March 17, 2023
2 mins read

Last week I had written about the double standards which characterize the attitudes of the leading imperialist politicians and the major media outfits to issues in the Palestine-Israeli conflict. Last Thursday, a Palestinian gunman entered a Jewish; seminary in Jerusalem and killed eight Israeli students; that was against the backdrop of the killings led to saturation coverage by all the major news organizations. The BBC described the killings as a “massacre”. It dominated the news the whole day with many stations suggesting, in their interviews, that retaliatory Israeli attacks could be expected against HAMAS and Gaza, where the killings had been celebrated. It was poignant that almost at the same time, over 50 people were killed in a bombing in Iraq, but it was perfunctorily reported by the BBC and dropped, for the more tragic “massacre” of the eight Israelis.


The TORONTO STAR newspaper of Saturday, March 8, 2008, carried four letters under the heading “DEADLY ATTACK ON SERMINARY\’, and I have reproduced two of the letters to give an indication of the contrasting media images that characterize the Middle East conflict:


“The facts speak for themselves; more than 100 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army in Gaza in recent days. According to Israeli human rights organization B ‘Tselem, more than half of those Palestinians were non-combatants, many of them children, some babies. Did anyone expect the Palestinians to roll over and idea passively? If so, think again. Is the Jerusalem Mercaz Harav seminary a legitimate military target? Probably not. Unlike the Israeli army jeep targeted Thursday and destroyed while patrolling the Southern Gaza border.


“With QASSAM rockets continually being fired from Gaza at Israeli citizens, some Israeli politicians are openly calling for a policy of intensified reprisals against the besieged Gaza population. While new atrocities are being prepared, international solidarity has failed and enlightened humanity has abandoned Palestinians to their fate. In the circumstances, we can expect the Palestinians to fight back desperately, sometimes against civilian targets. How could it be otherwise?



“Yesterday the world read about eight Israelis killed by an Arab citizen of Israel. This is tragic. The timing is interesting though, I think. these killings come at the end of a week in which 120 Palestinians, half of them civilians, many of them children, were killed in Gaza by the Israeli Defense Force. In this same week, 13 Israelis were killed by Palestianian rockets and guns- a ratio of 10 to one.


“What is instructive here is how the media coverage differs in these two sets of killings. On the Palestinian side we get numbers of killed, with little else; in Ksrael we get pictures, eyewitness accounts and personal histories of victims. In short, Israeli victims are portrayed as people deserving of life and freedom from fear, while Palestinian victims remain nameless statistics, somehow guilty of their own deaths. In a perfect media world we would see all innocent victims in the same light.


GERALD PATTERSON, SINGAPORE I think the cases have been very well made.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss