Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our News & Theirs

This is how The Sydney Morning Herald's Jason Koutsoukis reported (in part) the recent ramming of a group of Israeli soldiers by a 19-year old Palestinian man in occupied Arab East Jerusalem: "The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, wants the homes of terrorists demolished shortly after they commit an attack as part of a plan to deter further terrorism-related incidents."

Palestinians who attack Israeli civilians are terrorists. So too are those who attack Israeli soldiers. And presumably, Palestinians who look sideways at Israelis are all terrorist sympathisers/apprentice terrorists/guilty bystanders.

"Jonathan Spyer, an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Tel Aviv-based Global Research in International Affairs Project, said... Israel needed 'better intelligence from Palestinian sources identifying what exactly is motivating the attacks...' "

Always go for the Israeli expert. Never, repeat never, ask a Palestinian what might motivate such attacks - you'll never shut him up.

"An 800-kilometre security barrier enclosing the Palestinian West Bank... is credited with ending the wave of suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities."

It couldn't possibly be credited with causing the current spate of attacks, now could it? I mean, how can a mere "security barrier," as opposed to an 8 metre high concrete wall which takes away your land and livelihood, drive anyone to murder? A "security barrier," moreover, which merely "encloses," not snakes its way through, the "Palestinian West Bank." Which, BTW, should never be described as the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank. Readers should always be shielded from the harsh reality of the 'O' word.

"Joshua Teitelbaum, a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle Eastern & African Studies, advocated similar restrictions on movement between East and West Jerusalem. 'That's the stick. The carrot is that Israel has to start investing in East Jerusalem'." (Barak urges swift retaliation on terrorists' homes, 24/9/08)

The Israeli expert again. Always the Israeli expert - or politician. From the Moshe Dayan Centre, no less. Moshe Dayan, loveable hero of the 'Six Day' War, who likened the 1967 Israeli occupations of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to rape. "'The situation between us [he told the Palestinian poet Fadwa Tukan] is like the complex relationship between a Bedouin man and the young girl he has taken against her wishes. But when their children are born, they will see the man as their father and the woman as their mother. The initial act will mean nothing to them. You, the Palestinians, as a nation, do not want us today, but we will change your attitude by imposing our presence upon you'." (1967, Tom Segev, p 478) Such a sensitive soul. And Israel's rape has worked a treat, hasn't it? Of course, Mr Israeli Expert talks of stick and carrot, the latter being Israeli investment in East Jerusalem (never Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem). What kind of Israeli investment? Why, more Israeli settlements of course: "The number of tenders in East Jerusalem has increased by a factor of 38 (1,761 housing units compared to 46 in 2007). (See Eliminating the Green Line - August 2008 at But you wouldn't expect Jason to be onto that, would you?

This is how The Australian's "Correspondents in Jerusalem" reported (in part) the same: "The earlier incidents... have prompted calls in Israel for restrictions on Palestinians living on the Israeli side of the barrier that Israel is building around the West Bank."

Ah, unanimity! The "barrier" is being built "around the West Bank," not deep inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank. And don't you just love that bit about "the Israeli side" of the "barrier," which "Palestinians" just happen to be "living on"? Now how did they get there?

"Earlier yesterday, an Israeli soldier lost an eye and three Palestinians were hurt when a woman sprayed acid at the soldier at a checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the army said." (Driver killed after Jerusalem car attack, 24/9/08)

Strike a light! Another Palestinian gone bezerk and, presumably, Israel continues to have no idea why (Where are the experts when you need them?). Nor do we, because, according to The Australian, the Israeli soldier and 3 Palestinians were hurt "when the woman sprayed acid at the soldier." Presumably, her aim was so lousy her fellow Palestinians copped the acid too. Wrong. What really happened was that the Israeli soldiers decided to do some spraying of their own - with bullets, wounding 3 Palestinians. But that's not terrorism. Only Palestinians do terrorism.

Oh, BTW, when you've got an accompanying pic, as The Australian has, and it shows a Palestinian kid in handcuffs, one uniformed thug grasping one arm while another applies a headlock, make sure, as The Australian does, your caption reads "Israeli police escort a Palestinian youth near the scene of yesterday's attack near the walls of Old Jerusalem." Presumably, every Palestinian within cooee of the car attack was implicated in the dastardly act. Ditto for those Palestinians within cooee of the woman who threw the acid. Breathing the same air I guess.

Now imagine this in an Australian newspaper. The particular Israeli act of bastardry (at the same checkpoint - Hawara) described wasn't of course reported here, the victims were only Palestinians after all: "Nothing helped. Not the pleas, not the cries of the woman in labor, not the father's explanations in excellent Hebrew, nor the blood that flowed in the car. The commander of the checkpoint, a fine Israeli who had completed an officers' course, heard the cries, saw the woman writhing in pain in the back seat of the car, listened to the father's heartrending pleas and was unmoved. The heart of the Israeli officer was indifferent and cruel. For over an hour, he would not let the car with the young woman in labor pass through the Hawara checkpoint on the way to the hospital in Nablus. Not to Tel Aviv; but to Nablus; not for shopping, not for work; but to get to the hospital in an emergency. Nothing helped. Nahil Abu-Rada is not the first woman to lose her baby this way because of the occupation, and she won't be the last. At least a half-dozen checkpoint births that ended in death have been documented here over the years, and nothing has changed. No punishments, no lessons, not even a request for forgiveness from parents who lose their children because of the coldheartedness of soldiers. The occupation kills - never has this slogan sounded so true as on that night, two weeks ago, at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus. No convoluted excuse or explanation from the Israel Defense Forces spokesman (military sources were quoted the day after the incident, making this outrageous comment: 'This baby would have died anyway') can erase the simple, chilling fact that for officers and soldiers in the occupation army we have established, human feeling has become alien, at least when it comes to Palestinians. Or the fact that there are still officers and soldiers in the IDF who behave with such lack of feeling toward a woman in labor who is about to lose her child."

You couldn't imagine the above in an Australian newspaper in a million years, could you? Shit, it even uses the 'O' word - twice! No, you'd have to go to the Israeli daily Haaretz and the honest and morally engaged journalism of Gideon Levy (Twilight Zone/Dead on arrival, 19/9/08) for that. What unbelievable hackery we have to put up with here.


Anonymous said...

another day another terror attack by peace loving Palestinians and still not Palestinian state..

Anonymous said...

How's it a terror attack when it is directed at the soldiers of the army that is occupying your land?

Is it not terrorism to let ill people suffer and in some cases die by the roadside?