Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Fair and balanced news from the Middle East

Headline in the New York Times: "Hamas and Israelis Trade Attacks, Killing Several." And who were those "several"? The first Israeli killed by a Palestinian rocket attack in nine months, and eight Palestinian "militants" and civilians, the first eight Palestinians killed by Israel since...probably yesterday.

And what two pictures are run with the story? One of a presumably injured Israeli woman being carried, and the second showing some Israelis taking cover in Sderot. Pictures of dead Palestinians? Evidently a little too balanced for the Times.

The rocket attacks, by the way, as the article actually admits, came in response to an Israeli airstrike which killed five Palestinians. Following the rocket attacks, another round of Israeli airstrikes in a residential area killed a 5-month-old Palestinian boy. I'm sure those Israeli women are so proud.

And in response to the death of a 5-month-old boy and seven other Palestinians, what does the U.S. government have to say? Condoleezza Rice urged Hamas to end its rocket attacks. Not a word urging Israel to end its orders of magnitude more deadly airstrikes and other attacks. Not a word. I'm sorry, she did say something: "I am concerned about the humanitarian conditions there and innocent people in Gaza who are being hurt." She's "concerned." Not, however, concerned enough to actually urge the Israelis to end the blockade of Gaza and end their attacks. Just "concerned."

Update: Today's Reuters story on the events illustrates my point even more strongly. Here's the lead, which invokes the standard "Palestinians provoke, Israel responds" line:

Israel responded to the death of an Israeli in a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip by stepping up air strikes on Thursday that raised to 17 the number of Palestinians killed in the territory in the past two days.
The fact that there was a deadly Israeli airstrike which preceded the rocket attacks is mentioned much later in the article, but without any linkage, despite the fact that Hamas, as noted in the New York Times article, made clear that the rocket attacks were a response to the first airstrike.

Why stop here? There's more...

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