Channel 4 “Cleanses” Context From Gaza StoryFebruary 19, 2014 15:48 by Simon Plosker
In a five minute report for the UK’s Channel 4 News, Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller focuses on a Palestinian child with a brain tumor as a hook on which to hang Gazan suffering on Israel.
He does so primarily by omitting relevant context that could serve to portray Israel as anything other than the sole party responsible for every misfortune that has befallen the residents of the Gaza Strip.
The mask slips, however, when Miller reveals his true bias against Israel. Narrating on a five-a-side soccer tournament (at 3:17 on the video), he says:
Teams are named after the hometowns from which previous generations were cleansed sixty-six years ago and dumped here. Yafo, which Israelis call Jaffa, are playing al-Majdal, or Ashkelon.
Miller has casually tossed in the false charge that Israel “ethnically cleansed” Arabs during the War of Independence. In reality, as the Jewish Virtual Library points out:
The Palestinians left their homes in 1947–49 for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders’ calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a battle.
Perhaps Miller believes he is proving his point when he states that Israelis call Yafo, Jaffa. In fact, the Hebrew for Jaffa is, like the Arabic, Yafo. The city of Jaffa which is now part of the Tel Aviv municipality has a mixed population of Jews and Arabs. Jews also lived there before the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
But what of the things that Miller leaves out from his report?
Three-and-a-half year-old Abdel Karim al-Dalo, suffering from a brain tumor, is held up as an example of how Gazans are prevented from receiving life-saving medical treatment by Israel’s blockade.
Miller does not state the obvious – that Abdel Karim is still alive as a result of two previous operations carried out in an Israeli hospital. In fact, the IDF estimates that that some 100 Palestinians seeking medical care travel into Israel each day through the Erez Crossing:
Although Palestinians can receive medical treatment in Gaza, many turn to Israeli hospitals for more advanced care. “It is important to note that there are 27 hospitals in Gaza. Gaza’s population has the ability to receive medical care on site,” Maj. Tariq explained, adding that Israeli hospitals can handle complex health problems that Gazan hospitals are incapable of treating.
“When a child is sick, injured and needs prompt treatment, we take all precautions and measures so that the child can pass through the crossing as quickly as possible,” Maj. Tariq said, explaining that all Gazans in urgent need of medical care receive the highest-priority treatment at the crossing. “IDF soldiers ensure that an ambulance arrives and brings the patients to a nearby Israeli hospital, where they receive necessary medical care,” Maj. Tariq added.
Why would there be a delay or a denial for an entry permit into Israel?