Tuesday,23 October, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1124, 29 November - 5 December 2012
Tuesday,23 October, 2018
Issue 1124, 29 November - 5 December 2012

Ahram Weekly

‘Eyeless in Gaza’

The image of the Arab and the Muslim grows uglier by the day in the American media.  That would not matter much, were not the American media the most popular and most powerful in the world.  How frustrating to sit on the other side of the Tube and watch the various elements, politicians, officials, commentators and the like, all of one mind, of one inclination, without exception. Scenes from incidents and victims of Hamas missiles fill the small screens on every international news channel.  Strong condemnation of such brutality and savagery is quick and endless.  Four Israelis fell victims to Hamas missile attacks, which is indeed regrettable. While such carnage is inexcusable and unforgivable, why is it that the death of 130 Palestinian women and children, by Israeli rockets, causes little or no sympathy or interest?

 The American media has refined and polished the distortion of the image of Arabs, painting them as crude, savage villains, or intolerant fundamental terrorists. Not one word of compassion or indignation was expressed about the homeless, destitute Palestinians fleeing Israeli bullets across the desert.  We have long hoped against hope that an even-handed approach would be adopted by the US, but regardless of who is in power, America’s foreign policy towards Israel is carved in stone. No matter the frequency and degree of acts of violence against the Palestinians, the US offers blind support. Why is this great bastion of justice and human rights, always committing such injustice?  Why is every conflict the fault of Hamas, Hezbollah, Intifada, etc?  Why is Israel allowed to continue its genocide in Gaza with no fear of repercussions?

Only the US, or to be more precise, the American people can bring about some fairness and a more even-handed policy to the region.  There is a glimmer of hope with the evolution of a more knowledgeable and discerning public.  The constant hype and outcry that Israel is only a small, helpless, isolated land surrounded by adversity no longer holds mustard.  Americans by and large are now well aware that Israel can take very good care of itself, at times of peace or war.

The idea of the establishment of a Jewish state as a peaceful homeland for the persecuted Jewish people is no longer the reality.  It has evolved into a mighty military power, with 300 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them and destroy all its neighbours.  Yet there is outrage when Iran even dares to consider developing nuclear energy.  The US, and to be fair, the rest of the Western world, is ready to censure and sanction at every turn.  The US has used its veto power to prevent hundreds of resolutions concerning Israel from passing through the Security Council.  Is that not reason enough for Israel to pay no heed to any voice condemning its actions?

Israel has regularly and vigorously bombed Palestinian targets in Gaza, destroying homes and shelters and driving away its citizens, but where are they supposed to go?  This narrow strip of land between the desert and the sea has been bathed ih human blood for decades, and to no avail.  No permanent peace has been achieved for the Israelis no secure homeland has been established for the Palestinians.  They keep hounding each other in this ill-starred strip of land, with no winners and no losers, in a fruitless, worthless chase. The conflict continues, so does the bloodshed.

It is up to an enlightened, compassionate American citizen, Jew or Gentile, to demand an end to this conflict.  It is ironic that only public opinion can bring about a fair and just solution, but fairness is rare and justice rarer. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been brutally attacked and killed for decades, revealing the true and grotesque face of Zionism, but it is the grotesque face of Hamas that we are confronted with.

Benjamin Netanyahu campaigned on the promise that he would never allow an independent Palestinian State, yet the media presents a national leader only seeking peace and security for his people. The racist attacks continue against Palestinians lost in Gaza and elsewhere, condemned to homelessness for generations. There is a fragile cease-fire at present, but how long will it last?  As long as injustice exists, there will be dissent.  The punishment for any retaliation, far outweighs the crime, and Might overcomes Right, and justice is crucified!

Veteran American journalist James McCartney wrote: It is my personal belief that if the media as a whole in the Western world had done an adequate job in reporting from the Middle-East, it would not have been necessary for the Palestinians to resort to violence in order to present their cause”,  Why is that so hard to comprehend? What is the hidden agenda behind the media bias? The media war on terrorism has been waged against all Arabs, all Muslims, on Islam itself, rather than on a few radical fundamentalists. Their agenda is defined by bigotry and prejudice, generating hate, spreading violence destruction and distortion.

Could it only be the strong Jewish lobby that is behind a lopsided, totally blind and conscienceless media?  It is time for the media to assume responsibility and refrain from spreading hate and untruths.  With a media in total control of our lives, it is hard to escape its influence from infancy to old age A Gazan mother mourns her dead child just as much as an Israeli mother. Will the media at least acknowledge that?

 

“It is human to hate those whom we have injured.”

                                   Tacitus, Cornelius (c.55-117)

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