Sunday, February 17, 2008

Media Lies And Palestine

Well, another day another blown up house in Gaza. Just add it to the list. Don’t worry though – it wasn’t the Israelis, it was just a coincidence that one of their F-15s flew overhead right before the explosion, which killed not just a Palestinian militant but his wife and kids, plus another 17 local children. And even if it was the Israelis, well, it’s just a response to Palestinian terror. Right?
The way the media spins it, everything that happens in Palestine/Israel is the result of those unruly Palestinians. They’re just so…so extreme. Can you imagine, firing rockets into Israel?
Of course, the reporting on Israel’s regular bombardments with helicopter gunships, tanks and jet fighters – provided by US taxpayers for America’s most important military base, I mean ally – is either non-existent or makes it seem like poor Israel is besieged by irrational lunatics. So, for instance, a Globe & Mail story that was online Sunday said that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had given his military a “free hand” after a Palestinian rocket “slammed” into a house in Israel on Saturday.
They don’t mention that the rocket attack was a response to Israeli bombardment that happened on Friday, and which killed 8 people and wounded dozens of others. They also don’t mention that Israel has been bombing and invading Gaza almost every day of the week since Hamas took over, in order to break the Palestinians’ resistance.
Nor is it ever mentioned that the Palestinians have been systematically robbed of their land and dignity within living memory, nor that the Israeli ‘security wall’ is being used to expand Israel’s borders, separate Palestinian towns from their agricultural fields and olive groves (regular bulldozed to expand settlements).
Even now, Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison with an illegal Israeli lockdown on fuel and medical supplies, even food. As Israeli officials were noting publicly back in 2006:
“Israel's policy was summed up by Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, earlier this year. 'The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,' he said. The hunger pangs are supposed to encourage the Palestinians to force Hamas to change its attitude towards Israel or force Hamas out of government.”
By the way, collective punishment is a war crime and is disturbingly reminiscent of the treatment meted out to Jewish populations in Europe under the Nazis. I remember reading about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and how the Nazis sought to starve the Jews into submission and, ultimately out of existence.
And Israel regularly blows up any infrastructure that would allow the Palestinians to maintain some self-sufficiency, starting with Gaza’s only power plant. But it’s continued since then.

[An Israeli] warplane fired four missiles at a large vegetable storage facility in al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah. As a result, the facility was destroyed completely. The owners of the 800-square-meter facility estimated their loss at approximately $700,000 US. Forty workers at this facility, which is owned by Dr. Abdul-Hadi Qishta, lost their jobs.
The strike also targeted another vegetable factory owned by the Shabana Company. The factory's owners estimated their loss at approximately $350,000. The factory employed 80 workers in two shifts. Fourteen houses in the area were damaged partially or severely; one of them was destroyed completely and its owner and his wife received minor injuries. These fourteen homes were inhabited by 106 persons. Ten citizens were injured in this shelling; most of them were children.
Later that night, at approximately 11:55pm, IOF warplanes launched four air strikes at an unfinished training site in the town of Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis. The attack caused damage to the building.
A few minutes later, at approximately 12:30am (10 February), IOF warplanes fired a missile at a steel factory in al-Zaitoun neighborhood, southeast of Gaza City, destroying it completely and causing severe damage to a nearby workshop. The factory is owned by Yasin al-Madhoun. The shelling also caused damage to many houses and injury to 13 people from the neighborhood, including four children and six women.

Is it any wonder that the Palestinians celebrated when the border with Egypt came down? It was the worlds largest prison break, no matter how much western and Israeli media tried to spin it as some kind of frivolous shopping spree. It was desperation and resistance. It's clear that Israel will continue to produce the former and that the Palestinians have no choice but to continue the latter. And the media will continue to lie about both.
But let's not kid ourselves, when one side has helicopter gunships, jet fighters, nukes and tank brigades and the other side has to stuff pieces of metal into tennis ball tubes to use them as missiles, there is no symmetry. When one side is the largest recipient of US aid - receiving as much as the entire rest of the US aid budget. When one side can starve, colonize, invade, harass and blow up the other side at will, the actions of those who are being starved, colonized and blown up are acts of resistance. The real terrorists are those who hide behind the 5th most powerful army in the world, supported by the most powerful empire in world history, to kill the indigenous populations of this tragic land.
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