Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dead Children in Gaza

Yesterday morning a young Palestinian mother and four of her children were killed in the northern Gaza strip during an Israeli incursion. That's undisputed, and tragic.

From there on, truth is captive to ideology.

The NYT offers the best of the descriptions in this quick roundup. The tone is set in the very first sentence:
A Palestinian mother and her four young children were killed in northern Gaza on Monday during an Israeli operation against militants there, and a dispute quickly arose over exactly how they had died.
Faced with five dead innocents, does it really matter? Well, yes, it does. Which is why many news outlets are more sparing with the attempt to tell the truth, and more eager to let you know which side you're expected to side with.

If you read far enough into the report offered by the BBC you'll eventually find parts of the Israeli version in the 16th paragraph. The first section offers the Palestinian version as fact:

At least seven Palestinians, including a mother and her four young children, have been killed during an Israeli raid in northern Gaza, medics say.

The family members were killed when a missile hit their home in Beit Hanoun. In separate incidents, a militant and a farmer were killed.

And it also offers one sentence from an Israeli source, but as corroboration of the Palestinian version:

The Israeli military said its aircraft had attacked a group of gunmen who had fired at an army patrol in the area.

The Independent initially simply used Reuters:

Israeli fire hit a house in the Gaza Strip today while a family was eating breakfast, killing six Palestinians, including four children and their mother, residents and medical officials said.

Later, the paper had their own man write a report, and he was a bit more balanced, slightly contradicting the report that was still up on their own website, and still is. In this report the Palestinian version comes first, but the Israeli one does appear in the second paragraph:

A mother and four of her young children under seven were killed in their home yesterday by what Palestinian sources said were Israeli missiles which landed at their door during an armoured incursion into northern Gaza.

The Israeli military said it had been targeting nearby gunmen and suggested the deaths had been caused when explosives it said were being carried by two militants blew up. The children were about to eat breakfast when they were killed.

The Guardian, ever reliable if you like anti-Israeli reportage, waited a day before posting a report, so they had time to gather information and think it through. Their report has 10 paragraphs; the Israeli version appears in paragraph 9.

The United Nations posted a response of the Secretary General on its website. It's better than the Guardian, if that's comforting. The title and first two paragraphs call directly upon Israel to mend its way, but the third does address Palestinian misdemeanors.
Condemning today’s loss of civilian life in the Gaza Strip – including the “tragic” deaths of a mother and four of her children – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Israel to exercise maximum care and restraint.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban reminded the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) “of its responsibility to protect civilians under international humanitarian law during its military operations.”

The Secretary-General spoke out against the continuing attacks and rockets fired by Hamas today against Israel, calling on it and other militant groups to end such acts of terrorism. He also noted that they should not use Gaza as a base of operations.

Most blatant of all, however, was the response of some Arab members of Israel's Knesset. They compared the IDF to Nazis.
On the day an elected Jewish member of an Arab parliament can criticize the crimes of his state, you'll know the Messiah is just around the corner. But to be more realistic: in the day any freely elected Arab member of an Arab parliament harshly criticizes the crimes of his state, you'll be able to start dreaming of peace.

1 comment:

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

And that's nothing, Yaacov. Could you believe that such reprehensible coverage practices have come to Israel's newspapers?

Consider today's article in the Jerusalem Post about Gazans dumping their sewage into the Mediterranean. The blame is put on the Israelis for not supplying Gaza with fuel and spare parts. And do you know when the Israelis are first allowed to talk? In the seventh paragraph!!

Well, at least they don't relegate the Israeli version to the next-to-last paragraph, like The Guardian. But it is indisputable that antisemitic coverage has come to the Israeli press.

As always, the Jewish people is on the verge of total destruction, and the press is playing a prominent role in the process with their wicked juggling of paragraphs.