Media coverage of Israel is off base, misleading | AspenTimes.com
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Media coverage of Israel is off base, misleading

Dear Editor:

In the last few weeks, Israel has been attacked four times. The first attack was the brutal murder by Palestinian terrorists wielding knives, of a father, mother, child, toddler, and infant while asleep in their beds. The second was a bomb detonated at a crowded Jerusalem bus station that killed an Israeli woman and wounded approximately 30 other Israeli residents and tourists trying to go about their day. The third, a barrage of rockets launched from Gaza onto Israel’s southern city of Beersheba. And the fourth attack on Israel was the media reporting of these events – reporting that by calculated choices of words and turns of phrases suggests that Israel might somehow be culpable … reporting that with its not so subtle emphasis on “Palestinian suffering” and exclusion of historical context confuses and misinforms the non-discerning reader … reporting by a press that in the current atmosphere of de-legitimization of the Jewish State, can’t even bring itself to use the word “Israelis” when referring to those who have been murdered, killed and wounded.

An example of this type of reporting was an Associated Press article titled “Jerusalem blast kills 1, wounds dozens” printed in The Aspen Times issue of Thursday, March 24. While using words such as “tough,” “fierce offensive,” and “hard-line” in reference to Israelis, the word “moderate” is reserved for the Palestinian Authority that, the article states, is “Hamas’ Palestinian rival” (really?).

What the article fails to report is that the so-called “moderate” Palestinian authority has been naming squares and other landmarks in Ramallah after known terrorists and that it has done nothing to put an end to the hatred taught to the children in their schools that insures the incitement of senseless violence against Israel now and into the future. As to Israel’s “fierce offensive” into Gaza in 2008 that supposedly killed “hundreds of civilians” … the article fails to remind (and how quickly we seem to have forgotten) that in 2005, under the leadership of Ariel Sharon, Israel pulled out of Gaza in a gesture of peace toward the Palestinians, with the intention of giving them an opportunity to begin building their own state.

What Israel got in return is a territory on its border now controlled by the terrorist organization of Hamas that has continually fired thousands upon thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli civilians (Israeli children in school yards seem to be a popular target). The so-called “offensive” in 2008 was, in actuality, a defensive move made by Israel when it had tolerated the launching of these rockets long enough. Another important point the article fails to mention is that Hamas’ locations of choice for rocket launching, have been in the midst of civilian populations (like schools and hospitals in Gaza) where they can conveniently use their own people as human shields. That is why even with the Israeli military, which is more conscientious about avoiding civilian casualties than any other military in the world (which other army would drop leaflets or make cell-phone calls into enemy territory warning civilians to get out of the way?) Hamas has insured that some civilian casualties have been impossible to avoid.

Finally, towards the end of the article there is mention of “the Palestinian uprising of several years ago.” Yes, it’s true that “dozens of “people” (Israelis) or more were killed in the worst attacks but there is a failure to mention that in total, over a thousand Israeli civilians were killed and more than 5,000 were wounded, many critically. In a population of approximately 7.5 million, these are not insignificant numbers. In the United States with its population of 307 million these figures would translate to 41,000 killed and 200,000 wounded in terrorist attacks. Imagine our response to such a scenario! Instead of layering a media attack on top of the terrorist attacks Israel has suffered of late, writers at The Associated Press and other media outlets, if they were reasoned and properly informed, would be pointing out Israel’s incredible displays of restraint in its current and past circumstances.

Judy Kava

Snowmass Village


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