Monday, May 16, 2011

blame Iran. blame the Lebanese.

image Gallo/Getty
The scale of the devastation [in 1948] was overwhelming: four in five Palestinian villages inside the borders of the new state were ethnically cleansed, an act of mass dispossession accompanied by atrocities. Around 95 per cent of new Jewish communities built between 1948-1953 were established on the land of expelled, denationalised Palestinians. Referring to these refugees, Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion famously said that "the old will die and the young will forget". In fact, rather than "forgetting", the Nakba has become one of the central foundations for activism by Palestinians - and their supporters - around the world. Why is the Nakba such a strong framework of analysis and action? Because rather than being an isolated historical event, it is an ongoing process of dispossession and colonial settlement.

Fourteen people were killed commemorating Nakba Day yesterday. Yet this morning when I looked on the online news site of the CBC, Canada's national news, I didn't find even a mention that Palestininans were killed by Israeli forces. Nothing on the Globe and Mail, either, not even in World news. What is the big World News headlines? Some IMF guy is accused of sexually assaulting a maid in a hotel room but his wife says it's a lie and she stands by her man.

Is it any wonder that these mainstream newspapers are losing readers to online sources? Why would anyone stay in their narrow straitjacketing of news that too often sounds like entertainment for a celebrity-obsessed culture where reality shows are more important than politics and economics?

The online Toronto Star did include a short article: Israeli army opens fire on protesters, as many as 13 Palestinians dead

However, although I found the article on the front page headlines early this morning (way down at the bottom), it is now filed under Yesterday in the World News section, so people will have to do some sleuthing to even find it. The article, which starts with the Israeli perspective (the standard way of subliminally shaping the public's perception), gives us Netanyahu's point of view on this and soon we learn that an Israeli army spokesman blames Iran for the "provocation."

I guess Iran was behind the creation of the state of Israel in 1948?

Seriously, when are root causes going to be examined rather than deliberate distortions by the powers-that-be?

This articl doesn't even mention that Israel made illegal the public commemoration of the Nakba Day.

It seems that some human rights are not newsworthy to note. It seems some demonstators demanding their rights during this Arab Spring of uprisings, protests, and non-violent gatherings are to be blamed rather than commended for their march for justice. This is true if one happens to be Palestinian, Bahraini, or Yemeni. Where is the clamouring to address their just causes? Where is the critique of the regimes that stifle their legitimate demands?

In that same Toronto Star article, it states that Israel denies killing the Palestinians who gathered at the Lebanese/Israeli border yesterday. They blame the Lebanese Army for shooting and killing them.

Not surprisingly, another perspective is found in Lebanese news reports:

"Israeli troops Sunday shot dead 16 people and wounded hundreds more as Palestinians marched on its borders with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, as part of commemoration of the Nakba - the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.

On the Lebanon border, 10 protesters, all Palestinian refugees, were killed by Israeli gunfire and more that 100 were wounded. A critically wounded protester died Monday, raising the death toll to 11, security sources said.

Protesters had taken part in Nakba Day commemorations in the south border town of Maroun al-Ras, some of whom had descended to the fence separating the two countries and pelted stones at Israeli troops."

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