted strongly and courageously in Balbak, the Hezbollah guerrilla terrorists center, to protect the people of Israeland return the kidnapped Defense Force. Israel
You should know that the
IsraelDefense Force will continue to extend its operations wherever there are terrorists from Hezbollah to stop them from carrying out their ideology of terror against the people of . Israel
IsraelDefense Force is not working against the people of but against the terrorist guerilla fighters of Hezbollah, and will continue to operate for as long as needed. Lebanon
Don't allow Hezbollah to hold you hostage and use you as a human shield for the benefit of foreign countries.
Note: The Israelis bombed Balbak (also called Baalbak) on 31 July and 1 August and landed commandoes by helicopter next to
. The Israeli commandos snatched five suspected Hezbollah guerrillas in the helicopter raid. Dar al-Hekmah Hospital
The Israelis raided the same town a second time a week after the ceasefire to prevent the smuggling of weapons from
Iranand to Hezbollah. That 19 August commando raid was less successful and an Israeli Defense Force officer was killed; another officer sustained serious injuries in the operation, while a third was lightly wounded. Syria
The Independent wrote on 4 August that:
Israeli aircraft had earlier bombed the southern suburbs of
an area where Hezbollah bases itself and dropped leaflets warning civilian residents in three neighborhoods to leave. The army had indicated on Wednesday that it would be for the cabinet to decide on a resumption of bombing in Beirut 's heavily populated southern neighborhoods. Beirut
On 4 August it was reported that Israeli military dropped leaflets over the Lebanese city of Sidon asking residents to leave their homes and move north and warning that Hezbollah rocket launching sites were about to be targeted. An Israeli army spokesman said that We dropped leaflets warning residents to leave because the army will attack Hezbollah rocket launching sites in
. We have no record of such a drop occurring on that date. Sidon
Warning to cars seen moving south of the Litani River
On 8 August, Israeli aircraft dropped all-text leaflets over
Tyreexplaining that any cars seen moving in southern Lebanonon the roads south of the will be targeted. The text is: Litani River
To Lebanese citizens located south of the
Read this statement carefully and follow its instructions.
The Israeli Defense Forces will escalate their operations and strike with extreme force against the terrorist elements that are using you as human shields and firing rockets from inside your homes at the state of
Any vehicles, no matter what type, moving south of the Litani River will be bombed, because they will be suspected of transporting rockets, military supplies or saboteurs.
You must be aware that anyone moving in any vehicle is exposing his life to danger.
The State of
Meanwhile, Hezbollah struck back with its own propaganda campaign on 8 August. The terrorist organization handed out bundles of Iranian-supplied cash to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing. This campaign was aimed at consolidating the Iranian-backed groups support among
Lebanons Shiites and embarrassing the government. Individuals whose homes were bombed were handed $12,000 in banknotes wrapped in tissue paper. Beirut
Israeli leaflet - 9 August
On 9 August, the Israelis dropped leaflets on
criticizing Hezbollah leader Nasrallah. The skies above the abandoned city of Tyre were alive with warplanes, surveillance drones and attack helicopters. The only way into Tyre Tyreis to wade across a river outside the city, since bombed the makeshift bridge connecting it to the main road north. Leaflets dropped on those who chose not to flee said anyone seen on the streets would now be deemed a runner for Hezbollah. An Israeli plane dropped a canister scattering propaganda leaflets which said: Israel
To Lebanese Citizens
Why has Hassan attacked the State of
Is it for freeing Lebanese detainees from Israeli jails?
Hassan could have released them a long time ago through serious negotiation without bringing disaster to
Hassan has gambled dangerously and returned with nothing.
Hassan is playing with fire and now
is burning. Lebanon
Hassan has gambled with your future and now you are paying the price.
The State of
On 10 August, Israeli forces bombed the heart of the Lebanese capital for the first time in three weeks. They warned that the Israeli Defense Forces intended to expand their operations in
and blamed "the leader of the gang" - an apparent reference to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who made a taped television address the night before. They air-dropped leaflets over Beirut warning the residents of these suburbs to evacuate. At the same time, Israeli forces took control of the strategic southern hub of Marjayoun and warned that its fight against Hezbollah could grow wider and more severe if diplomacy fails. The leaflet is the same one first dropped on 3 August, To Beirut Residents. Beirut
At the same time, Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over northern
for the first time. They warned that all trucks must be off the roads by 8:00 p.m. The leaflets fell north of Lebanon 's second largest city, some 25 kilometers from the Syrian border. The blanketed area includes the Palestinian refugee camp of Beddawi. The leaflet said in part: Tripoli, Lebanon
Any pick-up or truck of any kind moving on the coastal road as of 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) will be attacked because it is suspected of carrying rockets, military hardware and saboteurs.
You must know that anyone who moves in a pick-up or truck is endangering his life.
The State of
It was unclear whether the curfew would be 24-hours a day, starting on Thursday night, or whether it was only a night-time ban on traffic.
Israeli Leaflet - 11 August
On 11 August, Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets on the port city of
Sidonand the capitol city of accusing Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah of hiding facts about the great losses among the Hezbollah fighters. The leaflet contained the first list of names of more than 90 (other reports say 100) alleged Hezbollah members killed in fighting with Israeli troops. The leaflet said Nasrallah was killing your children for nothing. Hezbollah replied that only 58 of its guerrillas died in clashes since Beirut Israelbegan its onslaught on on July 12 in response to a cross-border raid by the Shiite militia. Lebanon claims a total of about 300 Hezbollah guerrillas. Some of the text is: Israel
Nasrallah is cheating you and hiding from you the great losses in the ranks of Hezbollah members.
The following is a list of some names of those killed whom Nasrallah has abandoned and denied their deaths.
Nasrallah in a Tree Leaflet
Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets over
's capital for a third straight day on 12 August, calling on residents to "shake off" Hezbollah. The leaflet depicted Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah peeking out from the branches of a cedar tree, Lebanon 's national symbol. At about the same time the Israelis were dropping scented car fresheners with the same vignette. The text said in part: Lebanon
Shake off your shoulders the destroyer of
You can return the cedar odor to
if you want to!!! Lebanon
Israeli Leaflet - 12 August
They also dropped two all text leaflets. The Israelis dropped leaflets over
West Beirut. Many were carried out to sea by a south wind. The leaflets warned Nasrallah to leave . The message was that Hezbollah is the source of Lebanon 's problems. This leaflet is the one first dropped on 29 July and then on four subsequent dates. Lebanon
The IDF also hacked broadcasts of Hezbollah radio and television with recordings announcing the names of the dead Hezbollah members. One radio message stated:
Hassan sent men to fight the Israeli army, an army of steel, without preparing them. Stop listening to patriotic chants for a moment, think about it and come back to Earth.
They also cut into television broadcasts to show Israeli air attacks on Hezbollah strongholds and even cockpit camera pictures. In one instance they showed a dead guerilla while the announcer stated:
This is the corpse of one of the members of Hezbollah's Special Forces. Hassan Nasrallah lies. We're not the ones who are hiding the real numbers of our dead.
Al-Manar Television admitted that the Israelis had succeeded in creating static and other signal interruptions at least 10 times and had managed to broadcast their own images for a few minutes on three occasions. The Israeli newspaper Marie reported that the
Defense Forces confirmed that the hacking was the work of the army's intelligence corps. Israel
Hezbollah retaliated, broadcasting al-Manar television from hidden locations despite repeated Israeli bombings. It repeated Israeli fears about the war. Hassan Nasrallah said:
They do not want their people and our own people to see the magnitude of the human, material and moral losses they suffered in this war. This is part of the psychological warfare employed by the enemy. These are facts that the enemy cannot hide from its people or from us or from the entire world for a long time.
Al-Manar also told its viewers that
lied about how many Lebanese fighters had been killed, how many Hezbollah rockets had been seized and which Lebanese villages had been captured. It also aired an image of Israeli Prime Minister HUD Olmert bearing a Hitler-like mustache, pictures of the Abu Ghraib prison in Israel and images of President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Iraq
Israeli leaflet - 13 August
To the people of Beirut
As a result of the Hezbollahs continued launching of missiles towards
Israeland the statements of the leader of this group who continues to gamble the future of Lebanon, the IsraelDefense Force intends to expand its operation in Beirut.
Districts of Harik, Ber Abd, Rwais,
Burj Barjina, Salam, Shyah,
Gabiri, Sfair, and Rodof.
For your safety!
You have to evacuate the above areas at once and every site where there are Hezbollah members or their supporters.
The expansion of the terrorist operations of Hezbollah will lead to a painful retaliation, and not only against Hassan's members.
The State of
Israeli Leaflet - 14 August
Two hours before a cease-fire went into effect on Monday morning 14 August, the IDF dropped leaflets on central
Beirutwarning it will retaliate for any attack launched against it from . One leaflet said in part: Lebanon
To Lebanese Citizens
Hezbollah, which is serving its Iranian and the Syrian masters, has driven you to the edge of the abyss.
With its isolationist, reckless and false policy, Hezbollah has brought you many achievements: hopelessness, destruction, displacement and death.
Can you pay this price again?
Let it be known!
The Israeli Defense Forces will return and retaliate with the required force against any terrorist act that is launched from
Lebanonto harm the State of . Israel
The State of
Building castles of illusion...
also dropped leaflets on 14 August depicting Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah building a sand castle threatened by a huge wave. The leaflets were planned to be dropped one hour before the cease-fire took effect. A Israel Beirutresident says that he caught one of the leaflets in the air at 0900 that morning in front of the . The text is: St. George Hotel
Hezbollah's path is what destroyed
He built me a castle of illusions where I can only live for a few moments, then I sit at the table with nothing ... but words.
It is interesting to note that the text of the song is from the words of a popular Lebanese singer, Magda Al-Roumi. The Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani describes in his poem Kalimat (words) the disappointment a woman feels towards her lover, who built her a castle of dreams, made only of words and not of real and concrete things. The implication is that like the girls lover, Nasrallahs speeches to the Lebanese people builds an illusionary castle made of nothing but words and lies. This illusionary castle brought upon
death and destruction. Lebanon
This is not the first time an Arabic song was used in a propaganda leaflet. During Operation Desert Storm the 4th PSYOP Group with the aid of Saudi propagandists disseminated a leaflet showing an Iraqi soldier carrying Saddam Hussein on his back. A Jordanian master sergeant attached to my unit saw the leaflet and started humming a tune. When I asked him why he was humming, he said that the text was a parody of a popular Iraqi song telling of a man's difficulties with his love.
I crossed the
Shatt al Arabas you wished, and I obeyed your orders.
I feel death at the door, I feel I am at my last breath and I sigh deeply.
Cedar tree deodorizer
It was not only propaganda leaflets that the Israelis dropped on
. They also dropped at least one cedar-scented automobile deodorizer in the shape of the national symbol of Lebanon , the cedar tree. The propaganda aspect was the tiny head of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah peeking out from behind the tree, symbolically hiding behind and among the people of Lebanon . One report stated that Hundreds of people were scrambling the streets to pick up the Cedars If anyone is reading this from the Israeli Defense Forces; you have to know that these are the sort of creative things that work...It's much better than throwing leaflets with a list of the names of 100 Hezbollah soldiers dead. There is a brief text at the bottom of the air freshener that quotes a well-known Lebanese idiomatic expression that means get away from us, but also means: Lebanon
Leave us with a good smell
I spoke to a source in
who told me that the air fresheners were very popular. However, as we have seen in recent conflicts where soldiers and civilians were told that enemy leaflets had been laced with infectious disease, apparently there was an attempt on the part of Hezbollah to convince the Lebanese that the air fresheners had been irradiated by the Israelis and were deadly to handle. Lebanon
Israel silenced its big guns and called back its aircraft at 0800 on 14 August as the U.N. brokered cease-fire with Hezbollah took effect. Up until the last moment it had battered
Beirutand south with artillery in a final frenzied offensive -- capped by an Israeli air force leaflet drop that warned the Lebanese it would retaliate if Hezbollah attacked. Hezbollah had returned the favor, firing 220 rockets into northern Lebanon Israeland attempting to send a truck bomb into the Israeli city of as the cease fire approached. Israel suffered more than 130 killed, 41 of them civilians during the 34 days and more than 3,500 Hezbollah rocket attacks,. At the same time, Metulla reported more than 1,000 civilians killed in Israeli air strikes and ground battles. Lebanon claimed it killed more than 550 Hezbollah fighters. A senior air force source said that since the start of fighting, the force had carried out more than 10,000 sorties: Israel
Our main mission was the disruption of the rocket attacks against
, mainly the long-range rocket capabilities of Hezbollah, and our successes have been substantial. We have also flown hundreds of infantry and evacuated dozens of injured - both complex and dangerous missions. Israel
The Last Israeli Leaflet of the War - 15 August
Lebanese civilians began returning to their homes in the south as soon as the cease-fire took effect. The Israelis felt this could lead to further deaths since the Lebanese Army and UN peace-keeping troops had not yet occupied the areas formally used as Hezbollah strongholds. Should Hezbollah fire rockets into
, retribution and retaliation is sure. As a result, the IDF dropped leaflets on 15 August warning residents displaced by the month-long conflict not to return home before the deployment of the Lebanese army. Leaflets were reported over the port city of Israel Tyreand the city of about 13 kilometers from the Israeli border. Nabatiyeh
To the people of Southern Lebanon
The situation in the south will remain dangerous as long as the State of
Lebanonhas not deployed the Lebanese military and international forces in all the territories in the south of . Lebanon
For your safety!
We warn you not to head to the south before the deployment of the forces that are supposed to safeguard your security in that area.
The leadership of the Israeli Defense Force
There are still occasional reports of previously unknown Israeli leaflets distributed over
. In one recent study of the war the author stated that Lebanon Israeldropped leaflets in the south of ridiculing Hezbollahs patriot slogan in an attempt to erode its popular support. What was originally: Lebanon
The Resistance protects the Nation, the Nation protects the Resistance.Was changed to:
The Resistance protects the Nation; the Nation is the victim of the Resistance.
An Unknown Leaflet - To Hezbollah Elements
At the time of the invasion I believed that I had seen just about all of the Israeli propaganda leaflets through my contacts with the Israeli military forces. However, I do say above that there were reports of others. In 2015, I received several tattered leaflets from a Belgian who had been in Lebanon during the short war. One of the leaflets he found on the streets had a message I had not seen before. It is a morale leaflet that tells the fighters that their leaders have abandoned them, and recommends that they follow their leaders actions and desert. We have no data on when it was dropped. The message on the leaflet is:
To Hezbollah Elements
For whom are you willing to fight and sacrifice your lives?
For those who have left you alone in the heat of battle and without supplies while you are hungry?
For those who have condemned you to death and who are actually the enemy without honor and nobility?
Your leaders have betrayed you!!!
Many of your comrades who will not sacrifice [their lives] have fled the battlefield
Surrender or get as far away as possible and save yourselves
Headquarters, Israel Defense Forces
Hezbollah Psychological Operations
Once the war was over and it became apparent that Hezbollah had fought the Israelis to a stand-still, there were dozens of articles published in various military articles attempting to analyze how the Guerillas had managed to fight the better equipped and better armed Israeli Defense Force. Frederick M. Wehrey wrote an article entitled A Clash of Wills: Hizballahs Psychological Campaign Against
Israelin South Lebanon for Small Wars and Insurgencies. Wehrey spoke about the conflict prior to the 2006 war, but his facts are still relevant. He said:
Although Hizballah continually debates its strategic and ideological orientation, three major trends are discernible in its effort to mobile the Shiites: the use of Iranian revolutionary doctrine, the propagation of a martyrdom ethos, and the provision of social services.
Hezbollahs strategy of psychological warfare confounded
s efforts to defeat the movement through firepower alone would seem to validate Sun Tzus timeless counsel: One need not destroy ones enemy. One need only destroy his willingness to engage. Israel
Ron Scheifer adds in an article entitled Psychological Operations: a New Variation on an Age-old Art: Hezbollah versus
, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism: Israel
The visual media proved one of Hezbollahs most effective weapons. Stills, videos, and film became so central to the organizations military activities that it might reasonably be claimed that they dictated both its overall strategy and daily operations. Indeed, the organizations motto could be summed up in the words: If you havent captured it on film you havent fought.
It was not conventional military thinking that determined what Hezbollah would attack and why, with the traditional military goals of gaining control of territory, acquiring intelligence, or destroying military equipment, giving way to PSYOP-oriented objectives. When deciding on and planning an operation the organization would calculate its psychological impact on the enemy.
Hezbollah targeted Israels allies, the Southern Lebanese Army (
SLA). It declared that any SLAmember deserting would receive an automatic amnesty. In addition, if they had joined the Christian army for financial reasons, Hezbollah promised them a generous bonus when they defected.
Hezbollah also produced leaflets. On one occasion they prepared leaflets for the Israeli Arabs living in
and warned them to leave the city immediately or risk being killed by rockets. At the time, about 40% of all the victims of the Hezbollah rockets were Israeli Arabs. Haifa
The New York Sun pointed out that:
Hezbollah has a special unit that specializes in communication and psychological warfare. This unit is dealing with al-Manar in the promotion of the image of Hezbollah. For many years, they have been strong, using television to try to demolish the morale of the soldiers and the population of
. They were filming their terror operations, for example. One team specialized in filming the operations. When they were successful, the film was given to everyone in the world. Sheik Nasrallah's recent threat to strike Tel Aviv and a petrochemical facility in Israel was a form of psychological warfare. Haifa
A Lebanese boy holds a Hezbollah leaflet
congratulating Lebanon on its great victory
As the cease-fire of 14 August approached, Hezbollah printed and disseminated their own leaflets congratulating
Lebanonon its great victory and thanking citizens for their patience during the 34-day war with . The leaflets were distributed to cars heading south on the Zahrani highway, which connects the southern cities of Nabatiyeh, Israel Tyreand . The leaflet said in part: Congratulations to you on the great victory, with the support of God, the mujahedeen (holy warriors) and your patience." The leaflet warned the readers not to touch any suspicious objects, which could be unexploded ordnance. Sidon
Hezbollah Collection Box
Other leaflets captured by the Israelis showed how Hezbollah terrorists raised money in local villages for weapons. The vignette on the leaflet makes it clear that contributions will be used to buy weapons to destroy
. The illustrated side of the leaflet depicts coins dropping into a collection box in the form of the Dome of the Rock and dropping out as bullets which shatter the Star of David. There is also a small portrait of Abbas Musawi, the former Hezbollah leader who was killed by Israel . The text is: Israel
So that all our houses may be part of the resistance This is a resistance collection box place it in your house.
The other side of the leaflet is all text and states in part:
Your support is a mark of honor, and your participation is pride; together we will defend the homeland.
Hezbollah Childrens kit
Another interesting form of PSYOP product is a kit that contains various propaganda slogans, questions and a subtle indoctrination of children into the Hezbollah philosophy. It also contains a request for donations and an envelope to be used to send the money. We depict one of the propaganda pages of the kit depicting a child waving a Hezbollah flag over an Israeli tank with one hand and making the V sign for victory with the other. The text is:
The competition of the youth of victory 2006
The competition will held to celebrate Islamic Resistance Week dedicated to the memory of the deaths as martyrs of two of the organization leaders, Sheikh Ragheb Harb and al-Sayyid Abbas Musawi (and his family).
Mine Awareness Leaflet
The use of propaganda leaflets, flyers and posters does not end with the termination of conflict. As U.N. and civilian organizations moved in to help the nation of
recover, they produced leaflets warning the population not to touch items that might be undetonated armaments. In the 20 August picture above, Elias Kayyal, an officer of the Lebanon United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centerholds a leaflet depicting unexploded ordinance in the villageof Al Bayyadah, southern . Lebanon
Reuters reported on 21 August that the bombing of south
Lebanonby had cost tobacco farmers their crop. Farmers in Qana will not go into the hills and valleys around their village because of the danger of unexploded bombs. The farmers were issued leaflets warning them not to approach strange bodies, the phrase used by the Lebanese to describe the bombs. According to Reuters, the United Nations estimates that there could be 8,000 to 9,000 unexploded bombs in the south. At the same time, the U.N. is distributing returnee packages to refugees containing water, biscuits, wet towels and re-hydration salts. The United Nations Childrens Fund has printed 50,000 mine awareness leaflets and includes one in each package. Israel
In what may be close to an apology. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on 27 August:
We did not think, even 1% that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on 11 June that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say No, absolutely not.
This story is probably far from ended. Although there is a cease-fire, it is likely that
and Hezbollah will continue to snipe at each other and there will be additional leaflet operations. Israel
Lebanese soldiers stand on the Lebanese side of the border
fence between Lebanon and Israel, Monday, Oct. 2, 2006,
a day after the Israeli army withdrew
On 1 October the Israeli troops in
abandoned almost all of their positions, a key step toward fulfilling a major condition of the truce that ended the month long war against Hezbollah. The last Israeli soldiers crossed the border at 0230, ahead of the onset of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. The pre-dawn pullout put a formal end to a nearly three-month troop incursion. Some Israeli troops are still in a divided Lebanon that straddles the Israel-Lebanon border and Israel said that it would continue surveillance flights, which both villageof Ghajar and the U.N. consider a violation of the border. Israel has been gradually withdrawing troops since the cease-fire went into effect, from a peak of 30,000 during the fighting to several hundred soldiers in recent weeks. Some 10,000 Lebanese soldiers and more than 5,000 U.N. troops have been deployed in the south to keep the peace and disarm Hezbollah. Now that the Israelis have left, 15,000 UNIFIL soldiers are expected to patrol the border with an equal number of Lebanese Army troops. Lebanon
Since the end of the war Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has enlisted advertising agencies to help spread Hezbollah's message. Part of the Islamists' new strategy is a $100,000 advertising blitz called Divine Victory, featuring more than 600 billboards around
Beirutand Southern Lebanontouting Hezbollah's exploits during the 34-day war. Signs along the road to Beirutfrom the citys international airport read and its tools have been defeated in English. A America ad agency firm called Idea Creation designed the campaign. Some principles espoused by the agency: Beirut
1. Lower the message density: Get straight to the point. Use a simple message like Divine Victory and repeat it over and over.
2. Speak in the lingua franca. Hezbollahs billboards are in English and bear simple messages like Made in the
with scenes of bombed buildings. U.S.A.
3. Employ irony. One Hezbollah ad features the slogan Extremely accurate targets! juxtaposed against the rubble of
's southern suburbs. Beirut
4. Sanitize the images. Depicting bloody bodies can be counterproductive. Show bodies wrapped in blankets, but avoid the most horrific scenes.
Walter S. Adler mentions some of the Hezbollah civil affairs and PSYOP programs in Hezbollah: The Sustainability of Asymmetrical Warfare. He points out that Hezbollahs Social Unit is responsible for a vast network of social welfare programs. For instance, the Holy Struggle Construction Foundation builds hospitals, schools, homes, mosques and agricultural cooperatives for the people. The Martyrs Foundation provides healthcare and education for the families of Hezbollah fighters killed in action. The Foundation for the Wounded and Khomeini Support Committee serve as welfare agencies for civilians hurt during conflicts with
Hezbollahs Martyrs Foundation spent over 90 million over a four-year period on the families of wounded and dead fighters. Following
s air and artillery strikes in 1966, Hezbollah claimed to have rebuilt more than 5,000 Shiite homes in 82 villages and paid compensation to 2,300 farmers. One if its hospitals, better equipped than government facilities treats approximately 60,000 women and 10,000 children each year. Israel
The Psychological warfare arm of Hezbollah is championed by the Al-Manar satellite television station, four radio stations and five newspapers. Hezbollah also broadcasts programs in Hebrew designed to convince
of the futility of aggression and occupation. One Hebrew-language show is entitled Whos next? and during the war ran an updated photo gallery of dead Israeli soldiers. Al-Manar established a Hebrew Observation Department comprised of Hebrew speakers who monitor Israeli radio and TV broadcasts 24 hours a day. Its primary radio station al-Nur can broadcast in Hebrew into Israel s central cities. Its newspaper al-Ahd (The Promise) supplements the Party's radio and TV sites. The Internet also serves as a forum for Hezbollah to disseminate the speeches of its major ideologues. Perhaps the most interesting Hezbollah campaign was a video game for Muslim children called Special Force. The game allows the children to play an Islamic Resistance Fighter and kill Israeli soldiers and assassinate Israeli politicians. Hezbollah claims sales of 100,000 such games in the Israel Middle East.
Andrew Exum mentions al-Manar in an article entitled Illegal Attack or Legitimate Target?
Attacks al-Manar, published in Arab Media & Society, February 2007. He points out the relationship between al-Manar and Hezbollah and mentions a music video entitled Death to Israel : Israel
Write in running blood: Death! Death! Death to
And cause with the exploding body death! Death!
! From the land of angry Israel
, drive out the raping occupier. Expel from your house that one, Jerusalem
that Zionist humiliated.
Among the many targets hit by
during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict were the headquarters of Al Manar, Hezbollahs satellite television station. Also destroyed were relay stations in northern Israel used to broadcast two other Lebanese television stations, LBC and Al Mustaqbal. Lebanon
Some Israeli officials have said privately that the Hezbollah campaign is very effective and has helped to win some public opinion over to the side of the organization.
Probably the most threatening lesson to be learned from this short conflict was that slowly and gradually the Western powers are losing their technological edge. Iason Athanasiadis pointed out in
Israeli electronic warfare systems were unable to jam the systems at the Iranian Embassy in
Beirutand they proved unable to jam Hezbollah's command and control links from Lebanonto Iranian facilities in . Hezbollah was able to block the Israeli Barak ship anti-missile system and they hacked into Israeli operations communications in the field. Part of the reason for Hezbollah's decisive battlefield performance was that it was gleaning valuable information by monitoring telephone conversations in Hebrew between Israeli reservists and their families on their personal mobile phones. Syria
Jacob Levich, said in an Aspects of Indias Economy article entitled A Counter-Revolution in Military Affairs?
Even more disturbing to US theoreticians, Hezbollah's successful defense of southern Lebanon in 2006 provided evidence that a well-organized guerilla force can beat the high-tech West at its own game. Hezbollah flummoxed Israel's satellite and over-flight intelligence with decoys, developed counter-signals technology that cracked encrypted radio communications, and intercepted key battlefield information simply by listening in on IDF soldiers' cell phone calls to their families.
Anthony H. Cordesman adds in Preliminary Lessons of the
Hezbollah War Israel
Although Israeli electronic intelligence is close to, or superior to, that available to US force, modern technology does not provide the kind of sensors, protection, and weapons that can prevent a skilled urban force from forcing Israel or the US to fight it largely on its own terms.
The implication seems to be that the American and Israeli belief in the sophistication and invincibility of their high-tech electronics might be a thing of the past. The poorest country can produce excellent hackers.
Dr. Pierre Cyril Pahlavi says in The 33-Day War: An Example of Psychological Warfare in the Information Age in The Canadian Army Journal, summer 2007:
Barely had the fighting stopped when it became apparent that the military failure was compounded by economic discomfiture. The initial estimates indicated that the cost of the 33-day war for the Israelis exceeded 4 billion euros, equivalent to 10% of the government budget the losses related to industrial and tourist activity were approximately 1.2 billion euros, more than 1 % of the gross domestic product
Studying the Israeli propaganda leaflets I thought that they had done a good job of pointing out that Hezbollah was the villain and cause of the death and destruction in
. That belief was not universal. Several years later in 2009 when Israel had retaliated against Hamas rocket attacks against southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, Ulrike Putz discussed their propaganda in an article entitled Psychological Tricks to Demoralize the Enemy in Spiegel Online International. He said: Lebanon
It was three years ago that
's army launched its department of psychological warfare. But its debut was less than stunning. During the Israel Lebanonwar in 2006, Israelis dropped poorly-made leaflets down on Shiite civilians in southern . The pamphlets included a simplistic drawing of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah cowering behind a cedar tree, Lebanon 's national symbol. The clumsily-delivered message was apparently that Lebanon 's Shiite militia was hiding behind the country's civilians. Lebanon
These flyers did not have the desired effect. Instead, the Lebanese showed them to visitors for months on end to show the Israeli army's naiveté. Many wondered whether
had honestly thought their pamphlets would change Lebanese minds. Israel
But in the last two and a half years,
's army has learned a thing or two about psychological warfare. For one, they've captured the airways -- but for another, they've also improved their flyers. Pamphlets dropped on the Israel Strip refrain from relying on simplistic propaganda images. Instead, they provide telephone numbers and e-mail addresses -- Palestinians can use them should they want to report the whereabouts of Hamas leaders or weapons caches Gaza
Israeli military speakers have for days been reporting that their generals in the field have observed scores of demoralized Hamas fighters deserting. The claim can't be confirmed -- but it definitely affects morale. It strengthens the Israeli population's will to continue; and in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli media is the main source of information, this message raises questions about whether Hamas may, in fact, be on its last legs.
Michael Provence, an Associate professor of modern Middle Eastern History at the
Universityof California, San Diego, was teaching at the American Universityof Beirutin at the time of the Israeli attack. He agrees with Putz about the weakness of the leaflets in winning the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people: Lebanon
I saw a good number of leaflets and witnessed other types of Israeli offensive operations during the first ten days of the war. Before the war, the Lebanese public was divided in its attitude toward Hezbollah, but the Israeli offensive, and particularly operations outside the south, caused a large-scale realignment of Lebanese opinion in favor of Hezbollah, in my judgment. I think the leaflets were part of this realignment. I observed Lebanese reacting to the leaflets and cell phone calls in two ways, which seemed to cut across the normal cleavages of Lebanese society, in other words Christians, Druze, Shi'is Sunnis, rich, poor, educated and uneducated seemed to react similarly.
The first reaction was dismay and derision at the crudeness of the leaflets, especially the cartoons. The reaction typically went something like, how stupid must they be if they think were this stupid?
The second typical reaction, particularly of the written leaflets, warning of operations in villages and neighborhoods, and cautioning people to evacuate, was that such warnings were intended to instill widespread terror in the non-combatant population. Lebanese knew that the roads and bridges had been destroyed and that normal movement was impossible. Each day convoys of taxis and vehicles evacuating the south were destroyed in air strikes, and it became impossible to hire a taxi at any price.
These leaflets too had the effect of creating the impression that Hezbollah was the only protector of all Lebanese. It is important to note that these feelings dissipated within a few months, but during the war, Israeli operations of all types were very clearly counterproductive in undermining support for Hezbollah; support which swelled tremendously in Lebanon and the region during 2006.
I should point out that in every war there are complaints about the grammar, spelling and tone of the leaflet messages. Americans laughed at Iraqi leaflets during
Storm with their comments that soldiers wives were sleeping with Tom Cruise and Bart Simpson. Surely the Iraqis laughed at some of the American propaganda. For instance, they did not understand a leaflet showing their aircraft with Iranian insignia because they did not know what Iranian insignia looked like. In Operation Desert instead of saying United Nations one American leaflet said Slave Nations. Some American leaflets to Somalia during WWII were written by American Nisei who had little understanding of current Japanese grammar and tone. Sometimes the leaflets are written in a formal language that the workers can hardly understand. So, errors occur all the time when writing in a foreign language. As for the comment that the Lebanese knew the roads were dangerous and almost impossible to use, I have seen that criticism in other reports on the war. A common complaint was that the Israelis told them to move but left no way for them to do so. To conclude, the kind of problems the Japan mentions are very common and happen all the time. PSYOP specialists will always tell of their successes, but seldom speak of their failures. Provence
My articles are often used as reference by authors and PhD candidates. Perhaps the strangest reference was the Israeli leaflets dropped on Tyre, Lebanon. Pete Nielsen wrote a religious novel entitled Passport Please, where he said that the Israeli use of propaganda leaflets to warn citizens of eminent danger was the same principle used by the Lord when he sent the Bible to warn mankind. Apparently, propaganda is all-encompassing.
If any reader cares to contact the author about any aspect of this story and particularly if you care to help or correct any of the Arabic translations you are invited, in fact encouraged, to write to him at email@example.com.