Gaza and the media, perhaps a silver lining

No matter the claims of the Israeli government, who, as you would expect, have trumpeted an overwhelming victory in Gaza, something else is perceived by the rest of the world. Even in the US, things are starting to break against the finely tuned Israeli propaganda machine. Perhaps the most startling media example of this was a recent press conference in Washington where Foreign Minister Livni was essentially confronted as a terrorist. Given her recent fatuous claims that there was no humanitarian disaster in Gaza and that Israel, alone and in disregard of UN resolutions will decide when the Gaza campaign is finished,  it seems as if there is some little ray of hope that Israel will start to feel the real effects of its frank crimes against humanity in Gaza. This will hopefully be leveraged by media outrage of the banning of reporters during the 3 week offensive, where even the NY Times expressed concern The Times also reported fairly accurately on the recent attacks against obvious UN buildings and they also prominently reported the awful story of the pacifist Palestinian doctor (devoted to reconciliation) who called Israeli TV to describe the death of his three daughters by IDF shelling. A threshold has been crossed where even the notoriously obtuse NY Times has found a “gagging point” in which it could not take it anymore. As the press, en mass, is finally let into Gaza we can only imagine, based on the reporting that did manage to occur, what will confront international reporters. Hopefully this massive war crime will spur all parties concerned to make a more concerted effort to develop a just peace for all peoples in the region. The following is the Haaretz article on the Livni press conference.

Journalist calls Livni ‘terrorist’ during press conference on Gaza operation By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent and The Associated Press Tags: Gaza Strip, Israel News
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had a testy press conference Friday in Washington, D.C., moments after she signed an agreement with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meant to combat arms smuggling to Gaza.

From the starting moments of the press conference, Livni was beset by a less-than friendly barrage of questions, with a number of journalists asserting that Israel’s military operations in Gaza will only make Middle East peace more distant.

Some journalists went so far as to compare the Israeli government to that of dictat Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, due to Israel’s decision to bar journalists from Gaza. One of the more tense moments came when one journalist began to quote at length a Human Rights report on the situation in Gaza, before asking Livni to comment on “the murder of innocent civilians in the Strip.”

When the man was asked to finish his question, he yelled out that Livni had been speaking for an hour and that the journalists weren’t being allowed to ask questions. He then asked since when the U.S. has been hosting “terrorists”.

To her credit, Livni managed to keep her cool, and expressed her desire to answer the question. When he finished, she answered that Israel “did not want to get involved in the internal matters of the Palestinian Authority, that’s why we left the Gaza Strip unilaterally, but we got terror in return. We try all we can to avoid harming civilians, but it happens.”

A number of other journalists asked questions that included quotes from the human rights report, asking if Israel needs to be held responsible for the failure of the cease-fire due to the decision to enact a blockade on the Gaza Strip.

While she was speaking inside, a protest was being held outside the building by an anti-war group calling themselves “Code Pink”, who repeatedly chanted “there is a war criminal in this building.”

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