Citizen Action Monitor

Response to pro-Israeli letter to editor which echoes Windsor Star’s publishing bias

Letter begins: “Do you want Hamas in your neighbourhood? Israel doesn’t either but Hamas threatens the very existence of Israel.”

No 1108 Posted by fw, July 26, 2014

This post is in 3 sections, beginning with a copy of the letter to the editor as it appeared in both print and online versions of yesterday’s Windsor Star, followed by a copy of my hastily-composed response, submitted as a comment in the Star’s online edition, and concluding with links to other samples of the Star’s pro-Israeli reporting.

Whether intentional or not, repeated biased distortions of events in the Middle East has a cumulative effect of keeping readers largely ignorant about what is really going on.

First, yesterday’s letter to the editor of the Windsor Star from a local resident —

Don’t condemn Israel for protecting citizens

Jul 25, 2014 – 2:38 PM EDT
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 – 3:02 PM EDT

Do you want Hamas in your neighbourhood? Israel doesn’t either but Hamas threatens the very existence of Israel.

Let’s look at the truth and stop condemning Israel for protecting its citizens. Where was the UN while Gaza has been firing rockets into Israel for almost 10 years?

And, since July 7, 2014, over 1,200 missiles have been fired into Israel. Even so, there has been no condemnation from the UN.

Who but Hamas builds a honeycomb of tunnels loaded with rockets and other munitions right under hospitals, parks, schools and the homes of its civilians?

When Israel sends in a warning telling the innocent people to leave, Hamas refuses to let them go and demands that they stay, as human shields.

Israel’s heart is not to bomb Gaza but they do not want to be bombed either.

And, about the money that has been sent for Gaza’s poor? In 2012, Gaza boasted 800 millionaires and by 2014, they have 1,200. War-profiteering has blossomed in Gaza.

The beautiful Mediterranean coast that we see in Tel Aviv is the same coast in Gaza, and it also boasts of fine hotels, malls, exclusive clubs, etc. Strange that they never show those pictures.

The projected message is simple: Israel is rich and Gaza is poor and the discrepancy must be Israel’s fault. No!

With the recent temporary ceasefire, Israel set up field hospitals to take care of Gaza’s wounded. That is a clear picture of who is a good and caring neighbour.

Hamas says, “We will win because we love death and Israelis love life.” The good Book reads, “I put before you: life and death: choose life that you and your children may live.”

The answer appears very clear to me. I choose Israel.

Signed, etc.


My hastily-composed response to the above letter

Connie, I don’t necessarily fault you for your sadly misinformed opinions about hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Your views reflect pro-Israeli propaganda that appears daily in mainstream media. What follows are just a few inconvenient facts about which you may be unaware. They address points you raise at the beginning of your letter that expose some rather large gaps in your knowledge base. Perhaps these truths may persuade you to critically re-examine the pro-Israeli viewpoints you now espouse.

You imply that Hamas is somehow to blame for firing rockets into Israel, without questioning what might be behind the rocket attacks.

Did you know, for example, that Israel’s siege of Gaza by land, sea and air has taken many forms since the beginning of the 1990s?

More importantly, did you know that since 2007 Israel has tightened its blockade of Gaza to the point where the Gaza strip has become a virtual prison?  Israel argues that it no longer occupies Gaza. It argues that when it removed its 8,000 illegal settlers and military forces from Gaza in 2005, its occupation of Gaza ended.

Did you know that in 2007 when Hamas was democratically and fairly elected to power in Gaza, Israel then declared Hamas to be a terrorist organization, Gaza to be “hostile territory”, and so declared war on its population?

Did you know that Israel has maintained effective control of the Gaza Strip and thus remains the occupying power as defined by Article 47 of the Hague Regulations. To date, Israel maintains control of the territory’s air space, territorial waters, electromagnetic sphere, population registry and the movement of all goods and people.

Did you know that The World Health Organization says the Gaza Strip will be unlivable by 2020? Not only did Israel not end its occupation, it has created a situation in which Palestinians cannot survive in the long-term. Palestinians in Gaza will not be able to access clean water, electricity or tend to even the most urgent medical needs.

Re Hamas’ rocket attacks, did you know that under Article 51 of the UN Charter, Gaza has a right to defend itself against Israel, the occupying power? “Let’s look at the truth” you write, “and stop condemning Israel for protecting its citizens”. So, according to your line of reasoning, while Israelis have the right to protect themselves, Palestinians in Gaza, it seems, only have the right to die. And right now, they are dying in their hundreds.

Did you know that Israel’s military iron fist is even killing unborn babies in the womb?

You complain about Hamas building tunnels. As an occupied territory, with no freedom of movement in or out for people or goods, Hamas builds tunnels because tunnels are the only way for Palestinians to get in and out of their prison. Did allied prisoners of war in World War II not build tunnels to escape from their POW camps?

I repeat, are Palestinians in Gaza to have no rights other than the right to die?

Answer this Connie — Knowing the above facts, what would you do if you were a Palestinian trying to survive in Gaza prison?

(Note: The “did you know” truths are all from authoritative, independent news and information sources. The claims can easily be verified from numerous sources through online research).



Samples of other pro-Israeli Windsor Star reporting)

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This entry was posted on July 26, 2014 by in evidence based counterpower, information counterpower and tagged , , .
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