Lindsay Toledano

Biased international media

I am constantly incensed by the biased international media and lack of factual information presented to the global audience in regards to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Israel has spent the last 66 years building a country, making a barren desert bloom, educating and protecting her children and advancing medicine and technology for the benefit of all mankind.

In contrast the Palestinians have put their energies and millions of dollars of world aid into rocket attacks and suicide bombings against Israel as well as an extremely well-orchestrated but deceitful public relations campaign. To its detriment Israel has been particularly lax in promoting the truth about the facts surrounding the existence of the State of Israel, an error which has allowed the lies, efforts of de-legitimization and pro-Palestinian propaganda to fester and flourish and ultimately to create the very bad but mistaken opinion much of the world has of Israel nowadays.

It is very difficult to listen to the wailing of Gaza residents about the death and destruction that Israel is causing since the onset of ‘Operation Protective Edge’, without hardly ever hearing a comment from the vast majority of journalists about the death and destruction that Hamas has brought upon Israeli citizens, and which has been the provocation for ALL of Israel’s military ‘Operations’. Watching and reading the international news one has the impression that all this started uniquely because of the kidnappings and murder of the three Israeli teenagers and we are forever hearing about the ‘Non-Proportional Response.’

The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) takes every possible precaution to avoid civilian deaths and the Israeli public is extremely sensitive to every unfortunate fatality that concerns children and innocent civilians. But why do these journalists never inform their viewers that Israel’s decision to carry out a strong (but extremely moral military response) is the result of more than 8,000 Hamas rockets fired indiscriminately at towns in the South of Israel since the disengagement from Gaza in 2005, and which have since then claimed the lives of at least 135 civilian Israelis and wounded hundreds more with injuries ranging from ‘light’ to ‘very severe’. For your information, what is classified as ‘lightly injured’ implies a person who has not sustained life threatening injuries; so a terror victim who suffers fractured limbs and/or shrapnel injuries that do not bleed all over the legs, arms, and face would be categorized as ‘lightly injured.’ But the term is a misnomer because the effects on the patient’s life can be far from light. The physical wounds may require weeks of hospitalization, repeated surgeries, months of rehabilitation, and frequent visits to the outpatient clinic for a year or longer. The psychological trauma may be even more devastating, leading in the worst cases to chronic unemployment, divorce, and sometimes suicide. The victim may be mentally handicapped for life. This is the scenario for thousands of victims of terror in Israel.

A study in 2008 for Victims of Terror and War found that 28 percent of adults and 30 percent of children in the Southern Israeli town of Sderot had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an illness which can interfere seriously with daily life. According to a 2009 Amnesty International report, scores of rockets have struck homes, businesses, schools, other public buildings and vehicles in and around towns and villages in southern Israel. It is purely by chance that in most cases such strikes have not caused death or injury, and the lethal potential of such projectiles should not be underestimated.

While visiting Sderot in 2009 the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called the rocket attacks “appalling and unacceptable”. He added that the projectiles are indiscriminate weapons, and that Hamas attacks are violations of basic humanitarian law.  Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said “for the sake of the people of Gaza, I urge in the strongest possible terms Hamas to stop firing rockets.

According to statistics published by the Israel Security Agency at the end of 2013, since the start of the second Intifada, 1,227 people have been killed by Palestinian terrorism and 8,549 were wounded.

Incidentally rationales given by the Palestinian groups responsible for the attacks vary. They include the arguments that violence against Jews is a religious obligation that brings one closer to God.

The above mentioned facts are well documented, but are conveniently ignored when reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

It would seem that the world is disappointed that Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has been so efficient under the current conflict ‘Operation Protective Edge’, and that Israeli civilians, including children and babies have not been killed in the multitudes as they were intended to be by Hamas. On the other hand many of the casualties in Gaza could have been avoided if Hamas also took measures to protect its innocent citizens, instead of using them as human shields. The media is well aware of the fact that Israel sends warnings to civilians in Gaza to vacate areas that are targeted by the IDF, but Hamas tells them to stay!

The world should be informed of these facts and not fed partial and skewed information.




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