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Thursday, January 22, 2009


Gaza - those "Hamas militants" were everywhere

Al Jazeera is reporting the current assessment of damage in Gaza - 20,000 commercial buildings partially or completely destroyed, 4,000 homes completely destroyed, and more than 100,000 people homeless. Those "Hamas militants" must have been everywhere to justify that kind of damage. Sure they were.

By the way, those (in)famous incidents of attacks of the U.N. headquarters and a U.N. school? Just the tip of the iceberg. The U.N. is reporting that a total of 53 installations used by the United Nations Relief and Works agency, UNRWA, were damaged or destroyed during Israel's Gaza campaign including 37 schools - six of which are being used as emergency shelters - six health centres, and two warehouses.

You probably won't be surprised that while Al Jazeera is reporting this concrete news, the New York Times main article (judging from the website) takes a different ("it's all about us") tack: "On Palestinian Question, Tough Choices for Obama." The Washington Post does better: "As Constraints on Gaza Ease, New Reports of Misery," actually highlighting some individual atrocities (albeit while noting that they "could not be independently verified") and noting the total damage estimate of $2 billion, but without the shocking and staggering statistics noted above. The Post also reports, as is pretty much the norm in the U.S. press, that about 1300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died, without noting that of those 13, only 3 were civilians (and about half of the rest were actually killed by Israelis in "friendly-fire"). This may seem like a minor issue, but the difference between thinking that Palestinians killed 13 Israelis and only 3 Israeli civilians is, to state the obvious, to imply that Palestinians killed four times as many Israeli civilians as they actually did.

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