I do not normally blog about these matters (it being done far more ably here and here for one thing) but such is the lack of impartiality being shown by most western media in relation to Israel’s Gaza operation that I feel it is incumbent upon all others to do what we can to provide necessary context.
A few under-reported facts …
The Gazan fatality figures given are assumed to be entirely the result of Israel’s assault but in fact a significant number are caused by malfunctioning Hamas missiles which explode on their own side. Hamas is entirely responsible for those deaths and can end this particular toll any time it chooses. Most media sources are simply not reporting this.
Moreover the death toll needs to be understood in context: Israel has launched many hundreds of airstrikes into a densely populated urban area. Imagine what the death toll would have been like if this assault really were as indiscriminate as those certain media sources would have us believe.
By now they could have flattened Gaza and decimated its entire population. But even NATO during its various “smart bomb” campaigns has never had anywhere near as low a ratio of civilian deaths as the IDF consistently manages.
The hugely disproportionate number of Gazan victims versus Israeli (the first death has recently been reported) is no reflection on the relative morality of each side’s activity. The fact is that these figures reflect the reality that one side is protecting its citizens, whilst the other is deliberately putting them in harm’s way. In the words of Benjamin Netanyahu, “Israel is using its missiles to protect its citizens; Hamas is using its citizens to protect its missiles.”
Finally in reply to the accusation from a Guardian correspondent recently that Israel’s action in Gaza was like watching Mike Tyson punch a toddler who had spat at him.
The media in this analogy is the neighbour looking out of a nearby window choosing to see only a bully and ignoring all context.