Saturday, February 12, 2005

Who really broke the cease-fire? Feb. 12, 2005

Palestinian-Israeli cease-fire already tested
Feb. 12, 2005 Arab American Media Services
By Ray Hanania

By now, you’ve probably read how days after Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed another cease fire agreement, opening the door to renewed peace talks, “Palestinians” fired rockets into an illegal Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip.

Newspapers around the world, including in the rightwing Jerusalem Post, praised Israel for not striking back and showing restraint. How much better the Israelis are than “those Palestinians.”

But, as usual, either through laziness, bias or fear of being called anti-Semitic by extremist mainstream Jewish American organizations, few media reported that before the Palestinians fired rockets into the settlement, Israeli soldiers fired guns and missiles at Palestinians.

No Israelis were killed in the Palestinian rocket attack that got international coverage and was the focus of many conservative cable talk shows. Two Palestinians were killed, but no one would know that because no one reported that.According to the Palestinian and Arab news media, including al-Jazeera, and according to several Palestinian organizations, including the most reliable of them all, MIFTAH, which is headed by Hanan Ashrawi, one of the most moderate leaders in the middle East, Israelis included.

Ashrawi’s organization reports that the mortar attacks against the Israeli settlement on Feb. 11 was the direct response to Israeli attacks by soldiers and settlers in the two previous days.

But it’s typical of how the biased media especially in America where “bias” is the norm, tends to always show concern when Israelis are attacked and never when Palestinian Christians and Mulims are not only attacked but killed.

The two dead Palestinians the media hasn’t bothered to write about because Palestinian lives have no value in their eyes were unarmed and shot in cold blood.But who cares? As long as Israelis are not killed. The purpose is not to upset the pro-Israeli organizations and leaders in America who push fanaticism harder than the Palestinian extremistsPeace is important to Palestinians as well as to many Israelis. But the difference is that more Palestinians speak out without ever being recorded against the violence than Israelis, whose comments get covered all the time.

Peace is not some arbitrary concept, no matter what extremist pro-Israel organizations like Campus Watch, CAMERA and the American Jewish Committee would like you to believe.Peace is defined as the result, not precondition, to a settlement of a conflict that has been going on for more than 58 years.

To Israelis, peace should be about keeping the land they took in 1948 to create their state. To live in security and to live without fear of attack.

To Palestinians, peace is about justice and fairness. Fairness means that Israelis have to stop stealing more and more Palestinians land that they incredulously insist they are not stealing.

And justice means that Israel must accept its share of responsibility for not only causing the conflict and making things worse, but also for forcibly expelling Christians and Muslims from their homes in 1948 and again in 1967 in order to reduce the non-Jewish population of their state.Compromise means both sides must make sacrifices, and peace means that those sacrifices must be fair.

No matter what the biased American news media asserts in their unprofessional and clearly one-sided reports, Palestinians have as much rights as Israelis. And until that fact is recognized, the violence will continue no matter how many Palestinian and Israeli leaders reach over some table at a seaside resort and shake hands.

(Ray Hanania is a nationally syndicated Palestinian American columnist, author and managing editor of


No comments: