Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mowing people in Gaza

"No. I meant Gaza where Israeli bombs continue to rain death and destruction from air and sea killing scores of civilians. There are fears of an imminent ground invasion. Take, for example, Richard Engel, the award-winning NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent. In his report aired 16 November, he assured viewers that “so far Israel has been using surgical strikes.” Never mind that news reports had already revealed the heavy toll in Gaza among civilians and especially children (including the eleven-month-old baby of a Palestinian who works with BBC Arabic). We were told that “civilians are dying too,” but we are shown ample footage of Palestinian rockets being fired from Gaza. The total of Israelis killed by these rockets since 2004 is 26. In its 2009 assault against Gaza alone, Israel killed 960 Palestinian civilians, including 288 children and 121 women. None of these figures are worthy of inclusion. The main thrust of the report focused instead on the ties between Hamas and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and how the former is emboldened because the Arab revolts brought the latter to rule Egypt. The icing comes at the end when Engels tells Brian Williams: “An Israeli incursion [read: invasion] could be very bloody and could risk inflaming the entire region, but that, Brian, could be just what Hamas is hoping to do."
”So even though Israel itself had broken the truce a few weeks before and then assassinated its own subcontractor (according to Haaretz) it all boils down to Hamas’s desire to “inflame the entire region.” There is no mention of the political gains Israeli politicians usually harvest alongside and after these invasions or of the genealogy of the current moment.
Alas, none of this is surprising. We live in a militarized culture and U.S mainstream media is ideologically, if not materially, embedded with the aggressors. In all fairness, however, Engel’s empathy (or attempts at) with Palestinian civilians was evident in one of his tweets. On 16 November he tweeted the following jewel from Gaza city:
“So many drones over #Gaza city it sounds like everyone is out mowing their lawns in the dark”
The drones hovering over Gaza (and those guiding them) would be quite giddy to know that their good work is likened to that of lawnmowers (weeding out unwanted growth and making sure the terrain is green.) Mowing life is more like it."