Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 23 Media Critique: "Straining a 'Ceasefire' "

Yes, there is much straining going on. HonestReporting is under a terrible strain to continue to find (or invent) “media Anti-Israel bias”.

AP is the target again, for this story on the killing of 9 Palestinians by the IDF over the weekend.

Over the past few years the media has consistently downplayed or ignored Palestinian violence, while apportioning blame on Israeli retaliatory or preventative actions as the cause of "escalating violence" or "breaking of ceasefires". It appears, yet again, necessary to protest this inaccurate and misleading representation of the conflict.
Fortunately, our exemplars of detached objectivity, HR, are here to correct that by highlighting Palestinian violence and reminding all fair-minded people that Israeli acts of violence are only ever “retaliatory or preventative” unlike the nasty Palestinians who just kill Jews for fun. And any alleged evidence to the contrary, is obviously the product of a biased media, even if it’s the testimony of IDF soldiers.

A 22 April Associated Press report says that: "Hamas militants called Sunday for a fresh wave of attacks against Israel after troops killed nine Palestinians in weekend fighting, straining a five-month-old cease-fire."
Thus, Israel is blamed for "straining a ceasefire".
There is no blame, the facts are simply laid out in the order that they occurred. Hamas wasn’t calling for renewed attacks before the killings, so AP are quite right to say this. This is not bias, this is chronology.

According to the AP: "The Gaza truce has largely held, though militants have frequently fired rockets into Israel and have attacked Israeli patrols along the border fence." How serious must Palestinian actions be in the eyes of the AP before a "ceasefire" is broken?
Let’s be serious, while Palestinians themselves talk of the truce/ceasefire, in reality there is none. Palestinian militants have said that there can be no separate truce in Gaza and the West Bank (WB), and so they reserve the right to respond to continued Israeli violence in the WB. Israel, for it’s part, does not want a ceasefire to include the WB anyway, so it has zero intention of encouraging one.

Recent Israeli operations against targets in Gaza are a direct response to the latest Qassam missile attacks. Yet, the AP saves this for the third paragraph of its report: "The fighting also included a Palestinian rocket attack on the southern Israeli town of Sderot that damaged a home."
Such terrible bias. The world-wide media conspiracy against Israel is so effective that this only comes to light in the third paragraph!! So what if 9 Palestinians, including a 17 yr old girl standing at her window, are killed. A Jewish home was damaged, can’t AP see the equivalence? HR can – 9 dead Palestinians, one damaged Jewish home, that’s about right.

Some Palestinians claim that their Gaza attacks have been in response to Israeli operations in the West Bank, where a "ceasefire" is not in effect. Much of the media, while focused on Israeli counter-terror measures, have, however, forgotten the constant Palestinian terror efforts that led to the IDF operations in the first place.
And naturally, HR, in its' tireless commitment to accuracy and fairness ignores the ongoing illegal occupation, land theft, administrative detention, road blocks, checkpoints and movement restrictions against an entire population that goes on 24/7. But all that is OK. The real issue is,
To ask the AP what it defines as a "ceasefire", please send your constructive comments to feedback@ap.org.

They could at least start by calling it a Palestinian ceasefire, or perhaps by noting the strange spectacle of an occupied people suffering 40 yrs of repression calling a ceasefire against their occupiers.

Amira Hass on the ceasefire fallacy.