The Party Line: ‘Palestinians attack, Israelis respond’

In an attempt to disguise the current Israeli military operations in Nablus as a response to the suicide bombing in Tel-Aviv, the Israeli media are either directly lying that the military entered Nablus “in response to the terror attack” (Jerusalem Post) or strongly implying the same by saying the army is there “in [the] wake of [the] Tel Aviv blast” (Ha’aretz).

In actual fact, house occupations and shootings of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers in Nablus were underway well before the bombing. Furthermore, the military have been in and out of Nablus almost constantly over the last week. The Ha’aretz news timeline today directly contradicts the claim by the Jerusalem Post and even the strong implication that it was a “response” in the headline of their own story. At 12:34, the timeline refers to an AP wire report covering the military operations in Nablus: “Palestinian youth shot by Israeli troops during W. Bank protest” (note that there is no mention of the Tel-Aviv bombing in this story). The bombing does not appear in the Ha’aretz site’s timeline until over an hour after the Nablus story was filed: 13:43.

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It is possible that the military operation intensified in Nablus after the Tel-Aviv bombing. But the Israeli media were ignoring the story about Israeli jeeps rolling into Nablus before it became possible for them to re-cast the incursion as a ‘response to terrorism’. A response to what is often characterised as ‘irrational, unprovoked, fanatical terrorism’. All this despite the fact that the Israeli army has been shelling civilian areas in Gaza for the past 12 days killing at least eighteen people, including at least two children with many more injured. We in the general public might be niave enough to think that terrorism is the deliberate targeting of civilians, regardless of their natonality, but it would seem that the major media defines Israeli bombing of Palestinians as “counter-terrorism” almost by definition.

Before the bombing in Tel-Aviv, the story about Nablus was all but ignored by the Israeli media. This currently remains the the policy of the western media, despite the fact that the army continues to occupy as many as five houses in Nablus using them as sniper posts, and have injured at least four Palestinian young people with live rounds and rubber-coated bullets.

We have been covering this story here in the ISM Media office since 10am this morning, and have watched the hypocrisy and subservience to establishment interests of the Israeli media explicitly illustrated before our own eyes. Apparently, Palestinian lives are only of use to the propaganda system. It could be argued, however, that this position is morally superior to the position of western media agencies such as the BBC on whose radar the attacks in Nablus do not even register.

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