Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AP Frames Israeli Palestinian Conflict

I read this on MSNBC: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Gaza's Hamas rulers on Tuesday said they have reached a long-awaited cease-fire with Israel meant to end months of Palestinian assaults on Israeli border towns and bruising Israeli retaliation.

So Israel strikes Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian assaults. That presumes Israel is simply acting in a defensive measure when its military fires missiles into Palestinian homes, stops the movement of food, medical supplies, and people into and out of Gaza, cuts off utilities into Gaza, imprisons Palestinians based on only accusations, turns Gaza into a giant outdoor prison and terrorizes the entire community there - children and seniors included.

And Hamas sends crude rockets into Israel because? Well it must be insanity or perhaps antisemitism. Why else would they continue their assaults that bring such horrible retaliation?

In reality, of course, this is an awful and biased article. It casts Israel as innocent and merely defending itself, when Israel is an aggressor that is occupying Palestinian territory and killing thousands of innocent Palestinians. The article mentions a missile attack that hits a car and "killing the five militants inside." The article doesn't mention how it was confirmed that "militants" were in the car, no doubt this is simply what the Israeli Defense Forces told the reporter.

The article finally gives these two sides: Israel wants the rocket attacks to stop, an end to Hamas' weapons build up, and the release of a single Israeli soldier held by Hamas. Hamas wants an end to Israeli "military activity" in Gaza and lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

The article doesn't mention the 350 Palestinian prisoners that Hamas wants Israel to release, and it doesn't elaborate on the "military activity" that has been far more deadly than Hamas' rocket attacks. And naturally it says nothing of the occupation, the taking of Palestinian land by force, or the racist and humiliating nature of that occupation. It also frames the two sides as somewhat equal, or at least it never mentions that Gaza is a battered and starved 3rd World strip of land, completely surrounded and controlled by the most powerful nation-state in the region - a nuclear power backed by the United States.

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