Magazine article Editor & Publisher

UPDATE: Israel Invades Gaza -- Maintains Ban on Journos in Gaza -- as Amnesty Int'l Rips U.S. Role (and Weapons)

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

UPDATE: Israel Invades Gaza -- Maintains Ban on Journos in Gaza -- as Amnesty Int'l Rips U.S. Role (and Weapons)

Article excerpt

Israel launched its much-anticipated invasion of Gaza this afternoon. For over a week, U.S. media had provided largely one-sided coverage of the conflict, with little editorializing or commentary arguing against broader Israeli actions.

On Friday, Amnesty International had condemned the U.S. response to the "disproportionate" Israeli bombing of Gaza -- with largely U.S. weapons. Some of it amounts to U.S.-backed "human rights abuses," it charged. The group recalled that the U.S. supplied most of the millions of cluster bombs dropped by Israel in the Lebanon war in 2006. "Amnesty International USA is particularly dismayed at the lopsided response by the U.S. government to the recent violence and its lackadaisical efforts to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza," the group told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the letter, which was released to the media.

After more than eight days of Israeli bombing and Hamas rocket launching in Gaza, The New York Times had produced exactly one editorial, not a single commentary by any of its columnists, and only one op-ed (favoring Israel). The editorial, several days ago, did argue against a ground invasion - - but even though that invasion had become more likely the paper did not return to this subject.

The paper kept that silence going in Sunday's paper, with no editorial or columnist comment on the Israeli invasion.

The invasion did begin Saturday -- so any further criticism will now come too late.

Meanwhile, a columnist for the Spectator in London argues for the arrest of Western journalists who have criticized Israel's actions. Israel stating added artillery fire to the bombing. One nighttime airstrike hit the offices of the Hamas weekly newspaper Al Resala in Gaza City, wounding 16 civilians who live nearby, Hamas and residents said. And Amir Oren, in a column at Haaretz, concludes with a call to get done with Gaza: "[T]he IDF must move quickly to disengage, in order to free its attention for the paramount task of preparing a military blow to Iran, if diplomacy and deterrence fail. As long as the great threat of Iranian power is hovering, the smaller threats of Hezbollah and Hamas that derive from it will not be dispelled."

Israel, meanwhile, maintained its ban on foreign journalists entering the Gaza Strip Friday despite a recent Supreme Court order to allow a limited number of reporters to enter the territory. …

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