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Gaza deaths aren't worth a mention in leading Israeli newspaper

Five members of the Joudah family were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Sunday. Yedioth Ahronoth, one of Israel’s most widely-read papers, dedicated not a single word to the incident.

Monday’s issue of Yedioth Ahronoth, the “newspaper of the country,” includes not a single mention of the fact that the IDF killed a mother, her four children and another two-year old girl on Sunday. Nothing. Doesn’t exist. Didn’t happen.

This morning, Yedioth readers were greeted with plenty of information about what happened in southern Israel. The front page discusses the tragic death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, as well as the beginning of the new school year. The opening spread goes into detail about Tragerman’s funeral, followed by three pages dedicated to the school year (which is also discussed in the daily supplement), two pages on the hundreds of families who are leaving the towns surrounding Gaza, one page on the Palestinian Authority, a spread on Israeli soldiers and one more page on stone-throwing in the West Bank.

A view from Abu Odeh’s house toward the neighbourhood. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

A view of a neighborhood after an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza city of Beit Hanoun. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

The page dedicated to the Palestinian Authority includes a short blurb on the assassination of Hamas Financial Officer, Mohammed Al-Ghoul. Inside the text there is a mention of the fact that “several people were killed” in an attack on a commercial center. “Several people.” That’s it. Just like that. Page 10 at the bottom. And without a single word on the killing of five members of the Joudah family: mother Tasneem Issam and her children, Muhammad, Rawia, Rajd and Osama, along with another two-year-old girl. Nothing.

Twelve pages dedicated to news on the fighting, without any room for mentioning a family that was killed.

Every person in this country ought to be worried by this kind of reporting, especially from such a prominent newspaper. This isn’t even a question of concern and empathy. It’s a question of knowledge. Does the Israeli citizen have the necessary knowledge in order to understand the fighting? To understand what is happening or what each side sees in the other? To understand the motivation behind the fighting and what will help end it? Yedioth Ahronoth’s readers are justifiably flooded with information on the distress of the residents of the south, but they don’t know a thing about what happens in Gaza.

Read this article in Hebrew on Local Call.

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    1. Carlos Kort

      We in Zwitserland know more about what is happening in Gaza then the people of Israel.
      There is simply no interest to know they don`t want to know. What you dont know don`t hurt, and you don`t have to deal with it. It never happened. very ascocial….Cojosh

      Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        It is laughable that 972mag and Carlos from Swisserland think Israelis do not know what is happening in Gaza. An Israeli can hear the news of what is going on in Gaza on radio, tv, print and on the internet. Yedioth Ahronoth’s websites in English and Hebrew both report ongoing Palestinian deaths. So do websites like Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, i24 News in English, French and Arabic. Arutzsheva.com not only mentions civilian injuries in their reports but show the taking down of Towers in Gaza.


        Reply to Comment
          • Whiplash

            Did 972mag ever tell its readers how Hamas operates from hospitals? Here is a video showing Hamas shooting from Wafa hospital and Israel bombing the hospital after it had been evacuated of civilians. The video shows shooting from the hospital, Israel phoning the hospital and then Israel taking out the hospital followed by the implosion of many explosive devices contained within the hospital. The video also shows a tunnel entrance near the hospital.


            Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      Maybe Israel’s media has finally realized that it’s Hamas that’s perpetuating this conflict and that Hamas is responsible for these civilian deaths.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        The same way a kid getting beaten up on the playground is bringing it on himself for not seeing reason and letting the bully have the kickball for most of recess, in return for a couple of minutes?

        Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            They might not be too pleased with your leaders, but that doesn’t preclude them still hating your guts for destroying their city, and about 2000 of their neighbors, for “self-defense” from a minute threat.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel


            I had rockets shot at my neighborhood last night and I don’t hate. I quite dispassionate in my resolve to stop the violence.

            But why do you hate so much?
            What’s your stake in all this?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            No. You don’t hate. You’re just callous. Which is worse, and all the more inhuman.

            My stake is this: an injustice was done, by your government, for the sake of patriotic posturing. You have visited death and destruction, and ended 2000 lives, none of which ever did you any harm. Hamas is wrong to shoot rockets, but that rocket landing near your village probably killed nobody, and for that you want to blow up buildings and put innocent lives at risk. You are all the more disgusting and manipulative to rationalize the lives you end by saying it’s Hamas’ fault for not surrendering to you, so your responsibility to protect innocent lives ends there. You Israelis have no sense of proportion, or empathy for anyone. You are driven purely by a primitive, animal desire to rub out or depower anyone who doesn’t like you, or who has anything critical to say about your anachronistic dream of “Greater Israel.” You don’t belong in this century.

            Palestine is full of innocents, all of whom want their dignity, to have their own country, and to not have to bargain for it on YOUR terms, because it would be a slap in the face of all the people your country has killed or humiliated, for the sake of the peace of mind of a bunch of arrogant colonialists.

            Reply to Comment
          • Whiplash

            I hate to remind you Ray, but the Arabs are the colonists in this land. Israel pulled out every citizen and soldier out of Gaza and left green house businesses which generated over 100 million dollars a year. Within days of leaving the Palestinians were tearing up the infrastructure of their future and firing rockets at Israel. Why? Because they wanted and want war, in accordance with their Charter and in accordance with what their leaders have been saying and doing. The government of Gaza spent billions preparing for this war with Israel weaving a military complex into the web of civilian life in Gaza. Israel did not do this. Gazans saw what they were doing and did nothing. Now they are reaping the fruits of their labors.

            It did not have to be this way. They could have chosen the path of peace in 2005 and turned their weapons literally into plow shares and started build a just society. They did not.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            ” and ended 2000 lives, none of which ever did you any harm”

            No, Ray.
            Half the 2000 were terrorists trying to kill me and my family.

            I’ve lost my callousness and I’ve started to hate again.

            Fuck you, Ray.

            Reply to Comment
    3. GKJames

      Interesting, but hardly surprising given Israel’s decades-long habit of not wanting to talk about a number of things related to Palestinians, including the two most important issues: the occupation and the expropriation of land. At every turn, reasons are proffered as to why Israel cannot talk about those things, each invariably having to do with the Palestinians’ failure to reach the state of virtue required by Israel. Thus, after killing a few of thousand of them every few years — naturally, it’s their fault for having the temerity to exist in the very place they do — it’s only logical that another 4 or 5 or 20 really aren’t worth mentioning. Besides, it’s Israel’s opportunity to teach its own lesson in delegitimizing an entire people.

      Reply to Comment
      • jjj

        Foolish statement.

        Israel has shown in the past it is willing for concession, has retreated from land for peace, and was negotiating with Palestinians on every aspect. Palestinians, in particular, Arafat, chose to decline. Palestinian deaths is brought by attacking Israel – and no, it is not a “minute threat” as another dishonest comment was mentioned above.
        I guess that rocket fire is not seen as a kind gesture for peace.
        Hamas took Gaza and turned it in to one of the largest rocket launching cities in the world. It is almost unbelievable that in 9 years since the disengagement, Hamas has done absolutely nothing for the benefit of its population, except for perpetuating violence, hate, and the aspiation for Judenrein in Palestine.

        Reply to Comment
        • GKJames

          That’s certainly the standard narrative to which many/most Israelis are wedded. You say nothing, though, about the non-negotiables Israel has perpetually hidden behind, the kinds of preconditions that compel the other side’s surrender before the discussion even begins. Or about the fact that, withdrawal from Gaza notwithstanding, Israel continued its occupation of the West Bank, as if the two had nothing to do with each other. Ultimately, the tired we-have-no-partner-for-peace melody is that Israel shares zero blame for the status quo. Only a psychotic would accept that notion.

          The fact is that a lasting resolution would get in the way of the Greater Israel enterprise (as the Likud charter helpfully makes clear: no independent Palestinian state west of the Jordan … ever). Accordingly, any sign of progress must be met with some contrivance that’s certain to draw a response from the equally psychotic other side.

          The difference between the two, of course, is that one has (a) an excellent PR department to control the narrative; (b) total dominion and control over a captive population; and (c) an ally who, instead of acting as honest broker to compel the parties to a long-term solution, simply aids and abets one side’s psychosis.

          As for what Hamas (or any other leadership) has done — or not — for its population is hardly the business of anyone but the Palestinians themselves.

          Reply to Comment
          • jjj

            Funny how you think I am the “standard hasbara” narrative while you bring “refreshing news” that should shake the world.
            The fact is that you sir, are the “standard” – we were told over and over how Israel inhibited the negotiations, and so on…
            But fact is a fact, Palestinians declined – they could have built their state 100 times by now – they could have gotten whatever was offered, and be in a totally different place by now.
            When there’s a will, there’s a way – even if Israel brings obstacles – but I guess there’s no much will.
            The fact remains – there’s a major objection for 1967 without the “right of return”, which is, by all means, a “right of destruction” – as there’s no way for Israel to accept this amount of refugees. This is a death certificate.
            Moreover, it is well understood that Abbas rules by Israel – had Israel retreated from the west bank unilaterally, Hamas would take over (by sending Fatah members from the top floor without using the elevator) and we would have Gaza 2 in the west bank – but this time, Israel won’t be able to “play nice” – as masses would be killed in an attempt to stop rocket fire.
            Life would be unbearable on both sides…. Unless Hamas is brought down (much what like CC did in Egypt).

            Reply to Comment
          • GKJames

            We’ll agree to disagree, though I would add that you may have mistaken my position. I don’t say that Israel should cede the issue of the right of return. My point is that you’re not negotiating in good faith if you set preconditions to negotiations that the other side, as a matter of raw politics, simply cannot meet.

            What’s more, the basic terms have long been familiar to all sides: return to 1967 borders with modest, to-be-agreed adjustments, no right of return except for a token number but in exchange for financial compensation, Jerusalem split, and a Gaza-West Bank link. True to form, Israel then loads the dice with a long list of additional preconditions: retention of the Jordan valley, Israeli control over Palestinian airspace and all other forms of ingress and egress, a demilitarized Palestinian state, etc.

            As for Hamas, Israel merely repeats what it did with Arafat and Fatah previously: delegitimize them until it dawned that neither was going away. Of course Hamas holds odious views. But when was negotiating with an enemy a picnic? Besides, Israel has shown time and again that it is perfectly willing to negotiate with Hamas on a wide range of practical issues. It’s a bit late in the day to go looking for lost virginity, no?.

            If Israel really wanted to settle the issue and justly demand state-like behavior from the Palestinians, it would foster the creation of a Palestinian state. Problem is — and this is where my conclusion differs from yours — that would end the dream of a Greater Israel that is Palestinian-rein, to borrow a phrase. It explains why Israeli conduct over the decades has been all about changing the facts on the ground; it’s to make a Palestinian state impossible. And Israel has done so irrespective of Palestinian conduct. Peaceful protest against the occupation? Silent acquiescence? Rock-throwing? Suicide bombing? None of it has stopped — or will stop — the juggernaut that has one single objective: the land, ALL the land.

            The open question, naturally, and one that never finds an answer, is how the story is supposed to end. What will Israel do with the several million Palestinian under its boot? It’s not unreasonable to conclude that Israel’s objective is quite simple: make these people so miserable that they’ll just go away. And periodically, when the narrative needs reinforcement, a few thousand will have to pay the price. I also suspect that, before too long, the idea of a forceful transfer of population will make it onto the policy agenda.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Richard

      How man thousands of dead Syrians and Iraqis have not been mentioned in any western newspapers? The standard Haggai is concocting here doesn’t make sense unfortunately.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Average American

      Why doesn’t Israel just occupy Gaza like it occupied the West Bank? Then no rockets. No tunnels. No Hamas. More room for Jews! It’s a win-win! The tanks are already there, alot of stuff has already been blown up. And Israel is the regional superpower. Why doesn’t Israel just move in now and occupy? Does Israel somehow politically need Gaza and Hamas?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Kiwi

      Why don’t you go and climb a tree and stop annoying the grown ups in here?

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Oh your comment sounded really grown up Kiwi. Just a deflection. Don’t want to answer the question? Don’t want a solution? Israel is occupying Golan Heights, occupying West Bank, building troops in the Jordan Valley to occupy the East Bank next, why not tiny Gaza?

        Reply to Comment
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