According to the Media, Israel Must “Cease” While Palestinians “Fire”

Since a cease-fire between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza was announced on November 26, 2006, Palestinians have violated it on a near-daily basis, launching over 65 Kassam rockets toward Israel. These rockets attacks have caused building and car damage, sent several people into hospital for shock and shrapnel wounds, caused a blackout as a result of a direct hit on an electrical substation in Kibbutz Nir Am, directly hit a strategic facility in the industrial area of Ashkelon, and on December 26, severely wounded two 14-year-old Israeli boys in Sderot.

For nearly a month, media coverage of these steady violations remained limited as Israel refused to respond to the attacks against its civilians. Even after Adir Basad was critically wounded and Matan Cohen seriously injured in the Dec. 26 attack, coverage remained scant. The New York Times, for example, referred only briefly to the Palestinian violation at the end of a December 27 article entitled “First Settlement in 10 Years Fuels Mideast Tension,” which highlighted instead Israel’s announcement that it intends to settle an army base in the Jordan valley.

It was only when Israel announced it would allow pin-point attacks against rocket launchers, that the media sprang into action, running AP headlines and story leads holding Israel responsible for “threatening” the supposed cease-fire.
“Israel to renew attacks against Gaza rocket launchers, puts truce at risk” blared a headline to an AP article on USA Today’s Web site. According to the article lead, Israel’s announcement that it would target Palestinian rocket launchers firing at Israeli citizens “threatens to send a shaky, month-old truce into total collapse.”
Other AP story leads to articles by reporters Josef Federman and Amy Tiebel, carried by numerous media outlets, similarly blamed Israel for “threatening to derail an already shaky, month-old truce.”

These AP news headlines and leads imply that the definition of a  “ceasefire” is that Palestinians “fire” while Israel  “ceases.”  Palestinian violations just “shake” the truce, while Israeli intention to target rocket launchers would “derail” it. And the story becomes newsworthy only when Israel can be blamed for trying to protect its citizens.

News consumers cannot and should not put up with the media’s immoral double standards.

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