Over the weekend, hundreds of rockets were fired on Southern Israel from the Gaza strip. Hundreds of thousands of people who live in the southern part of Israel had to spend the better part of the weekend in fall-out shelters. Fortunately, only a few people suffered minor injuries.
In doing what any other country in the world would do when on the receiving end of lethal attacks across an international border, Israel responded to the barrage of rockets on its people and territory with military force. There was one significant difference though between the retaliatory Israeli air strikes on Gaza and the Palestinian rocket attack on Israel: The air strikes were specifically targeted against militant groups Israel knew were responsible for the terrorist attacks and not randomly aimed at the civilian population. 15 Palestinian fighters were ultimately killed.
Reuters is reporting that today, the U.S. and France have both condemned the Palestinian attacks on the civilian population of Southern Israel. In a statement issued to the media, Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton said:
“We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza by terrorists into southern Israel in recent days, which has dramatically and dangerously escalated in the past day” Nuland said via a written statement, adding that the US calls “on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these cowardly acts.”
In Gaza and the Arab world, Israel is being condemned for committing a massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza; no talk in the Arab world of the unprovoked rocket attack that triggered the Israeli air strikes. As disturbing as the irresponsible assessment of the exchange by those responsible for initiating it in the first place are, so are the numerous media reports that only mention the causalities of the Israeli air strike and make little or no mention of the initial rocket attacks.
E.G. In Saturday’s New York Times, an article written by Fares Akram and Isabel Kershner focuses almost exclusively on the deaths of the militants. In an article published by Boomberg News, Israel is squarely held responsible for initiating the violent exchange:
“The bloodshed started with an Israeli air strike on what the army said were two militants planning an attack from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai, including Zuhir al-Qaisi, head of the Popular Resistance Committees.”
Why are so many in the media inclined to not tell the “whole story” when it comes to reporting on the Israel- Palestinian conflict? Ignoring the rockets that rained down on southern Israel is like writing a history of the American invasion of Afghanistan and only mentioning 9/11 or Al Qaeda in the footnotes.
Media bias against Israel is nothing new. Portraying Israel as malevolent adversary of the victimized Palestinian population seems to have become de-riguer for too many journalists. While many people may be inclined to hold Israel responsible for the lack of a permanent settlement between Jewish State and the Palestinian people, such a political perspective does not give anyone a license to ignore and not appropriately report on the malevolent behavior Palestinian militants who consistently prove that they have greater interest in killing Jews, any Jews, than in making peace.