Thursday, May 9, 2019

Washington Post makes Gaza assault on Israel into Israel's fault - Sie An Bradley

by Sie An Bradley

Malignant negligence in journalism.

In the Washington Post article "Israel, militants escalate clashes," published May 6, 2019, the title gives the reader the impression that Israel is escalating clashes with "militants." First, Hamas and (Palestinian) Islamic Jihad initiated the assault on Israel, to which Israel justly responded in defense. Hamas is the people's elected governing body in Gaza and also an internationally recognized terrorist organization. Islamic Jihad, which is also a terrorist organization, receives funding and arms from Iran and is known to collude with Hamas.

Second, the subtitle goes on to express that the clash was the "Deadliest Fighting Since 2014 War" but does not point out that it was the deadliest for Israeli civilians, which is what should absolutely be mentioned in the title or subtitle. Not disclosing this fact upfront fails to alert the reader to the gravity of the assault on Israel, specifically Israel's civilians, which The Washington Post continues to overlook and dismiss. The reader is allowed to make initial assumptions based on the biased presentation by experienced journalists before he even reads the article, if he does at all. 

To the authors' credit, the tragic deaths of Israeli civilians are elucidated in the second paragraph of the article. However, following the statement acknowledging the four Israeli civilians violently killed by rocket fire from Gaza is the Palestinian casualty count, which, as presented, implies that Israel is responsible for all 23 dead, which is not the case. The reader is not informed some of the deceased Palestinians died as a result of Palestinian rocket fire until much later in the article, on page A12. 

The third paragraph focuses on Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leaves the reader with the impression that Israel is the party continuing the aggression and will be responsible for any further escalation. This is the opposite of what is happening between Gaza and Israel. The simple fact is that Israel defended itself from continuous rocket attacks that escalated from Gaza. 

The article continues to focus on Israel's defensive response to a full-on assault by Gaza rather than the fact that Gaza initiated and continually assaulted Israel, which resulted in hundreds of injured Israeli civilians and four Israeli civilian deaths. Once again, a biased frame is presented to the reader. The authors even have the audacity to say, "Israel generally holds Hamas, which controls Gaza, responsible for any rocket fire from the area," implying that Israel is making inappropriate assumptions about holding Gaza responsible for the assault. Only as the article continues on page A12 is there a mention that Islamic Jihad instigated the violence, but again, there is no mention of that group being known to collude with Hamas and also receive assistance from Iran.

Then the reader is directed to continue reading on page A12, referencing "GAZA" — yet again, subtly leading the reader to feel that Israel is the problem and that the focus should be on Gaza. Sneaky psychology! 

The first thing the reader sees on page A12 in large print is a reference to Netanyahu preparing for the "next stages." But why is he having to prepare? Because Israel continues to be attacked! Such an important and critical fact to be conveniently left out again leads the reader to feel as though Israel is escalating the clash with Gaza. 

For all the criticism, mentioned and unmentioned, to be made regarding this article, the biggest is what was left hypocritically unarticulated. If the reverse occurred, there would be cries for an international investigation against Israel, yet the deplorable actions of Gaza against Israeli civilians are excused. The world needs to understand that hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza targeted Israeli civilians, not the Israeli military. Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli homes, children's schools, hospitals, and synagogues. In addition, Hamas and Islamic Jihad hid behind civilians in Gaza, using them as shields while firing at civilian, not military, targets in Israel. These are war crimes. This is what should have been reported! This is malignant negligence in journalism, and The Washington Post should have higher standards!

Sie An Bradley


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