“We are sure that Israel is using a new chemical or radioactive weapon in their operation…When we try to X-ray dead bodies, we find no trace of shrapnel that hit the person killed.” Dr. al-Saqqa, Shifa hospital, Gaza; following the examination of the “completely burnt” bodies of dead Palestinians killed in Israeli air raid.
Question: How many editorials or op-ed columns have appeared in American newspapers defending the rights of Palestinian civilians to live in peace without the constant threat of being invaded or shelled by the world’s forth largest military?
How many editorials or op-ed columnists have defended the Geneva Conventions or international laws against collective punishment, the willful destruction of critical infrastructure, or military maneuvers that deliberately put civilians in imminent danger?
Then how many editorials or op-ed columnists have presented the recent flurry of events (including the capture of Israeli soldier Galid Shalit) in the broader context of Israel’s ongoing boycott of food and medical supplies, as well as the 50 or so Palestinian civilians who have been killed in Israel’s regular incitements in the occupied territories?
The account of Palestinian suffering and victim-hood rarely finds its way into the mainstream press, but in the present case, it has been completely ignored. In fact, none of the media provide any context for the current invasion at all. Israel’s blockade of food and lethal provocations have been going on for months, and yet, the accounts from Gaza would have the reader believe that history began on the day that the Israeli soldier was captured.
Sure, if the reader wants a balanced perspective, he can go to the internet and choose from the many articles which provide the Israeli or Palestinian perspective of events, but the mainstream media?
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
The bias has grown into such an impenetrable cloud of pro-Israeli rubbish that it’s laughable. In fact, its more likely to stumble across the random article lambasting Bush or Cheney than anything remotely critical of Israel.
There’s no debate about the facts of Israel’s brutal siege of Gaza. The only thing in dispute is the way those facts are skewed in the American media. Pick up the New York Times and you would swear it was edited by Ariel Sharon. There’s not even an attempt at evenhandedness; just the foolish ruminations of scribes who think they can spin war crimes into hard-hitting journalism.
Israel has been pummeling Gaza for months; intentionally starving the beleaguered occupants while lobbing 6,000 artillery shells into populated areas. Isn’t that front page news?
Meanwhile, another 50 civilians have been bumped-off in gangland-style hits (“Targeted assassinations”) authorized by the Knesset’s newest Mafia Don, Ehud Olmert. Olmert has put the carnage and destruction into high-gear eliciting criticism from his very own daughter who protested in front of her father’s home with signs that said, “Stop the Killing” among other things.
The Israelis have developed “sound machines” that emit ear-piercing explosions that have been deployed in Gaza City to shatter windows, cause miscarriages, and send children into deep trauma. It is a “terror device” pure and simple; it has no other function except to produce massive fear and anxiety. It is the latest weapon in the prodigious arsenal of the “world’s most moral army” (Olmert quote)
So why can’t we get the real scoop about Israel’s depredations in the territories or, at the very least, an occasional article providing a differing point of view? Is that too much to ask?
Simply put, anyone who believes this nonsense about “the poor abducted soldier” who fell prey to Hamas terrorists is a fool. The soldier is part of an illegal occupation which has been condemned in countless UN resolutions and which makes him a legitimate target in the struggle for national liberation. Since his capture, he has received medical attention and, my guess is, he probably hasn’t been tortured or abused at all. (which certainly would not be the case if he was captured by Israeli or American forces)
So, who’re the terrorists here anyway?
Newly elected Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has been calling for calm and restraint throughout the entire 14 day ordeal. In fact, Haniyeh has made repeated appeals to the militants to release the soldier unharmed even while “Olmert the barbarian” was rampaging through Gaza blowing up roads, electric power plants, water lines, and, yes, even schools.
Schools, for God’s sakes. That’s just flat nuts!
If Israel had any sense they’d dump Olmert the madman and appoint Haniyeh as Prime Minister. So far, he’s the only one who has emerged from this mess looking like a reasonable fellow. (Note: Israel continues to threaten his life.)
Anyway, don’t expect objectivity from the American “free press”. I had to search through the Arab media just to find out that the UN was sending a fact-finding mission to Gaza to report on “Israel’s grave rights violations”. Don’t you think that the American people would like to know that little tidbit?
Or, that UN special-rapporteur, John Dugard is headed off to Gaza to investigate the Israeli military’s “disproportionate use of force against civilians”. Dugard said, “It is clear that Israel is in violation of the most fundamental norms of humanitarian law and human rights.”
His comments have not appeared in any American newspaper.
Wouldn’t the American people want to know how far removed their government is from the prevailing opinion of other countries?
Sure they would, but don’t expect the media to tell them.
The American public has no idea the effect this invasion has had on the Muslim world; the mass demonstrations in Amman, Cairo, Tehran, Doha etc. They haven’t heard the anger ring-out at the United Nations or the world leaders who are sick and tired of the US defending Israel’s heavy-handed tactics.
The average American has no idea that Israel is keeping over 9,000 prisoners locked up without charges and that over 400 of them are woman and children.
What the hell are they doing with children anyway? It’s an outrage.
It’s pretty clear that Israel would never get away with its crimes against humanity if it didn’t have a trustworthy friend in the American media. The streetwalking western press gave Bush a free pass on his Iraqi bloodbath; now they’re abetting Israel in its terror-crusade in Gaza.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: [email protected]