On Israel, The Palestinians, and The Media

Jason Cherniak has written a post about his dissatisfaction on how The Toronto Star portrays the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was going to just leave a brief comment, but I ended up writing the jeremiad that you see below:

On the specific matter that Cherniak claims was under-reported: I was aware of the Fatah-Hamas conflict, no I don’t recall if I read it in the Star, but I was aware. I’m sure that the National Post reported this affair in a far more Israel-sympathetic way so it balances out.

I have to say that there are vicious war criminals on both sides of this conflict. Any honest inquiry will lead you to that conclusion. I am sick though, so sick and tired of reading one-sided, myopic commentary from either party. I’m sick of the ex-pat peanut gallery on both sides engaging all manner of rhetoric and conspiracy talk to suggest that they are the forces of shining truth and it’s only those idiots in the media that ruin a glorious narrative.

Why do I say “war criminals?” Well, neither side in this conflict has the faintest idea what a proportionate response is, one side shells and bombs randomly, the other claims a “targetted” response that often involves bombing the hell out of an entire building, neighbourhood, city or UN Peacekeeping post.

On that note I see the slogan on pro-Israel fundraising signs that reads “We don’t leave our sons behind.” Sure, fine, but you’ll bomb the fuck out of Canada’s sons too. I don’t care that Israel apologized or that Harper eagerly accepted, if one of the premises of Israel going to war was to contrast some kind of IDF “leave no man behind” ethos with suicide bombers, I really think that killing the soldiers of other countries to make that point sort of undermines it.

I don’t know if I’ve made a coherent case here, about anything, but I’m so sick of this. I want to believe that ordinary Israelis and Palestinians are too. What fuels this conflict in part has to be the aforementioned overseas cheering sections. Everyone from US evangelicals to Saudi financiers has taken an interest in this conflict. It reminds me of Bono talking about Irish Americans who hadn’t gone back to Ireland talking about the glory of the “revolution”:

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