Monday 26 January 2015

Shame of the 'blame game' in coverage

Robert Fisk

Published 01/08/2014 | 02:30

A boy looks through a hole on the wall made by the shelling at the Abu Hussein U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Some 3,300 Gazans seeking shelter from the fighting had been crowded into the U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp when it was hit by a series of Israeli artillery shells.  (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A boy looks through a hole on the wall made by the shelling at the Abu Hussein UN school in the Jebaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. AP
A Palestinian carries his daughter as they flee, following an Israeli airstrike on an apartment building in Rafah. AP
Smoke rises after an Israeli strike hit the offices of the Hamas movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip. AP
Eyal (C) and Danit (3rd R), the father and mother of Israeli soldier Guy Algranati, and his sisters mourn during his funeral in Tel Aviv. Algranati was killed on Wednesday by a booby trap detonated as he and 2 other soldiers uncovered a tunnel shaft, the army said. Reuters
A Palestinian firefighter participates in efforts to put out a fire in a van, which witnesses said was hit in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City. Reuters
A Palestinian medic shouts for help in front of an apartment building on fire caused by an Israeli strike in Rafah. AP
A Palestinian man reacts at the scene of what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike on a van, in Gaza City. Reuters
Palestinian boys, who fled houses following Israeli offensive, play soccer as they take refuge at a United Nations-run school in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Reuters
Family members of Israeli soldier Matan Gotlib mourn during his funeral in Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv. Reuters
Relatives of Palestinians, whom medics said were killed in an Israeli air strike on their van, grieve at a hospital Gaza City. Reuters
Palestinians gather near a burning building that police said was destroyed by an Israeli Air strike in Gaza City. Reuters
Palestinian Hamas supporters shout slogans against Israel during a protest to support Hamas and against the Israeli offensive on Gaza strip, in the West Bank city of Nablus. Reuters
Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip. AP
Rockets are fired from Gaza Strip towards Israel as international efforts to end the 23-day-old conflict seemed to sputter despite concern over the mounting death toll. AP
Smoke and sand from an explosion rise after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip. AP
An Israeli woman surveys the damage after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza landed in the southern town of Kiryat Gat. Reuters
An Israeli armoured personnel carrier (APC) drives near the border with the Gaza Strip. Reuters

There was a time when our politicians and media had one main fear when covering Middle East wars: that no one should ever call them anti-semitic.

Or so it was until the latest bloodbath in Gaza, which is being so graphically covered by journalists that our masters are suffering a new experience.

It's not fear of being called anti-semitic, but fear of their own viewers – ordinary folk so outraged by the war crimes committed against the women and children of Gaza that they are demanding to know why – even now – politicians are refusing to treat their own people like moral, decent, intelligent human beings.

Yet still – every time another blood-soaked child appears on the screen – the news presenters talk about the "blame game".

BLAME GAME? Do they think this is a bloody football match? Or a bloody tragedy?

It goes like this. Civilians are killed.

Reporters call it "tank fire" (Hamas has no tanks).

Israel says it is a mis-fired Hamas rocket. Hamas says it is Israel's work. So it's a "blame game".

No one can actually BE blamed – and thus we can shrug off the responsibility and shake our head at it all.

How many times does the 'New York Times' expect its readers to tolerate editorials like last week's effort? There had been "deadly attacks" in Gaza, readers were told.

The total dead came to 750, "a vast majority being Palestinians".

And then the get-out: there were "competing charges" – Israel or Hamas or a Hamas ally – over the attack, and thus "what really matters now is that some way be found to stop this carnage".

So that's OK then. "Blame game" equals "no blame". (© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

Promoted articles

Read More