By Alan Bean
As the body count mounts in Gaza, accusations of biased coverage, and corresponding denials, are piling up in America. Desperate to appear unbiased, mainline media outlets in the United States are working hard to provide equal time to both sides. As a result, “we stand with Israel” propaganda competes with evening news footage of mangled Palestinian children. The debate is being controlled by one-sided commentary that ignores the legitimate demands of both Israelis and Palestinians.
The deadly conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is mired in regional history. Unfortunately, Palestinians and Israelis preach irreconcilable versions of this history and few Western correspondents know enough to adjudicate the conflicting claims. Besides, why should the evening news bother with the detritus of yesteryear when there’s such wonderful footage of Hamas rockets, bombed out buildings, and grieving mothers?
I won’t attempt an exhaustive history of the Middle East in the 20th century, but will confine myself to three issues. First, the claim that the Palestinians of Gaza can’t be taken seriously because they embrace Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to the eradication of Israel. Secondly, how a virulent strain of near-universal Antisemitism made the creation of the modern state of Israel necessary. Finally, why America can’t serve as an honest broker in the middle east until “we stand with Israel” rhetoric is shelved in favor of a more cumbersome but more gracious slogan: “we stand with Israel and we stand with the Palestinians too.” (more…)