After a four-hour artillery barrage, Israeli troops moved into the northern part of the Gaza strip on Saturday.
This land operation raises the same question Jonathan Freedland asked about the whole Gaza War, which is whether it is wise and how it will end with any lasting advantage to Israel. Me, I can’t see it. The Israelis used to assassinate and attack Hamas when they controlled Gaza, with no success in destroying the movement. So how can they destroy it now when they don’t control Gaza and are just making a temporary incursion into a heavily populated, complex territory?
Human Rights Watch has slammed Israel for indiscriminate attacks on civilians during the Gaza operation, which is a war crime.
At 2:06 pm on Saturday 1/3 EST, I was watching CNN, the US feed, which had temporarily switched to the London desk of CNN International. CNN International began an interview with PLO spokesman Saeb Erakat, the first time I have seen a Palestinian commenter on US television during the past week with the exception of the PA envoy to the UN.
CNN US suddenly interrupted the Erekat interview and switched to Ben Wiedeman in Jerusalem to explain the task Israel had before it. It has been 20 minutes and they have never returned to finish the Erekat interview. Have any of the major magazine shows had any Palestinians at all on this week as commenters?
2:31 PM CNN US did a telephone interview with Mustafa Barghouti, who complained that CNN’s coverage was all from the Israeli side. He insisted that Hamas had been ready to negotiate a cease-fire and pointed out that Hamas had killed no one during the truce since June and before the Israeli attack. Barghouti has a pretty thick accent and I don’t know how well he is understood by US audiences. Why is it that Israeli interviewees all have American accents but no similar Palestinian observers can be found?
Earlier on Saturday CNN invited Gen. David Grange on, one of the military commentators outed by the New York Times as part of a Pentagon influence-peddling scheme for the media. Grange kept talking about what “we” would do if “we” took rocket fire the way the Israelis had from Hamas. Grange did not say what “we” would do if militant European refugees landed at Norfolk, took over Virginia, expelled its population, and then kept the refugees from McLean huddling over in West Virginia in camps for decades with no reparations, recently denying them sufficient food and fuel to avoid a humanitarian crisis. But of course that would never happen to the Granges, so why bother to even mention any point of view but the hawks’?
Besides,the point of CNN US seems to be to prevent voices like Saeb Erekat’s from being heard, though they are allowed on adult channels intended for the rest of the world.