Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Gideon Levy - spin on the settlers
Once again the very excellent Gideon Levy writes about the media coverage of the settlers. Here is an excerpt:
For several months, the media has devoted inflated coverage to the suffering of the evacuees, and we are subject to heartrending and senseless descriptions. Every teenage girl from Gush Katif who pours out her heart in a diary is awarded a tear-jerking column, every rabbi becomes a profound philosopher and every housewife an angry prophet. Every piece of land cultivated by Palestinian and Thai workers employed under disgraceful conditions becomes part of the sacred homeland, and the relocation of inhabitants under deluxe terms is presented as uprooting and rending. The evacuators and evacuees are described as "weeping together." Soldiers who destroyed and killed in the territories without inhibition are suddenly in need of emotional support. In this way, the price of the evacuation is raised and the next evacuation is prevented. There is no proportion between the suffering of the evacuees - to whom the state is extending generous assistance in every area - and the lamentation over them. These spin doctors, the settlers, pluck every string, from their children to the graves of their family members, to create an image of victimhood. It is no wonder the country is painted orange.
Suddenly we are showing a rare sensitivity for human suffering. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes, as their homes, with all of their possessions, were crushed by Israel Defense Forces bulldozers, without warning, without compensation, without evacuation. The hundreds of families whose homes were expropriated for various purposes, the farmers dispossessed of their lands, the uprooted trees and the children who silently witnessed the brutality - these were never given even a fraction of the media coverage the settlers have received.
Foreign workers who are hunted as animals and violently deported, and even the impoverished in Israel - those evacuated from their homes, with their children, due to debt and mortgages, the unemployed who are down to their last loaf of bread, and miserable homeless people who roam the streets - can only dream of such broad and sympathetic media coverage.