Friday, November 23, 2012

An Absent Enemy

Yesterday, the first day of the ceasefire from 8 days of intensive fighting, I went to the Educational Bookshop (see upcoming post) to survey the news coverage. The International Herald Tribune had already been sold out, "because of the hudna (ceasefire)." So, I bought the Jerusalem Post, which I often do to get a feel for how conservative Israelis view the news.

As expected the front page was packed with stories about the conflict and ceasefire, including 5 articles whose extensions occupied most of page 10 as well. Using the word "terrorist" instead of Palestinian is common in the JP during times of confrontation, and thus it was not surprising to see the repeated use of the T word, and virtually no use of the P word in the articles. What was unexpected, however, was the complete absence of any mention of casualties among the enemy in Gaza - except for noting that the army succeeded in killing 30 of Hamas' leaders.

Plenty of other tallies were given:

- 1,500 targets hit in Gaza
- 1,500 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza; 84% intercepted by Iron Dome
- 5 Israelis killed, 240 injured

Absent from the tallies: any mention - in any article - of the 160+ deaths and hundreds of injuries among Palestinians.


Indeed, the only real reference to "Palestinians" was the front page advertisement of the upcoming election, soliciting votes for candidates for the Likud party. Of two qualifications readers were to consider when voting, one was a documented record of opposing a Palestinian State. To aid in decision making, the ad quantifies the candidates' record of opposing the Palestinian State, evidence of which could be found in "bills passed, settlements authorized, etc.)."

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