The Media’s Unbreakable Silence

Newspaper editors have a long and proud tradition of fucking up articles with terrible headlines. But what is going on today? An Israeli NGO has published testimonies from Israeli soldiers admitting that they engaged in systematic war crimes in Gaza, and that they had direct orders to do so.

An example: “From the very start they told us, ‘Shoot to kill.’ As far as the IDF was concerned, there wasn’t supposed to be any civilian population there.”

Another example: “The commander. ‘Anything you see in the neighborhoods you’re in, anything within a reasonable distance, say between zero and 200 meters — is dead on the spot. No authorization needed.’ We asked him: ‘I see someone walking in the street, do I shoot him?’ He said yes.”

But the Guardian’s headline is: Israeli soldiers cast doubt on legality of Gaza military tactics

The Telegraph: Israeli soldiers describe ‘losing their sense of morality’ during the Gaza conflict

Deutsche Welle: Israeli accounts give new edge to ‘Protective Edge’

Reuters: Israeli veterans describe lax Gaza war rules, indiscriminate fire

The Washington Post: Israeli veterans say permissive rules of engagement fuelled Gaza carnage

This language is horrifying.

New edge to protective edge?! This is not a fashion parade. How can such words be used about the ravaging of an entire people? Permissive, lax, casts doubt. You’d think they were talking about an unruly kindergarten class. Why is the media unable to call things by their proper names? What is it that needs to happen before we see the words ‘war crimes’, ‘massacre’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in headlines about Israel? What will it take for this editorial complicity to end? Israel continues to act with impunity because there is no pressure on it from the outside world to change. So every report that the media buries is laying the groundwork for the next massacre. Because there will be another one. There has to be. There will always be another one until the Palestinians are all gone.

What adds to the repulsive nature of these headlines is that they are not only cowardly but they directly parrot the Israeli myth of the soldier who cries while he’s killing you, that whole ‘most moral army in the world’ bullshit. If a Palestinian NGO published a report in which the fighter who killed one of 6 Israeli civilians anonymously confessed to his actions would he be absolved in this way? No, of course not. But the Israeli soldier who engaged in the murder of, at least, 1500 civilians, of which 551 were children — the angle here is a deep concern for his moral compass, for the legality of his murderousness, for the absolution of the confessional booth. The hypocrisy the cuts through this world is truly grotesque.

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