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Saturday, March 01, 2008


Bizarre headline of the day

Israeli-Palestinian clashes kill 45
AP left out just one word: "Palestinians." As in "...kill 45 Palestinians." Contrary to the impression one might get from a quick scan of the headlines of the day, all of the dead were on one side. The headline also fails to reveal a rather important fact which does appear in the first sentence - "at least half" of the dead were civilians.

The word "clashes" in that headline, which implies some kind of actual battle, is almost equally misleading. The New York Times, which runs a more accurate "At Least 45 Killed in Israeli Strikes in Gaza" headline, makes clear that the vast majority (and my guess is "all") of the Palestinians died from Israeli airstrikes, not "clashes" between opposing forces.

As in Iraq, we've likely not heard, and never will hear, the full story of the effect of these assaults. More than 100 Palestinians were also injured, and, given the state of medical care in Gaza, the likelihood that some of them will soon be added to the death toll, but not reported, seems high.

Imagine the headlines, the saturation TV coverage, the world reaction, the U.N. condemnation, if Palestinians were to kill 25 Israeli civilians, especially if the day before, a Palestinian official were to threaten a "holocaust" against Israel.

Quick update: Just posted this, and already the AP article has been updated. 46 Palestinians, including "as many as two dozen civilians...including at least two babies and two other children," are dead, with 160 wounded and 14 in critical condition. What I wrote above about "clashes" may not be accurate though, since it is now reported that two Israeli soldiers are also dead. The circumstances of their death are not reported, however.

Another update: Something else you might have missed:

Hundreds of thousands of Gazans demonstrated peacefully Friday against the ongoing slaughter in Gaza. Peaceful demonstrations, however, don't attract the attention of the Western corporate media; they aren't part of the proper "story line."

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