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Jewish Journal

Here’s what really happened in Israel in the past couple of days

by Noga Gur-Arieh

November 15, 2012 | 10:32 am

A rocket is seen after its launch from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel Nov 15. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

It is a solid fact that Operation Pillar of Defense did not come out of the blue. It came as a response to a massive, continuous attack on Israeli cities, fired from the Hamas terror organization sitting in Gaza. I know it, because I live in Israel. You know it, because you read the Jewish Journal, which provides a full scan on everything that's going on. But what does the rest of the world know? An overview of popular news websites in English, presents the readers several versions of the past week in Israel. When I browsed the web to see how my reality looks to foreign readers, I was shocked to see articles that were very far from presenting what journalists swore to present: a balanced, objective story.

In case you forgot, last Saturday, a missile fired from Gaza hit an IDF vehicle, and wounded four soldiers. As a response, the IDF fired back at facilities owned by the Hamas, from which the attack came. The response was carefully aimed. Hamas refused to let go, and started a massive attack on Israeli southern cities. For a week, missiles were fired to civilian places, meant to hurt as many Israelis as possible. In this time, more than 1 million Israelis lived under constant fear, and at some point, could not leave their shelters. Yesterday was the first day with Israeli casualties, both civilians and soldiers, and the situation just keeps getting worse. The IDF tried to maintain a low profile, until yesterday, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formally declared a special operation, meant to completely stop the attack on Israeli civilians. To be fully honest, Palestinians were also killed. However, as Netanyahu said well, their attacks are meant to kill innocent people, while ours are meant to protect our people and kill terrorists. The terrorists controlling Gaza are hiding inside schools and hospitals, and are using civilians as targets, which makes civilians casualties inevitable. This story as a whole did not appear in any of the news sites I looked into. Some presented a slightly unbalanced story, and some made me scream at the screen. People who have no idea what's really happening, and rely on a single information source, read a very wrong story, and therefore get a very wrong idea on the situation here.

Take CNN, for example, the first article describing what happened was published on November 10th. The headline, which is the very first thing readers see, and what sets the tone of the article, is saying: "Violence flares as Israelis, Palestinians trade fire." This immediately makes the reader sympathize with the terrorists, who, for some reason, are presented here as "Palestinians,” and not as what they really are, which is a small, extreme group within them. Then, the article presents the course of events which led to the fire exchange, where the IDF vehicle was involved. However, with the use of numbers, they present a touching David and Goliath story, in which a small occasion, where only four Israelis were injured, dragged a massive attack on unprotected Palestinians, who gathered in a funeral.

After Operation Pillar of Defense started, CNN posted an article with the title: "Rockets, airstrikes reignite Mideast conflict." The very strange thing about this story is that they have completely forgotten the past couple of days. In the story, they describe the Israeli attack on Palestinian civilians, right after killing the chief of Hamas' military wing (and not a word about Hamas being a terror organization…). Then, they said that "Palestinian leaders immediately condemned the attacks as an escalation." - Almost as if no fire was shot from Gaza prior to this. Only later on in the article, it says that Israel's Iron Dome air defense system intercepted 28 rockets launched at Israel on Wednesday, but once again, it seems like nothing really hit Israeli ground, and all is safe and sound, which is, once again, not true.

On CBS News, the first cover also appeared on November 10th, with an article titled: "After attack on jeep, Israeli army kills 4 in Gaza." – this also presents the readers with what might be a wrong picture. It doesn't say who attacked whom, and leaves the readers with a blur. Many versions of the story can pop up to the head of the reader, before starting to read. One of them is that the IDF had no idea who attacked the vehicle, and decided to kill civilians in Gaza, "just in case." Later on, the picture clears up, and presents the versions of both the Israeli side and the Palestinian side. It seems like they made this perfect journalistic work, but a closer look reveals a trick which is almost unnoticeable, but easily enters the sub-conscious of every reader: the Palestinian version if described as one coming from "Officials and eye witnesses," while the Israeli version is coming from "Israel's military." You tell me which one sounds more reliable and less biased….Moreover, there is a long description of the Palestinians killed, "civilians between the ages of 16 and 18 and that among the 25 wounded were some children.” It also mentioned that there were no Israelis killed, thanks to the protection of Iron Dome, but doesn't say that Iron Dome did not block all missiles, not even most of them, and did not say a word on the Israeli life in the shadow of death.

The article after the Operation began, reading: "Hamas militant chief killed in Israeli airstrikes," is starting off with the very true saying, according to which Israel "carried out a blistering offensive of more than 20 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday." This story, unlike the last one, shows more details on the missiles fired to Israel, and presents a respond of sort to the last article.

I've looked into many news sites, and I can go on and analyze forever, but since I don't want to wear you out, I encourage you to look into news websites as well, and take to close look at the coverage. Then, remember which sites are more reliable (such as Fox in my opinion), and which are less. Until then, please help and support Israel. In times like this, it is very important for us to unite as one big family and be there for each other. SHARE THE TRUTH.

For constant updates: https://www.facebook.com/IsraelUnderFireLive?fref=ts

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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