Incomplete picture is irresponsible
December 2, 2002
I couldn’t help but notice the media bias in reporting on the Middle East in The Aspen Times this past week.
On Tuesday, Nov. 26, in your “Fast Focus” column, casual mention is made as follows: “Israeli troops shot and killed an 8-year-old boy …” No substantive information is given as to the circumstances other than “Palestinian youths pelted tanks with rocks and bottles.”
What was left out are details that may explain what really led to the death of the young boy. Were there actually lethal weapons being pointed at the soldier? Was there crossfire?
I know for a fact that members of the Israeli Defense Force go to great pains to avoid civilian losses, that they have not been the aggressors in the terrorist war that has been waged against them over the past two years and that they are not in the habit of shooting civilians, especially children, unless, for reasons of self-defense, it is unavoidable. Such vague, irresponsible reporting might lead your readers to believe otherwise.
On Friday Nov. 22, also in the “Fast Focus” column is a short report on a major suicide bombing on a school bus in Jerusalem on the 21st, that “killed 11” and “wounded dozens.”
From my understanding, the bomber was apparently instructed to wait until the bus was near the end of its route and therefore full of children before detonating. Where is the mention there of the ages of the Israeli children whose bodies were blown to bits; who were, in fact, viciously and intentionally robbed of their young lives in cold blood?
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The difference between the two sides in this conflict is that Israeli parents do not arm their children and send them into harm’s way, nor do they strap them with explosives and send them to their deaths, as some (too many) Palestinian parents do. They just pack their children’s school bags with books and lunch and send them to school, just like many other parents do all over the world.
As for the young Israeli soldiers, they are sent into harm’s way as soldiers are, in order to protect their civilian population as best they can. Your newspaper and many others are doing an injustice to their readers by irresponsibly failing to present the complete picture in an unbiased manner.
Judy S. Kava