Media Week – Mind the gap; Myth and facts; and Lesson of Iranian terror

Media Week - Mind the gap; Myth and facts; and Lesson of Iranian terror

Mind the gap

The media’s unwillingness or failure to probe glaring contradictions in pro-Palestinian propaganda was apparent in a Deutsche Presse-Agentour story in the Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald (28/7). The story stated that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi met Hamas’ Gaza PM Ismail Haniya “to discuss measures to ease Israel’s blockade on Gaza… Egypt announced the opening of its border with Gaza after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak in February last year, but severe restrictions have remained.”

If Egypt shares a border with the Gaza Strip and has been applying a blockade there, then it is hardly fair or correct to describe it as “Israel’s blockade”.

Myth and facts

The Australian‘s John Lyons (28/7) shone a rare light on an all too common double standard of the Arab-Israeli conflict:

Hamas, the Palestinian organisation that controls the Gaza Strip, has begun demolishing houses, a move that will leave 120 Palestinian families homeless. While the demolitions have been reported in the Palestinian media, they have been virtually ignored internationally. Hamas did not respond to written questions from The Weekend Australian…The Weekend Australian asked the UN whether it condemned house demolitions by Hamas the way it did demolitions by Israel. ‘This is the first time someone has asked me about them,’ said spokesman Richard Miron, from the UN Special Co-ordinator’s Office. ‘It’s a valid question.’ Later, after consulting senior UN officials, Mr Miron said the body would not be making a condemnation. ‘We appear to be dealing with a civil dispute about land,’ he said.

In the same issue, Lyons reported on West Bank Palestinian youths who are detained by Israel claiming that “children of Jewish settlers are tried before civilian courts while Palestinian children are tried before military tribunals”. Under international law Israel is obligated to apply the law that existed prior to 1967 which was a mixture of Jordanian, British and Ottoman. These courts are not part of the Israel Defence Forces, but represent Israel’s judicial authority inside the military. Furthermore, in July 2009, a special juvenile military court was established to deal with Palestinian minors. For further discussion of West Bank Palestinian minors and Israel’s justice system and media coverage of the issue, see previous AIJAC posts here and here.

Lesson of Iranian terror

In the Australian (26/7) Greg Sheridan noted the geostrategic implications behind the Bulgarian terror attack that killed five Israelis and was linked to Hezbollah and Iran:

The Iranians are formally denying involvement in the plot but at the same time implying that their actions are in retaliation for attacks, some cyber and some physical, on their nuclear program and the scientists who work on it. There is of course no moral equivalence here. Iran’s nuclear weapons program is in breach of its international agreements. Given its insane, millenarian rhetoric, and its murderous behaviour, this nuclear program is a profound danger to many nations. Iran’s acts of homicidal terrorism can have no justification. But they do have strategic consequences. One of these is to convince the Israelis, and to a lesser extent the Americans, that a nuclear-armed Iran is absolutely unacceptable. This means it is likelier that Israel or the US will attack Iran’s nuclear program.

Allon Lee