Israeli War Crimes on Channel 4

A number of people I’ve spoken to have said they think the media response to the Gaza massacre has been good, mainly due to the images of brutal destruction that could not been hidden.  However I disagree.  If we look at this news clip, one of the better ones, it is noticeable that the coverage is very superficial.

The context of the conflict is not given. They never discuss how the friction is between Palestinians who want political freedom, self rule and borders based on UN resolution 242 and Israeli’s who want peace on their own terms, without negotiation, through military domination, to steal as much Palestinian land as possible.

There is little comment about how or why Israel initiated the massacre, ignoring the opportunity for a renewed ceasefire, and why it chose this aggressive path.  That is not questioned, the Israeli position is accepted as correct, and we only question the conduct of the forces and whether or not they committed war crimes (which clearly they did, what more evidence is required than what is seen in this clip).  To quote Chomsky “It is, however, a mistake to concentrate too much on Israel’s gross violations of jus in bello, the laws designed to bar practices that are too savage. The invasion itself is a far more serious crime.”

Curiously at the end of the clip the presenter, seemingly reluctant, has to read out an Israeli government press release, which lasts 23 seconds, 6% of the clip, that gives Israel the final word.  The first rule of journalism is that governments lie, always airing what they say, especially without comment, is not ‘balance’ but idiocy.  If it is required we might ask, where is the Palestinian authority’s statement?

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