The media’s double standard on child victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israel/Palestine
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Musab al-Sarahneh (photo:Ma'an Images)

Musab al-Sarahneh (photo:Ma’an Images)

This post is about 2 children, each violently attacked recently and each victims of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

Above is a photo of 6-year-old Musab al-Sarahneh. He was shot in the eye by Israeli forces who opened fired in a refugee camp south of Hebron last week. He lost his right eye. It was reported by Ma’an News on Thursday and picked up by The Palestinian Chronicle and a site called USMessageBoard. According to the family the attack occurred while the boy was a passenger in the family’s car returning from a visit to his uncle’s house.

Noam Glick, 9, is taken to a Jerusalem hospital after being shot in Psagot, a Jewish settlement. (Emil Salman / Associated Press / October 5, 2013)

Noam Glick, 9, is taken to a Jerusalem hospital after being attacked in Psagot, a Jewish settlement. (Emil Salman / Associated Press / October 5, 2013)

Above is a photo of Noam Glick, a 9 year old Israeli girl who was attacked outside her home in the illegal West Bank settlement of Psagot, near Ramallah, yesterday evening. Glick was playing in her yard when she was attacked by a hooded assailant. While it is still unclear whether she was shot or stabbed with a knife police say the attack on the child was a “probable terrorist attack” but they are “not ruling out the possibility of other motives.”

The attack was reported throughout Israel as well as several US MSM sources including  Los Angeles Times, New York Times, AP via USAToday, Huffington Post and countless other news sources around the globe.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack on Glick heinous and hateful and pointed an “accusatory finger at the Palestinian Authority.”  The Jerusalem Post reported Palestinian incitement was responsible for Psagot incident as well as AFP who added “he held the Palestinian leadership responsible even though the attack took place in an area of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control.” The Jerusalem Post:

“The events of the past month may lead to an escalation in the West Bank,” Shamni told Army Radio.

“It’s very difficult to determine if this is the start of an intifada,” he continued.

“However, we have here the evidence of three separate events. We need to look at them.

 

This attack came after two separate incidents in the last 2 weeks, of Israeli soldiers killed in the West Bank. Also there’s been an escalation of incursions by Israeli military forces into refugee camps in the West Bank resulting in the death of several Palestinians, including youths, which precipitated the soldier’s deaths. None of those incidents were included in what the Jerusalem Post characterizes as the “three separate incidences” that may have lead to an escalation of violence. However, Jodi Rudoren reporting for The New York Times included these attacks in her coverage of events today.

Israeli forces have killed several Palestinians in overnight raids in the Jenin and Qalandiya refugee camps in the West Bank in recent weeks, heightening tensions around the nascent talks.

Some initial and many followup reports on Glick’s attack included information about the recent ‘peace talks’. Rudoren mentioned several right-wing Israeli politicians who oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state “seized on the shooting to call for a halt” in negotiations.

“We’ve returned to a situation in which talks with the Palestinians equal murderous terrorist attacks,” Uri Ariel, Israel’s housing minister, said in a statement. “This situation cannot be allowed to continue.”

As an aside, none of the reports mentioned lots of Israeli politicians simply do not want 2 states. And as we mentioned earlier today, it was reported last week Israeli negotiators are refusing to even talk about the borders of a Palestinian state. From Haaretz weekend roundup prior to the child’s attack:

[A]n absolute majority of Likud MKs and ministers do not currently support an agreement with the Palestinians. If Netanyahu should decide to split from his party in the wake of a breakthrough in the talks, he will not have the backing of one-third of the faction, as Ariel Sharon did in November 2005, but two or three MKs at most. On a good day.

For some reason, the attack on 9 year old Glick offered an opportunity for the media, as well as Israeli politicians, to revisit the peace negotiations. And the assault that took 6 year old Musab al-Sarahneh’s right eye? Not worthy of even a mention in the western press. Why? Because they are all to common, and Palestinian life is not valued here like Jewish life.

Musab wondered: “Why did the Israeli soldier shoot me? I lost my eye, and I am still so young for that.”

Little Noam Glick is probably wondering why she was attacked too.

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