Joseph Clifford: What about Israeli outrages?The Feb. 5 editorial "Give Gaza back to Egypt" is an example of media misinformation and manipulation that has caused many thinking people to look for alternative information sources. Israel was characterized as being under attack by Palestinians with no attention to the facts on the ground. Readers should consider the following facts, which are invisible in mainstream U.S. media.
While current figures are difficult to attain, B'Tselem reports about 4,300 Palestinian deaths vs. about 1,000 Israeli in 2000-2007. During the past two months over 160 Palestinians died while not one Israeli was killed. While one Israeli is being held prisoner, Israel maintains almost 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, and has illegally demolished 18,000 homes. Israel illegally holds and continually confiscates Palestinian land, which explains why it has been condemned by the U.N Security Council and the General Assembly more than any nation in history.
While the U.S. and Israel insist Hamas is a "terrorist" organization, much of the world does not agree and views Hamas as a legitimate resistance organization. That aside, at the insistence of both U.S. and Israel an election was held in Palestine, which Hamas won. Immediately, the U.S. and Israel embarked on a policy of starving Palestinians for voting the "wrong way" — so much for "democracy."
Supplies were cut off, and all exits from Gaza were sealed by Israel, which then shut off electricity to Gaza. A humanitarian crisis developed with a starving people having no electricity to run water and sewage systems, while hospitals with no electricity had to turn off life-saving machines. Raw sewage runs through the streets of Gaza while assassinations by the Israeli army occur daily.
While the rest of the world criticized Israel for bringing on this disaster, Israel pleaded it had the right to protect itself from rockets recently launched from Gaza. The Journal, unlike the British Broadcasting Corporation, never mentioned that the rockets are crude and virtually harmless. During December and January no one in Israel was killed or wounded by these crude "rockets," while over 162 Palestinians were killed by Israel. Over 800 Palestinians, including 126 children, were killed during 2006-2007, while in the past four years 11 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets
The Journal failed to report that Hamas offered a cease-fire and a truce on many occasions, which Israel flatly rejected. Hamas has stated a cease-fire means: The Palestinians will stop shooting Qassams and mortar shells, the Israelis will stop the incursions into Gaza, stop "targeted" assassinations, and end the blockade. A 10-year truce was offered by Hamas but rejected by Israel and The Journal failed to report that Hamas has agreed to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Not mentioned by The Journal is that international law prohibits "collective punishment." To brutally punish an entire nation because of the actions of a handful is illegal, and depriving 1.5 million Gazans of food, water and electricity is an illegal excessive response to crude rockets that have harmed no one.
Much of this will be difficult for the average reader to accept, as The Journal and other media have effectively swayed the minds of an innocent public by presenting an unbalanced and factually void case. Readers should accept neither The Journal nor this writer, but read and think for themselves, while critics should address the facts and not the messenger.