Saturday, June 24, 2006

WaPost Discovers Sderot?

The Israeli city of Sderot (inside the infamous "pre-1967 borders, thank you) has been bombed relentlessly by Hamas since Israel gave them the Gaza Strip. But of course, the world and the media turned a blind eye, perferring to remain fixated on wild claims that Israel is shelling Palestinian picnikers. But lo and behold! What do we find in today's Washington Post? A story sympathetic to the plight of the residents of this beseiged city?

A city of 22,000 on the western edge of the parched Negev region, Sderot is best known as the bull's eye for Palestinian rocket launchers. The Israeli military reports 17 crude rockets, known generically as Qassams, have been fired into Sderot so far this month from the nearby Gaza Strip. Many more have landed in the empty fields that surround the city.

Since June 9, Palestinian gunmen have fired more then 120 rockets toward Israel.
Made in Gaza machine shops, they range in length from 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet. Fired from a tripod, they travel between two and six miles, depending on the size of their engine and warhead.
Some of the missiles failed to reach beyond Gaza's border, while many more landed harmlessly in empty fields. But in this month alone, a house, a religious school and a college campus have been damaged by missile strikes, and an elderly man from Sderot was gravely injured by Qassam shrapnel.

So I am thinking to myself, "Wow! The Washington Post is actually doing the right thing for once and exposing some of the hate and death that Hamas perpetrates upon Isreal on a daily basis!"
But alas, there is a caveat - see, it isn't actually those pesky Jews that the writers here are concerned about; it's the fact that people with black skin live in this city and that the apparent lack of a brutal IDF response may be racial discrimination:

When large numbers of North African Jews immigrated to the young Jewish state in the 1950s, the government placed them in slapdash cities in the hinterlands and, in the eyes of many, forgot about them.

In the last decade, Sderot has filled with immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. While strengthening Israel's Jewish majority, the arrivals have struggled with language, cultural assimilation and a stumbling economy. Unemployment and alcoholism run high here.

OK, I get it - if Israel defends its cities against Palestinian rocket attacks by firing back into Gaza, they are oppressors, but if they fail to defend cities filled with black Jews, they are still oppressors, this time of their own minority population. Just can't win, huh? Note how the WaPost gives prominent space to those who support
offensive action:

Eli Moyal, now in his second term as Sderot's mayor, responded by declaring Peres "persona non grata" in the city. He called on Olmert to fire the Nobel peace laureate and former Labor Party prime minister, even though he had already demanded Olmert's resignation a day earlier. Moyal also has declared that Defense Minister Amir Peretz is no longer welcome in Sderot, his home town.

The government has spent millions of dollars in Sderot over the past two years to reinforce public buildings against rocket attack, and this week the Israeli cabinet proposed a new package of educational, cultural and security programs.

"This is losing the war," said Moyal, who said he intended to walk the roughly 40 miles to Jerusalem beginning Sunday to highlight his city's plight.
"We should not be protecting ourselves from terrorism but fighting it."

The public works that the WaPost describes above is a liberal's dream in dealing with terrorists attacks, and would have been the preferred response to 9/11, as opposed to actually going to the Middle East and fighting those whom launch the terror attacks. Seems like when immigrant Israelis are being attacked, the rules change. Shouldn't the same defense apply to all? Isn't the WaPost showing a subliminal undercurrent of racism here, by suggesting that native Israelis and Jews from Europe deserve less of a physical defense than North African Jews? Shouldn't the same standard of foreign policy be applied to both?

And finally, one more point of interest from this report:

Most of the rockets now pack very little explosive, like the one that landed on the roof of a hilltop high school yeshiva here and left a hole the size of a beach ball.
Avi Suleimani, 18, was sitting in his classroom praying when he heard the alarm and then a boom. "We thought it had landed far away from us," Suleimani said. "But one of the students opened the door and saw it had landed in the classroom next door." The classroom was empty.

And if the classrom was full?
And if the hole was not blown in an empty (luckily!) Israeli classroom, but a classroom full of private school students in suburban Maryland, do you think the Washington Post would dismiss it so blithely?

Yeah, me neither...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice grab! Just another version of "World to end; Women, Minorities Hardest Hit"