Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
We Can't Do It Without You!  
     
Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives
   
 
   Featured Views  
 

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
 
 
For US Media, 'Calm' Means 'Calm for Israel'
Published on Sunday, February 27, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
For US Media, 'Calm' Means 'Calm for Israel'
by Ahmed Bouzid
 

If a rational, empirically driven Martian were to land on Earth today, the day after 4 innocent Israeli civilians were killed and scores of others wounded in a suicide bombing attack in the city of Tel Aviv, and if he were handed a stack of US newspapers to examine, no doubt he would reach the conclusion that a period of truce between the two warring people of Israel and Palestine, during which peace and calm had prevailed, with neither side having attacked the other, had sadly come to an end, shattered with an attack by the aggressive, warmongering, and powerful people of Palestine against the passive, peace-loving, and defenseless people of Israel.

The Martian would have reached such a conclusion because he would have read headlines such as, 'Suicide Bomb at Tel Aviv Club Shatters Palestinian-Israeli Truce' (The New York Times), 'Attack Outside Nightclub Shatters Truce' (The Washington Post), 'Blast shakes Mideast peace' (The Austin American-Statesman), 'Bomb Ends Mideast Quiet' (The Hartford Courant), 'Tel Aviv Bomber Imperils Truce' (The Houston Chronicle), 'Suicide Bomber shatters Mideast cease-fire' (The Indianapolis Star), 'Attack Shatters Calm in Mideast' (The Los Angeles Times), 'Bombing shatters delicate truce in Mideast' (The Miami Herald), 'Bomb shatters Mideast calm' (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), 'Bombing shatters Mideast calm' (The Orlando Sentinel), 'Unofficial cease fire broken by first major attack in months' (The San Francisco Chronicle).[1]

Having reached the obvious conclusion the headlines had dictated, the Martian no doubt would have been shocked to learn that during the period of so-called truce and calm the media was referring to (January 15, the day the new Palestinian president assumed office, to February 25), no less than 31 Palestinian civilians, among them 11 children, had been killed by the Israeli army; that hundreds more Palestinians had been wounded; that the construction of a wall that tore into Palestinian land continued unabated; that the shelling of Palestinian areas by the Israeli army was still taking place just as it did before 'the truce'; that the houses of Palestinian civilians were still being demolished by the Israeli army just as they did before the period of quiet had set in; that land belonging to Palestinians had been officially confiscated right after 'the truce' was announced; and so on and so forth.

Faced with this stark disconnect between basic facts and the shrill headlines about a 'shattered peace', the Martian would have had to come to one of two conclusions: (1) The press of the United States had engaged in a deliberate, coordinated, and massive campaign of lies and distortions, or (2) The press of the United States, as a matter of common course, simply did not assign 'calm' and 'truce' the same meaning one would usually assign to a situation where two sides are enjoying such a 'calm' and are engaged in such a 'truce'. Shunning conspiracy theories and resisting the natural impulse to assign ill intent to those who behave badly, our Martian would have found himself forced to conclude the obvious: the US must be operating with a peculiar understanding of what 'calm' and 'truce' mean.

Indeed, there was a period of calm between January 15, when the president of the Palestinians assumed office, and February 25, the day of the bombing that killed 4 Israeli civilians. During this period, no Israelis were killed by Palestinians. And in fact, this so-called period of calm started as far back as November 1st, 2004. But at the same time, there was no such period of calm for the Palestinians during those months, since their people continued to be violently attacked by the Israelis. (See below for a detailed compilation.)

What is a Martian to conclude, then, but that when the US press says 'calm' it means calm for the Israelis, regardless what is happening to the Palestinians, and when it refers to a 'truce', it means by that word a situation where only one side (the Palestinians) will refrain from engaging in hostile actions, with the other side (the Israelis) reserving for itself the right to act as violently as it deems necessary or convenient?

AHMED BOUZID is founder and president of Palestine Media Watch. http://www.pmwatch.org/

 

[1] http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/ -- February 27, 2005.

[2] SOURCE: http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/Reports/English/full_index.htm

February 17 - February 23, 2005

* A Palestinian civilian died from a previous injury he had sustained by IOF.

* Continued shelling of residential areas in the Gaza Strip; 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were seriously injured.

* Construction of the “annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued and more areas of Palestinian land were confiscated for this purpose.

* IOF conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas.

* Houses were raided and a number of Palestinian civilians were arrested.

* Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank.

* IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have continued to close a number of roads since the beginning of the current Intifada, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions at Rafah International Crossing Point, and IOF positioned at checkpoints arrested a number of Palestinian civilians.

Feb 10 - Feb 16, 2005

* 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed by IOF.

* IOF conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas.

* Houses were raided and at least 10 Palestinian civilians were arrested.

* Continued shelling of residential areas, and a Palestinian child was injured in Khan Yunis.

* Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank.

* Construction of the “annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued and more areas of Palestinian land were confiscated for this purpose in Jerusalem and Jenin.

* IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have continued to close a number of roads since the beginning of the current Intifada, Palestinians aged 16-35 have been prevented from traveling through Rafah International Crossing Point, and IOF positioned at checkpoints arrested a number of Palestinian civilians.

February 3 - February 9, 2005

* 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed by IOF.

* IOF conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

* Houses were raided and at least 10 Palestinian civilians were arrested.

* Continued shelling of residential areas, and 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were injured.

* Construction of the “annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued and flooding from rain has damaged Palestinian houses and property near the wall in the north of the West Bank.

* IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF reopened al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing to the east of Gaza, Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border was reopened but Palestinians aged 16-35 have been prevented from traveling, and IOF positioned at checkpoints arrested a number of Palestinian civilians.

January 27 - February 2, 2005

* 8 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and 2 mentally handicapped persons, were killed by IOF.

* One of the victims was killed when the tent where he was detained in an Israeli prison burnt.

* IOF conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

* Houses were raided and dozens of Palestinian civilians were arrested.

* Continued shelling of residential areas, and a child was killed when she was at school.

* Construction of the “annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued.

* IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have continued to close al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing to the east of Gaza for the 3rd consecutive week, Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border was reopened but Palestinians aged 16-35 have been prevented from traveling; and IOF positioned at checkpoints arrested a number of Palestinian civilians.

January 13 - January 26, 2005

* 20 Palestinians, 14 of whom were civilians, including 5 children and one woman, were killed by IOF.

* 2 of the children were killed on the first day of Eid al-Adha.

* One of the victims was extra-judicially killed by IOF.

* IOF conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

* 3 houses were destroyed in Khan Yunis and at least 120 donums[1] of agricultural land were razed throughout the Gaza Strip.

* Houses were raided and dozens of Palestinian civilians were arrested.

* A house and an apartment building were destroyed in the context of retaliatory measures against Palestinian civilians.

* 2 Palestinian civilians were used as human shields during IOF's operations in the Gaza Strip.

* Continued shelling of residential areas

* Construction of the “annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued.

* IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border was reopened for Palestinians wishing to travel back to the Gaza Strip; IOF have continued to close al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing to the east of Gaza; and IOF positioned at checkpoints fired at Palestinian civilians and injured 8, including a woman and her child.

###

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
 
     
 
 

CommonDreams.org
Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.
Independent, non-profit newscenter since 1997.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.