“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for January 18th, 2009

Tony Blair, Hamas and the Western Media.

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David Adams asks the right questions:

“West turned blind eye to Hamas until Israel hit back.

Why did rocket attacks from Gaza not register on the political or media radar screen before the current offensive,? asks David Adams

I AGREE entirely with the anti-Israeli lobby on one point. The invasion of Gaza, and the resultant death, destruction and misery, need never have happened.

Between the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in September 2005 and the start of the offensive last December 27th, Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalist groups launched about 5,600 indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel.

Yet the international community stood by and did nothing. Where was the UN during this time (unfortunately, this is a frequently asked question where that organisation and conflict zones are concerned)? What did it do to try to stop the attacks? Goodness knows it had plenty of bargaining power if it had chosen to use it.

Then there is the western media, the vast majority of which (most particularly, and vitally, in television news and current affairs) hadn’t bothered reporting on the three-year barrage of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel.

Why was this, if, as they rightly tell us, stability in the Middle East is of global importance? After not having informed the public of thousands of Hamas terrorist attacks over the previous years, television news simply continued in the same vein, content from December 27th to present the Israeli offensive as though it had come entirely out of the blue.

It was only towards the end of the first week that the rocket attacks finally did begin to get a mention, but only in the context of a comparative headcount of the dead and injured on either side to stress how “disproportionate” was the Israeli response.

By then it hardly mattered: the damage was done, the Israelis had already been painted as the bloodthirsty villains of the piece.

Written by modernityblog

18/01/2009 at 18:28

Posted in Uncategorized

Random Samples.

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More random samples from the Guardian, this time from Elizabeth Wurtzel’s article.

Some 1087 comments of which approximately 159 were deleted, again we can’t be sure as to exactly why they were deleted but the article is essentially questioning the origins of the vitriol aimed at Israel, so it is a fair pick for our sampling.

That’s over 14% of comments deleted, of course we cannot be 100% sure as to why, but I suspect that the theme of the article has something to do with it.

Regrettably, we won’t know until the Guardian openly classifies why they delete particular comments, for example, for racial abuse etc., and we would need to compare these articles to other contentious political issues. That way we could see if a higher percentage of comments gets deleted when the article is perceived to be pro-Israeli, pro-Israel or just not another “bash Israel” screed, which are becoming increasingly common in some broad sheets.

Greater than 14% seems high.

Update: This is very relevant:

“Anglo-Jewry is in the middle of the worst outbreak of antisemitism in Britain since the Community Security Trust started keeping records a quarter of a century ago.

Since the start of the Israeli offensive into Gaza on December 27, more than 150 incidents across the country have been recorded.

CST director of communications Mark Gardner said: “Antisemites are using an overseas conflict as an excuse for their racism, and this should be clearly condemned by all sectors of society. In particular, we are seeing the inevitable antisemitic impact of many years of anti-Israel hysteria, in addition to an enraged response to TV and newspaper images of this conflict.”

Written by modernityblog

18/01/2009 at 01:49

Posted in Uncategorized