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Saturday, November 21, 2009


Israel "responds"

UPDATED (see below)

It's a long-standing convention of the U.S. media that any Israeli action is always describe as a "response" to something or other from the Palestinian side. So let's consider what happened today.

The Palestinian action:

Hamas says it has agreed with other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza to stop firing rockets into Israel.
And lest you think that's really a totally new development, really it's been pretty much the status quo for quite some time:
Hamas has observed a ceasefire for months, but other groups have carried out sporadic cross-border attacks.
So what was the Israeli response to this good faith action on the part of Hamas? This:
Israeli jets have carried out air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip, injuring seven Palestinians...In addition, the Press TV correspondent in Gaza reported that Israeli gunboats were approaching the coast of Gaza.
Do you suppose we'll be hearing from the U.S. State Department, lamenting the fact that Palestinians have no "partner for peace"? And, since the total blockade of Gaza imposed not only by Israel but also by Egypt, the U.S., and U.K., and others, is "justified" by rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel, will we be seeing a response from those parties in the form of a lifting of the blockade? Stay tuned. But please, please don't hold your breath.

Update: Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. You remember (a few paragraphs ago!) when I wrote about the "response" phenomenon? Well today, the Times (U.K.) gives us this unbelievable spin on the story above:

Hamas announced today that it would freeze its rocket attacks on southern Israel, after Israeli war planes bombed the Gaza Strip.
Of course, this is wrong on two important counts. First of all, as noted in the clip above, Hamas has actually observed a ceasefire for months, rather than "announcing today" that it would freeze its attacks. And second, and on the point of this story, that announcement preceded the Israeli bombing of Gaza, it did not follow it.


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