Israeli public knowledge of Gaza

I am a news/information masochist, I admit it. It may be because there is a lack of news outlets I agree with politically or simply because I like to anger myself. This said I was doing my 2nd run of Jerusalem Post articles yesterday and found this article.

Now admittingly the Jerusalem Post is generally the Israeli equivalent of Fox News. A mixture of half news and politically opinionated punditry called news. This article goes on in very good detail about the situation of the Gaza Strip and its impact on Israeli society. Larry Derfner begins by saying

“Do people here know that we’ve prevented trucks from delivering cooking oil, flour or sugar to Gaza since last Thursday, when Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus, gravely injuring a 16- year-old boy? Do people here know or care what we do to Gaza’s civilians?

No, of course not. We’re too busy quoting Richard Goldstone that “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy” in Operation Cast Lead. (The lone crossing for trucks into Gaza reopened Wednesday morning, but UNRWA says there were no drivers available to make the deliveries because it was notified way too late.) “

He even goes on to question the IDF and its number, which in Israel is taboo, let alone Jerusalem Post.

“Do Israelis know how many Gazan civilians were killed in the IDF strikes after the bus attack? No again. (The IDF says two, but how does it know? There are no Israeli soldiers on the ground to do a body count. Just from a couple of foreign media reports out of Gaza, I’ve read interviews with family members of three dead civilians.) “

Larry even goes on to talk about the only time Israelis care or acknowledge Gaza and its inhabitants’ existence is when an Israeli or its property is hurt.

“We don’t know what’s going on in Gaza, we don’t know what we’re doing to the people there, and we don’t care. All we know or care about is when Israelis get hurt or killed – and when that happens, it seems to come completely out of the blue. Last Thursday was a nice day, everything was peaceful, everybody was happy, then boom – Hamas fires an anti-tank missile at a school bus and the boy and the driver are in the hospital.”

Larry even goes one further by pointing to Zionist hypocrisy regarding the issue of Hamas and what Israel calls “terrorist” attacks by showing extremely similar things done by Jews that are not labelled terrorist by Jews.

” But the unmentioned fact is that Jews in the pre-state Zionist underground movements blew up Arab buses, as well as markets, cafes and train stations, in tit-for-tat acts of terror. Shlomo Ben-Yosef, who threw a grenade at an Arab bus in the North (this particular one didn’t go off and the bus drove on), was among the dozen “Olei Hagardom,” fighters hanged by the British, who are memorialized annually in the Knesset and on street signs all over the country. But forget it; let’s concentrate on how the Palestinian Authority incites terror by naming town squares and soccer tournaments after suicide bombers.”

I feel that the basis has been set to put out the question that is asked of me by friends, and also of anyone who deals with Israelis on a regular basis. Is it that they do not want to know (and in turn deny it), or do they simply not know what they and their state do in their name? Ilan Pappe when in Ramallah addressed this question and called it the Gideon Levy vs. Amira Hass debate, two prominent leftists writers of Haaretz. Gideon Levy subscribes to the former while Hass subscribes to the latter. Pappe mixes the two as saying that the way education and the media work in Israel it is possible to be either one and they are not exclusively separate.

Regardless it is refreshing to see such a well articulated article on Jerusalem Post as usually the articles are deceiving at best and flat-out misinformation at worst. The way Larry Dernfer puts the issues into reference the comparison between Israeli state actions and Hamas non-state actor is worth the read.

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