August 11, 2014

Ceasefire Media Fail

How hard is it to tell when a ceasefire is broken?  Aren’t there thousands of eyewitnesses?

In fact, all of the ceasefires have been broken when rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. 

So why the misleading language?  

“Gaza Attacks Resume as Ceasefire Expires; Truce Talks Up in the Air.” That’s the LA Times on the latest ceasefire. If you read carefully, almost between the lines, you can figure out that Israel did not break the ceasefire.  But it is as if the paper is trying for lack of clarity, casting doubt on the story even as it tells it, and using quote marks around “terror sites,” as if these might be something other than terror sites:

The Israeli army spokesman’s office said in a statement that “terror sites” across Gaza had been targeted following the resumption of Palestinian rocket fire. Hamas disavowed responsibility for the initial volleys of rockets after the cease-fire’s end, with smaller Palestinian factions claiming to have carried out the attacks.
At least two projectiles were intercepted by Israel’s antimissile system, with others falling in open areas in southern Israel.
Since the Iron Dome intercepted two “projectiles,” that is, rockets, there really isn’t a question about who broke the ceasefire. A “smaller faction” of Gaza terrorists rather than the larger faction, Hamas, still clearly means the attacks are coming from Gaza though the headline suggests attacks on Gaza or that the ceasefire expired due to actions from both sides.

Similarly—but more so—The Guardian’s headline, “Israel and Hamas Resume Attacks as ceasefire talks remain deadlocked” suggests that the failure of the talks caused the fighting to “resume” rather than the refusal of Hamas to continue the ceasefire. The Guardian also uses quotes around “terrorist targets” to even greater obfuscation than the LA Times, by not indicating that Hamas places their launchers and rockets in these locations:

Israel's military said it had hit 33 "terrorist targets" since midnight. These included several mosques and houses across the length of Gaza.
And CNN equalizes the ending of the ceasefire with this headline, “Israel Carries Out Strikes on Gaza After Rocket Fire Resumes.” After twenty-four paragraphs detailing the ongoing fighting and Hamas demands, the article does include a quote from Israeli UN Ambassador, Ron Proser responding to UN President, Ban Ki Moon:

"Your statement said that you were disappointed that the parties were unable to agree to an extension of the ceasefire. I couldn't help but notice that you didn't mention one of the parties, which happens to be the party that violated the ceasefire. This party has a name -- they are called Hamas."

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