Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friends Like These

I was watching a CNN report about the attack by a lone gunman at Mercaz Harav yeshiva, a religious school in Jerusalem. 8 were killed and 9 others wounded. This was cited as the deadliest in Jerusalem in over four years. At the time, little other information about the shooting was available. No group or faction has thus far claimed responsibility for the attack.

CNN televised a boiler-plate statement by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, denouncing the horrific act of terror. Then, as Mr Gillerman left the podium, another man walked to the microphone. CNN did not bother to televise his statement. My curiosity was piqued. This second man, obviously a UN official or representative, must have been about to make a statement regarding the same incident.

In point of fact, the man was Libya’s Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Al-Dabbashi who explained why Libya had vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning the attack but I had to wait until the following day, on ‘Democracy Now!’, to hear the statement by Deputy Ambassador. The statement in effect was that the resolution should be “balanced” by including condemnation of Israeli actions in Gaza because the shooting at the yeshiva, atrocious as it was, followed one of the bloodiest weeks in Gaza in years as Israeli troops had killed at least 120 Palestinians over the past week, mostly civilians.

Ibrahim Al-Dabbashi stated, “For us the human lives are the same. We don’t judge the incident in itself. We judge about the killing. We think there is no superhuman and human from second grade or something like that. We think that the lives of the Palestinians are the same as those of the Israelis.”

Why was the Deputy Ambassador’s statement not deemed important enough by CNN to broadcast? To my mind, this is one more example of how the US media skews its reportage to favor the Israeli side of this terrible conflict.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations decried Libya’s stance stating, “The Security Council was unable to reach a decision, a unanimous decision on condemning the massacre that happened in Jerusalem tonight. Unfortunately, this is what happens when the Security Council is infiltrated by terrorists.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Let’s do a simple cold-hearted body count: 120 Palestinians were killed last week in Gaza by the Israeli military using tanks, helicopter gunships and F-16 fighters whereas 8 Israelis were killed by a single shooter in Jerusalem with a single assault rifle.

Where will more tears be shed, in Gaza or in Jerusalem? Where was the more egregious crime committed?

To continue this morbid tally, at least 4,528 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000 compared to 1,031 Israelis; a factor of 4 to 1.

982 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis forces while 119 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians during the same time frame; a factor of almost 9 to 1.

An additional 31,815 Palestinians have been injured since that date compared to 6,845 Israelis; a factor of nearly 5 to 1.

Despite the lop-sided body count, Israel insists that it is the victim and Palestine is the accursed terrorist state.

Since 1980, 33 resolutions condemning Israel’s continuing, flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva conventions as regards the occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people have been put before the UN Security Council. All of them have been vetoed by the US.

Where are the sanctions against Israel? Iraq was invaded for much less.

With friends like Israel...,7340,L-3516295,00.html

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