gaza Ceasefire

January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009, I read an article by Steven Erlanger, published in the New York Times and titled: “Israel Declares Cease-Fire; Hamas Says It Will Fight On.”
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this article, like all mainstream media in the West was entirely dominated by the Israeli-American view, Condoleezza Rice, according to the article, wants both Israel and Hamas to stop their fire, while the article threw the ball to Hamas’s yard, claiming that it is up to them to stop the blood-shed. Indeed, and do they expect Hamas to be bind by Israel’s decisions? Israel declares war and Israel stops it. Well, things don’t work this way: Hamas, according to the article says that it will not cease resistance until the situation changes; and do they expect Hamas to stand watching Israeli troops in its territory, dividing it into disconnected islands, and its children dying of anemia and sickness, because Israel and Egypt don’t want to open the crossings? Noteworthy, the article describes Hamas’s spokesman as “hiding,” as if they expect him to speak from home, from around his children for Israel to kill both his family and he. This is, obviously, another propaganda technique to present Palestinians as ‘terrorist cowered’ while the Israeli forces are not cowards when they hide in their fighter-jets (high in the sky), or when they hide inside their tanks or bomb shelters. This cease-fire appears more like an attempt to regain the media war, to say: ‘look, we declared cease-fire, but Palestinians didn’t; it’s their fault,’ before resuming the war under this pretext.

Aljazeera, in its article
Olmert announces Gaza ceasefire
merely took a neutral position, focusing equally on Hamas’s position regarding the ceasefire, as well as the Israeli’s. The article mentioned continuing fire (though less than the other days), and mentioned the number of dead amongst both Palestinians and Israelis. Expectedly, the article will be viewed as extremist because the number of Palestinian deaths is by far higher than that of the Israeli’s, even though the article’s figures come from AFP, the UN and Palestinian medical sources.
Aljazeera cites Palestinian groups stating that as long as Israel remains in the strip and maintains its blockade, they will continue to resist them, and quotes Israeli officials declaring that they will respond to any fire against its soldiers or civilians. Unlike the New York Times’ which article was dominated by the Israeli view, Aljazeera’s presented both perspectives, equally citing Israelis as well as Palestinians. Notably, the layout of Aljazeera’s article implies that the war will most likely continue with Hamas declaring it will fight as long as Israelis remain in Gaza and maintains its blockade, and with Israel stating that it will respond to fire against its soldiers (those who are in Gaza, for instance).

Haaretz, the Israeli news paper shockingly did not quote one Palestinian regarding the cease-fire and filled its entire article with Israeli statements.
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It mentioned the number of victims from both parts, minimizing the Palestinians’ deaths by more than 100 in compare to the other sources, and disregarding the number of Palestinian children who were killed in the war. Stating the number of victims, however, seemed more to say that ‘Israel won’ than anything else, and claimed that the war accomplished its goals, forgetting that Hamas is still there, with full, or at least similar strengths as before, and with its projectile-made rockets still pounding Israeli targets.

Israel ‘to announce Gaza truce’
used less propaganda language in its article, but also contented itself with two statements by Hamas, while the rest of the article was dominated by the Israeli statements and views. Interestingly, however, BBC’s figure regarding Palestinian casualties was similar to that of Aljazeera, which is nearly 100 less than Haaretz’ figures.

(Note), Aljazeera, in Arabic means Island, and in this case it is an attempt to imply neutrality, as the Island is usually in the middle of the sea/ocean.

Works Cited
Erlanger, Steven. “Israel Declares Cease-Fire; Hamas Says It Will Fight On.” New York Times

Al Jazeera and agencies. “Olmert announces Gaza ceasefire.” Aljazeera TV.

Haaretz Staff and Agencies. “Israel to begin unilateral Gaza cease-fire at 2 A.M.” Haaretz.

“Israel ‘to announce Gaza truce’” BBC News


January 13, 2009

Since I am Lebanese, I find it somewhat sad that many in the West never listen to the Middle Eastern perspective of the Middle East issue (Gaza).  Aljazeera, which is perceived as nutral in the Middle East, seems to be viewed as presenting the extreme side of the issue.  Well, I am sorry to say, but if that is the case, AP, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, MPR, are also extremest, because they only present the  Western side of the issue.  Even BBC, which is viewed as unbiessed, does not really present the Middle Eastern perspective of the issue.  I am, however, not saying that the Middle East is right or wrong: I am saying that it would be okay to listen to unbiessed news sources, as well as both sides of the issue to better understand what is going on.  This, however, does not mean that I will be only viewing the Middle East side of this issue, but I will be viewing a variety of news sources and they are,



CNN International,

I believe this would provide me with the American perspective of what is going on in Gaza.




BBC Middle East,

This would allow me to understand the western world’s perspective of the issue, and of course, in somewhat unbiessed manner.




Haaretz Israel,

Haaretz is an Israeli dayly newspaper, and I believe it allows me to understand the Israeli view of the war and what is going on.









This would enable me to understand the Middle Eastern perspective of what is going on.








I chose this because I simply want to focus on the  emotional aspect of the war, and a blog focusing on a different war would enable me to connect the dots and thus, better understand its various phases.



II guess something about me is that much as I feel sorry for these children who get killed in the war, I feel more sorry for the children who lose their mom, mothers who lose their children, and lovers who lose their beloved.




And of course, I will be always checking other news sources Yahoo and google news—I especially  love AP that I consider more extremest than FoxL

I look forward for interesting discussions and an interesting  semester