As public attention focuses on the Sniper Shootings and the disruption of the daily life of DC-area residents — roadblocks, school closings, fear of going outside — HonestReporting reports a rash of articles criticizing Israel for similar conditions in Palestinian towns.
This week, Molly Moore of the Washington Post filed a story, “In Middle East, Heaviest Toll Exacted on Civilians.” While the headline implies hardship on both sides, the article gives just 19 words to the plight of Israeli civilians, versus 1202 words for the Palestinians.
Moore quotes highly emotive Palestinian grievances, for example: “‘They are killing us like chickens,’ sobbed Shaath, tears streaming down her weathered cheeks.”
Read the article at:
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Christine Spolar of the Chicago Tribune filed a similar report from Nablus: “School Kids Suffer in Israel’s Anti-Terror Drive.” Although Spolar gives ink to the reasons for Israeli actions, far greater sympathy goes to the Palestinians, for example:
“The girl’s tears fell with fury. ‘I want to go to school,’ she sobbed. ‘I want to learn.'”
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The Toronto Globe and Mail chimes in with an editorial entitled, “Gaza’s Pain,” which cynically reports on Israeli response to civilian casualties:
“The Israeli government made its rote response Friday. The army, an official said, ‘does everything to avoid civilians being hurt.'”
The Globe and Mail also ignores Ariel Sharon’s repeated overtures to the Palestinians to stop violence and return to the path of negotiations:
“Mr. Sharon still appears to believe that tough military tactics alone will make Israel secure.”
Read the article at:
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These articles fail in 3 primary ways:
(1) The articles hypocritical omit that Israeli actions are in line with those of any other democracy trying to protect its citizens.
We are reminded of Geraldo Rivera’s comment in March 2002, as he was unable to report from Jenin because of IDF roadblocks in the area. Geraldo declared on Fox News: “Watching the suffering of the Palestinian people, I’m also becoming a Palestinian-ist…”
Writer Jack Engelhard articulates a stunning contrast: Imagine a scene of Geraldo at a gas station outside of Washington D.C. where a sniper has been killing people in and around the Beltway. Traffic snarls as roadblocks have been set up along the highway. SWAT teams descend on random white vans, restraining drivers at gunpoint.
But Geraldo is not complaining. This time it’s his neighborhood that’s being terrorized. This time it’s his ox being gored. So roadblocks are okay. No word about the inconvenience. No words of anger about missing school. No words of anger about random searches. A killer is on the loose, and all measures to stop him are acceptable.
Why the double standard?
(2) The articles fail to point out that Israeli actions have significantly reduced the number of terror attacks. This week, when Israel eased the curfew on Jenin, two terrorists slipped out and destroyed an Israeli bus, killing 14 and wounding 60 more.
3) The articles fail to place blame where it belongs — with the terrorists themselves — for destroying civilian life in Palestinian areas.
As U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said regarding anti-terror actions in Afghanistan: “This is a war that has been forced upon us by terrorists… We are making great efforts not to hurt civilians, but if civilians are hurt, the entire responsibility for such is upon the terrorists who use them as cover…”
Writing in the NY Post, John Podhoretz declares that responsibility for the Palestinian casualties lies with the terrorists:
“The Fourth Geneva Convention goes into great and elaborate detail about how to assign fault when military activities take place in civilian areas… Hamas is at war with Israel. But instead of separating themselves from the general population in military camps and wearing uniforms, as required by international law, Hamas members and other Palestinian terrorists try to use civilians — the ‘protected persons’ mentioned in [The Fourth Geneva Convention] 3:1:28 — as living camouflage. To prevent such a thing from happening, international law explicitly gives Israel the right to conduct military operations against military targets under these circumstances.”
HonestReporting encourages members to monitor your local media to see how they are reporting Palestinian conditions, in contrast to the DC sniper events.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.