International

Who planted the so-called ‘fake news’ about Israeli threat to destroy nuclear-armed Pakistan?

The politics of fake news

Social media is buzz with news accusing Pakistan for threatening to nuke Israel in response to a news published by a German-own website (www.awdnews.com) quoting the former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon as saying that Israel will nuke Pakistan if it sends ground troops to Syria.

The reaction from Pakistan came from Defense Minister Khawaja Asif who tweeted on Friday: “Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”

Israel’s Defense Ministry tweeted back Saturday, saying the original story on the site AWD News was “never said” and is “entirely false.”

The social media and news media is blaming Pakistan for reacting to the www.wednews.com report which was false or fake.

Interestingly, the news media did not question who planted such a report? Who was behind this serious story? It is simply saying that the report was fake and it was foolish on part of Pakistan to respond to this news.

It is a common knowledge that the so-called “fake” news is an important material which cannot be swept away as it plays an important role in forming public opinion which we witnessed during the last November presidential election.

The Washington Post reported on November 24 that “fake” news played an important role in the last presidential election:  “The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.”

Hence, the basic question remains who was behind planting this serious news on this German website. Pakistan cannot be blamed for responding to this “fake” news.

Here is the partial text of the German website www.awdnews.com:

Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack.

The former Israeli Defense Minister has threatened to “destroy” Pakistan-after Pakistan said on Thursday it will send Sunni fighters to Syria. Pakistan said on Thursday it was ready to send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to fight against Islamic State.

“We have been frustrated at the slow pace …. of confronting Daesh,” said Tariq Fatemi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, referring to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.

Following this Statement, Israel has said it will act if Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on the pretext of fighting against ISIS.

Moshe Yaalon, the former Israeli defense minister, issued his warning on Tuesday. "As far as we are concerned, that is a threat, if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do, we will destroy them with a nuclear attack " Yaalon said.

According to International Business TimesIsrael is believed to have had nuclear capability since the 1960s but never has acknowledged it. Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. Neither country has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nor do they have diplomatic relations.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011 (@) gmail.com

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