Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Middle East Reporting

With the recent escalation of attacks between the Palestinians and Israelis, there’s been more media coverage than usual. Sadly, media reporting is somewhat one-sided in that it subtly favors the Palestinians and tends to make the Israelis look like the bad guys. Let me explain how this favoritism works so you can watch for it.

1. Little Reporting Earlier

Notice that there had been little reporting about this conflict despite the fact that the Palestinians had been shooting rockets into Israeli civilian neighborhoods for a long time. But as soon as Israel retaliates and Palestinians are at risk, the media are all over that story.

2. Israel Portrayed as the Bad Guy

If the Mexicans were shooting rockets from Tijuana into San Diego daily, how long do you think the U.S. would put up with it? In such a situation, any country would take strong measures to stop the attacks. Yet when Israel finally conducts operations against these terrorists, it is portrayed as the bad guy.

3. Surgical Strikes

As far as I know, the Palestinians have not warned an Israeli neighborhood that a rocket attack is imminent and to take shelter. Israel, on the other hand, has warned Palestinian neighborhoods of upcoming attacks and told them to evacuate. Sadly, there are civilian casualties despite the warnings and the “surgical” nature of the Israeli attacks. Collateral damage is always a risk, but compare that to the Palestinians who are actually targeting civilians. The media seems to be missing that key point.

4. Casualties

The media reports duly mention the rocket attacks on Israel, and show Israeli heading for the bomb shelters. Then they immediately cut to scenes of wailing Palestinian women and men carrying the body of a fallen comrade through the streets, the unfortunate victim of an Israeli attack. Again, the effect is to make Israel look like the bad guy, killing all those innocent people.

Let’s not forget that those “innocent people” have been shooting rockets into innocent Israeli neighborhoods for years. As mentioned above, no matter how “surgical” the strikes, there will always be some collateral damage. If the Palestinian terrorists stopped the rockets, Israel would stop its strikes. Nobody dies. It’s as simple as that.

The main reason there haven’t been more Israeli casualties is because Israel has sophisticated defenses and warning systems. The people are warned when a rocket is launched and coming their way, and the Israeli anti-missile defense system shoots down most of the Palestinian rockets before they can do any damage.

5. The Language Used

The reporters usually refer to the Palestinians shooting the rockets as “militants.” That is a euphemism which is inappropriate. Call them what they are: Terrorists. A terrorist induces terror into a population. If you had rockets aimed at your neighborhood, don’t you think you’d be terrified? Call them what they are. Don’t sugarcoat it.

More about Israel and its right to exist in a future post.

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