Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Israel under fire?

“Israel under fire,” read a blurb at the bottom of CNN this morning. Photographs of wounded and bleeding Palestinian children flashed across the screen. The voice of the newscaster reported that Egypt and France were working on a ceasefire deal and that Israel would accept only if the deal included an international arms embargo on Hamas.

No mention was made of Palestinian deaths. No numbers or blurbs on the screen reported that 680 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,000 injured.

Later in the news broadcast, a CNN reporter was seen on camera in Israel. He was taking shelter in a bunker with Israelis, waiting for the rocket hit that was preceded by a siren. The reporter translated that a man in the bunker was calling for him to “tell them,” the viewers, about these attacks. The rocket hit and everyone rushed out of the bunker towards the site – arriving there, a part of the road was slightly blackened and the windows of an unoccupied taxi had been blown out. No one was injured.

The reporter stressed the need to stop these attacks, and demonstrated how quickly emergency personnel were on the scene. There was no mention of Israel’s refusal, up to this point, to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. No mention of overburdened hospitals or lack of aid to civilians.

Eventually, after discussing the current hot news from Capitol Hill for the third time, CNN reported that Israel had bombed a United Nations school. According to the report, Israel was claiming that Hamas was firing missiles from this location and using civilians as “human shields.” In the last breath, the newscaster mentioned that the UN was calling for an investigation.

No mention was made of the 43 Palestinian lives lost or the 100 Palestinians injured in that single attack.

The rest of the world is not denying that Israeli lives have been lost. The rest of the world is not denying that there has, indeed, been distress to Israel and the Israeli people. The rest of the world also recognizes the extreme suffering of the Palestinian people by the hands of the Israeli government. But the United States alone seems to deny that Israel has caused any distress to the Palestinian populations. The United States has vetoed UN resolution after resolution that criticizes Israel. The United States seems to deny that the Palestinians are people, simply believing that they are all terrorists who deserve to die in order to protect Israel. Hamas is blamed for everything, and even accused of using its own people as “human shields,” while as little blame as possible is placed on the shoulders of Israeli militancy.

With blanket support from the United States, Israel effectively has free reign to do whatever it wants.

It's no wonder the American people have no idea what is really happening in Gaza - the news media paints an unbelievably one-sided picture. For further reading:

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