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Killings of dozens once again called "period of calm" by US media

September 20, 2002 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Killings of dozens once again called "period of calm" by US media
What it boils down to is that from the perspective of many in the US media, Israeli lives are just worth more than those of Palestinians.
posted by mapalm (30 comments total)

 
"Many US media reports were quick to declare that two suicide bombings in Israel on September 18 and 19, in which eight Israelis were killed, had brought an end to a period of "calm" simply because there had been no similar attacks for six weeks and few Israelis had been victims of Palestinian violence. In fact, the bombings came at the end of a particularly bloody period in which dozens of Palestinians, most of them unarmed civilians, and a large number of them children, had been killed and injured by Israeli occupation forces."
posted by mapalm at 12:08 PM on September 20, 2002


The article somehow forgot to mention the substantial number of would-be bombers, shooters, etc were captured before they could do what they had intended to inflict. That is what is meant by a period of calm--a calm that took place because killings were prevented. In passing: why the re-occupation?
posted by Postroad at 12:21 PM on September 20, 2002


Exactly Postroad, but what else do you expect from a website called Electronic Intifada?
posted by t0rg0 at 12:24 PM on September 20, 2002


My god mapalm, would you have been counting the number of Germans killed during WW2 like this?

This is stupid already. Shut up.
posted by eas98 at 12:27 PM on September 20, 2002


Another disparity worth noting is the coverage of the anniverarys of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre (hundreds of men, women, children slaughtered) and the Israeli athletes' murder at the Munich Olympics. The main reason for the difference is that many Americans remember and know about the Munich murders, but few know about Sabra and Shatilla.

I don't believe the media is 'biased,' just that they are used to covering things a certain way, and the people who lobby them most effectively are those who hold one particular view. Having worked in broadcast and print media, I know that the vast majority of reporters and editors want to cover the story as fairly as possible, but simply do not have the personal experience or knowlege to defend themselves against the daily (hourly) barrage of criticism from the Israeli perspective. Add into the mix that Israel is a free and open society (not to mention a functioning state, with all the resources wealthy functioning states have), and are therefor able to offer information, views, and professional spokespeople with training in US media, and you have a situation where reporters, editors, and ombudsmen are doing their best to simultaneously report the news and toe the line. The third factor is that those who support Israel are established members of the Jewish and Christian communities, wheras those passionate about the Palestinian side tend to be newer immigrants with less resources and a poorer understanding of how the media works.

I do think that the US newsviewer is incredibly ignorant because of this and it is a real problem, but that the problem is one that exists due to natural circumstances that are in many ways beyond the control of any individual reporter or editor. There is always alternative media which has less pressures if you want to get closer to an objective truth.
posted by cell divide at 12:27 PM on September 20, 2002


That is what is meant by a period of calm--a calm that took place because killings were prevented.

By whom? Not by the US media, apparently, which pays little heed to the killing of Palestinians, 'preventable' or otherwise. Did the bombs left in a Hebron schoolyard, apparently by militant Jewish settlers, get any coverage this week?

And yeah, I was just waiting for that Sabra-Shatila blogburst, but the morally-upstanding people who covered the Munich attacks must have been busy washing their cats. Strange, that.
posted by riviera at 1:02 PM on September 20, 2002


Cell Devide,
I think you hit it right on the head, Not to mention the Large Jewish community in the United States that has a longer established history and cultural inflence then other groups from the region, and of course all those 80s films portraying arabs and middleeasterns as the bad guys we all grew up with tends to cloud our compasion toward 'them'...

eas98,
I would have but 'bomber Harris didn't seem to care how many german civilians his boys killed in dresden.. ends justify the means and all.
posted by Elim at 1:04 PM on September 20, 2002


The body count rises in the Middle East, and the Usual Suspects start their thing again on Metafilter.

Tit, tat. Tat, tit. My tat isn't getting as much attention as your tit. You're ignoring my tit, whereas your tat is irrelevant. My tat is innocent and your tit is not. You're prejudiced against my tit. What do you mean I'm a racist; your tat is clearly a terrorist.
posted by mcwetboy at 1:07 PM on September 20, 2002


"Electronic Intifada says the media is biased against our tits." "Oh yeah, well DEBKA says your tats are romantically involved with donkeys."

Need I go on? Then why should you?
posted by mcwetboy at 1:10 PM on September 20, 2002


I miss the old days of thoughtful MetaFilter discussions. Shit, I miss the old days of thoughtful discussions with anyone (in the US). As I was saying to a friend last night, in the wake of the events of September 11, people just stopped thinking, wrapped themselves in the flag, bashed the rest of the world, and, just like their fearless leader, said, "You don't like what we're doing? Then fuck off, 'cuz we'll go it alone." This gets extended to any region of the world fighting those dastardly "terrorists," with little thought as to what the hell it means.

I know what I'll be doing in the next few days, especially in light of the new Rush to Baghdad: re-connecting with friends and family who aren't filled with blood lust and dreams of good triumphing over evil.

Having said all that, I am heartened when I recall the handfull of people in this community (MeFi) who do give a damn about the rest of the world (from Jaffa to Jerusalem, from Khandahar to Kashmir), who believe this country is headed in the wrong direction, and who continue to make their voices heard. That's all any of us in the minority can do, keep making our voices heard.
posted by mapalm at 1:25 PM on September 20, 2002


...the rest of the world (from Jaffa to Jerusalem, from Khandahar to Kashmir)...

That's a pretty narrow rectangle the rest of the world lives in.


The media is biased against tits? Donkeys and tats romantically involved? Please, go on. Especially about the tits.
posted by me3dia at 1:33 PM on September 20, 2002


Tit, tat. Tat, tit. My tat isn't getting as much attention as your tit. You're ignoring my tit, whereas your tat is irrelevant. My tat is innocent and your tit is not. You're prejudiced against my tit. What do you mean I'm a racist; your tat is clearly a terrorist.

And hey! Check out those tits over there! Those are some spectacular tits! Look at those tits!

Well, somebody was going to say it.
posted by NedKoppel at 1:38 PM on September 20, 2002


I know what I'll be doing in the next few days, especially in light of the new Rush to Baghdad: re-connecting with friends and family who aren't filled with blood lust and dreams of good triumphing over evil.

You don't dream of good triumphing over evil? Who are you, Satan? Well then, hail, Dark Overlord! I've been offering you libations at my capitalist, Republican, American-flag bedecked altar for quite some time now and until now you've remained silent. I await re-connection with you, but I am a bit mistified at your lack of blood lust. I had the fatted calf all ready for slaughter.

Maybe you're not Satan after all. In that case:

You don't like what we're doing? Then fuck off, 'cuz we'll go it alone.
posted by evanizer at 1:45 PM on September 20, 2002


MetaFada.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:58 PM on September 20, 2002


What utter nonsense! Read the Associated Press and Reuters and you will see the exact opposite - rampant anti-Israeli bias.

For example: An AP story on Wednesday's suicide bombing in Israel had this to say:

It was the first suicide attack in Israel in six weeks, and came after Israel turned down a Palestinian offer to halt attacks on civilians as the first stage of a gradual truce.

What the article so irresponsibly fails to mention is that Hamas et al do not consider Israeli soldiers [on Israeli soil], or settlers, to be civilians. The article implies that Israel has no interest in peace.

Let's also not forget the Reuters boilerplate copy, found in every article on the subject:

At least x number of Palestinians and much less than x number of Israelis have been killed since Palestinians began their uprising for independence after peace talks stalled.

The fact is, Palestinian leaders (*cough* Arafat) have repeatedly turned down the opportunity for independence, because what they truly want is a full right of return (i.e. the destruction of Israel).

What is Israel supposed to do when the terrorists they seek use civilians as shields?

-phil
posted by saturn5 at 1:58 PM on September 20, 2002


I am so tired of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The time has come for one side to win and drive the other side from the contested lands. This peace process nonsense is just an excuse to run war at a sufficiently low threshold that it can be allowed to go on interminably. And, that's not doing anyone a favor.
posted by paleocon at 2:09 PM on September 20, 2002


Gosh, another example, today, of Israeli's doing bad bad things:


Poison plot foiled

Israel recently foiled a Palestinian plan to poison the drinking water at a Jerusalem hospital. According to a charge sheet filed at the Erez Junction military court, an Islamic Jihad activist obtained a pass to enter the country for a medical examination with the unwitting help of Knesset member Issam Makhoul, Ha´aretz reported. The plan called for the activist to go to Jerusalem for treatment at the hospital´s ophthalmology department and then drop the poison into the hospital´s drinking water reservoirs, in return for about $60. The activist was arrested by ShinBet (security service)
Sure beats standing around for a bus to blow up.
posted by Postroad at 2:45 PM on September 20, 2002


Another disparity worth noting is the coverage of the anniverarys of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre (hundreds of men, women, children slaughtered) and the Israeli athletes' murder at the Munich Olympics. The main reason for the difference is that many Americans remember and know about the Munich murders, but few know about Sabra and Shatilla.

You're right mapalm, the Munich deal was clean cut. A group of armed Palestinians infiltrated an International sporting event that promotes world peace, and killed a group of Israeli athletes in cold blood. The massacre of seven hundred to eight hundred Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila was carried out by Lebanese militiamen, led by a Lebanese commander who subsequently became a minister in the Syrian sponsored Lebanese government, and it was seen as a reprisal for the assassination of the Lebanese President Bashir Gemayyel. Ariel Sharon, who at the time commanded the Israeli forces in Lebanon, was reprimanded by an Israeli commission of inquiry for not having foreseen and prevented the massacre, and was forced to resign from his position as Minster of Defense.
A typical demonstraion of jumping from the news/gossip event, to history, to opinion and out to myth was that some even wanted to try Sharon for crimes against humanity before a tribunal in Europe. No such suggestion was made regarding Hafiz al-Assad or Saddam Hussein, who slaughtered tens of thousands of their compatriots.
posted by semmi at 2:46 PM on September 20, 2002


I'll admit to cringing when I heard the words "period of relative calm" as well - I'm sure the warsaw ghetto had its own periods that could have been called "calm".
posted by specialk420 at 2:46 PM on September 20, 2002


First, the funny.

mcwetboy, that was the funniest damn thing on Metafilter in a loooong time.

Then, the serious:

"Despite the popular conception that this week's murders ended a five-week "lull" in Palestinian terrorism against Israel, the IDF reports that there have been 86 attacks in Judea and Samaria, and another 139 in Gaza, in the past three weeks alone. During the month of August 2002, there were 393 terrorist attacks - including 137 in Yesha, 248 in Gaza, and another 8 in pre-1967 Israel - which included Kassam missiles, mortar shells, grenades, roadside bombs and drive-by shootings. "


One wonders what the hell was meant by "period of calm" other than "total lack of spectacular people blowing the living heck out of themselves."
posted by swerdloff at 3:30 PM on September 20, 2002


specialk: are you trying to somehow compare the situation in the territories and the situation in the Warsaw ghetto? Or is it some sort of a fark-land flamebait?
Just curious.
posted by bokononito at 4:26 PM on September 20, 2002


You don't dream of good triumphing over evil?

Some of us see the world in more than 1-pixel color depth, you know.
posted by signal at 4:47 PM on September 20, 2002


that's "1-bit color depth", damn, and just when I was getting my snark on, too.
posted by signal at 4:48 PM on September 20, 2002


You don't like what we're doing? Then fuck off, 'cuz we'll go it alone.

jesus on a stick. does anyone remember when evanizer was just another clever contributor? at some point he became a strident parody of himself, constantly, profanely telling people "where they get off" and basically deluding himself that he "tells it like it us" ('cause swearing is "real" and stuff, as are putdowns, as is being mean in general).

"we" will got it alone, ebeneezer? represent! woo! who made you the shannen doherty of us, 13519?

this grammar school lunch table machiavelli malarkey is repugnant. get. a. life.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:05 PM on September 20, 2002


How many times can this discussion be had?
posted by hama7 at 5:18 PM on September 20, 2002


A period of calm on MeFi was interrupted today by a fresh round of I/P threads.

In other news: Palestinians refuse Israeli offer of a homepage instead of a homeland.
posted by metaforth at 5:40 PM on September 20, 2002


<oz> man, all this talk, I *really* could use me some tits. c'mon, i know one of y'all is holdin', i just need some tits man, just to tide me over, ya know? </oz>
posted by Banky_Edwards at 6:31 PM on September 20, 2002


Try reading the rest of the thread, donkeydick. I was quoting words that mapalm pre-emptively crammed in my mouth earlier in the thread. If you have an issue with posters "profanely telling people "where they get off" and basically deluding himself that he "tells it like it us [sic]", then talk to mapalm.

Does anyone remember when evanizer was just another clever contributor?

No, neither do I.
posted by evanizer at 7:04 PM on September 20, 2002


Does anyone remember when evanizer was just another clever contributor?

I don't either. But as an admirer of evanizer's thoughtfulness, I can safely say that he's never been "just another" anything.
posted by hama7 at 4:05 AM on September 21, 2002


Hard to believe that the ongoing murder of innocent civilians by a force heavily and intimately backed by the US government bores so many of you here. The "period of relative calm" description by major US media is really cynical, bordering on grotesque, but then it appears that so many of us are as well. Sad.
posted by sic at 4:37 AM on September 21, 2002


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