Gino Piserchio and Edie Sedgwick; for Andy Warhol’s Beauty #2; 1965
Since the Gaza protests in August (2014), there has been a lot of hatred for Israel. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of London in the hot summer month to “call for an end” to Israeli military action in Gaza. Now, international anger has only been increased by the word of journalists too being caught up in the cross fire.
I’m not saying I agree with the action taken by Israeli forces, but I do want to pose the question of what you would do in their situation. Tension and violence has been long woven into these two nation’s histories; the recent violence is indeed the worse seen since 2009. But let us remember how this resent violence started: three Israeli teenagers (who were all students and aged 16 and 19) were kidnapped and violently murdered in the West Bank. Naturally, Israel wanted revenge and sought it from the believed killers: Hamas.
- Hamas is a Palestine Islamic organisation and recognised by Israel, the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Canada, Japan, Egypt, and New Zealandas a terrorist organisation. -
Israel’s response was to target Hamas and arrested a large number of Hamas affiliates and launches air strikes into Gaza. This may be considered a too militant response. But, playing ‘devil’s advocate’, if this had happened in the United States for example (or any western nation for that matter) where another nation - an enemy moreover - kidnapped three students and viciously murdered them, there is no question the United States would respond with the equal measured that Israel did at the time.
After Israel’s response, Palestinians in Gaza fired rockets back into Israeli territory. This was then followed by a Palestinian boy being murdered by six Israelis (what was deemed by police to be an act of revenge). This murder lead to wide spread anger on the Palestinian side and, on 8th July, Hamas launched 40 rockets into Israeli towns (aimed deliberately at civilians to create a “climate of terror” in Israel). Moreover, Hamas claimed responsibility for this attack (the first time claiming to a terror attack since 2012). Therefore, Israel launched more air strikes into the Gaza against Hamas; in the words of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, “to make Hamas pay a heavy price”.
On 17th July (2014) Israeli troops entered Gaza to root out the underground network of tunnels in Gaza that were allowing Hamas terrorist to attack Israeli civilians and military bases. Since then casualties have skyrocketed.
In conclusion, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon of supporting Palestine and declaring how evil and wrong Israel is in its actions, just consider for a second the reasons this violence begun . Again, I am not condoning Israel’s actions, nor Palestine’s. But Palestine allows Hamas to walk free in Gaza, even after all the violence it was responsible for in the past and now again today. Israel has refused peace talks before on the grounds of Palestine’s refusal to remove Hamas from power.
No one wants to see more violence between these two nations, but I must confess that it sickens me to read people complaining about Israel’s actions without considering Palestine’s hand in the violence - after all, let us not forgetNaftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah who were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank on 12th June (2014) that begun all this violence in the first place (though there has been much more in the past).
In the 90’s, everyone believed for the first time in a very long time that Israel and Palestine could possibly make peace. It seems like a long way from that now, but blindly condemning Israel and supporting Palestine is not the way forward. Israel has it’s part to blame, just as Palestine does, but the West condemning one to fully support the other is not the right path to take.
I read a quote that, to me, sums up this issue: "Only Hamas deliberately targets civilians, but most are still Palestinians killed by Israeli air strikes”.
If there is one thing to learn from the media’s coverage of this conflict it is read into the story, learn it’s history and the cause, and always examine both sides before you make a judgment about a conflict and decide where to place the blame, especially with one as complex and drawn-out as Israel and Palastine.
The USA has announced they and allied forces have begun bombing Syria to attack Islamic State (IS) militants hiding there.
39 journalists have been killed in Syria since the conflict started again, whilst 22 have been killed in Iraq. However, The Doha Centre for Media Freedom has documented 110 journalists have been killed whilst reporting in Syria since 2011, including the highly publicised murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff (to which politicians barely batted an eyelid until almost three months after the fact).
Muslim leaders have condemned the murders of journalists by ISIS with Reporters Without Boarders (For Freedom Of Information) supporting the condemnation, but this is the US’ tardy response: more arial bombings.
It is a fact that in such arial attack, more civilians are killed than terrorists. Example: The Bureau Of Investigative Journalism reported that more than 2,4000 civilians were killed in Pakistan after Obama’s five year drone bombing campaign; however, this report was released in January (2014), so the numbers may be higher.
Another example: just read about the July 12th 2007 Baghdad airstrikes (curtsy of WikiLeaks). This example is primitive compare with the "collateral murder" leaked by Bradley Manning where civilians and journalists were shot at and killed by a US Army Apache helicopter in Iraq. In this case, the US government thought it was okay to cover up the murder of journalists because the murderers were Americans.
Has no one learnt yet that random bombing does nothing but murder more innocents.
People should not ignore these atrocities just because they are dressed up by the government. Journalists have rights and should be protected and defended for venturing bravely into war zones.
Audrey Hepburn and Orangey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961.
A model eating - something with calories!!!
Charlotte Gainsbourg for The Edit