UPDATED (several times) at the end of this post.
As I remarked in yesterday’s post about the renewed missile fire into Israel’s south, I wanted to make a point about the timeline of events in case the international media reversed cause and effect, in the old “Israel hit back first” meme:
Let’s just get this timeline straight in case the international media reverse cause and effect and report that “Israel hit back first”. The Islamic Jihad (or was it Hamas or someone else covering for them?) launched missiles against Israel on Thursday. Israel fired back, thankfully killing the terrorists and more importantly, their leader. So the terrorists launched more missiles.
And whaddaya know, that is exactly what has happened.
We’ll start with the Guardian’s article by their ridiculously biased and inane correspondent Harriet Sherwood. The headline reads “Israeli air strike kills nine militants“. As I anticipated, both the headline and the article make no mention of the initial missile fire last Thursday which triggered the lethal Israeli air strike.
A spiralling round of Israeli air strikes and rocket fire from Gaza claimed the lives of nine Palestinian militants and one Israeli civilian on Saturday following weeks of relative calm.
The Israeli air force targeted a group of militants in southern Gaza on Saturday morning that it said was preparing to launch long-range missiles into Israel. Five Islamic Jihad operatives were killed, including a senior commander, Ahmed al-Sheikh Khalil.
A salvo of missiles later struck southern Israel, triggering air raid sirens and causing the death of a man in Ashkelon, about 10 miles north of Gaza. Four other Israelis were sustained light to moderate injuries. More than 20 rockets were fired in total on Saturday, according to the Israeli military.
The BBC carried two articles, both of which reversed the timeline as I expected, and only one of which mentioned the initial rocket salvo last Wednesday which triggered this current round of violence.
The first item was headed “Militants killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza” with no mention of Wednesday’s missile fire.
The second article carried the slightly surreal headline “Gaza-Israel ceasefire hopes after 10 killed“. This article did make mention of the missile fire on Wednesday, but it was buried deep within the article and it is easy to miss it. This kind of writing is designed, whether consciously or not, to lead the reader into thinking that Israel starts up the violence irrationally, and bombs
militants terrorists in a vacuum, with no valid reason.
The New York Times continues with the chronologically challenged reporting with an article entitled “Israeli Drone strike kills militants in Gaza“.
They at least mention the initial missile strike of Wednesday in the second paragraph which makes me ask why the headline could not reflect that fact? Why didn’t the headline read “Gaza terrorists fire missiles, IAF responds killing terrorists”. It may not sound as sexy; after all it doesn’t give the impression that Israelis are bloodthirsty bombers out to kill poor innocent “militants” for no reason, but it certainly is more truthful.
The picture accompanying the NYT article is of Palestinians waiting at the morgue. There are no pictures of the destruction on the Israeli side of the border.
Meanwhile both the Daily Telegraph and Sky News carried no reporting whatsoever on any of the events from Wednesday to today. It might be because today is Sunday, although that does not explain why Wednesday’s events were not reported. I wait with unbated breath to see how or if they will report the weekend’s violence tomorrow.
UPDATE: The Telegraph appears lately to have become as bad as the Guardian, at least in the misleading headline department. Their reporting of the weekend’s rocket attacks reads thus: Israeli air strike kills militant in Gaza Strip after truce announced. The contents of the article reflect the headline. Shame on them.
The Independent carries a more neutral article titled “Islamic Jihad declares truce after attacks“.
Neither article mentions the original rocket attack from last Wednesday, which was the trigger for the whole round of violence.
And still not a word on the Sky News website.
UPDATE to the update: Still nothing on the official Sky News site but Tim Marshall has a very good post on his Sky News blog, where he gets the chronology and the facts right. I wish all journalists could be as balanced as Mr. Marshall.