Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Bias, continued

 Israeli jets pound Gaza as rocket fire resumes and Palestinians hit streets to protest

Why? Why not "Hamas continues to launch hundreds of missiles at Israeli cities, targeting civilians; Israel responds"?

And then ...

"The first priority for the Palestinian political leadership now is to have Israel stop its crimes and massacres against our people in Gaza," Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Executive Committee in Ramallah, told CNN on Tuesday.

Really? Because Israel stopped firing at Gaza after Hamas stopped firing at Israel. Then Hamas started firing at Israel again, and Israel responded. It seems easy to me. Unless your definition of "crimes" by Israel is responding to your war crimes of firing at Israeli civilians.

Israel briefly allowed trucks carrying international aid into Gaza for the first time since the conflict began last week, but Israeli authorities halted the entrance of aid trucks in response to mortar fire at two border cross crossings.

This makes it sound like Israel decided to punish Gaza for some unrelated abstract mortar fire. Gaza was shooting mortar fire at the trucks carrying Israeli and international aid to them. Again: at the aid coming to them.

I should be depressed by the likes of as John Oliver and Trevor Noah as they completely screw up coverage of this conflict, by downplaying the thousands of unprovoked rocket launches against innocent Israeli civilians - all war crimes, terror, and killing people despite our best efforts - and sympathizing with the killers, despite every caution that Israel takes to avoid any casualties with civilians. But I always listen to this criticism to see if I am missing something, some real logic, some real balance that would give me an indication that Israel is doing something wrong. Instead, the arguments that I hear are so biased, so lacking in common sense and thought, so inconsistently discussing the two sides - not even mentioning the horrors inflicted by Hamas, yet trumping up horrors that did not even occur (but could have!) from Israeli actions - that I am actually comforted that Israel is still morally in the right. Every innocent death on either side, every scared person running from the conflict is a tragedy. But whose actions are purposely, or even accidentally, killing civilians (often it is the Gazan missiles falling on their own citizens, and then blaming Israel), who is the one putting civilians in harm's way, and who is the one who actually wants to prolong this conflict? Before you have a knee-jerk reaction to that, do some actual research and read deeper into and beneath the biased reporting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Bias Against Israel Revealed in the Use of Active Tense for Israel, Passive Tense for Palestinians

 This is the headline from CNN:

Israel launches airstrikes after rockets fired from Gaza in day of escalation

(Unless they have since changed it)

I thought it was a simple aberration in language, but it is not. CNN uses this continuously in order to portray Israel as aggressors and Palestinians as victims. "Israel launches" is an aggressive act. "rockets fired" is passive: who fired them? Maybe they fired themselves? Maybe it was an accident.

Consider this text from the article (emphasis mine):

Israeli airstrikes have left at least 24 dead, including nine children, in Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials. The Israel Defense Forces says it killed 15 militants. 
Meanwhile, at least six were injured in the Israeli city of Ashkelon on Tuesday morning after a residential building was struck with rocket fire from Gaza and after the Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas, vowed to "make Ashkelon hell."

Why do Israelis perform aistrikes and kill people, while Gazans do nothing? "Rocket fire from Gaza"? How about "Gazas missiles - several of which Gaza launched at Jerusalem and Ashkelon on the previous day, starting this exchange (not the Israeli airstrikes) - struck a building in Ashkelon and injured six Israelis (and killed two others)".

Watch the ridiculous video embedded in the article. Palestinians enjoying meals in Ramadan interrupted by Israeli extremist violence, when in fact the Palestinians have been rioting and violent for days. Where are those videos? The proximate cause is a dispute over some houses in a sensitive area; I'm not going to argue who is right or wrong in this case, because I still don't understand the legality of either side's argument. But that doesn't stop people from fear-mongering using racist terms, and yes, that includes the Arabs who claim, over and over, that the Jews are coming to storm and Judaize the temple mount and everyone must rise up in resistance immediately. This clarion call never gets old, never gets questioned, and the violence that results from it never gets mentioned by the foreign media, only the reaction to it.

And listen to the terms used by the journalist:

- About Arabs: "A car is torched." By whom? An accident?

- About Jews: "A blast of pepper spray and a volley of plastic chairs" Active and violent.

- About Palestinians: "Bottles, rocks, and other objects are thrown by other protesters, ..." "Are thrown by protesters"? All passive and innocent.

- Then about Jews: "Police use gun grenades". Why not "gun grenades are used to disperse the protesters"? Why "Police use gun grenades"? Because it is active and violent.

CNN, an example of bias in new coverage.

Interestingly, BBC News, which is usually equally biased, covered it with much less bias.