This observation from the social media about the Israel-Palestine conflict rings true:
US media reporting that Israel and the Palestinians are moving closer to all out war.
Given that the Palestinians have no army, air force or navy, how does that work exactly?
They haven’t even got a country.
— Anthony Element (@observationpt) May 13, 2021
As I write, Israel is most likely raining dozens – or hundreds – of bombs onto carefully-targeted (we’ll come back to this) sites in Palestinian territory, while Palestinians can only respond (you can hardly call it retaliation) by firing a few fireworks back.
Don’t get me wrong – fireworks can be deadly. But the resulting casualties have been equivalent to one of the more damaging Bonfire Nights of the 1960s or 70s, when people were less observant of the Fireworks Code. Palestinian deaths and injuries number in their thousands.
The scale of the imbalance makes the US media claim ridiculous: It is not a war; it is a cull.
The following tweet provides a few figures supporting this assertion. The number of deaths is not enough to support claims of genocide. But those numbers do speak for themselves:
— Camarada Hidalgo 🇵🇸 ✊ (@CamaradaHidalgo) May 17, 2021
The exact numbers in the current situation are debatable – as always in an ongoing situation:
Since 7 May:
▪️119 Palestinians killed, incl 31 children
▪️1,903 injured in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem
▪️830 injured in Gaza
▪️7 Israelis killed, a dozen injured
The UK Government must end its opposition to an International Criminal Court investigation into Palestine.
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) May 14, 2021
In three days, 209 Palestinians have been killed & 5,600 injured. 55 of them children.
This isn’t a “conflict” or “fighting”, it’s one-sided violence which is targeting civilians in Gaza who don’t even have the right to shelter or the right to leave. It’s an open-air prison.
— Aleesha Khaliq (@a_leesha1) May 16, 2021
At least 188 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including 55 children this week.
That means 30% of those killed by Israel in Gaza this week have been children.
That’s NOT an accident.
It’s a war on children.
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 16, 2021
A war on children?
Let’s consider who the Israeli Defence Force has been targeting:
"I don't know what to do."
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) May 15, 2021
The three-storey building belonging to the Abu Hatab family was targeted by Israeli F16s without prior warning while its residents were sleeping at dawnhttps://t.co/XdmZY1oK6r
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 16, 2021
Update: my sister in law was able to evacuate before the missiles hit. They leveled 4 apartment buildings on her street (her neighbors). Miraculously, her house only suffered some damage. Israel targeting civilians again.
— Lara (@thegazangirl) May 17, 2021
This. This is a war crime, perpetrated by an Apartheid regime.
Every nation not taking steps against Israel and it's ongoing war crimes is complicit in these atrocities https://t.co/CEWnFrMaM3
— 🚲 Will 🇬🇧🇿🇦 (@WilliamNB) May 17, 2021
— Electronic Intifada (@intifada) May 17, 2021
No Palestinian who lives under the horrific Zionist system is safe from violent death. https://t.co/ukmtXqi9Xa
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) May 17, 2021
"Nusayba and I are a perfectly average Palestinian couple: Between us we have lost more than 30 relatives."
— A Man in the Sun 🌞 (@AManInTheSun) May 17, 2021
The evidence seems clear: Israeli forces have clearly and positively targeted Palestinian families – civilians – for murder. Consider the response if the shoe was on the other foot and an overwhelmingly strong Palestine was treating Israeli Jews in the same way:
If a single Jewish-Israeli child were pulled out from beneath a pile of rubble of what used to be her home & obliterated the rest of her family, not a single Western gov’t would not condemn it or try to blame “both sides”. Racism & colonialism explain this. They expect us to die.
— Noura Erakat (@4noura) May 16, 2021
But there’s more: Israeli forces aren’t just targeting civilians and children.
You’ll have read in the tweets above that a clinic run by Medicins Sans Frontieres, an independent, humanitarian medical organisation, has also been struck. It’s not the only medical facility to have been hit; its staff are not the only medical staff to be harmed:
So among the people killed in yesterday's airstrikes on Gaza:
Gaza's top neurologist (Dr Mouin Al-Aloul)
The head of Coronavirus response at Gaza's biggest hospital (Dr Ayman Abu Al-Ouf)
Psychologist and social worker Rajaa Abu Al-Ouf (as well as her children)
— Mohammad Alsaafin (@malsaafin) May 16, 2021
They want to kill most of them and let Covid do the rest, don’t they? Monsters.
— Mel (@melaniekmelvin) May 17, 2021
Does that seem an extreme judgement? “They want to kill most of them and let Covid do the rest”?
But then, why target a Covid-19 testing lab at all, if not for that purpose?
The Israeli government has been swift to counter the evidence with its usual claim – that Palestinian terrorists are hiding behind children.
This has been debunked as a racist lie:
Full story and video: https://t.co/A7oDgvPF5U
— Electronic Intifada (@intifada) May 16, 2021
One of the sites where the Israeli government claimed Hamas had been hiding was an office building housing news broadcasters Al-Jazeera and AP News – the Associated Press. The latter is one of the most well-established and -respected news agencies in the world, and its comment on the bombing is damning:
AP is one of the world’s leading news agencies and is reliable. The BBC and Sky use It as a source, will they running this story from AP? https://t.co/Mrhk4xv1LW
— Devutopia (@D_Raval) May 16, 2021
The last line refers, in This Writer’s opinion, to the intention of this particular airstrike: “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what tranpired today.”
Isn’t that exactly what the Israeli government would want, as it targets civilians including children for murder?
can’t believe the IDF lied https://t.co/6ZBv0K0Tgi
— jacob (@jacobdotgov) May 17, 2021
Al-Jazeera has also commented – that Israel had still provided no evidence of any Hamas presence in the building, two days after the strike:
Morning all, just a reminder that our Gaza offices were bombed and destroyed 2 days ago. Israel has yet to provide any evidence to back up their claims that Hamas were in the building.
— Halla Mohieddeen (@hallamohieddeen) May 17, 2021
As a journalist of more than a quarter of a century’s experience, I find it interesting that Benjamin Netanyahu’s people feel the need to attack news reporters; to hide what they’re doing.
News media around the world have already given Israel the easiest ride possible during what can only be seen as an infamous, scandalous slaughter:
Describing one side as “Israel” and the other side as “militants” is not acceptable @BBCNews
The evidence is clear that Israel is committing mass murder or – if you prefer – war crimes
Do the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves @BBCNews?
— Tom London #SalusburyWorld4Refugees (@TomLondon6) May 17, 2021
See what I mean?
There is now evidence showing that attempts to promote balanced reporting of the situation are being suppressed by supporters of the Israeli government.
For example, Canadian journalists are currently being pursued for signing an open letter calling for balanced reporting of the situation.
The letter criticises the “lack of nuanced” coverage. “Some groups believe the attacks amount to an ‘ethnic cleansing.’ It should be covered as such,” it says.
“It’s time for Canadian newsrooms to carry out the necessary due diligence and report on this region with nuance and context.”
Pro-Israel organisations have been quick to attack the letter – and any journalist signing it, leading to the ridiculous situation of reporters being forced to defend something that it is our duty to provide: fair, balanced reporting:
A bunch of us are hearing reports that journalists who signed the open letter asking for fair, nuanced coverage of Gaza are being told they can’t cover it because they showed a lack of objectivity.
— Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) May 17, 2021
See, being told your lack of objectivity means you can’t cover a story, when the grounds for saying you lack objectivity include your demand for objectivity, is perverse.
Below, we see the US pro-Jewish newspaper Algemeiner demanding that Canadian journalists who signed the letter should not be allowed to report on the “Arab-Israeli” conflict (the wording in quotation marks indicates this organisation’s own bias) because they have anti-Israeli bias. Isn’t it more accurate to say that Algemeiner fears balanced reporting that might present Israel in a less-than-glowing light of positivity?
Alright, here comes the phase where they start going for our jobs.
— Q. Anthony (FKA Andray Domise) 🇵🇸 (@andraydomise) May 16, 2021
This is the same organisation that gave UK daytime TV parlour game-player and repeat libel litigant Rachel Riley a “Warrior for Truth” award, the value of which I think we may all now question.
The Israeli government itself appears to run an organisations dedicated to disinformation – and to discrediting those who try to publish fair and accurate reports on the Israel-Palestine question:
Israel has a troll army called "https://t.co/MecswWW4zn" which they openly boast about, and has a budget of more than $1 million a year. And that's only the one we know the most about:https://t.co/9MKpW52bVMhttps://t.co/xjkSPBvkCg
— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) May 16, 2021
I remember discovering adverts by this organisation on Google Adsense. If I recall corrrectly, readers of This Site had discovered that Act.Il had bought space here so that this organisation could make false claims about it.
I blocked it from advertising here. There’s no point in doing anything else like taking court action – it’s an organisation based in a foreign country, with a lot of that country’s money behind it (as I understand it), and I don’t have the means to deliver upon it the justice it deserves.
I can certainly sympathise with the sentiment in this tweet, though:
No but imagine you criticise the latest Israel bombing attack and then the country itself starts cyber bullying you on twitter 🥴 their digital propaganda machinery has to be the most sinister I’ve ever witnessed in my life
— Jason Okundaye (@jasebyjason) May 16, 2021
And it seems reporters aren’t the only ones being attacked:
This is true!
I know from personal experience https://t.co/bTv73Y7gYL
— Daniel Fooks (@DanielFooksArt) May 16, 2021
And still, in the UK, many of our MPs are refusing to condemn Israel. Read the letter Labour’s Lisa Nandy sent to Dominic Raab and you’ll see it is disproportionate – it blames Palestinians equally with Israelis for a situation that has been forced on them.
Lisa "I am a Zionist" Nandy is still protecting Israel.
A "review" is a just smokescreen: a PR exercise that has happened before (under David Miliband) and nothing changed.
An immediate end to all arms to Israel is the absolute minimum ask. https://t.co/noyYAzmKcQ
— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) May 16, 2021
Robert Jenrick has been roundly criticised for a mealy-mouthed propaganda routine in which he said anti-Zionism was anti-Semitism. Zionism is a racist ideology which the Israeli government uses to force Palestinians off the geographical area it defines as Israel (as opposed to the land given for the purposes of providing Jewish people with a nation of their own in the 1940s).
There are many anti-Zionist Jews. None of them are self-hating; none are anti-Semites. So Jenrick deserved the following critiques:
How is opposing an ideology, pushed by a government, which aims to wipe out Palestinians and take all their land antisemitic @RobertJenrick?
You can support Israel's right to exist, without supporting zionism. It's not an all or nothing situation. https://t.co/jSBK9GdPHx
— Alex Tiffin – FND, BPD (@RespectIsVital) May 17, 2021
This statement by @RobertJenrick is shocking. For your information Mr Jenrick, Zionism is an abomination. It is a vile racist settler colonial supremacist ideology. Opposition to Zionism has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism. There are numerous anti-Zionist Jews. https://t.co/ZEeTroH5O7
— Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) May 17, 2021
There are a few honourable MPs, though…
The Israeli Army is now attacking the Gaza Strip with air and ground troops.
The British Government must condemn this and it must act:
▪️Suspend all arms sales to Israel
▪️Place sanctions on Israel for its violations of international law
▪️Recognise the State of Palestine
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) May 13, 2021
I wrote this letter to the Foreign Secretary about Palestine yesterday. It breaks my heart that after less than 24 hours – and a new horrific assault on Gaza – it is already out of date.
I send my solidarity to the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and equality. pic.twitter.com/E8rMA4eGEg
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) May 14, 2021
And of course they can’t do anything about grassroots protest:
The Israelis are not engaged in self-defence
They are engaged in murder and destruction amounting to war crimes
They are using UK arms, money and diplomatic cover
WE ARE ENABLING
WE ARE INVOLVED
WE HAVE RESPONSIBILITY https://t.co/Rrp4Kb8pPZ
— Tom London #SalusburyWorld4Refugees (@TomLondon6) May 17, 2021
Wow! this from the Palestinian Ambassador on behalf of the Palestinian government and people thanking Hamza Choudhury & Wesley Fofana of Leicester City Football Club for using the historic FA Cup triumph to show solidarity. “No one is free until Palestine is free” #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/eHPIY2I8gG
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) May 16, 2021
An incredibly powerful image. A bit taken back by this one….. pic.twitter.com/JKFQkIqGjm
— Mark Cunliffe (@MarkCunliffe76) May 16, 2021
Israeli soldiers take the balloons of Palestinian children in Sheikh Jarrah.
Balloon girl painted on the Apartheid Wall in Bethlehem.
The symbolism couldn’t be greater.
Inspiration by Yousef Srouji. pic.twitter.com/M421U9wYUy
— Salem Barahmeh (@Barahmeh) May 16, 2021
School kids in London protesting for Palestinian rights. The intifada is global.
Video sent by a friend. pic.twitter.com/Wnmrvqg92b
— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) May 17, 2021
It is hugely encouraging that so many people are arguing against the Israeli government’s web of lies.
But still the killings continue. Still civilians are targeted in their homes – including children – by an Israeli government and military that does not care what we think and will counter our facts with falsehoods that it can rely on the international media to parrot.
So who do you believe?
Do you believe a group of well-spoken suit-wearing dissemblers?
Or do you believe the person who wrote the following?
We are dying here in Gaza. Our children are dying. This is GENOCIDE! It has been a week of continued Israeli airstrikes in our small besieged city. We cannot endure this anymore. We are afraid. We are afraid. WE ARE AFRAID! Can you hear us?! We Are Afraid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— abeer sami (@abeersami112) May 17, 2021
The answer should be so obvious it isn’t even a choice.
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