I really didn’t want to return to this topic for fear my reader(s) might justly protest, “What does this have to do with France?” In fact, if this journal is about anything, it’s about the perspective of an American living in France and, well, let’s start by explaining why on the question of Israel’s war crimes, that might be different than that of an American living in America.
Now, an American who relies on the New York Times might be forgiven for believing that the 30-40 PEOPLE taking refuge in a clearly marked UNITED NATIONS facility were killed by accident. “Israeli Strike Hits Refugees Near a U.N. School in Gaza,” read the headline in the Times. Contrast this with the head in the French daily Rue89, which heralded its story from Reuters via Yahoo France, “Many tens dead in the bombardment of a UN school in Gaza.” In interviews today on the BBC, UN officials on the ground said they had clearly given Israel a list of their facilities, ncluding this one (and another where Israel killed three civilians earlier). But that’s not the best. Never mind that Reuters was there and filmed the scene — “a vision from a nightmare: bodies, shoes and torn clothes strewn about the floor, in tides of blood” — and never mind that the tallies of 30 and 42 came from, respectively, the UN and Palestinian doctors, the Times report had the cupidity to add, “The number of those killed at the United Nations school could not be immediately independently confirmed.” Well – Duh! That’s because Israel isn’t letting international reporters into Gaza! This is what we call Zionist negationism in real time. (Q: Why does the U.N. say there is a humanitarian crisis, while Israel says there’s not? Because they’re not human! They’re Arabs. Did Barack Obama make the same cynical equation when the best response he could come up with was to say, “the loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern for me”? At last count, that would be 5 Israelis and 630 Palestinians. Obama did add, said the Times, his new bromide that the US has one president at a time (er, unless it comes to money. I mean dead children are one thing, money another. How’s that for moral values!?) But now, Obama will defer to our war criminal of a president to comment or not on Israeli war crimes.
PS 1: Unfortunately, Hamas isn’t helping those of us who would defuse Israel’s propaganda. I’d been telling those who say Hamas is to blame because of the rocket attacks that Hamas was ready to renew the cease-fire if Israel just ended the blockade, but yesterday on the BBC, a Hamas rep. said that besides that, the Occupation would have to end for them to stop firing rockets. Way to shoot yourself and your people in the foot, Hamas!
PS 2: On the Israeli side, filmmaker Amos Gitai did not do much better. Asked to comment on the current events during a brief appearance on France Culture radio Tuesday morning to discuss his 2007 film related to the deportation and the Holocaust, the best he could do was bemoan the ‘bloody’ cycle of violence. And another Israeli supposed liberal loses the moral ground.