Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Here is yet another news story that never happened (that is, if you follow the mainstream media) - ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE KILLS A TOP MILITANT IN GAZA.

"An Israeli air strike on Monday night killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander and his aide as they drove in a car through northern Gaza City, according to Islamic Jihad radio and the Israeli Army."

Two other Islamic Jihad terrorists "died with him in the car including his senior lieutenant, Jihad Daher. Six passers-by, including three children, were wounded by shrapnel, according to Palestinian medics in Gaza."

This could easily have made it out of the Blank Pages of the Age given that there were innocent Palestinian bystanders in the vicinity of the vehicle in question but the problem is that the report continues as follows:-

"The car appeared to have been filled with explosives when it was hit by an Israeli rocket."


Sorry about that but this single line was enough to kill a whole story for reporters whose policy it is to impart a narrative in which Palestinians are always humanised beyond belief. Even those nasty common garden variety thugs and terrorists who toss their own people off tall buildings (if they're ever mentioned at all) get to be described as "militants" or "activists" involved in "resistance". Naturally, Israelis are always armed soldiers, vicious settlers or "hawkish" politicians.

In this Bizarro World Israel is solely to blame for everything. Lately the focus is on the deteriorating poverty situation of the Palestinians of Gaza due to the so-called Israel blockade of Gaza which is painted as turning the territory's entire population of peace loving, tolerant saints into victims of a bloodthirsty vampire-like tribe of neighbours (aka the Jews).

A blockade? Persecution? Oppression?

Never mind that Gaza has a sea to its east and a land border with Egypt which has also been closed for security reasons.

Never mind that Israel has uncovered video tapes showing Egyptian policemen assisting Palestinian terrorists along the Egypt-Gaza - Israel sends US videos of Egypt helping Hamas.

Never mind the missiles fired from Gaza into the Israeli town of Sderot and surrounding communities in the last six years (except as a brief aside in articles designed to depict the thugs as heroic resistance fighters) the latest of which hit a kibbutz house injuring a three-year-old boy.

Never mind the new report that reveals that more than 190,000 Israelis are within range of Qassam-type rockets in the western Negev and that an estimated 2,380 rockets have landed in that area over the past six years, half of which landed in Sderot.

Never mind, the statement of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the "responsibility for what is happening in Gaza should be put directly on the shoulders of Hamas ... It is the policies of Hamas that have led to its own isolation and by implication Gaza as well ... There have been efforts to make certain that humanitarian assistance is getting through ... Of course we're very concerned, but let's put the blame where it should be, and that's on Hamas."

Then there's Bethlehem from where we are routinely treated by some reporters - the Age's Ed O'Loughlin is one of them - to a Christmas special from the birthplace of Jesus at this time of year about the hardship and ruin suffered by the population as a result of Israel's security barrier.

Never mind the real hardship of Christians who are fleeing repressive Islamic rule in their droves and finding refuge in Israel.

Never mind the fact that the security barrier (which for most of its length is not a wall but you wouldn't know that unless you read the blank pages) has significantly reduced the number of fatalities from Palestinian terrorists on both sides.

Never mind that foreigners are less afraid to visit the Holy Land now that Israel and the Palestinians have renewed the peace process according to this International Herald Tribune report - Israel hands out sweets, smooths travel to Bethlehem for growing number of tourists.

This is the background to the story that wasn't reported in your newspaper today or yesterday. Discerning readers of the news from this embattled region need not bother these days to even expect to find news stories of their ilk in local broadsheets that treat them contemptuously as residents of a Bizarro World where everything is upside down.

But then again ... never mind.

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