If accountants investigate and report on a company and hide all its flaws and deficiencies we would undoubtedly label what they have done a fraud. Yet when journalists attempt to portray the Israel –Hamas conflict as if it were some form of cup tie between Manchester United and Plonk-on-the-Corner Wanderers too many will accept the signatures of objective journalism as valid and certifying as accurate what is contained in the report. The BBC will report from both sides but will give a lot of coverage to the injured and dead on the Gaza side of the border. For example Wyre Davies in Gaza says ‘Israel demands security, and Gaza demands the freedom to flourish economically and breathe - irrespective, arguably, of the wider arguments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ‘
The one side, quite fairly wants security. Thank you Mr Reporter for acknowledging that. The other side, you allege ‘demands the freedom to flourish economically and breathe ‘. Each of the two combatants, or rather their populations have these legitimate goals and aspirations. Yet while there is no doubt that the people of Gaza would benefit from these suggested freedoms the journalist fails to recognise very simple facts. The policies, beliefs and tactics of Hamas in Gaza, both before and since the unilateral withdrawal by Israel, have done nothing to relieve or improve the suffering of the people of Gaza. Instead of pursuing economic stimulus or programs to benefit the population, those who govern Gaza, have diverted their resources to attacking Israel and keeping their own population as miserable and deprived as possible. The thousands of rockets fired from there, which actions have prompted both the Israel blockade and military action, are what imprison the Gazans. Furthermore while, as stated before, the journalist acknowledges Israel’s legitimate security concerns, he does not recognise the openly proclaimed aims and policies of Hamas, the destruction of Israel through the use of force and the rejection of diplomatic solutions in and of themselves and because the Zionists are not to be trusted.
A cease fire does not give the Gazans an opportunity to start living a normal life. It allows their leadership time to replenish and restock with more weapons to shoot into Israel. Soon the missiles will start flying towards Israel and we will be back to square one with more deaths and casualties.
Reporters spend a lot of time reporting on the impact of the conflict on Palestinian citizens. Empathy with the civilian victims of any conflict is something all decent human beings should feel. It is this area however that much of the media promotes an anti-Israel agenda. By focusing on the suffering of civilians without giving proper credence or prominence to the true reasons why Israel has resorted to force ends up delegitimising and Israel and demonising it as the ‘aggressor’ and cause of Palestinian suffering.
Many stories and headlines talk of the ‘cycle of violence’. Israel forever seems to be contributing to this by launching military action against Hamas targets. Why do the reporters never give credence to what Israel is trying to do? Mr Netanyahu, with whom I do not necessarily agree on many points, was not sitting around twiddling his thumbs one day when the thought suddenly occurred to him that it might be an idea to start targeting Hamas leaders to test the accuracy of Israeli missiles. Nor was he looking for a good political manoeuvre to bolster support for his government in the lead to the upcoming elections. There are cheaper ways of getting poll ratings up without killing anyone, exposing one’s own army and civilians to harm or incurring the wrath of an already unsympathetic press and the surrounding regimes. He is not giving vent to some Jewish lust for blood or killing. It is not that the Zionists did not have enough gentile blood this past Passover so need to boost their supply. Mr Netanyahu is often called ‘hardliner’ ‘hawkish’ or ‘right wing’. He may be a politician but he is not in love with military action and war. He, and successive Israeli governments and Israelis of all political persuasions, do not relish war. They know that war is ugly. They, who have lived with on-going conflict and under attack by various countries and terror organisations, know the horrors of war intimately.
It is not only images of civilians in war that are ugly, brutal and terrifying. The sight of any bullet ridden human being, charred remains of any one whether they are an ‘innocent’ civilian or a ‘militant’ or a ‘soldier’ or even a ‘terrorist’ are hideous. No one should want to be fighting. The opposite of innocent civilian is not guilty combatant. War is a last but unfortunately necessary resort. If Mr Netanyahu ordered raids on Gaza to bolster his poll ratings then it was an extraordinary piece of political luck that an anti-Semitic, genocidal terror organisation, committed to destroying Mr Netanyahu’s country by violence, vehemently opposed to any notion of peace settlement or negotiation just so happened to be lobbing missiles from bases inside civilian areas of Gaza at this time.
This is no game. Israel is described as ‘pounding’ Gaza. From Gaza ‘militants’ ‘launch’ missiles. If Israel has superior, military equipment and uses it to defeat or weaken Hamas then it is doing what is ugly and is destructive, but is the least of all evils in the circumstances. This is not Manchester United fielding a strong eleven against Plonk-on-the-Corner Wanderers. If Israel has the right to defend itself it has the right to do so effectively. If the choice is between suffering constant attacks or risking collateral damage to civilians in fighting an implacable enemy, then it must make this tragically sad but unfortunately necessary choice.
It is sad, it is tragic but Mr Netanyahu and many other Israeli’s understand that Hamas will not countenance a peaceful settlement, irrespective of the Israeli government’s policies on settling territories. Hamas remain committed to war. They launch war using their own people as barriers and as media fodder. Waging war against them is the only way to defeat them and prevent them from destroying Israel, and others.
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