What if the Media Reported 9-11 as it did Gaza


If the Media Reported 9-11 the Way It Does Gaza


Robin Miller
January 11, 2009
(notes updated January 15, 2:00 a.m.)

Commandeered Aircraft Flatten New York’s Famed Twin Towers
Hundreds Killed in Reprisal Airstrikes Targeting U.S. Military Facilities
[1a][1b][1c][1d]

New York–In a stunning surprise attack, al-Qaeda special forces seized control of four commercial aircraft today, crashing two of them into the famed Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Both buildings were completely leveled, along with the rest of the complex, in al-Qaeda’s version of “shock and awe.” [2]

A third airplane was flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C, and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Little is known yet about the attack on the Pentagon, as authorities immediately declared the entire area a “closed military zone” and excluded all reporters. [3]

The operation, named Operation Cast Iron, was retaliation for ongoing U.S. missile strikes on al-Qaeda’s Afghanistan hideouts. [4a][4b][4c]

There was a shocking quality to the attack on the trade center complex, which began in broad daylight as police cadets were graduating, shoppers were looking for bargains, and children were emerging from school. The area became a scene of chaotic horror, with rubble everywhere, sirens wailing, and women shrieking. [5]

Campbell Green, a 27-year-old camerawoman for CNN, was one of the first on the scene. “I saw bodies on the ground, policemen in their blue uniform suffocating. There was a pile of some 50 of them, some breathing, moaning, and some silent,” she said. “I saw body parts scattered, heads, arms and legs.” [6]

One man lay in the street with both legs severed. [7]

Thousands of bodies are believed to be hidden in the immense mounds of concrete left after the towers’ collapse. While al-Qaeda has been relatively successful at zeroing in on targets and avoiding civilian casualties, a few civilians are assumed to be among the dead. [8]

Top governmental leaders immediately went into hiding. President Bush later released a statement that the United States “has never witnessed an uglier massacre.” [9]

Casualties Rushed to Area Hospitals

Local hospitals experienced chaotic scenes, with doctors struggling to keep up as paramedics brought in bloodied victims, many of them children. At St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, “the wounded arrived with multiple fractures, ripped stomachs, amputated limbs,” physician Basam Warda said. “The bodies were ripped apart.” [10]

The emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely any area where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and yet more bodies, with medics running to each of them to check for a pulse. [11]

At St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, the most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers. Some–like 3-year-old Stephen, 4-year-old Robby and 5-year-old Samantha–were on the floor. [12]

Vincent Shapiro, 26, a medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open. [13]

Another medic, Shawki Saleh, 24, said that he had been doing this work for two years but never imagined he’d see this: “Who knows how many people are still under the rubble? We were carrying them out screaming.”[13A]

Although medical volunteers brought supplies and rushed to the Canadian-U.S. border, Canadian authorities refused to open the crossings. [14]

Months of Planning behind Attacks

The current operation started only after preparation and intelligence work, according to al-Qaeda military spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith, leading to a true surprise attack. The twin towers were chosen, he said, because they contained “many, many targets.” [15a][15b]

Ghaith explained that “anything affiliated with the United States” is part of the “infrastructure of U.S. terror” and is a legitimate target. Al-Qaeda has designated the U.S. government as a “terrorist entity” due to its support for the destruction of international order. [16]

Ghaith methodically listed the selected targets, all symbols of American strength: U.S. governmental ministries, offices of several police agencies and a police training academy, 17 chapels and synagogues, some of the largest banks in the country, both a television and a radio station, the science department of the Christian University of New York, the admission department of the American International School, an elementary school established as a disaster relief center, ambulances and mobile clinics that would be used to assist survivors, a prison compound, a major medical warehouse, a large fuel reservoir, a U.S. government guesthouse, and a residential compound for governmental and military personnel. [17]

Ghaith stressed, however, that “the innocent civilian population is not our enemy.” [18]

While the U.S. expected some form of retaliation for its ongoing missile strikes, a major question remains whether the U.S. expected the shock-and-awe offensive that has left the country reeling. Whether al-Qaeda intends to resume its targeted killings of U.S. government officials is also unknown. [19]

What is certain is that al-Qaeda is deliberately cultivating a sense that it has changed the rules of engagement. [19A]

The ultimate outcome of al-Qaeda’s offensive remains unclear. The campaign may succeed, experts say, but it could also backfire. Either way, the political consequences will reverberate throughout the Middle East. [20]

Leaders Say Reprisals Were Necessary

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, speaking through a translater, told the world that “this operation was unavoidable.” “We need and want the understanding, the support of the international community,” he said in an interview. “But first of all, we have the right to defend ourselves and we have the duty to protect our citizens. This comes before the understanding, which we hope to receive, of the international community.” [21]

Adding to the diplomatic offensive, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s minister of external affairs, insisted that the organization was not only defending its right to defend itself but was also waging a campaign against extremism and against terror. “The situation in which they shoot and we do not respond is over.” [22]

Insisting that al-Qaeda was trying to avoid civilian casualties, al-Zawahiri said that “we will treat the population with silk gloves, but will apply an iron fist to the government.” “We don’t have any intention whatsoever to target civilians. The targets we choose are military targets,” he added. [23]

He expressed regret for civilian deaths, but said the U.S. is responsible for the bloodshed because of its strategy of locating military targets in the same buildings as civilian businesses. The large number of secondary explosions seen since the planes’ impact, he said, showed that the U.S. had hidden armaments throughout the trade center. [24]

He also said that al-Qaeda had “learned a great deal” since the failed 1993 bombing of the trade center. Military analysts had criticized that operation for failing to apply sufficient force to achieve its objectives. This time, al-Zawahiri explained, they employed multiple delivery systems, much greater explosive power, and “significantly enhanced” operational sophistication. [25]

Political analysts say that the strike may reflect a power struggle within al-Qaeda. Hitting the U.S. is expected to boost the more radical factions. [26]

World Reaction

The reaction of the international community was mixed. America’s allies predictably denounced the operation, while Taliban leader Mullah Omar offered strong support. “Instead of caring about the people of the United States, Bush decided to launch rockets to kill innocent Afghanis,” he said. “Al-Qaeda obviously decided to protect itself.” [27]

Among ordinary people, many around the world were shocked by the scenes of devastation, while others celebrated. As a group of people gathered around a television set in Amman, Jordan, Avi Pilchick took a long swig of Pepsi and propped a foot on a plastic patio chair. “They are doing good,” Pilchick, 20, said of al-Qaeda, “but they can do more.” [28]

Some Amman residents expressed stronger feelings. Over Almalia suggested drastic measures. “They should send an atomic bomb and get rid of the situation there,” he said angrily. [29]

Victor Turjeman, a 33-year-old electrician, agreed. “We should keep pounding them until they beg for mercy,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, all of America can be erased.” [30]

Others sought to find hope in the day’s events. Condi Ashrawi, a Baghdad shopkeeper, said that, despite the devastation, perhaps the world was witnessing “the birth pangs of a new America.” [31]

–Robin Miller reporting from New York, with Sayid Hassan Jarrah reporting from Baghdad and Muhammad Ali reporting from Amman.

Robin Miller is an activist and writer. Her website (sadly, not updated in years) is http://www.robincmiller.com/.

Footnotes


[1a] This follows the headline of the Washington Post’s article on December 28, the day following the beginning of the assault. See Samuel Sockol, Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza; Hundreds Killed in Reprisal Airstrikes Targeting Hamas Security Facilities, Washington Post, December 28, 2008.

In comparison, the headline of the Post’s main article on September 11 was “Terrorists Unleash Assault on U.S.” See the Post’s special section on September 11.

The death toll in Gaza on Saturday, December 27, on which Israel had started bombing at 11:30 am, exceeded 225; by Sunday night it was 300. The latter figure is equivalent to 210,000 deaths in the United States in late 2001–or 70 times the 9-11 death toll of 3,000. This assumes, of course, that a Palestinian life has the same value as an American life. (Calculations based on 409,680 as Gaza’s population in 2006 and 285,669,915, estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau as the population on December 5, 2001, resulting in a multiplicative factor of approximately 700.)

If we consider the 900 Palestinian deaths as of January 11, this is equivalent to 630,000 deaths in the U.S., or over 200 times the number of deaths on 9-11.

Moreover, the 9-11 attacks involved three unarmed commercial aircraft, piloted by amateurs, in a large country, on one-time (if extremely deadly) missions; Israel’s December 27 assault involved 64 F-16s bombing 50 “targets” in a small sliver of land over three minutes and 40 seconds, and then continuing that assault for the rest of the day (and, now, for over two weeks). Factor in the status of the Gaza population at the start of Israel’s assault–a state of near-total deprivation resulting from Israel’s two-year-long siege–and it is clear that Gaza’s experience is infinitely worse than our experience on September 11, 2001.

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[1b] “Flatten” is one of the words the American press uses to describe approved violence, that is, violence by official friends against official enemies:


“Flatten” is just one of the words used to separate violence from its human consequences. Others include:


The word “crossfire” has a special place in the media’s vocabulary; it generally designates an Israeli attack to which there is little or no Palestinian resistance. People killed during such an attack are described as “caught in a crossfire.” See, for example, Taghreed el-Khodary and Ethan Bronner, For Arab Clan, Days of Agony in a Cross-Fire, New York Times, January 10, 2009.

Occasionally a reporter finds himself entranced by the beauty of war and becomes downright poetic. See, e.g., Arthur Max, “Thunder of artillery signals ground push on Gaza,” Associated Press, January 3, 2009 (“The big guns began to thunder as the reddening sun lowered in the sky. After darkness fell, tanks moved like clumsy phantoms toward the border. After seven days of pummeling Gaza from the air, Israel unsheathed its land forces Saturday, raising its war against Gaza’s Hamas rulers to a new level”). One can only wonder whether the reporter contemplates what life is like for those against whom military forces have been “unsheathed.”

Although I haven’t had time to develop this point, a variety of words indicating a lack of control, even irrationality, are reserved by the media for its description of official enemies:


The example above of the media’s use of the word “strident” illustrates an important point: The determination of “friend” and “enemy” status can be on a relative scale. Thus, pro-Western Arab dictatorships are “friends” when compared to an enemy (such as Hamas) but enemies when compared to a stronger friend, such as Israel in the implicit comparison being made in that sentence. Similarly, the government of Lebanon was an “enemy” during the 2006 war, in that the U.S. accorded its desires little or no weight, but it is a “friend” when compared to Hezbollah.

It should also be noted that all of these words operate independently of the media’s we-make-it-simple-for-you approach to the designation of international actors as either “moderates” (friends) or “radicals” and “extremists” (enemies). And then there are the specters of “aggression,” “violence,” and “terrorism” in the world, all of which are recognized as such–and condemned, naturally–only when engaged in by official enemies. Hamas is “violent”; Israel is not.

This is true as well of “illegality.” Purported (but nonexistent) Iraqi and Iranian nuclear weapons programs are “illegal” or “illicit,” while Israeli settlements in occupied territory, and U.S. invasions of other countries, are not. And it appears that only we (and our officially-designated friends) are allowed to determine when something is “illicit”; thus, Israel can bomb a money exchange office that it accuses of “laundering illicit funds.” See Arthur Max, Israel targets Gaza mosques used by Hamas, Associated Press, January 1, 2009. What possible right Israel would have to oversee banking practices in the Gaza Strip–much less to bomb those it deems “illicit”–is not a question worth asking. Similarly, the “smuggling tunnels” on which the people of Gaza depend to stay alive are “illegal,” but Israel’s despicable siege–intentionally subjecting 1.5 million human beings to a life of near-total desperation–is not.

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[1c] “Military facilities”: The mainstream press has overwhelmingly portrayed Israel’s assault as directed at Hamas’ military facilities:


In fact, most of the assault has explicitly targeted civilian infrastructure. Even when the media acknowledges this, it passes wholly without comment or, in fact, merits applause:

  • Ethan Bronner, News Analysis: Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?, New York Times, January 3, 2009 (“Yet in its campaign so far, which has killed scores of children and other bystanders, Israel has not spared the trappings of Hamas sovereignty or limited itself to military targets. It says that the mosques it has destroyed were weapons storehouses and that the Islamic University, which it has hit repeatedly, housed explosives factories. But it has also reduced many government buildings to rubble without any claim that they were military in nature.”)
  • Aaron J. Klein, Israel Enters Gaza: Negotiating With Extreme Prejudice, Time, January 4, 2009 (“The ground operation began late Saturday with a massive artillery barrage all along the Gaza boundary, designed not only to destroy whatever fortifications Hamas fighters have built, but to signal that Israel has once again broken its own restraints on military action in Gaza, willing to go hard against the Hamas leadership no matter where they are and no matter the consequences to security along Israel’s own southwestern frontier. Already in recent days, Israeli forces struck a house of a Hamas leader while civilians were inside and bombed a mosque at Beit Lahiya believed by Israel to have been used to store weapons. With both of these actions, Israel is deliberately cultivating a sense that it has changed the rules of engagement in order to cripple Hamas.”)


It’s unclear whether the American media is willing to acknowledge any constraints on Israel’s behavior. Israel has already intentionally destroyed at least three medical buildings funded by international humanitarian organizations:

An earlier media report includes, without further elaboration, “clinics” in the list of “targets” “hit” by Israel. See Ibrahim Barzak and Karin Laub, Hamas resilient despite Israeli onslaught, Associated Press, January 2, 2009 (“Israel is methodically targeting the Hamas domain, bombing government offices, security compounds, commanders, and even Hamas-linked clinics, mosques and money changers. Yet Gaza’s Islamic rulers show no sign of buckling under the aerial onslaught.”)

So, when the Los Angles Times observes that “Some airstrikes have targeted homes of Hamas officials and other homes and several mosques, which Israel says are being used as weapons warehouses and hiding places for militant commanders. Several Israeli officials have recently stated their belief that hospitals are also being used for a similar purpose, although no hospitals have been targeted at this point,” there is no indication that the Times would see anything wrong with Israel’s bombing hospitals. See Ashraf Khalil and Rushdi abu Alouf, Missiles aimed at Hamas figure kill family in Gaza, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2009.

Perhaps most ominous is a recent report in the other Times that “the Israeli intelligence chief, Yuval Diskin, in a report to the Israeli cabinet, said that the Gaza-based leadership of Hamas was in underground housing beneath the No. 2 building of Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza. That allegation cannot be confirmed.” See Steven Erlanger, A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, New York Times, January 10, 2009. Is this an attempt to lay the groundwork for bombing the hospital?

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[1d] Compare the reporting in the three newspapers of state–the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times–with the reporting in the Guardian and the Independent in the UK, and Ha’aretz in Israel. The difference between real news and counterfeit news is immediately apparent.

Among the “big three” U.S. newspapers, the Washington Post is the least biased. While the Post’s editorial department is filled with neocons who thrill to Israeli violence, its news department probably is as fair as is possible within the constraints of official ideology (“we’re good, they’re bad”). The Los Angeles and New York Times, on the other hand, are thinly-disguised–if that–Israeli propaganda. For a particularly egregious example, see Steven Erlanger, A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, New York Times, January 10, 2009. Based almost exclusively on self-serving claims by Israeli military sources, the entire purpose of the article is to absolve Israel of war crimes. The reporter asserts, for example, that Israel’s mortar attack that killed 40 people standing outside a UN school and supportedly safe zone “was legal,” although he cites no basis for this conclusion. Apparently, he just knows.

In other articles, the pro-Israeli propaganda is considerably more subtle. Thus, we are told that “the humanitarian relief systems functioned poorly because of the inability of suppliers and ambulances to move around despite Israeli efforts to facilitate truck deliveries across the border.” Israel is trying, we are told: they are making “efforts to facilitate truck deliveries across the border.” Nevermind the Israeli bombing raids convulsing the defenseless territory daily. See Ethan Bronner, Israel Drives Deeper Into Gaza, Rebuffing Diplomatic Efforts, New York Times, January 5, 2009.

Often these newspapers’ support for Israel’s agenda surfaces in their adoption of Israeli claims as fact. So, for example, the Los Angles Times can report that Israel has destroyed Hamas’ “weapons labs,” based, apparently, on the Israeli military’s preposterous assertion that the bombing of the science building at the Islamic University of Gaza was justified because the building was being used to “develop enhanced weaponry” for Hamas fighters. See Richard Boudreaux, Israel turns aside calls for Gaza truce, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009 (“Undeterred by waves of punishing attacks on its arsenal, command posts, rocket-launch sites, tunnels and weapons labs, Hamas fired deep into Israel on Wednesday, bringing daily life to a near-standstill for about half a million people in the southern part of the country”).

Of course, these are mere quibbles, certainly minor when considered in the context of the overall purpose of the media, which is to inculcate its readership with the official ideology–in this case, the strand holding that the U.S. and its “friends” are permitted to kill as many people as they deem necessary, whether that number is in the hundreds (Israel, constantly), thousands (Israel in Lebanon), hundreds of thousands (Indonesia in East Timor), or even millions (the U.S. in Korea, the U.S. in southeast Asia, or the Indonesian slaughter in 1965-66).

Nonetheless, as a student of language, I find it fascinating to observe the precise methodologies by which indoctrination is accomplished.

Among the smaller news services, McClatchy Newspapers merits recognition for trying not to always see things through Israeli eyes. And Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher deserves commendation for consistently offering commentary on the moral aspects of the Gaza slaughter.

For some particularly useful news and analysis, see the following:

Analysis


Statements by Leaders of Hamas


Commentary by Gaza Residents


Other Commentary


Reading the following in combination makes it clear that Israel intentionally provoked a war on Gaza before the change in U.S. administrations:


For updated reports from Gaza, see:

On Al-Jazeera English, see Gideon Levy, My hero of the Gaza war, Ha’aretz, January 11, 2009 (“My war hero is Ayman Mohyeldin, the young correspondent for Al Jazeera English and the only foreign correspondent broadcasting during these awful days in a Gaza Strip closed off to the media”) and Noam Cohen, Few in U.S. See Jazeera’s Coverage of Gaza War, New York Times, January 12, 2009 (“While getting to the story has not been an insurmountable problem for Al Jazeera English’s journalists — they are, in effect, surrounded by it — getting their reports to the English-speaking public has been a bit trickier”).

See also these personal blogs:


For human rights organizations, see:


For collections of progressive news and commentary, see


For collections of work by particular writers, see


For information on the Israeli propaganda apparatus, see:

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[2] “Shock and awe”:

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[3] Israel declared Gaza a “closed military zone” and prohibited the media from entering:

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[4a] The media loves to call Israel’s assault on Gaza an “operation,” wholly abstracting the event from its human consequences:


This follows the Israeli government’s practice. See Charles Levinson, Israelis Watch the Fighting in Gaza From a Hilly Vantage Point, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2009 (“A group of police officers nearby took turns snapping pictures of one another with smoking Gaza as a backdrop. ‘I want to feel a part of the war,’ one said, before correcting himself with the official government designation for the assault. ‘I mean operation. It’s not a war.'”)

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[4b] The Israeli “operation” was code-named “”Operation Cast Lead.”

[4c] “Retaliation”: American media almost universally depicts Israel’s massive bloodletting as “retaliation,” and hence quite appropriate.

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[5] See Taghreed el-Khodary and Ethan Bronner, Israelis Say Strikes Against Hamas Will Continue, New York Times, December 28, 2008 (“Still, there was a shocking quality to Saturday’s attacks, which began in broad daylight as police cadets were graduating, women were shopping at the outdoor market, and children were emerging from school. [para] The center of Gaza City was a scene of chaotic horror, with rubble everywhere, sirens wailing, and women shrieking as dozens of mutilated bodies were laid out on the pavement and in the lobby of Shifa Hospital so that family members could identify them. The dead included civilians, including several construction workers and at least two children in school uniforms.”)

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[6] See Samuel Sockol, Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza, Washington Post, December 28, 2008 (“When the assault began about 11:30 a.m., a graduation ceremony was underway in Gaza City at the Hamas police academy. Witnesses said 47 uniformed recruits were lined up when two missiles struck. Ala Zumu, a 27-year-old cameraman for al-Arabiya television, was one of the first on the scene. ‘I walked in and I saw bodies on the floor of the courtyard, policemen in their blue uniform suffocating. There was a pile of some 50 of them, some breathing, moaning, and some silent,’ he said. ‘I saw body parts scattered, heads, arms and legs.'”)

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[7] See Richard Boudreaux and Rushdi abu Alouf, Gaza City residents hunker down, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2009 (“As Israeli forces closed in on Gaza City, Mohammed Barbari joined the scramble by its most intrepid residents Sunday for dwindling supplies of food they would need while hunkering down at home. [para] The first explosion tore through the central Firas Market at 11:30 a.m. as he approached from adjacent Palestine Square. Unable to turn his yellow Volkswagen Golf around in traffic, he kept driving toward the hail of shrapnel and the screams of scattering shoppers. [para] Trapped on Omar Mokhtar Street, which bisects the sprawling complex, Barbari felt a second blast shake his car and shatter its back right window. [para] He saw a man lying in the street with both legs severed. [para] ‘God protect us!’ the 31-year-old father of five recalled thinking.”)

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[8] “Relatively successful”: See Joshua Mitnick, Gazan civilians increasingly at risk in assault on Hamas, Christian Science Monitor, December 31, 2008 (“So far Israel has been relatively successful at zeroing in on targets and avoiding civilian casualties”)

“Few civilians”: SeeTaghreed el-Khodary and Isabel Kershner, Israeli Attack Kills Scores Across Gaza, New York Times, December 28, 2008 (“Most of the fatalities were among members of the security forces of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, but a few civilians were also among the dead, including children).

In the same vein is Tony Karon, Israel Invades Gaza, Hoping to Pummel Hamas into a Truce, Time, January 3, 2009 (“Although the eight-day air campaign in Gaza has claimed some 450 Palestinian victims, and continues to inflict damage on Hamas fighters–as well as, inevitably, nearby civilians–the attacks have not kept Hamas from launching more missiles”)

While the American media continues to peddle the vulgarity that Israel is trying really, really hard to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties, the Israeli press operates under no such pretence:

In fact, this article in Ha’aretz commented on how the international media was giving Israel a free pass on civilian deaths: “until Tuesday’s incident, the world appeared relatively indifferent to Palestinian civilian casualties. On Monday, 31 members of the Samouny family were killed when a shell hit their house in Gaza City; that same day, 13 members of the Al-Daiya family where killed by another Israeli bomb. Yet international media coverage of these incidents was comparatively restrained.”

When the New York Times reported on Israel’s adoption of doctrine of the use of overwhelming force, it predictably shied away from acknowledging the effect on civilians. See Steven Erlanger, A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, New York Times, January 10, 2009 (“Officers say that means Israeli infantry units are going in ‘heavy.’ If they draw fire, they return it with heavy firepower. If they are told to reach an objective, they first call in artillery or airpower and use tank fire. Then they move, but only behind tanks and armored bulldozers, riding in armored personnel carriers, spending as little time in the open as possible”).

To the extent the American media is concerned about civilian deaths, it is because the resulting popular outrage might curtail Israel’s operational freedom–not because people are being slaughtered:

There should be a special place in hell for people who think like this. (And they can room with the right-wing bloggers who claim that Gaza videographer Ashraf Mashharawi fabricated a video of his own brother’s death. See Gaza video genuine, journalists say, CNN, January 9, 2009.)

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[9] See Taghreed el-Khodary and Ethan Bronner, Israelis Say Strikes Against Hamas Will Continue, New York Times, December 28, 2008 (“The leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said in a statement that ‘Palestine has never witnessed an uglier massacre.'”)

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[10] See Craig Whitlock, Griff Witte and Sudarsan Raghavan, Israel Halts Operations To Allow Aid Shipments, Washington Post, January 7, 2009 (“‘The wounded arrived with multiple fractures, ripped stomachs, amputated limbs,’ [physician Basam Warda] said. ‘The bodies were ripped apart.'”)

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[11] See Ibrahim Barzak and Steve Weizman, Israeli strike near UN school kills at least 30, Associated Press, January 6, 2009 (“In later scenes, the emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely a patch of ground where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and other bodies lying there, with medics running to each of them to take their pulses.”)

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[12] See Ibrahim Barzak and Diaa Hadid, Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead, wounded, Associated Press, January 5, 2009 (“The hospital’s most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers. [para] Mohammed Salman, 26, a volunteer medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open. [para] After 10 days of a relentless Israeli assault, Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, is overwhelmed. Bodies were crowded two to a morgue drawer, and some–like 3-year-old Issa, 4-year-old Mohammed and 5-year-old Ahmad–were on the floor.”)

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[13] See “Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead, wounded,” above.

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[13A] See Ibrahim Barzak and Ben Hubbard, Gaza medics face war’s carnage daily, Associated Press, January 10, 2009.

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[14] Egypt refused to allow medical personnel to enter Gaza:

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[15a] “True surprise attack”: See Ethan Bronner, Israel Reminds Foes That It Has Teeth, New York Times, December 29, 2008 (“The current operation started only after preparation and intelligence work, military commanders said, leading to a true surprise attack on Saturday and the instant deaths of scores of Hamas men”).

(As an aside, it should be noted that only the U.S. and its official friends are allowed to “show their teeth.”)

As it turns out, this was a “true surprise attack” because Israeli had misled the Palestinians. See Edith M. Lederer, UN official says Israel attacked during lull, Associated Press, December 29, 2008 (“Palestinians in Gaza believed Israel had called a 48-hour ‘lull’ in retaliatory attacks with Hamas when Israeli warplanes launched a massive bombardment of militant installations in the Gaza Strip, a U.N. official said Monday. [para] Karen Abu Zayd, commissioner of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which helps Palestinian refugees, raised the possible violation of an informal truce in a video press conference with U.N. reporters from her base in Gaza. [para] Abu Zayd mentioned the lull when she was asked whether the population of Gaza was aware ‘that this was all commenced by the Hamas government unilaterally ending the cease-fire and firing rockets.'”).

This single AP article appears to be the only mention of this remarkable revelation by any of the mainstream media. A search of Yahoo! News shows that five local newspapers carried the story.

A report from the International Crisis Group confirms that Egyptian officials gave Hamas assurances that Israel had committed to a 48-hour period of calm to allow negotiations to go forward. It is unclear, however, whether Egypt intentionally misled Hamas or was itself deceived by Israel. See International Crisis Group, Ending the War in Gaza, Middle East Briefing No. 26, January 5, 2009 (pages 4-5 and footnote 22).

In any event, the “lull” was intentional deception by Israel:


Israel’s attack was carefully timed to kill as many people as possible. See Amira Hass, How we like our leaders, Ha’aretz, December 30, 2008 (“Whoever gave the instructions to send 100 of our planes, piloted by the best of our boys, to bomb and strafe enemy targets in Gaza is familiar with the many schools adjacent to those targets – especially police stations. He also knew that at exactly 11:30 A.M. on Saturday, during the surprise assault on the enemy, all the children of the Strip would be in the streets – half just having finished the morning shift at school, the others en route to the afternoon shift”).

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[15b] “Many, many targets”: See Richard Boudreaux, Israeli troops clash with Gaza fighters as ground invasion begins, Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2009 (“‘We have many, many targets,’ said Maj. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli army spokeswoman. ‘To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation'”)

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[16] “Legitimate targets”: See Griff Witte, Israel Launches Fresh Attacks in Seventh Day of Fighting, Washington Post, January 2, 2009 (Israeli military spokeswoman, Maj. Avital Leibovich said “other Hamas leaders were also marked men. ‘We have defined legitimate targets as any Hamas-affiliated target,’ she said”)

“Infrastructure of terror”: See Isabel Kershner, In a Broadening Offensive, Israel Steps Up Diplomacy, New York Times, January 1, 2009 (“But in attacking symbols of the government on Thursday, Israel seemed to be blurring the lines. The military said in a statement on Thursday that Hamas government sites ‘serve as a critical component of the terrorist group’s infrastructure in Gaza.'”)

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[17]

Symbols of American strength:


Governmental ministries:


Police stations and a training academy:

  • Ibrahim Barzak, Israel strikes demolish Hamas compounds, kill 192, Associated Press, December 27, 2008 (“Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing nearly 200 people and wounding 270 others in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years. [para] Most of those killed were security men, but civilians were also among the dead. Hamas said all of its security installations were hit and responded with several medium-range Grad rockets at Israel, reaching deeper than in the past. [para] In Gaza City’s main security compound, bodies of more than a dozen uniformed security officers lay on the ground. One survivor raised his index finger in a show of Muslim faith, uttering a prayer. The Gaza police chief was among those killed. One man, his face bloodied, sat dazed on the ground as a fire raged nearby. [para] Later, some of the dead, rolled in blankets, were laid out on the floor of Gaza’s main hospital for identification. Hamas police spokesman Ehad Ghussein said about 140 Hamas security forces were killed. [para] Israeli military officials said more than 100 tons of bombs were dropped on Gaza by mid-afternoon. They spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines.”)
  • Samuel Sockol, Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza, Washington Post, December 28, 2008 (“When the assault began about 11:30 a.m., a graduation ceremony was underway in Gaza City at the Hamas police academy. Witnesses said 47 uniformed recruits were lined up when two missiles struck. Ala Zumu, a 27-year-old cameraman for al-Arabiya television, was one of the first on the scene. ‘I walked in and I saw bodies on the floor of the courtyard, policemen in their blue uniform suffocating. There was a pile of some 50 of them, some breathing, moaning, and some silent,’ he said. ‘I saw body parts scattered, heads, arms and legs.'”)
  • Ashraf Khalil and Ahmed Burai, Gaza police back on the beat amid Israeli attacks, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009 (“Gaza City police have redeployed in force, as Hamas works to maintain law and order in the Gaza Strip amid a prolonged Israeli air assault that has leveled dozens of police stations and left nearly 400 people dead. [para] But many officers on patrol are now wearing civilian clothing and carrying sticks rather than guns to avoid being targeted by Israeli warplanes.”)

Orna Schwartz, a 48-year-old Israeli nurse and mother of four, is sure that Israel’s bombing of defenseless policemen is justified. See Sudarsan Raghavan and Islam Abdel Kareem, Food and Medical Supplies Grow Scarce in the Gaza Strip, Washington Post, December 29, 2008 (“She expressed certainty that the Palestinians killed in the airstrikes were not civilians. ‘We have to comfort ourselves that the ones who died wore uniforms. I saw them on television. They wore blue clothes.'”)

To the Washington Post, these police officers are also “fair game.” See Griff Witte and Sudarsan Raghavan, ‘All-Out War’ Declared on Hamas: Israel Expands List of Targets to Include Group’s Vast Support Network in Gaza, Washington Post, December 30, 2008 (“The territory’s uniformed police have taken major hits, with several police compounds destroyed. The police force is tasked with enforcing order internally, not attacking Israel. But the Israeli military has said the police are fair game because they are armed members of Hamas’s security structure and some moonlight as rocket launchers.”)

17 chapels and synagogues: See Jimmy Carter, An Unnecessary War, Washington Post, January 8, 2009 (“Seventeen mosques, the American International School, many private homes and much of the basic infrastructure of the small but heavily populated area have been destroyed. This includes the systems that provide water, electricity and sanitation. Heavy civilian casualties are being reported by courageous medical volunteers from many nations, as the fortunate ones operate on the wounded by light from diesel-powered generators.”)

Media coverage of Israel’s deliberate bombing of mosques has neither evinced disapproval nor questioned either the truthfulness or the significance of Israel’s customary assertion that weapons were stored at the mosque:


Banks:


A television station:


A radio station:


The Christian University of New York: Israel’s target was the Islamic University of Gaza:


The American International School:


An elementary school established as a disaster relief center:

  • Shashank Bengali, Airstrike kills 3 at Gaza school U.N. using as refugee center, McClatchy Newspapers, January 6, 2009 (“An Israeli military strike killed three people at a United Nations-run school in Gaza City where they had sought shelter from an intensifying ground war inside the Gaza Strip, officials said Tuesday. [para.] U.N. officials said an Israeli strike directly hit an elementary school compound where more than 400 Palestinians had come to escape fighting in northern Gaza, and which was clearly marked as a U.N. installation. The U.N. said it was ‘strongly protesting’ the incident and called on Israel to immediately investigate it.”)


Ambulances and mobile health clinics:

  • Richard Boudreaux, Israel turns aside calls for Gaza truce, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2009 (“Israeli warplanes pounded the densely populated coastal enclave for a fifth day, killing two doctors next to their ambulance. … The doctors, Mohammed Abu Hassira and Ehab Madhoun, were killed before dawn while pulling two Hamas fighters from the rubble of a collapsed shelter that had been a rocket-launching site. [para] Moaiya Hassanain, a Palestinian Health Ministry official, said their ambulance should have been identifiable from the air. [para] ‘Our medical crews wear distinctive uniforms and they are well known to the Israeli forces,’ he said. ‘There is no justification for targeting them.’ [para] An Israeli military spokesman said he didn’t know the details of the airstrike. ‘We certainly don’t target ambulances and regret such mishaps,’ he said.”)
  • Taghreed el-Khodary, In Dense Gaza, Civilians Suffer, New York Times, January 1, 2009 (“A dentist stood at the bed of a doctor, his good friend Ehab Madhoun, 32, who had just died, his shrapnel-pitted body wrapped in a white shroud. [para] The day before, Dr. Madhoun, a general practitioner, was in an ambulance responding to an Israeli strike at the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Another missile hit the ambulance. The driver, Muhammad Abu Hasira, died instantly. Dr. Madhoun lingered for a day, dying of his wounds on Wednesday in the intensive care unit of Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of people have been brought since Israel began its heaviest assault on Gaza in three decades. [para] The dentist cried. [para] ‘He was just doing his work,’ said the dentist, who would not give his name. ‘He’s a doctor, and I can’t understand why Israel would hit an ambulance. They can tell from the cameras it’s an ambulance.'”)
  • Ahmed Abu Hamda and Dion Nissenbaum, Crisis takes toll on Gaza’s seasoned doctors, medics, McClatchy Newspapers, January 5, 2009 (“At least six medics have been killed by Israeli strikes, and three ambulances have been destroyed by Israeli fire, according to United Nations officials”)
  • Ashraf Khalil and Rushdi abu Alouf, Israeli tanks, troops cut off Gaza City, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2009 (“One ambulance, funded by the international aid organization Oxfam, was struck by an Israeli shell while trying to evacuate injured from the frontline community of Beit Lahiya, the organization announced. The impact killed one paramedic; a second paramedic lost his foot.”)
  • Ibrahim Barzak and Diaa Hadid, Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead, wounded, Associated Press, January 5, 2009 (“A medical building owned by a relief organization not connected to Hamas was also bombed, said Daher. He said the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance, three mobile clinics and donated medicines.”)
  • DanChurchAid, Mobile clinics bombed, January 6, 2009 (“We have just received news that all three mobile clinics were bombed and rendered useless on the night of the 5th of January. The vehicles were parked by the Union of Healthcare headquarters and all were clearly marked with red crosses and the caption ‘Mobile Clinic.'”)
  • Aviad Glickman, Petition: IDF targets ambulances, Ynet, January 7, 2009 (“Eight different human rights organizations filed an urgent petition with the [Israeli] High Court of Justice Wednesday, demanding that the IDF be prevented from attacking medical teams and ambulances operating in Gaza”)


A prison compound:


A medical warehouse:


A fuel reservoir:


A government guesthouse:


Private homes:


[18] See Sudarsan Raghavan, Israel Rejects Proposal for 48-Hour Truce, Washington Post, January 1, 2009 (from Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “‘We say publicly, and we mean it: The innocent civilian population is not our enemy”)

[19] “A major question remains”: See Stephen Farrell, Hamas Credo Led It to End Cease-Fire, New York Times, December 30, 2008 (“A major question remains whether Hamas expected the shock-and-awe Israeli offensive that has left Gaza reeling”)

“Targeted killings”: See Ashraf Khalil and Ahmed Burai, Key Hamas leader killed in Gaza strikes, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2009 (“The attack on [Hamas official] Nizar Rayan, confirmed by Israeli officials, family members and Hamas, may signal a shift in Israeli tactics as the assault on Gaza enters its sixth day. After nearly a week of pounding police stations, security compounds, rocket-launching cells and cross-border tunnels, the Jewish state could be reviving its practice of assassinating Hamas leaders.”)

[19A] See Aaron J. Klein, Israel Enters Gaza: Negotiating With Extreme Prejudice, Time, January 4, 2009 (“Already in recent days, Israeli forces struck a house of a Hamas leader while civilians were inside and bombed a mosque at Beit Lahiya believed by Israel to have been used to store weapons. With both of these actions, Israel is deliberately cultivating a sense that it has changed the rules of engagement in order to cripple Hamas.”)

[20] See Steven Lee Myers, The New Meaning of an Old Battle,” New York Times, January 3, 2009 (“In unleashing a series of punishing attacks in Gaza last week, Israel clearly aimed to hand Hamas a defeat from which it could not recover anytime soon. The campaign may succeed, experts here and in Israel say, but it could also backfire. Either way, the political consequences could reverberate throughout the Middle East …”)

[21] “Unavoidable operation”: See Dion Nissenbaum and Shashank Bengali, Israeli ground war bisects Gaza, deepens humanitarian crisis, McClatchy Newspapers, January 4, 2009 (“‘This operation was unavoidable,’ Olmert told his Cabinet”)

“Understanding of the international community”: See Edith M. Lederer, UN chief demands immediate Gaza cease-fire, Associated Press, December 30, 2008 (“‘We need and want the understanding, the support of the international community,’ [Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Gabriela] Shalev said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. ‘But first of all, we have the right to defend ourselves and we have the duty to protect our citizens. This comes before the understanding, which we hope to receive, of the international community.'”)

[22] “Defending right to defend itself”: See Taghreed el-Khodary and Isabel Kershner, Israel Rebuffs Peace Efforts, Driving Deeper Into Gaza, New York Times, January 5, 2009 (“Amid the diplomatic efforts, Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, insisted Monday that Israel was ‘not only defending its right to defend itself’ but was also waging a regional campaign ‘against extremism and against terror'”)

“We don’t respond”: See Ashraf Khalil and Ahmed Burai, Key Hamas leader killed in Gaza strikes, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2009 (“‘Hamas understands that Israel has changed the equation,’ Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said before leaving for Paris to consult with French officials. ‘The situation in which they shoot and we do not respond is over.'”)

[23] “Silk gloves”: See Dion Nissenbaum, Rejecting truce, Olmert vows `iron fist’ against Hamas, McClatchy Newspapers, January 1, 2009 (“‘We will treat the population with silk gloves, but will apply an iron fist to Hamas,’ said Olmert”)

“Military targets”: See Craig Whitlock, Israel Rejects Intensified Push for Cease-Fire, Washington Post, January 6, 2009 (“‘We don’t have any intention whatsoever to target civilians. The targets we choose are military targets,’ [Israeli military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich] said. ‘If there were civilian casualties, it would only be under the responsibility of Hamas.'”)

[24] “Human shields”: See Josef Federman, UN ambassador says Israel seeks to ‘destroy’ Hamas, Associated Press, December 29, 2008 (Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Gabriela Shalev “expressed regret for civilian deaths, but said Hamas is responsible for the bloodshed by operating in residential areas and using civilians as ‘human shields.’ [para] ‘We are very sorry, and really I say it as a mother, as a grandmother … to speak of children and of women being killed,’ she said. But ‘it’s only the Hamas to blame.'”)

“Secondary explosions”: Israel consistently defends bombing civilian targets on the ground that weapons were stored there. See, e.g., Richard Boudreaux and Ahmed Burai, Civilians suffer as missiles fly in Gaza and Israel, Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2008 (“Maj. Avital Leibowitz, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said the mosque near the Balousha home in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp was, ‘as far as we know,’ a weapons storehouse.”) Therefore, Israel just as consistently claims to have observed “secondary explosions” at these civilian targets. See, e.g., Ibrahim Barzak and Jason Keyser, Israel sends more troops to Gaza border, Associated Press, January 1, 2009 (“The Israeli military, which leveled the mosque Wednesday, said that it was being used as a missile storage site and that the bombs dropped on it set off secondary explosions); Arthur Max, Israel targets Gaza mosques used by Hamas, Associated Press, January 1, 2009 (“The Israeli army spokesman’s office said the mosque was hit because ‘terrorists were hoarding weapons’ inside and using the compound to launch missiles. [para] ‘The strike set off numerous secondary explosions, caused by the munitions stockpiled in the mosque,’ the spokesman said.”); Ibrahim Barzak and Amy Teibel, Israel kills top Hamas figure, escalating campaign, Associated Press, January 1, 2009 (“Israel’s military, which has said the homes of Hamas leaders are being used to store missiles and other weapons, said the attack on [Nizar] Rayan’s house triggered secondary explosions from the arms stockpiled there”).

[25] Israel’s massive onslaught against defenseless Gaza and its people shows, we are repeatedly told, that it had “learned” from the “failure” of its 2006 war on Lebanon, which, despite killing over 1,200 people, failed to bring Hezbollah to heel:

[26] Israel’s “strike” on Gaza is intimately connected with its internal politics:


“Strike” and “hit” are other favorite words for the media to use in describing violence by official friends.

[27] See Robert Burns, US suggests conditions of a Gaza cease-fire, Associated Press, January 5, 2009 (“‘Instead of caring about the people of Gaza, Hamas decided to use Gaza to launch rockets to kill innocent Israelis,’ Bush said. ‘Israel’s obviously decided to protect herself and her people'”)

[28] “Celebrated”:


Avi Pilchick: See Shashank Bengali, Israelis watch bombardment of Gaza town, McClatchy Newspapers, January 5, 2009 (“A tower of white smoke rose from the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun after another Israeli bombardment Monday morning, and a half-dozen Israelis, perched on a dusty hilltop, gazed at the scene like armchair military strategists. [para] Avi Pilchick took a long swig of Pepsi and propped a foot on the plastic patio chair he’d carried up the hillside to watch the fighting. “They are doing good,” Pilchick, 20, said of Israeli forces battling Palestinian militants in Gaza , “but they can do more.” … Sderot residents–some of them carrying binoculars–have gathered on the hilltop since the offensive began for a glimpse of the fighting, but little was clear Monday morning besides the pop of outgoing Israeli shells and the occasional helicopter gunship overhead. Pilchick was the only spectator who brought chairs and snacks including bread, cheese and a can of olives.”)

[29] See Mehdi Lebouachera, Israelis near Gaza call for more strikes on Hamas-run enclave, AFP, December 27, 2008 (“Another resident of the small town, Over Almalia, wants Israel to take drastic measures. ‘The army should send an atomic bomb and get rid of the situation there,’ he said angrily. ‘If we are scared, the people in Gaza should also be scared.'”)

[30] See Aron Heller, Anxiety, satisfaction in Israel over Gaza assault, Associated Press, December 30, 2008 (“This working-class border town has been pounded with several thousand missiles fired out of Gaza since 2001. Now anxiety is mixed with satisfaction that Israel’s military is finally getting even with its tormentors. [para] ‘It’s about time,’ said Victor Turjeman, a 33-year-old electrician. ‘We’ve been waiting for this for eight years.’ [para] ‘We should keep pounding them until they beg for mercy,’ he said. ‘As far as I’m concerned, all of Gaza can be erased.'”)

[31] An adaptation of Condoleezza Rice’s famous depiction of Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon. See Secretary Rice Holds a News Conference, Washington Post, July 21, 2006 (“What we’re seeing here, in a sense, is the growing — the birth pangs of a new Middle East”)

14 Responses

  1. What if the Media Reported 9-11 as it did Gaza « Talking Virtually ……

    The latter figure is equivalent to 210000 deaths in the United States in late 2001–or 70 times the 9-11 death toll of 3000. This assumes, of course, that a Palestinian life has the same value as an American life. ……

  2. Ahhh … so true … so sadly and painfully ture!
    We will never leave bloodshed as a human race until we learn to REALLY treat and FEEL equal with other humans. The price of blood of any human is exactly the same anywhere.
    Let’s hope for a better future …

  3. […] What if the Media Reported 9-11 as it did Gaza If the Media Reported 9-11 the Way It Does Gaza Robin Miller January 11, 2009 (notes updated January 15, 2:00 a.m.) Commandeered Aircraft Flatten New York’s Famed Twin Towers Hundreds Killed in Reprisal Read More… […]

  4. we can but hope

  5. loolt, i respectfully disagree. we may seem feeble, but strength is not so much in bombs and fighter jets as it is in a strong will. we can still try. whether we succeed or not in making things any better is up to Allah.

    • Hmm, i did not think that the article made that point, it did achieve in highlighting the difference a few words can make in a readers attitude towards an event. But still if the Palestinians had ever had a big strong scary army, they would never have been invaded in the first place, I dont think.

      Thanks for all your comments btw

      • “But still if the Palestinians had ever had a big strong scary army, they would never have been invaded in the first place, I dont think.”

        I agree, for the most part. Please let me tell you three stories. Two you know of.

        First is battle of Badr. A teeny-weeny rag-tag army took on well-armed professional army of Mecca.

        Second was battle of Uhud. A smaller army of Muslims again took on
        a larger army of Meccans. They lost this time. Because some people were
        more concerned with their worldly gain- greedy- I mean.

        Third one is the battle of Plassey. It’s a painful story for me, being an Indian Muslim. The Mughal army took on British army of 3,000 soldiers. The Mughals were more than 100,000 strong. Was well-armed, well trainedand had better and more powerful cannons. But alas, because of some traitors like Jagat Seth, only 4,000 or so of the Mughal army actually faught. Even then, they drove the british army to retreat into a mango orchard. Heavy cannonfire was useless as the british army was hiding in the grove. Then came rain. The gunpowder of the Mughal army soaked, and then the british army charged and won.

        Have we been just as a nation, to ourselves, we would have an able army backed up by a strong will of the people. And even if we did have a big army, it will avail us of nothing unless we are just to ourselves and to others.

      • well I guess it’s two fold then… a strong army with similar weapons to the enemy and a string will/cohesive army will have worked. I guess at the time of invasions the Palestinians were using older weaponry (leftovers from the Ottoman emprie) will the zionists had more up to date weapons and their arsenal was topped up from international sources. Not sure about the cohesiveness of the Palestinians but there was not an organised, nationwide coordinated fight against the invasion either.

      • “well I guess it’s two fold then… a strong army with similar weapons to the enemy and a string will/cohesive army will have worked.”

        Agree. In 1973 Egyptian army was partly successful against Israel in pushing them back. Even with their relatively inferior weaponry. It was then when Israel “acknowledged the right of Egypt to exist,” so to speak.

  6. The Israeli army is big and strong and Israel as a political entity is very brutal and compassionless. True.

    But the more important question to is, why are we dependent on whether Israel/US is benovelent or not? There is no industry, technology or science to speak of in the Muslim world. That needs to change, accompanied by a stronger will. We don’t need to mimic the West. Neither in dress, nor in their dishonest banter about “freedom.” We are not even free, for God’s sake. We are “slaves.”

    • I agree. Israel and the USA are very powerful, but we have no reason not to be.. the state of israel is surrounded by 4 Arab states whose citizens are hostile to the zionist state, yet they manage not to get bombarded or attacked by these same supposedly hostile countries.

      On the other hand, can an improved situation for the Arabs help them overcome their lethargy and complacency? Improving i terms of scientific research does mean, in the short term at least, an even higher dependenance on western benevolance, they are at the forefront of scientific research and knowledge, and to have any hop in catching up we will still need to be in their good books… which means continued complaceny towards the horrors that are inflicted on the Palestinian people. So we also need to change attitudes and perceptions about Palestine in the West… and figure out how to translate this into governmental attitudes and action

  7. Sorry, I keep spamming your comment boxes.🙂 (And I forgot to say- it is my pleasure to discuss with you.)

    Coming back to what we were discussing, the question that haunts me is not “Why is Western media so biased?” that’s their decision. In fact they can’t help looking at things from their point of view, even if they wanted to be fair. The real question is “Why does the Western media seems to be the only true international media?” How come they have access to the deepest corners of our homes (our bedrooms) and we are unable to talk amongst ourselves? Media is supposed to be vehicles of information and ideas!

    • feel free to spam away! great to know my posts elicit so many🙂

      Their bias though transcends human decency and ‘care’. i.e. their bias is not towards/against policies that affect them, but towards human suffering. This is the point that bothers many… did they learn nothing from the Holocaust? That was the culmination of centuries of victimisation of the Jews, and their portrayal as the ‘dangerous other’. It took the Jews themselves to make something of themselves (in the USA) for their suffering (which was extreme) to register, and now they are paraoid about anti-semitism.. for a good reason too! But since that happened (as well as other injustices e.g. south africa, australia, the americas) nothing has changed in attitudes… it is ok for someone to suffer it seems.

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