Middle East Reportage ‘Smothered in Deceptive Euphemisms’

Credited by the London Review of Books (1/29/09) as the “former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America,” Henry Siegman’s list of official Israeli claims that “most of the Western media have accepted” includes “that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed” and “that Israel has acted not only in its own defense but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies.” In fact, Siegman is

not aware of a single major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events. Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any… has focused instead on whether the Israeli Defense Force’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties.

Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms, so let me state bluntly that each of these claims is a lie. Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further.

In case you’re wondering what kind of radical sources Siegman is getting this information from, he tells us that “this was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDFâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Gaza Division.” See the FAIR Media Advisory: “The Blame Game in Gaza: Erasing Israeli Actions to Fault Only Hamas” (1/6/09)