This article was written in response to Zach Khan’s piece, “Summer recap of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” published on Aug. 26, 2014.
By Vincent Aldazabal
In reading the piece in last week’s issue of The Signal by Zach Kahn titled “Summer Recap of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the main thing that stood out to the eye was the writer’s gross misrepresentation of the stated facts in order to satisfy the familiar discourse of Zionist rhetoric of Israel’s “right to return” and “defense” initiatives waged against the “terrorism of Hamas.”
This misinformation campaign as propelled by the writer of this piece is startling in its abject contempt for the nature of the truth of Israel’s latest expansion of crimes against Palestinian civilian populations — both within the Israeli state and directed against the Gaza Strip and along the West Bank. The writer wrote the following:
“On July 30, CNN reported that roughly 5,000 rockets had been fired between Israel and Hamas during the past few months. And unless something changes soon, that number will continue to increase.”
The above statement is a misrepresentation of the facts in the sense that the arsenal of Hamas is incredibly minute compared to that of Israel’s military. Hamas is mostly funded by local Palestinian collectives of small minority groups of militant forces. Israel has had the full diplomatic support, financing and arms supplementation of Washington for quite some time, a fact that a basic read of the historical literature overwhelmingly points to. (Norman Finklestein’s Image and Reality of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is one of the most comprehensive.) The significance of this is that Israel’s “Defense Forces” (a misnomer indeed) have an institutional level of military industrial power fully supported by the world’s global hegemon. Hamas’s violence, while clearly immoral, does not have the overwhelming backing of any global hegemon. This realization serves as a bridge to further critique the next fallacious claim of the story’s writer:
Throughout the summer, there has been a steep death toll. Sixty-four Israelis and roughly 2,000 Palestinians have been confirmed dead as of Aug. 21, according to CNN. While these numbers may seem lopsided, there is more to this story than what meets the eye.
Kahn’s numbers for the Palestinian death toll lacks precision in number and status of persons murdered. According to the latest U.N. Report, confirmed by The Washington Post, The Guardian and The New York Times, here is the correct report: 65 I.D.F. soldiers, four Israeli civilians. Meanwhile the total number of Palestinian dead is 2,104, of which 1,462 are civilians, 465 children civilians.
The only point Kahn and I will agree upon is that indeed, “there is more to this story than meets the eye.” As it relates to the bigger picture, a clear pattern of Israeli killing of Palestinian civilian life extends into the late 1960s. From this is the narrowly represented surface history of Israel’s “defense initiatives,” which have been executed with a severe amount of aggression that is now becoming readily apparent.
What is more to this story is the deliberate misappropriation of food, water and medical care that Israel has controlled and restricted access to for years. Israel’s latest operation of enormous destruction of Palestinian population and property with the misnomer of “Protective Edge” has crippled any Palestinian source of commerce, dietary needs and other basic standards for human living. According to the same U.N. report, 109,000 Palestinians have lost their homes, while only 10 percent of Palestinians “receive water once a day, 6-8 hours a day.”
“According to a CNN report, Hamas has fired roughly 3,500 rockets into Israel as opposed to the 1,300 air strikes from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). With the fate of the country at stake, Israel was forced to make a move. On July 8, Israel initiated Operation Protective Edge. The goal of the operation was to deter rocket attacks from Gaza and the West Bank.”
This portion hardly needs any thorough critiques as it seriously ignores the difference between “rockets” and “air strikes.” The rockets fired by Hamas are by individual persons, mainly mounted on shoulder, again by a small segment of Palestinian “militants.” Israeli airstrikes are crippling forms of military superiority, built and financed by American power.
The last portion of this piece worth citing is the following:
“Hamas needs to be removed from power — they are known as a terrorist organization internationally that is intent on destroying Israel,” junior psychology major Michael Levi said.
This surely can’t be taken as credible journalistic consultation. While no offense is intended to be brought against Kahn and Levi, whose credibility shall we rely upon, theirs or that of major media outlets?