As I watched the extensive, plainly sympathetic coverage of Jewish settlers being evicted from their Gaza homes, I couldn’t help but take note once again of the striking double standard applied by American news media as well as the U.S. government.
I cannot recall any sympathetic coverage of Palestinians being evicted from their homes. No interviews with weeping mothers or fathers. No discussions of whether the evictions were right or wrong. This is obviously a deliberate policy on the part of America’s television networks, for after all, they had 4,170 opportunities to report on Palestinian evictions since September 2000. That’s how many homes were destroyed, and, of course, doesn’t count the orchards and olive trees bulldozed by the Israeli army or Israeli settlers.
Of course, Palestinians were not evicted by sympathetic soldiers or promised huge amounts of money to relocate. No, they were brutally told to get out of their houses, which were then blown up or bulldozed into rubble by decidedly unsympathetic Israeli soldiers. What little they had was destroyed, and they were offered nothing except verbal abuse by the Israelis and invisibility by the American media.
One idealistic American girl who tried to stop an Israeli bulldozer from destroying a Palestinian home was crushed to death by the bulldozer. Naturally, the United States government did nothing, and the American media obediently either ignored her death or accepted the Israeli excuse that the driver couldn’t see her, which is bull. She was killed in broad, sunny daylight while wearing a blaze-orange jacket and standing atop a pile of dirt.
As an American consumer of commercial news, you should protest. You are being denied the balanced coverage of this conflict that would allow you to form an intelligent opinion. You are, in effect, being fed Israeli propaganda, and if all you know is what you read in most newspapers and see on television, then you would surely think the Palestinians are a faceless mob of howling savages. Actually, they are among the most highly educated and industrious people in the Middle East. A considerable number of them are Christians.
I’m sure you are aware of the Israeli children who have been killed in this current intifada, which started Sept. 29, 2000. There were 122. But are you aware of the 686 Palestinian children who have died? About 1,000 Israeli adults have been killed, while 3,653 Palestinian adults have been killed. About 7,000 Israelis have been wounded; 29,014 Palestinians have been wounded. The Palestinians have nothing with which to resist the occupation of their land except rifles, pistols, homemade bombs and small rockets. Israel, of course, is ranked fifth in the world as a military power and has all the modern weaponry America can supply.
The West Bank and Gaza are not “disputed territory,” which is the latest Israeli propaganda term adopted by the American lickspittle politicians. Under international law, the West Bank and Gaza are illegally occupied by the Israeli military. They were seized in 1967 in Israel’s blitzkrieg war. The Palestinians, who even then had no government and no army, did not provoke the war.
The tragic truth is that the Palestinian majority that wants peace has not been allowed to have a functioning government and is therefore helpless to stop independent groups from carrying out attacks against the Israeli occupiers. The Palestinian Authority was denied the tools necessary to govern from the get-go.
I will say this about the Israelis: They have chutzpah. Evacuating a minuscule number of settlers from Palestinian land, they tell the Palestinians it is now up to them to live peacefully. Of course, Gaza will be a fenced-off prison. That’s the equivalent of the Nazis telling the Poles after the German invasion that it was up to them to live peacefully if they didn’t want to be murdered and imprisoned.
The illegal settlements in Gaza were put there despite America’s opposition and in disregard of international law. Now, of course, the Israelis want the American taxpayers to pay $2.2 billion to correct their mistake made in defiance of U.S. policy. They expect us to pay for the transfer of the Israeli settlers.
If the U.S. government goes along with this outrageous request, that ought to be the last straw for every patriotic American.