#GazaJ19: On The Israel-Gaza March With Bigots, Humanitarians, Dead Baby Pornographers And Bullshitters
PEOPLE massed in London today to protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Many came to sue for peace. But their message of love was sullied by others who needed an excuse to call the Jewish state Nazis (a conniving insult that mocks Holocaust victims) and wanted genocide, demanding that Israel and, presumably, her inhabitants be annihilated for the good of all decent mankind:
At one point, a woman on the podium shouted “from the river to the sea” — a call for the elimination of Israel — and protesters responded by yelling “Palestine will be free.”
Heartfelt humanitarian concerns were much in evidence. But we also saw flags for the liberals and peaceniks of Hizbollah…
… and some classic Anti-semitism.
Some spotted an agenda:
The Stop The War Coalition, who months ago told the Guardian that protesting over Syria isn’t their job as they only focus on “what Britain and the US are doing”, made their usual exception for Israel by helping to organising Friday’s demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in London.
To them, Israel is the country into which all the perceived sins of the West can be poured. Get this:
Comedian and pro-Palestinian activist Alexei Sayle has fiercely condemned Israel’s air strikes in the Gaza Strip, by comparing the nation’s behaviour to that of prolific sex offender Jimmy Savile…
“Israel is the Jimmy Saville of nation states. It clearly doesn’t care about damaging the lives of children… [Israel] is endlessly indulged by its doting parents, the West, and has become a psychopath as a result.”
Another writer highlights the West’s desire to see its ally punished:
Just imagine if the Scots, for example, had for years been firing at England volleys of rockets that were now putting 40-50 million people within range. Unimaginable? Of course it is. No country would tolerate it. But that’s the equivalent situation in which tiny Israel has found itself. Yet it is simultaneously having to fight another war: against a West determined to demonise it with accusations of deliberate atrocities, lack of restraint or an attempt to conquer more land.
To these people, whatever Israel does to defend itself is bad. Killing Gazans is bad, warning them to flee so they won’t be killed is bad, the Iron Dome missile defence system is bad because, while Palestinians are being killed, Israelis are not. Ah yes, that’s the real outrage, isn’t it? Not enough dead Jews. How dare they defend themselves so effectively!
Innocent people are dying. They always suffer the most. A Lasting peace from all factions – with all their nuances and shades – recognising the other’s right to exist is the only hope.
At Children of Peace, Richard Martin sees the waste of life:
In just the last few weeks Israeli and Palestinian children and young people have been paying the ultimate price for a conflict not of their making.
The mutilated bodies of three Israeli Jewish youths Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, probably kidnapped by Hamas operatives on June 12, are found in a field north of Hebron. A three year old Palestinian girl is killed in Gaza when a Hamas Kassam rocket aimed at Israeli civilians, misfires. Just hours after the Israeli youths are laid to rest, the body of kidnapped Israeli Arab Aran Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, aged 16 is found burned in a Jerusalem forest, possibly murdered by Jewish extremists. A 15 year old Israeli Arab boy, Mohammed Karkara from Arruba, bringing water to an IDF patrol is killed by Syrian forces using an anti-tank missile, on the Golan border. In recent days, four boys playing on a beach at the Gaza harbour were tragically killed by Israeli navy gunfire. Today, three teens were killed in Beit Hanoun, Gaza during the latest Israeli engagement with Hamas.
Others just want to focus on children. Children die in war. It’s a horror. On Israel, the dead children are named, paraded before the cameras and become front-page news – something that does not happen in every bloody battle. Is Israeli militarism more brutal and terrible than any other kind of militarism?
On the Telegraph:
There is a terrible irony to this widespread publishing of photos of battered Palestinian children – the aim seems to be to show that we the right-minded folk of Twitter and the Western media really care, but the question it immediately raises in my mind is this: “Well, if you care about children so much, why didn’t you publish photos of dead kids from the Congo? Or Aleppo? Or Sri Lanka? Do you only care about one group of children – Palestinians – and no others?” So a photo-sharing frenzy aimed at advertising our caring tendencies actually has the opposite effect: it makes one wonder why this alleged caring instinct is so picky, so partial , attaching itself firmly to the child-victims of one conflict but rarely finding expression in relation to any other conflict.
But what about facts? Let’s stick to a basic on. How many were there on the march?
Russia Today: “Thousands have turned out in London and Oslo to call for an end to Israeli strikes in Gaza”
BBC: “Thousands of people have marched through central London to call for an end to Israel’s ground campaign and rocket attacks on Gaza… Before the event up to 15,000 people were expected to attend. However, the police were not able to verify how many were there.”
ITV: “15,000 Gaza protesters march on London”
“Nearly 15,000 people marched through the capital from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington this afternoon”
Socialist Worker: “Up to 100,000 people streamed through the streets of London today, Saturday, in one of the biggest anti-war demonstrations in years.”
And as Channel 4 puts it:
Estimates of demonstrators ranged from 15,000 to 100,000
And nothing in between.
Such is the standard of reporting on Israel when even the most simple fact is adapted to fit a prejudice.