Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let's pretend history starts now...

This is the first paragraph in the lead story in today's New York Times:

Israeli airstrikes against Hamas facilities in Gaza continued for a second day on Sunday and medical officials said the death toll rose to more than 280 as Israel retaliated for protracted rocket fire from the area with its most severe campaign against Palestinian militants in decades.
In order to phrase it like this one has to ignore forty years of brutal military occupation and an Israeli blockade of Gaza which has left 51.8% of its residents living below the poverty line and its citizens being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive.

I mean the rocket attacks from the Palestinian side can't possibly be portrayed as a response to Israel's inhumane treatment of a civilian population, so they have to be portrayed as if they occur inside a bubble, totally unrelated to any Israeli action.

And I happen to think the Palestinian rocket attacks are stupid, counterproductive, and wrong; but it's not as if I can make any argument for moderation which rings even remotely true when I watch the treatment meted out to Abbas, the Palestinian moderate chosen by both Israel and the United States as their preferred negotiating partner after Hamas won the Palestinian election. He turned up at Annapolis, where even the same New York Times admitted that the stakes were high for him, having staked his reputation on moderation as the way forward:
The stakes for Mr. Abbas are considerable. If he should leave Annapolis in what appears to be a weakened posture, the Islamic militant group Hamas would probably try to fill the power vacuum, as a spokesman for the group signaled on Sunday.
And what did he leave with? Nothing. As I said at the time:
Abbas is supposed to be their man, and yet they are - if first impressions count for anything - going to hang him out to dry and send him back home with nothing.

This is how they encourage the "moderates"?

I expected at least a token gesture at an attempt to make peace, but Olmert appears unwilling to give even that, and Bush is making it very clear that he is powerless to "impose our vision".
When Israel humiliated the moderate, Abbas, the same New York Times predicted that "the Islamic militant group Hamas would probably try to fill the power vacuum". But they have now forgotten their own prediction and pretend that these rocket attacks have come out of nowhere; forcing Israel, no doubt against her better will, to "retaliate".

When the Palestinians "retaliate" - against an illegal occupation - they are terrorists. When Israel "retaliates" then the occupation and deliberate starvation of the people of Gaza is always removed from the narrative.

It has to be. It's the only way that one can portray the occupier as the victim.

Click title for New York Times article.

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