Sunday, 25 January 2009

POV: The Shameful War

Photo © Tyler Hicks/NYTimes-All Rights Reserved

My point of view regarding the calamitous massacre of the Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli military is supported by a multimedia production by The New York Times titled "A War's Many Angles" with the photographs (and voices) of Tyler Hicks and Moises Saman.

The former documents the devastation and the ruination of Gaza and its inhabitants, while the latter shows us the results of Hamas' rockets on Sederot, and the funerals of a handful of Israeli soldiers (the majority of whom were killed by "friendly" fire).

The New York Times, clearly stung by justified accusations of its consistent bias towards Israel as evidenced by the deluge of comments (many more were censored by its editors) on its website, and by its distasteful track record of obfuscation and semantic games during the past 8 years, has tried to present the two sides of this shameful war. Any fair minded person will conclude very rapidly that the destruction wrought on Gaza was unwarranted, inhumane, a violation of international law and tantamount to ethnic cleansing.

As our newspapers have unfortunately espoused an utter lack of objectivity as to this conflict, I rely on the foreign press to tell me what I deem is close to the truth.

For instance, Dominic Waghorn, a reporter with the UK's SKY television station, writes this in The Independent:

"Gaza is entirely surrounded by a security fence; Israel was able to enforce its ban with ease. It also declared the neighbouring area a closed military zone. Military police repeatedly moved us back from the border; those who flouted the rules were detained. There were only one or two places where we were allowed to film live that had a view of Gaza. We nicknamed one the Hill of Shame, a mound a mile or two outside the northernmost tip of Gaza. On it was camped a circus of news crews more than 100 strong. On weekends, Israeli war tourists – there is no other way to describe them – joined the scene, cheering the large explosions in the distance. I wondered how Israelis would view Palestinians doing the same. And during the week, a constant parade of Israeli experts and officials was on hand to spin the way they wanted us to view the war. "

Israeli "war tourists" cheering the large explosions? I thought it was only Palestinian children who did that when we were attacked on September 11, 2001.