How corporate media tacitly justify the murder of Palestinian children

US Politics
on 67 Comments

On Friday, Israel commenced yet another bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip.  The Independent (London) began its report with a note from the IDF that it had “bombed militant targets.”  The story then explained that six children were injured.  

The third paragraph completed the picture:  “The Israeli military said it had carried out the strikes on a Hamas training camp and on a weapons depot in response to rockets fired earlier from Gaza at Israeli towns. Witnesses told Reuters that most of the wounded were residents of a building near the camp.”  

What first looks like standard reportage—a delivery of apparent facts, complete with views from both sides—is actually stock dissimulation that (intentionally or not) confers responsibility for harming children not on the Israeli bombers, but on the people who endured their detonation.  A more pessimistic reading can make a reasonable case that the Independent actually blames the children for their own injuries.  

How can it be that Israel targeted “militants” while also injuring children?  Four possibilities emerge:  

  1. Either the Israeli or Palestinian sources are lying
  2. Children were hanging out with the militants
  3. The militants put themselves in the company of children
  4. It is difficult to target militants in Gaza without collateral damage

Number one is negligible because the Independent doesn’t bother to find out if anybody is lying.  The omission supplies a post hoc rationalization for the injured children.  The story provides no indication that Israel willingly harmed children and thereby removes intent from the equation.  

Numbers 2-4 implicitly justify Israel’s behavior.  Mixing kids with militants essentially collapses any distinction between the two demographics and implies that Palestinian society is uniformly militarized.  If no children are free of militants in Gaza, then nobody in the territory is truly innocent.  Everybody is therefore a fair target, their demise an unfortunate byproduct of existing.  

This kind of reportage was common during 2014’s Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 51-day destruction of the Gaza Strip.  As the number of dead children kept rising, eventually topping 500, an exculpatory narrative emerged, peddled by Israeli officials and taken up by their stenographers in the Western press:  Hamas used kids as human shields, or their parents failed to adequately protect them.  

The narrative provides only shallow absolution.  No matter the circumstances, Israel targeted sites inhabited by children.  Its leaders decided that murdering those children was an acceptable outcome relative to Israel’s military aspirations.  But nobody scrutinized Israel as a moral actor in its own behavior.  The IDF became a technocratic force without agency.  

After Friday’s bombing, corporate media tried to absolve Israel by deploying the language of reprisal.  Some headlines:  Washington Post, “Israeli jets hit Gaza following rocket fire, as protests surge in wake of Trump announcement”; BBC, “Israel strikes Gaza Hamas sites after rocket attacks”; New York Times (from Reuters), “Responding to Rocket Fire, Israel Launches Airstrikes into Gaza”; Wall Street Journal, “Israel Carries Out Airstrikes on Hamas Following Fire From Gaza.”  

From the outset, readers understand that nothing Israel did will have been unwarranted.  The infant hit by a bomb?  He isn’t a regular baby; he is a legatee of barbarism.  Palestinian childhood is corrupted by its proximity to adults.  

In any case, Palestinian children don’t offer Western correspondents the kind of opportunities attached to apologia.  The rhetoric of apologia, as exemplified by the headlines above, generally features four properties:

  1. It suggests that Israel had no choice but to bomb Gaza
  2. It implies equivalent force between the IDF and Hamas
  3. It positions Hamas (and by extension all Palestinians) as the hostile party
  4. It preemptively justifies every Israeli action

Efforts to render Israel perpetually embattled aren’t simply tricks of perspective; they also reinforce tendentious discourses.  By reducing the entirety of Gaza to an uncontrollable “Hamas,” corporate media flatten the territory’s complex socio-political topography.  The “Hamas” of these stories isn’t an actual entity; it is an avatar of colonial anxiety that illuminates the mysteries of a fundamentally different culture.  Whereas Hamas is a political party with an armed apparatus that alternately practices resistance, represses its own people, provides social services, suffers corruption, and navigates poverty—fluctuating between humanism and theocracy, accommodation and annihilation—“Hamas” is an unthinking catchall invoked to delegitimize the whole of Palestinian society.  

The term “militant,” so prominent in recent stories, has a similar function.  Through its repetition, Palestine becomes wholly militarized, an Israeli simulation devoid of civil society and unable to enjoy the luxury of innocence.  Either Israeli bombs have a magical ability to find militants or each of their targets has already been deprived of humanity.  

By what method do journalists distinguish civilians from militants?  What constitutes militancy?  In what conditions is it rational?  Why is military belligerence presented in neutral language?  Corporate media don’t explore such questions because they repeat terminology provided by the Israeli government.  Stories about Israeli bombing aren’t informational; they are ideological, reproducing Orientalist fantasies of the malevolent Arab.  

Here’s how an honest piece about Friday’s bombing, following the stodgy conventions old media like to eulogize, might have opened:  

As part of its longstanding hostility to Gaza, Israel bombed various targets in the occupied territory.  According to Palestinian sources, residential areas were hit, leading to the injury of at least six children.  A six-month-old infant is currently in critical condition.  The IDF claimed that it was responding to rocket fire from Gaza, which has suffered a crippling ten-year blockade, though the details are still unconfirmed.  

Don’t expect to see this approach in corporate media, though.  There can be objectivity of presentation, but not of choice.  It’s easier to replicate a deeply unjust world by choosing to brutalize the most vulnerable among us.  

About Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita's most recent book is Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine.

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67 Responses

  1. kma
    December 11, 2017, 1:10 pm

    If Palestinians were intentionally using “human shields” (however that could possibly work against bombs from the air into a crowded prison), it would require Israel to actually REFRAIN from dropping bombs into crowded prisons in order NOT to kill the children there. I don’t think Palestinians have any such misunderstanding of Israel.

    Israel merely wants to kill ’em all and wipe its conscience by telling the media that those nasty Palestinians MADE them kill babies on purpose…
    In general, Israel wants its ethnic cleansing and pity too, but it never works out that way in the end.

    • ritzl
      December 11, 2017, 5:16 pm

      Bingo gigante!!

      I’ve always laughed out loud at that oh-so-seriously-made-and-repeated assertion (for a microsecond until the utter sadness and psychopathy of it takes hold).

      How does one debate a psychopath anyway? I don’t suppose the object can ever be to win the argument. It must be to expose the illness and let nature (public opinion, or something) take its course.

      Great comment kma.

    • Emory Riddle
      December 12, 2017, 8:08 am

      Great point. Human shields would only work if it caused the attacker to refrain from bombing you. Israel never refrains. Such an obvious point.

    • Misterioso
      December 12, 2017, 10:59 am

      Down memory lane:

      During its 2008/09 “Operation Cast Lead” assault on the Gaza Strip, Israel illegally used white phosphorous, which burns flesh to the bone, in attacks against civilians along with flechettes, i.e., 4-cm metal darts fired from missiles, planes or tanks “that penetrate straight through human bone and can cause serious, often fatal, injuries.” (It has also used cluster bombs during its attacks against and invasions of Lebanon.)

      In response to Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead,” the United Nations Goldstone Report charged Israel with using phosphorous incendiary shells on a UN compound sheltering more than 600 civilians, using phosphorous and high explosive artillery shells on Al-Quds hospital and it rejected Israel’s assertion that Hamas or other militants were using the hospital. Israel was also accused of attacking a crowded mosque during evening prayers (the panel rejected the contention that armed militants were inside), using flechettes and of using Palestinians as human shields during house searches, a “war crime under the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court.” No evidence was found that Hamas had used Palestinians as human shields.

      In a report issued on 2 July 2009, Amnesty International states that “more than 3,000 homes were destroyed and some 20,000 damaged in Israeli attacks which reduced entire neighborhoods of Gaza to rubble and left an already dire economic situation in ruins. Much of the destruction was wanton and could not be justified on grounds of ‘military necessity.’” Amnesty also noted that “During Operation ‘Cast Lead’ Israeli forces made extensive use of white phosphorus, often launched from 155mm artillery shells, in residential areas, causing death and injuries to civilians. Homes, schools, medical facilities and UN buildings – all civilian objects – took direct hits.” Neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch accused Hamas of using “human shields.” Amnesty, however, accused Israel.

      To quote Israeli journalist, Gideon Levy, “[Israel] has already used weapons prohibited by international law – white phosphorous and flechette rounds against a civilian population in Gaza, and cluster munitions in Lebanon – and the world did not raise a finger.” ( “‘Moral superpower’? Give me a break,” Haaretz, Sept. 1, 2013)

      • kev
        December 12, 2017, 5:55 pm

        Thanks, Misterioso… but you forgot to also mention the DIME munitions, for which Israel chose Gaza as a testing ground by using them against civilians.

  2. JosephA
    December 11, 2017, 2:03 pm

    Mr. Salaita,

    As much as I enjoyed your logical deconstruction of the corporate media stories, I also wonder if we can continue to apply logic to such an irrational situation. Here we have a colonialist and racist project (zionism) that has been thoroughly attempting to destroy the native population of Palestinians for 70 years and counting.

    Will respecting logic be enough to bring world opinion around to imposing economic sanctions on Israel, or better yet, a peace keeping force that will protect Palestinians from these nearly constant Israeli war crimes? Can logic cause the Israelis to grant equal rights, including full citizenship and voting rights, to the Palestinians under their control?

  3. Ossinev
    December 11, 2017, 2:26 pm

    @kma
    “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

    Remembering those lovely humane heartbreaking words from Madame Golda Meir one of Zioland`s most cherished and revered Fascists. Brings tears no doubt to Zio eyes everytime.

    Perhaps the new broom regime in Saudi Arabia might need some Zio tuition in basic maternal and paternal instincts and love for their offspring before they can have peace with the only people on the almighty`s earth who truly love their children

  4. Pretext
    December 12, 2017, 8:48 am

    Thank you Dr. Salaita. It’s important to let people see behind the curtain of the systems used to manipulate them.

    Unfortunately, news in this country on many topics is largely an article of manufacture.

  5. Jackdaw
    December 12, 2017, 9:55 am

    They retaliatory bombing by Israel injured children, yet Salaita’s headline says ‘murder of children’.

    Another day, another blood libel.

    It’s Mondoweiss!

    • John O
      December 12, 2017, 11:19 am

      @Jackdaw

      So it’s OK by you to attack children, so long as you can class it as collateral damage?

      • Jackdaw
        December 13, 2017, 12:35 am

        Israel hadn’t attacked children, they attacked militants, and children were injured. Were the children little kids, or 17 year old males?
        Next question Scheming Steven steamrolls over is this. Why does the Washington Post report only only child was injured and Steven and the Independent report 6 children injured?

        So this whole ‘child murder’ and corporate coverup conspiracy article came about because one child may have been injured in a retaliatory strike against terrorists?

        Or, is this article a snapshot into Steven’s fevered , Jew obsessed mind?

        One thing I do know, the Mondoweiss crew lap up Steven’s slop like pigs at a trough.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 12:25 pm

        “Jackdaw”, in the interest of common fairness, I beg you, beg you on bended replacement knee, to get in touch with somebody in Israel’s Ministry of Hasbara (or whatever it’s called) , show them your comment archive, and ask; “Do you think I am helping, or hindering?”
        Please take their advice. Try to find someone who has lived in the US or Western Europe, and has some experience with the cultural norms there.

    • ritzl
      December 12, 2017, 11:55 am

      One only has to read the dismissive “injured” to know that you’re just making stuff up. These children were KILLED in hideous ways.

      Israel has never tried to de-escalate its sporadic slaughter reflex in Gaza. Just the opposite. The 2014 slaughter was rationalized and hyped by attributing the murder of those three kidnapped settler kids to Hamas – without a shred of proof (actually knowing full well, in advance, that it wasn’t Hamas, but some local thugs). That’s intent, so yes it is murder. 500 dead/dismembered Gaza kids worth.

      “Blood,” yes. “Libel,” not even a little bit.

      • Jackdaw
        December 13, 2017, 3:17 am

        Another Mondoweiss lie.

        The kidnap/murder was planned and directed by Hamas operatives in Gaza. A carefully crafted plan involving sixty thousand dollars in smuggled cash and the purchase of a parcel of West Bank land in order to hide the bodies. All under the orders of the head of Hamas West Bank operations, Arouri, who BTW, is now the Deputy Chief of Hamas. A promotion!

        So Israel was perfectly justify arresting any and all Hamas operatives operating in the West Bank after the boys were kidnapped and murdered.

      • Jackdaw
        December 13, 2017, 12:25 pm

        @ritzl

        Nooo. Hamas would never order the kidnap of Jews.
        https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5056292,00.html

        Local thugs. Local thugs.

      • ritzl
        December 13, 2017, 1:29 pm

        Again Jackdaw, when you use words like “carefully crafted” to describe a traceable transaction/process to describe a minor plot that would, if/when discovered, inevitably/reflexively lead to the deaths of thousands of human beings in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli “war”-machine, you really expose yourself as a say-anything, true believer.

        Going from memory, I guess the reason the Israeli narrative (blaming Gaza Hamas) you describe fell apart for me at the time was the allegation that the perps bought land to bury their victims on. That’s the opposite of “carefully crafted.” Why would any “crafty” group wittingly link THEMSELVES to such a crime, knowing the reaction? Why not bury the murdered kids on some plot anywhere else NOT linked to them? Its was then, and still is, nonsense (imo).

        Also, there’s the blatant Israeli lie used to amplify/hype the heinous nature of the kidnapping and support the Israeli public’s need to slaughter some Gazans of “The boys may still be alive!!!” The Israelis KNEW they were dead before they started bombing Gaza. They could have ratcheted down the killing fervor in Israel by acknowledging this and pursuing the kidnappings as a police matter (you know, “We’ll get to the bottom of this…” or similar). But no, not even a thought to that (and they conveniently killed the alleged perps before any interrogation could be done and facts uncovered). Nothing the Israelis ever do correlates to what they always say, yet somehow it gets swallowed whole. Go figure. Color me a skeptic.

        Hamas is still in power in Gaza, so 2014 (et.al.) had ZERO effect beyond the death and destruction imposed on a captive population. And they do this every few years (don’t get me started on the cheerfully, blood-soaked euphemism of “mowing the grass”) to equal effect.

        Point being, even if someone believes in your story, there was ZERO attempt by Israel to avoid killing thousands of people in Gaza. Never has been. The pattern is of willful behavior/intent.

        Murder.

      • Jackdaw
        December 14, 2017, 9:39 am

        @ritzl

        ” I guess the reason the Israeli narrative (blaming Gaza Hamas) you describe fell apart for me at the time was the allegation that the perps bought land to bury their victims on. ”

        http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israel-to-indict-Hamas-mastermind-in-kidnapping-murdering-three-Israeli-teens-374392

        As I said.

        Ritzl. You really should read newspapers more often, that’s if your cult handlers allow you to read anything besides cult literature.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 6:17 pm

        “You really should read newspapers more often, that’s if your cult handlers allow you to read anything besides cult literature.”

        Whoa, I mean, like Holy mackerel, is “Jackdaw” a master of raillery and high-caliber invective, or what?

      • ritzl
        December 17, 2017, 8:39 pm

        @Jackdaw

        “Ynet” (current) and “Jpost” (2014?)??

        Ynet is a centrist outlet involved in a ratings war within right-wing Israel. JPost is a right-wing steno outfit for the Israeli power structure. Israel PTB are currently in flailing, war mode (Lebanon, Syria, Iran). Of course they are going to “report” what “fits” popular Jewish-Israeli beliefs.

        Do you even have a modest glimmer of, let alone understand, how completely self-absorbed you sound? You really should get beyond this total immersion, Jewish-Israeli narrative.

        It shows.

        You should take your own advice, imo.

    • Mooser
      December 12, 2017, 1:32 pm

      “Another day, another blood libel. It’s Mondoweiss!”

      I don’t hold out much hope for people who can’t figure out there is no such thing as a “negative hit” on the Internet.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 13, 2017, 2:24 pm

        Blood libel refers to baseless allegations against innocent Jews in the area of child murder.

        Israel murders kids for a laugh.

    • Misterioso
      December 12, 2017, 3:36 pm

      Jackdaw

      Reality:

      During Israel’s Operation Cast Lead 1,417 Palestinians were killed, including 926 civilians, of whom 313 were children and 121 were women. Israel suffered some damaged buildings and 13 dead, including three civilians from rocket fire and three soldiers killed in a friendly-fire incident. In short, Operation Cast Lead was a slaughter of imprisoned people.

      I also remind you of Israel’s other attacks against the Gaza Strip, including “Operation Protective Edge,” (8 July to 27 August 2014), during which 2,200 Palestinians, most of whom were non-combatants, including about 500 children, were killed. 40 Israelis died, mostly soldiers.

      Nor should we forget that under international law, the Gaza Strip is still illegally and brutally occupied by Israel:

      To wit:

      Human Rights Watch, 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015, correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

      “‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda….’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

      • Jackdaw
        December 13, 2017, 12:47 am

        I seriously question the validity of your numbers. We know that many civilians died, but the likelihood is that many of your ‘civilians’ were militants and that some of the children were military aged and ‘involved’.

        Mister. My question is this. During World War 2, Great Britain killed more German civilians than the Nazis killed British civilians. Whose side would you have been on? Honestly.

      • Talkback
        December 13, 2017, 10:55 am

        Jackdaw: “I seriously question the validity of your numbers.”

        Yes, you just seriously have to do so whether its the truth or not.

        Jackdaw: “We know that many civilians died, but the likelihood is that many of your ‘civilians’ were militants and that some of the children were military aged and ‘involved’.”

        Says who? Jackdaw or the Zionist Apartheid Junta’s terrorist wing?

        Jackdaw: “During World War 2, Great Britain killed more German civilians than the Nazis killed British civilians. Whose side would you have been on? Honestly.”

        Typical Zionist question. To be on the side of on party doesn’t mean that one needs to support its war crimes.

        But let me ask you a question. Israel acquired all of its territory only through war and expulsion. It differentiates between nationals and citizens. It disenfrenchizes, denationalizes and disposses people because of their different faith and heritage. It illegally annexed and settles in occupied territory. Would you have been on the of the Nazis who commited the same crimes against humanity (and more)?

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 2:51 pm

        “Typical Zionist question.”

        Yes, we’ve seen it several times.

      • Jackdaw
        December 14, 2017, 9:49 am

        @Talkback

        “Typical Zionist question. To be on the side of on party doesn’t mean that one needs to support its war crimes. ”

        The British RAF and the American Air Force deliberately bombed Axis civilian cites as part of their overall war strategy. Israel, makes every effort to warn off civilians when the IDF tries to kill Palestinians terrorists, who almost exclusively, target Israeli civilians.

        Who holds the moral high ground, Israel, Hamas, or Allied Bomber Command?
        Simple question. Now strap on a pair and answer it.

      • Jackdaw
        December 14, 2017, 10:00 am

        “But let me ask you a question. Israel acquired all of its territory only through war and expulsion. It differentiates between nationals and citizens. It disenfrenchizes, denationalizes and disposses people because of their different faith and heritage. It illegally annexed and settles in occupied territory. Would you have been on the of the Nazis who commited the same crimes against humanity (and more)? ”

        Israel acquired the territories it occupies fighting a war of defense. Israel has made peace treaties with two of those belligerents and has returned land to Egypt. Israel’s Arab citizens have full rights which they exercise even though they are exempt from fighting and dying for their country. Israeli Arabs have it good here, but you have too much hate in your heart to admit it. They know it, I know it, all the Arabs in the neighboring countries know it. Only your cult can’t accept it.

      • Talkback
        December 14, 2017, 2:06 pm

        Jackdaw: The British RAF and the American Air Force deliberately bombed Axis civilian cites as part of their overall war strategy.”

        So does Israel. It’s called the Dahiya doctrine which is nothing else but blatant state terrorism.

        Jackdaw: “Israel, makes every effort to warn off civilians when the IDF tries to kill Palestinians terrorists, who almost exclusively, target Israeli civilians.”

        Rofl: Which place in Gaza is safe from being targed by Israel after one receives such a warning? And how many Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets who can’t even be properly directed compared to the number of people that have been killed by Israel’s precise weaponry?

        Jackdaw: “Who holds the moral high ground, Israel, Hamas, or Allied Bomber Command?”

        Nobody who commits war crimes. And Israel with its long term expulsion, occupation and siege policy and wanton destructions and killings targets EVERY Palestinians civilian. It targets the Palestinian people as such.

        Jackdaw: “Simple question. Now strap on a pair and answer it.”

        I just did. Contrary to you who didn’t strap an pair when I asked you:
        “Would you have been on the side of the Nazis who commited the same crimes against humanity (and more)? ”

        Now strap on a pair and answer it.

        Jackdaw: Israel acquired the territories it occupies fighting a war of defense.”

        So you admit that it acquired the territories through war. But you fail to grasp that the acquisition of territory through war is inadmissable in the post Nazi era.

        And Israel’s war was not a war of defense. It was just the continuation of its terror campagne which started in the late 30s after the mandatory made clear that the mandate wouldn’t result in a Jewish state. They even ignored a proposal for truce in late April 1948 which the Arabs accepted, because it was ready to set up its Aparheid Junta through full war. Without war Jews would have never acquired territory for a state. Without expulsion they would have never acquired a viable Jewish majority.

        Jackdaw: “Israel has made peace treaties with two of those belligerents and has returned land to Egypt.”

        But not to the Palestinians. Not to the Syrians. And not to the Lebanese. So what’s your point?

        Jackdaw: Israel’s Arab citizens have full rights which they exercise … ”

        That’s and outright lie. Only Jews have “full rights” and considered to be nationals. Nonjews in Israel are called “citizens”, but are less than citizens. They do not have full rights like citizens of countries which are not an Apartheid Juntas like Israel and don’t differentiate between nationals and citizens like Israel does and Nazi Germany.

        “… even though they are exempt from fighting and dying for their country.”

        You mean fighting for a colonial entity which has dispossesed, expelled, disenfranchised and denationalized them? You are joking right? Would have Jews fought for Nazi Germany?

        Jackdaw: Israeli Arabs have it good here but you have too much hate in your heart to admit it. They know it, I know it, all the Arabs in the neighboring countries know it. Only your cult can’t accept it.”

        First of all. That’s your hate you are projecting unto others. Secondly, do you really want to argue that they would tell the truth if their citizenship can be revoked for no reasons by your Aparheid Junta? At last but not least. Do you really want to make a point that they prefer living in Israel than under Israeli occupation? Or do you want to claim that they prefer living in Israel than living in a Palestinian state in the whole of Palestine?

        And what’s even more important. I was refering to the “Arabs” that Israel keeps expelled, disenfranchised, denationalized and dispossesed.

        So back to my question.

        Israel acquired all of its territory only through war and expulsion. (You don’t deny this).
        It differentiates between nationals and citizens. (You don’t deny this).
        It disenfrenchizes, denationalizes and disposses people because of their different faith and heritage. (You can’t deny this)
        It illegally annexed and settles in occupied territory. (You don’t deny this)

        So answer my question:
        Would you have been on the side of the Nazis who commited the same crimes against humanity (and more)? ”

      • RoHa
        December 14, 2017, 9:08 pm

        “Who holds the moral high ground”

        Certainly not Allied Bomber Command. It is now widely recognised that Harris and LeMay should have been strung up as war criminals. Possibly Churchill as well.

        This doesn’t make Israel innocent of war crimes.

      • Jackdaw
        December 15, 2017, 1:50 am

        @Talkback

        ” So answer my question”

        I don’t consider Nazi war crimes on par with Israeli war crimes.

        The Dahiya doctrine, allows for the targeting of a State’s infrastructure when it is being used by terrorists, whereas the Nazis, Allied Bomber Command and Hamas, try to kill all enemy civilians outright.

        BTW, Talkback when was the last time you invited Israeli Arabs into your home and broke bread with them?

        Is that ‘strap on’ chafing?

      • Jackdaw
        December 15, 2017, 1:57 am

        @Roha

        “This doesn’t make Israel innocent of war crimes.”

        No it does not. I didn’t say Israel was innocent of war crimes, I asked, between Allied Bomber Command, Hamas and Israel, who held the higher moral ground. The answer, in my mind, is Israel.

        Now, I’d like to point at the 800 gorilla in the room and ask, “Why does Mondoweiss ignore the war crimes currently committed against Yemeni civilians? The civilians in Yemen are Arabs, like the Palestinians and Lebanese.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2017, 1:17 pm

        “The Dahiya doctrine, allows for the targeting of a State’s infrastructure…”

        If you give me a minute, I can Google the name of the ‘doctrine’ which made the Holocaust legal.

      • Keith
        December 15, 2017, 3:17 pm

        ROHA- ” It is now widely recognised that Harris and LeMay should have been strung up as war criminals.”

        Widely recognized? I seriously doubt that the brutal reality of empire has penetrated the consciousness of most Americans who still believe that we are the good guys and “they” (the current victims) are the bad guys.

  6. john douglas
    December 12, 2017, 11:01 am

    This is such an important point that Steven Salaita is making. In the American media Israeli forces act only “in response to” and so are always justified. Palestinians never act “in response to” and so are always the aggressor. The media purposely enters the story at the point where Palestinians have just acted, denying them the benefit of context, a luxury provided only to the Israelis.
    What does this imply about Palestinians? Their acts are not a consequence of rational or moral deliberation. How, then, shall we understand these acts? Explosions of evil. Blasts of hatred. Unmotivated violence. In any of these cases, they are not the actions of human beings. They are beneath human status. This is what the media leave their readers and watchers with.

    • ritzl
      December 12, 2017, 11:38 am

      Yup. The victimhood/retaliation/terror! clock ALWAYS starts one second after a Palestinian does something (and completely ignores decades of previous Israeli instigation, blockade, murder, forced dislocation, land/water theft, and other genocidal behaviors too numerous to list).

      It’s astounding that it still works every single time.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 13, 2017, 12:32 am

        There is another reason this matters. Americans think they are immune, that they can never be expelled from middle class comfort to become Gaza or Iraqi. But we are not in business as usual. Trump is in the White House. The war between Capital and Labor has entered a new stage of disinformation and chaos.

        In the UK poor women can’t afford to pay for tampons. Life expectancy for working class Americans is falling .
        Dehumanising Gazans is carte blanche to dehumanise anyone .

        Whatever is done to Gaza can be done to Indiana. There are no rules. There are no guarantees. There is no law.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/the-prospect-of-a-roy-moore-victory-should-make-your-stomach-churn-with-fear

        “What is happening to the Republicans under Trump is a process whereby the base radicalises the establishment, and the establishment then feels empowered to begin dismantling aspects of democracy. Moore has stated that the last time the US was great was “at the time when families were united – even though we had slavery” – although not the families of black people, which were, of course, torn apart.

        However, the historical parallels are more recent. In his study of the rise of Nazism and the fall of the Weimar republic, the leftwing German historian Hans Mommsen identified three destabilisers defying the textbook explanation that “Nazis were evil and the German bourgeoisie naive”.

        The first was the rise of conservative paramilitary combat leagues, numbering at least 400,000 before the Nazi brownshirts took off. Although their aim was always declared to be keeping order, the combat leagues created a paralysis in the official policing structures that the Nazis exploited in their march to power. The second was the corruption of the judiciary. In a series of court cases, most notably when they upheld the libellous charge that the moderate socialist leader Friedrich Ebert had committed treason, the German courts eviscerated the republican constitution on which Weimar democracy had been based. The third destabiliser was the resort to rule by decree under conservative chancellors after 1930, sidelining the elected parliament – again with the approval of the courts.
        Following this process through the collapse of Weimar democracy, the Nazi years in power and the Holocaust, Mommsen dubbed it “cumulative radicalisation”. Far from exhibiting naivety, the German business class became increasingly complicit in hollowing out parliamentary democracy, always under the pressure of a radical, plebeian, racist voting base.
         
        is hard to look at the US today without seeing the cumulative radicalisation of the right: there are militias – not just of the classic gun-toting variety, but regimented groups of younger, more urbanised men, mobilised via internet message boardsdevoted to violent misogyny and racism, such as the Proud Boys. There are figures such as Moore prepared to defy the constitution, and a network of more than 200 law enforcers in the “constitutional sheriffs” movement – which claims that an elected local sheriff should be able to overrule federal law.

        And now we have the beginnings of rule by diktat, not only in the frequent presidential decrees and arbitrary sackings of officials by the White House, but in Congress itself. The Republicans sprang a massive and detailed amendment to the tax bill just a few hours before it was due to be voted on. Trump’s Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has offered scant analysis of the effects on debt or distribution arising from the new tax bill and deleted a study from the Treasury website that was implicitly critical. The normal processes of democracy are being short-circuited.

        victory for Moore on Tuesday will up the tempo of rightwing radicalisation. Nobody needs to say that a new secession by the south, as his backers want, is impossible, or that a US run by local sheriffs in defiance of the federal courts is a neofascist fantasy. These are signifiers for a more practical programme of tolerance for racist policing, limits on abortion rights and the shrinkage of the state.”

        https://youtu.be/cX8szNPgrEs

      • ritzl
        December 13, 2017, 2:18 pm

        Hi Maghlawatan. I agree that it is critically important for the reasons you describe. I’d disagree that Trump is solidifying any support other than his die-hard MAGA base. I think he’s actually betraying the chunk (20%?) of voters that put him over the top. People here in Alabama know that they’re approaching a “no-tampon” era. They know they’re kids are dying from lack of health care while wars rage and $T new ones are started. But as you say, I don’t think the connection has been made to Gaza (or Syria, etc.) as a pattern of deliberate global [psychopathic?; I’m using that word a lot now] destructive behavior toward middle class/powerless interests. The “live” part of “live and let live” is in full enforcement by the ptb, but the “let live” bit is somehow never part of the equation. People are starting to see that in stark relief, so maybe solidarity, background or otherwise, may come to be.

        My read is that Trump, the symptom, has demonstrated to the people who voted for him out of economic angst – angst deliberately unaddressed by the Dems for decades – that they are not immune. Just the opposite. They’re targets.

        Trump’s one and only positive is that his psychotic, public flailing and aggressive wrongheadedness (re: betrayal) has exposed the whole corrupt system – domestically and in empire. Trump-the-symptom has enabled a diagnoses of the disease. Coupled with the fact that Dems, given this GAPING political opening, have not remotely articulated a plan to address this angst (particularly since there are substantial majorities (60%+/-) favoring ending perpetual war, universal health care, etc.) Maybe voters will evaluate all this and come up with some corrective personal voting plan, maybe not. Dunno.

        FWIW.

        PS. Jones WON! In a swirl of special circumstances, but he won. Pretty amazing. Now he’s got until 2021 to show some concrete reason/benefits why the people who voted reflexively Republican should vote FOR him next time. Hope he can.

        Sorry to the mods for going off topic at length, but as Maghlawatan suggests this is all connected at or just over the horizon.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 3:24 pm

        “My read is that Trump, the symptom, has demonstrated to the people who voted for him out of economic angst – angst deliberately unaddressed by the Dems for decades …”

        Which could only be addressed by cutting health care, eliminating social security, giving huge tax breaks to the already-wealthy…

      • ritzl
        December 13, 2017, 5:08 pm

        Hi Mooser.

        Which could only be addressed by cutting health care, eliminating social security, giving huge tax breaks to the already-wealthy…

        If you’re saying that blatant Republican cutting and masked, inexorable Democratic erosion (in chunks) do not end up in the same place, I disagree. I wish it were otherwise.

        If the Dems actually did something to counter Trump-onomics, it wouldn’t have to be “only addressed” by inflicting more pain. But they don’t. What’s the answer?

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 5:59 pm

        . “Now he’s got until 2021 to show some concrete reason/benefits why the people who voted reflexively Republican should vote FOR him next time.”

        I think some of the people who vote “reflexively Republican” could not bring themselves to vote for Moore. I doubt they voted for Jones. That, and the wonderful Democratic turn-out!

        Moore was leading until Trump came on full-blast with his endorsement, too. Then Moore lost.

  7. Boris
    December 12, 2017, 1:33 pm

    From the article:

    1. It suggests that Israel had no choice but to bomb Gaza
    2.It implies equivalent force between the IDF and Hamas
    3.It positions Hamas (and by extension all Palestinians) as the hostile party
    4.It preemptively justifies every Israeli action

    My response – totally illogical conclusion.

    1. What other choice do their have to respond to rockets?
    2. No, it does not, and IDF is not using it’s full strength.
    3. Hamas – yes, all Palestinians – no.
    4. No, it doesn’t.

    And this guy wants to be a professor?

    • Mooser
      December 12, 2017, 2:56 pm

      “Boris”, you’re response might be very convincing to a right-wing Zionist Jew in Israel.

      Why is it supposed to do anything but repel anybody else?

      • Boris
        December 12, 2017, 4:35 pm

        It would only repel people who like to stay in an “echo chamber”, which, probably, are most of you.

        I did write to you, M, some time ago, that my comments are for the one who does not.

        And this website is supposed to be for “exchange of ideas”, isn’t it?

      • Maghlawatan
        December 12, 2017, 5:13 pm

        Doris

        Zionists such as yourself are ideologues. You don’t offer any ideas

        One definition of an ideologue is a person who responds to the collision of opinion with reality by insisting that reality must yield.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2017, 6:45 pm

        “And this website is supposed to be for “exchange of ideas”, isn’t it?”

        What the f–k is your problem, “Boris”? Here you are, offering your ideas, and having them published, unedited, and in a timely manner. Okay?

        See the responses? Those are the “exchange of ideas” you are whining about. There they are.

        Do you expect Mondo to provide a Zionist cheering section for you, too?

      • lonely rico
        December 12, 2017, 10:07 pm

        > Boris

        … people who like to stay in an “echo chamber”

        I truly wish I was a long way away from, was not witness to, did not hear the cries of suffering in the “echo chamber”; the cries of pain and horror of virtually defenseless Palestinians who have the misfortune to be born non-Jews in Palestine.

        The suffering which Zionism visits on the Middle East – cruel, ignorant, arrogant (mostly) Europeans and Americans, who torture, murder and maim women, children and men who stand in the way of their sick racist fantasies.

        I am certain that every commentator at MW would rather not hear the echos of the suffering of the Palestinians; would be elated to spend their time elsewhere if they knew that justice was being done to the Palestinians.

        Do you enjoy the tales of suffering Boris ?

        Me, no.

      • Boris
        December 12, 2017, 10:14 pm

        Waitasecond!

        I did not whine. I just responded to your question.

        And Manda does not publish all my comments – about 30%. Like, for example, they did not publish my response to another M on this thread.

      • Boris
        December 13, 2017, 7:15 am

        rico,

        50% of Jews in Israel are Mizrahim – Jews expelled from Arab countries.

        You just simply don’t know what you are talking about.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 12:07 pm

        “And Manda does not publish all my comments – about 30%. Like, for example, they did not publish my response to another M on this thread.”

        “Boris, it’s not Mondo’s fault if you forget to push “Post Comment” button after each comment. It’s the blue box (Ohmigosh, press the “blue box” to make your contribution!) below the comment box, can’t miss it. You expect the Mods to do that for you, too?

    • Maghlawatan
      December 13, 2017, 12:38 am

      Doris

      There were Germans in Königsberg in the 40s who thought like you. There were Soviets who raped their way to Berlin as well. But nihilism doesn’t spare anyone in the end. If it doesn’t kill.you the trauma will destroy you.

      I often wonder how your worldview has anything to do with the Jewish commitment to justice.

      • Boris
        December 13, 2017, 12:47 pm

        Mooderator does not publish my responses to you, so keep posting.

      • Talkback
        December 13, 2017, 2:28 pm

        Why can’t Boris post his answer? That’s unfair. We got to be better than Zionist censors.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 3:07 pm

        “Why can’t Boris post his answer?”

        “Talkback”, it’s the HOLIDAY SEASON!!! It’s time for those little kindnesses and anonymous acts of charity. No doubt the Mods feel it, too.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 13, 2017, 3:24 pm

        Boris is full of shit. He probably lives in a settlement.
        Russian “Jews” are traumatised like Israeli Jews.

        http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2015/10/12/svetlana-alexievich-truth-many-voices/

        “She also very quickly explained that the fault lay not with one man but with the experiences of Soviet generations, now reworked for new wars. When she listed the fake descriptions of events in Ukraine in the Russian media, she spoke of Russian society as a “collective Putin.” As she put it, “Putin placed his bet on the basest instincts and won. Even if he disappeared tomorrow, we would remain as we are.””

      • Talkback
        December 13, 2017, 4:40 pm

        Mooser, your comment is as cheap as censoring Boris.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 5:33 pm

        “Boris is full of shit. He probably lives in a settlement..”

        With marginal, party-line dial-up Internet. But he’ll blame the Mods, instead.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 5:42 pm

        “Mooser, your comment is as cheap as censoring Boris.”

        Cheap? Have you seen the one about the Baroque Gentile peasantry and Classical Jews? That one was positively gratis!

    • Talkback
      December 14, 2017, 2:30 pm

      Boris: “1. What other choice do their have to respond to rockets?”

      Actually Zionists never had any other choice than commiting violence against the Palestinian people. So it’s no surprise that they react to counter violence with more violence. That’s all these degenerated racists can do.

  8. Jon66
    December 12, 2017, 9:13 pm

    “Palestinian childhood is corrupted by its proximity to adults. ”

    http://m.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UNRWA-closes-Hamas-tunnel-under-school-502452

    • Mooser
      December 13, 2017, 12:15 pm

      “Palestinian childhood is corrupted by its proximity to adults. ”

      Is this 8mm, 16mm or 32mm in Glorious Technicolor projection?

    • kev
      December 13, 2017, 1:44 pm

      Palestinian childhood is corrupted by its oppression and persecution under belligerent military occupation by racist Zionists that want to disappear them and take everything for themselves.

    • Talkback
      December 13, 2017, 2:35 pm

      Jon66’s mind is corrupted by Zionism.

      “UNRWA can confirm that the tunnel has no entry or exit points on the premises nor is it connected to the schools or other buildings in any way.”

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 3:14 pm

        “Jon66’s mind is corrupted by Zionism.”

        “Jon 66”? Corrupted? Nah, his mind is pure and untouched.

      • Jon66
        December 13, 2017, 6:00 pm

        Talk,
        From the rest of that statement.
        “UNRWA condemns the existence of such tunnels in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way. The construction and presence of tunnels under UN premises are incompatible with the respect of privileges and immunities owed to the United Nations under applicable international law, which provides that UN premises shall be inviolable. The sanctity and neutrality of UN premises must be preserved at all times.”https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-condemns-neutrality-violation-gaza-strongest-possible-terms

      • Talkback
        December 14, 2017, 12:56 pm

        Exactly, Jon66. Your quote “Palestinian childhood is corrupted by its proximity to adults.” is as much as fabricated as Israel’s right to exist and the concept of Jews being a “nation” like French or nationalities.

  9. MHughes976
    December 13, 2017, 10:11 am

    The Independent article does attempt some balance, after letting Israel make all the running on the reasons for the attack, by letting the Palestinian envoy to the UN have the strongest voice in its remarks on the Trump/Jerusalem part of the story. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Israel is preemptively approved whatever is done or that Hamas is made to sound as if it, with its inefficient rockets, comes anywhere near to matching Israel militarily.
    However, the Independent report does go with the core Israeli story of reaction to an action on the other side, with no insight into how constant Israeli pressure must feel like constant provocation to those receiving it. It does not explore the option, which is not unreal, of forebearance from causing casualties when the actions of the other side have not caused any and when there is always a substantial chance that innocents will be victimised if forebearance is not shown.

  10. WH
    January 3, 2018, 5:38 am

    A small factual correction to the article: Cast Lead was 2008/9, the attack in 2014 was Protective Edge.

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