Monday, 5 January 2009

Israel's smokescreen

The Indy's Robert Fisk says that Israel's tactic of excluding the Western media from Gaza is counter-productive:
the Israelis are so ruthless that the reasons for the ban on journalism may be quite easily explained: that so many Israeli soldiers are going to kill so many innocents – more than three score by last night, and that's only the ones we know about – that images of the slaughter would be too much to tolerate.

That the Israelis should use an old Soviet tactic to blind the world's vision of war may not be surprising. But the result is that Palestinian voices – as opposed to those of Western reporters – are now dominating the airwaves. The men and women who are under air and artillery attack by the Israelis are now telling their own story on television and radio and in the papers as they have never been able to tell it before, without the artificial "balance", which so much television journalism imposes on live reporting. Perhaps this will become a new form of coverage – letting the participants tell their own story. The flip side, of course, is that there is no Westerner in Gaza to cross-question Hamas's devious account of events: another victory for the Palestinian militia, handed to them on a plate by the Israelis.
Meanwhile the Times has pictures which is says show the Israelis using phosporous as a weapon or a smokescreen, and in another story says that:
Israeli forces pounded the Gaza Strip from air, land and sea today, killing at least 13 people - including seven children

which both contradicts and supports Fisk.

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