“It didn’t happen! Even while it was happening, it didn’t happen!”
That’s how playwright Harold Pinter years ago described mainstream media’s coverage of the Viet Nam war.
The same could be said of mainsteam media’s coverage of the bombing of Gaza.
Israel has spent August regularly bombing Gaza,… a school here, farmland there..
Israel has shut down Gaza’s access to fuel needed for electricity , stopped Gazans from fishing.
Medical facilities in Gaza were unable to cope before COVID-19. Medical supplies are less than minimal. Public water is unsafe.
COVID-19 is in Gaza.
The legal definition of genocide by the way, includes having the ‘intent’ to destroy a people.
What is the intent of the Israeli regime?
For that matter, why do they do it?
The Israeli regime will say that they are just ‘responding’ to incendiary balloons from Gaza. Just responding, ie, it’s the Palestinians’ fault, serves them right.
This is the line accepted unquestioningly by mainstream media.
No media would dare suggest that maybe the incendiary kites, which have caused no deaths, are a ‘response ‘ , say, to Israel’s barbaric siege.
NO! NO! NO! Palestinians are not allowed to ‘respond’.
The bombing goes on and on. Why doesn’t it stop? Ramzy Baroud of Palestine Chronicle suggests that as Netanyahu and Gantz are in a political struggle, neither dares risk being branded as ‘weak’ by calling for a halt to the bombing.
And why does the outside world not object?
Some do actually.
Quoting from the jewishvoiceforpeace site:
(March 30, 2020) — Over 30,000 people from around the world gathered online through Zoom (500) and Facebook (30,000 views) for a virtual rally to End the Blockade on Gaza. Palestinian speakers across three continents, from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, in the U.K. and the U.S., described conditions on the ground right now in Gaza, as the coronavirus continues to spread in one of the most vulnerable places on earth.
That was 5 months ago. Yet the bombing continues.
As far as mainstream mdia is concerned , this large rally ‘didn’t happen’.
In May of this year, more than 250 global artists and writers , including Naomi Klein and Ken Loach, appealed to Israel to stop the “siege” of Gaza, saying the coronavirus epidemic could have a devastating effect in “the world’s largest open-air prison”.
“Long before the global outbreak of COVID-19 threatened to overwhelm the already devastated healthcare system in Gaza, the UN had predicted the blockaded coastal strip would be unlivable by 2020,” the online letter said.
“With the pandemic, Gaza’s almost two million inhabitants, predominantly refugees, face a mortal threat in the world’s largest open-air prison.”
A couple of years ago, I wrote for the Green Party magazine, the following review of the book , NO WAY BUT THIS, In Search of Paul Robeson by Jeff Sparrow.
Jeff Sparrow describes working in a trade union bookshop in Melbourne where book collections belonging to decreased unionists, peace actvists, an “aging generation of progressives”, “stalwarts of the Old Left”, ended up. “They’d read so very, very widely”. “There were always, always, books about Paul Robeson. “
An avid reader himself, Sparrow became fascinated by Robeson , the son of a slave who became a superstar singer and actor, advocate for the oppressed, foe of racism and fascism , only to be destroyed, ‘disappeared’, from public life.
Sparrow knew that the African-American singer had come to Sydney, when the Opera House was under construction, to sing to the workers his most famous song, Old Man River.
Sparrow decided to travel , to learn more about Robeson’s background, ie, the politics and social structures that influenced him, as well as the poets and other writers of his time. Sparrow’s investigations took him to North Carolina, to Philadephia , to Harlem, to England , to Wales , to Spain and to Russia.
Robeson became active in Welsh union politics after hearing unemployed poverty-stricken miners singing in beautiful harmony. Robeson realised that music meant as much to the miners as it did to African-Americans.
But it was the Spanish Civil War that had the strongest influence on Robeson. He explained, “ The artist must take sides. He must choose to fight for freedom or slavery.” Trade unionists, as well as writers including WH Auden and George Orwell , feared that fascism would spread further if not stopped in Spain.
Paul Robeson maintained that for the rest of his life, Spain had altered him.
I strongly recommend No Way But This. It is very readable, hard to put down actually. And it raises questions. Why is it that the suffering of the Spanish raised so much passion at the time, that civilians volunteered to go to Spain? Why were people horror-stricken at the of bombing of civilians, barbarity illustrated by Picasso’s Guernica? Yet today high tech bombing of civilians is of little concern. What has happened to humanity?
The questions I asked at the end of my book review, still haunt me.
The Spanish Civil War wasn’t that long ago historically. Have present generations become indifferent to warfare and bombing? Have we lost our sense of humanity? That’s a frightening thought.
Please let’s, all of us, demand that our religious, academic, media and political elite join us and refuse to look the other way. Every bomb dropping on Gaza is falling on men, women and children….grandmothers, little brothers, baby sisters.
“It is happening!”
If we have any sense of humanity left, we need to mentally paraphase Arundhati Roy’s comment re the war on Iraq.
We need to believe that “Every Gazan child is our child.”
Lois Griffiths is a human rights activist.