The New Statesman of England has historically presented a staunch left wing criticism of the world. In a recent article it depicted the current shambles of fighting between Hamas and Fatah as well as Israel responses to rocket bombs, as essentially the fault of the Israel government. It cites a recent report by Amnesty International: that of the over 600 people killed by Israel, half were children. According to the New Statesman reporter in referring to an Israel attack on militants, “Who are these militants? In my experience, all the people of Gaza are militants in their resistance to their jailer and tormentor.”
The article depicts devastation created by Israel policies, which are causing widespread hunger and engendering emotional trauma within children who daily live with bombings and death. The New Statesman is particularly angry at media coverage that reports deaths of Israel citizens but ignores the deaths of Palestinians, particularly of children.
This is a typical New Statesman approach to reporting. First, let’s be clear, Israel was wrong to place settlers in Gaza in what was most probably an illegal act. There was no economic or Biblical rationale to send a few thousand settlers into an overwhelmingly Palestinian area. If anything, it was an invitation to terrorism. Second, Israel has too frequently taken a heavy-handed and brutal response to terrorist attacks on Israel citizens. Thirdly, Israel policies have repeatedly lacked a willingness to take risks to establish peace by insisting on preconditions. But to claim, as does The New Statesman, that Israel seeks to “undermine the elected Palestinian government,” and that after Palestinians “forged a government of national unity,” the Israel “attacks aimed at destroying (it)” appears to lack any understanding of Gaza fighting.
The New Statesman reporter dismisses missiles being fired into Israel as not killing anyone which means Israel has no right to fire back. Is The New Statesman arguing missiles can be fired as long as no one is killed? Ridiculous. No government could allow such attacks. As a Jew, I regard Palestinians as my brothers and sisters and seek establishment of a viable Palestinian state with its capital located in eastern Jerusalem. I believe settlement of the West Bank was among the most inept political steps ever taken by the Israel government. However, Palestinians must accept their share of responsibility for failed peace efforts. The Clinton-brokered peace efforts created a viable (not perfect) program for peace that Arafat rejected. Right now Fatah and Hamas are fighting with one another over issues that have nothing to do with Israel, but concern power and control regarding destiny of the Palestinian people.
The failure of left wing groups to assist in a settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a tragedy. Action by British teacher groups to cut off contact with Israel academics due to its government policies is shocking. British teacher groups believe it is OK to interact with Zimbabwe academics despite their government’s horrendous actions toward its own population, or with Syrian, Saudi Arabian and Egyptian academics despite the anti-democratic behaviors of their governments. We need a balanced analysis of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, we need reporters who understand, not merely the psychological damage caused by war upon Palestinians, but also the emotional trauma being experienced by the people of Israel. We need media coverage that does not reinforce those who will not compromise. We of The Impudent Observer will work toward peace between Israel and Palestinians. We oppose preconditions to negotiation by either side. We shall attempt to fairly present the views of all sides, and we believe initial steps are not final steps. Israel and the Palestinians must begin walking the road to peace by taking one small step.
Information from The New Statesman