A Palestinian writer describes recent events in Gaza as “raiding the prison posts” where Israel has kept Palestinians locked up – literally and figuratively – for years. Western media rarely include such inconvenient truths.
by Jamal Kanj, October 9, 2023
I write as we watch the news of Palestinian fighters from the besieged and starved Gaza strip having seized the initiatives from the Israeli daily incursions on Palestinian camps, and towns murdering civilians. Israeli murders this year have reached more than 250 Palestinians, including 47 children. This is in addition to the desecration of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and other occupied Palestinian communities.
Gaza has endured a harsh economic blockade for more than 18 years. Palestinians are lynched at the hand of the illegal ultra-Jewish colonizers in cities like Hawara and Hebron. The burning of Palestinian cars, homes, and business, under the official protection of the Israeli occupying army and direct support from Israeli racist ministers have become a daily occurrence.
Additionally, more than 5,000 Palestinians continue to languish in Israeli jails. The racist Israeli government has introduced new harsh measures, including extended isolation, limited family contact, restricted access to medical treatment, etc. This does not even account for the 1,200 individuals held under administrative detention, which means imprisoned without charge.
The international community’s silence has granted Israel impunity and has perpetuated the normalization of the Israeli apartheid occupation, imposing a way of life that Palestinians are forced to endure and tolerate.
This background sets the stage for Palestinians to, for perhaps the first time, to grab the initiative from the Israeli occupation forces by raiding the prison posts that kept Gaza under blockade, in the world’s largest open-air prison, for nearly two decades.
Keeping that in mind, it is disheartening to witness the biased coverage by American TV networks and their one-sided pundits, rendering FOX, CNN, and MSNBC indistinguishable in their hypocritical handling of today’s events as well as the 75-year Israeli occupation and the dispossession of Palestinian land.
Alas, American/Western media and political pundits won’t hesitate describing the Palestinian retaliation against the Gaza economic blockade, the murdering of Palestinians, the defilement of holly sites, the building of Jewish only colonies on illegally occupied land, as merely a “terrorist” attack, and Israeli prisoners taken to Gaza as “hostages.”
Meanwhile, the same media industrial complex never ascribed the term hostage for Palestinian, men, women and children taken half naked in the middle of the night from their bedrooms by the Israeli army. The pundits in CNN, FOX, and MSNBC never called the 1200 non charged Palestinians held indefinitely (under 6 months renewable sentence) as hostages.
This blatant double standard becomes evident when comparing the Gaza coverage with Ukraine. If residential towers and homes filled with sleeping families were to be targeted in Kiev, instead of Gaza, we would undoubtedly witness relentless headlines, slow-motion replays of the implosions, and listen to lectures on “Russian brutality” against civilians.
However, since it happened in Gaza, with Palestinian victims instead of white Europeans, and the weapons destroying the towers and homes were most likely American-made rockets rather than Russian ones, it is conveniently accepted as “collateral damage” that Western media neither acknowledges nor discusses.
Israel had described its daily incursions in the West Bank camps and towns, and earlier wars on Gaza as “mowing the lawn.” The Palestinian lawn, however, has grown back stronger, resisting the Israeli lawnmower and rejecting its Palestinian Authority lawn agents.
The Israeli prime minister’s threat of severe vengeance adds nothing new, as vengeance has been an integral part of the Zionist philosophy. Palestinians have tragically experienced this vengeance in Deir Yassin and numerous other unknown villages in 1948, during the defenseless camp massacres in Beirut in 1982, and in the continuous “lawn mowing” in Gaza and the West Bank.
Palestinians are well aware that their actions against the Israeli guard posts of the largest open-air prison might come at a significant cost. They face the greatest technology by the most rudimentary weapon system. Palestinians realize they have no match to the American supplied Israeli military might.
However, the latest battle has also demonstrated the unmatched bravery of the Palestinian fighters who went fishing for Israeli soldiers hiding inside the most expensive, and most sophisticated military tanks.
Kanj is the author of “Children of Catastrophe: Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America,” and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries.
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