Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Small cracks opening in media boycott of the Israeli occupation of Gaza?

by Larry Geller

Just guessing, but I imagine that the Israeli ambassador in Washington must be feeling a bit upset. Things are not going according to plan. US media are not following the script.

Even as yet another aid ship approaches Gaza (or Egypt, it’s not clear from reports what’s happening at the moment), sympathetic stories are beginning to appear in the mainstream press. Sympathetic to the Palestinians, that is.

For example, Trapped by Gaza Blockade, Locked in Despair (New York Times, 7/13/2010). This is the New York Times, yet. Who would believe that they would print a story like that? Will the reporters be getting a threatening phone call, as has happened in the past?

The story is a bit of a tear jerker, something that we’re not used to seeing:

Sitting with eight other women at a stress clinic, Jamalat Wadi, 28, tried to listen to the mental health worker. But she could not contain herself. She has eight children, and her unemployed husband spends his days on sedatives.

“Our husbands don’t work, my kids are not in school, I get nervous, I yell at them, I cry, I fight with my husband,” she blurted. “My husband starts fighting with us and then he cries: ‘What am I going to do? What can I do?’ ”

The story goes on:

Any discussion of Gaza’s travails is part of a charged political debate. No humanitarian crisis? That is an Israeli talking point, people here will say, aimed at making the world forget Israel’s misdeeds.

Yikes. Can’t have that. Things are totally out of control.

The US media rapidly forgot the Israeli massacre of about 1400 Gazans conducted just before Barack Obama’s inauguration. For some reason, the murder of nine Turkish activists during a Gaza flotilla has grabbed control of the conversation away from Israel.

With more boats on their way, this has to be worrisome for Israeli diplomacy.


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