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May 24, 2007

Can You Imagine If Israel Were Doing This?

Palestinian refugee lebanon.bmp
A Palestinian refugee is evacuated in Lebanon/Photo by AFP

Melanie Phillips reflects on Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, where 70 people were believed to be killed in clashes with Lebanese troops in two days:

A refugee camp under heavy bombardment; civilians being killed along with the terrorists who are hunkered down among them; military authorities talking of having terrorists ‘hermetically sealed’ and that they will be removed one way or another because they pose a threat to the country which simply cannot be tolerated; ambulances prevented from reaching the injured and even being fired upon. Can you imagine the reaction if Israel were to be doing this?

But just look at the British media. Where are the virulent denunciations of the Lebanese government? Where are the editorials condemning it for dangerous over-reaction? Where are the columnists screaming war crimes? Where are the politicians and the bishops condemning the Lebanese for a disproportionate response and demanding a cease-fire now? Funny, that — I seem to have missed them.

And now look at the British media’s coverage of the bombardment of Israel by Hamas, and its belated military response. That response has been reported as if Israel is driving events. The bombardment has scarcely been mentioned – except in passing in the stories about Israel’s response, which is thus presented as the driving force. The fact that getting on for two hundred rockets have been fired by the Palestinians at Sderot in the past two days has been virtually ignored. The fact that yesterday a 35 year-old woman was killed by one of these rockets has been all but ignored by journalists who usually preface any reference to the Kassams as ‘home-made’, to give the impression that this is a Gazan Dad’s Army up against the Israeli military behemoth. The fact that – according to Israel’s deputy defence minister Ephraim Sneh – Iran is behind the Hamas rocket bombardment in order to distract attention from its nuclear programme is virtually ignored.

Posted by TS at May 24, 2007 03:37 AM


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