Thursday, July 24, 2014

Providing context in the Times: Anne Barnard from Gaza

I have seen this routine before. When the facts on the ground speak against Israel and its image in the world, the Zionists panic and they start exerting pressures on mainstream US papers. They did that in 1982 and they did that in every episode of Israeli wars and massacres. They then succeed in extracting promises from the editors to print more "context" and "background" stories in order to drown the stories about the reality of war crimes and massacres.  Anne Barnard has been writing such "context" stories for the last two days.  When Barnard reported the reality in Gaza she did a fine job but now she is writing the context stories, i.e. propaganda to serve Israeli military interests.  I posed this question to Barnard on Twitter today: have you ever reported from Syria about how Syrian rebels operate from schools and home and houses of worship?  And was the use of civilian sites by Syrian rebels EVER used in US media as a way to justify bombings of those sites by the Syrian regime? We know the answer, of course.  Here Ms. Barnard makes a great discovery: "But it is indisputable that Gaza militants operate in civilian areas".   Really, Ms. Barnard? Where do you want them to operate? On the moon? Hamas fighters are just like Hizbullah fighters: they are the people of the area under occupation who volunteered to resist occupation.  Where would they operate from? Should they all gather say in a stadium and invite Israel to bomb them? And where did the French resistance or Algerian resistance operate from? Another planet?  But here, Ms. Barnard makes an analogy: "Some of Hamas’s tactics mirror those of other insurgent groups, like the Irish Republican Army and Nicaraguan contras."  It is interesting that she did not draw a comparison with the glorified Syrian rebels.