Friday, January 9, 2009

The Media Battle in Israel

I haven't blogged for a while. I think I kind of lost my words with all that has been happening around me. It all started after Mumbai. I was laden down with sadness; the loss of the Chabad Rabbi and his wife seemed to engulf me; it was as though I had had some kind of previous connection to them, yet I had none. I guess I have enjoyed so much hospitality from Chabad families, both in the UK and Israel, that I understood that two very special people had been taken from us.

And then the continuing rockets and the well overdue response. It is hard, with all this going on to keep my blog politics free, as was my intention. I guess, out here, politics is not so much a separate topic, an interest to be engaged with as and when one might want, but more, it is entwined within our everyday lives. Where does day to day life start and politics end when it is your own citizens who are living in bomb shelters, whose children are unable to go to school, whose daily lives over the past eight years have become so mundane, so risky, so sad?

I watch the news from Israel, from the US, from the UK. It saddens me that the UK news is so skewed towards our enemies. It shocks me that emotive images are used without a commentary that explains the civilian losses are due to their own cynical leaders using them for their own political gain. When their civilians die, Israelis feel sad and understand the grief of parents, friends and community members. But their own leaders just rub their hands in glee, waiting for the inevitable points scored in the media battle against Israel. And the media, predictably, bites the bait every time.

Theirs is a society which breaks every rule; should not any civilized society put the needs of the vulnerable first and foremost? I guess we are not fighting a civilized society. The frustrating thing is that the world looks at the pictures and very few report the facts in a way that reflects reality.

So I will leave you with the contents of two emails I recently received, which I felt summarised the battle itself and the media coverage of this war.

Two Different Mentalities:

Two ways of looking at something:

New York Times Headline: "Israeli Shells Kill 40 At Gaza U.N. School"

New York Post Headline: "Hamas In Human Shield Atrocity: Uses School As
Mortar Lair Where Children Die"

Sharona B