Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The NYTimes, They Are A-Changing

What's this? A NYTimes front page story carrying a picture of a dead Palestinian child? Gee, with all those Pulitzers around his neck, I wonder why it took Sulzberger so long to figure it out?

Not to worry, though. They still have Safire to carry the torch for that old war criminal Sharon. In an opinion piece today he claims that Palestinian leader Abbas has reacted to the killing of Palestinian children by claiming that

all Arab casualties were "martyrs who were killed today by the shells of the Zionist enemy." He hopes to win extremists' votes by adopting their hate-filled rhetoric as well as Arafat's platform of a "right of return" of Arabs to overwhelm Israel.
In fact, Abbas was referring specifically to the killing of 7 Palestinian children who were on their way to pick fruit and:

"were mistaken for Palestinian militants and killed by Israeli tank shells.
The tanks used anti-personnel shells, which throw out thousands of metal darts in a deadly cloud. Children aged 10, 12, 13 and 14 and three 17-year-olds were killed. A further 11 people were injured, four critically."
You'd think that the use of the word "Zionist" in an expression of outrage by this historically moderate man, who has tried very hard to seek peace, could be understood by the same people who had no problem accepting the many international insults thrown about by Bush and his administration over the last 4 years. But I guess it all depends on what fits comfortably into one's preferred worldview.

And whose children are dying. Any hard study of the way the U.S. media has covered the Palestinian-Israeli conflict over the years can't fail to see that their sympathies lie primarily with Israel, which has done nothing to help Americans understand the issues at stake, and has allowed our government to put the problem on the back burner since Bush and his chillingly ignorant crew have taken over. While the Times and its sisters have seldom failed to splash blood-drenched pix of dead Israelis all over their pages (with gratuitous desriptions of gore), they seldom pause to note what effect there has been on Palestinians and their children.

The solution to their conflict is one of the keys to improving relations with Muslim countries and turning the "war on terrorism" around. But if we keep wrapping ourselves in the comfort of our ignorance, the deaths will keeping mounting, and our cluelessness will become more than just a Sisyphean rock.

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