Murders in the Holy Land and The US media Wizards of Ozreal

How the media let Israel get away with murder

Charlotte Silver, The Electronic Intifada, San Francisco, 17 January 2013

Relatives of Samir Awad mourn after the 17-year-old died of gunshot wounds on 14 January.

(Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Israel spends a lot of time talking about secure borders and how the need for them drives its policies regarding the Palestinians. With few exceptions, the media act as willing promoters of this perversion of reality.

Between 11 and 15 January, four young Palestinians — aged 17 to 22 — were shot dead by Israeli occupation forces. The murders took place in the Gaza Strip and at different points along Israel’s wall in the West Bank. In all instances the Israeli army justified the use of lethal force by invoking its need to protect the integrity of the wall and Israel’s borders.

On 11 January, 22-year-old Anwar Mamlouk was reportedly just outside the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza when Israeli soldiers gunned him down.

The next day, Odai al-Darawish, 21, was shot to death at three o’clock in the afternoon while crossing Israel’s wall in the West Bank to get to work in Israel. Initially, Israeli sources claimed the soldiers shot al-Darawish in his legs, in accordance with the “rules of engagement” (“Israeli troops kill Palestinian trying to cross barrier,” The Chicago Tribune, 12 January 2013).

But medical sources quickly revealed that he was hit in the back, indicating that he was likely shot while trying to run to safety (“Israeli forces shoot, kill worker south of Hebron,” Ma’an News Agency, 12 January 2013).

Al-Darawish was from the village of Dura, near Hebron, where in September last year a man attempted to immolate himself in a desperate protest of the dire economic conditions Palestinians face in the occupied West Bank (“Palestinian man attempts to set himself on fire in West Bank village of Dura,” Haaretz, 17 January 2013).

Mustafa Jarad was aged 21 and a farmer from Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. He was shot in the forehead by an Israeli sniper on 14 January while working his land. But despite the Israeli gunman’s skillful marksmanship, Jarad was not killed immediately.

Doctors at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City tried to remove the bullet from his severely injured brain, but Jarad died after surgery (“Mustafa Abu Jarad, murdered in Gaza, by the Israeli army,” International Solidarity Movement, 15 January 2013). Continue reading

Israeli troops open fire on Palestinian protesters attempting to cross at Golan Heights; 22 reported killed

Israeli troops opened fire on scores of Palestinian protesters from Syria who tried to cross the frontier at the Israeli-held Golan Heights.

By Samuel Sockol and , Washington Post, Sunday, June 5, 2011

MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights — Israeli troops opened fire as hundreds of Palestinian protesters and supporters from Syria tried to cross the frontier with the Israeli-held Golan Heights on Sunday. The official Syrian news agency said 22 people were killed and more than 350 injured.The protest near the Golan and other demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip marked the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1967 Middle East war, in which Israel captured those territories.
Israeli army spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai accused Syria of creating “a provocation” at the border to distract attention from the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown on the uprising in that country.In a sign of official backing for the protests, the border clashes were broadcast live on Syrian television, with comments from participants, and reporters were permitted direct access to the normally closed frontier zones.Near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, hundreds of protesters, many of whom arrived from Damascus, streamed down a hillside and marched toward the frontier, carrying Palestinian and Syrian flags and chanting “Palestine is Arab!” and “the Golan is Syrian!”

Unlike a similar effort last month, in which marchers from Syria caught the Israeli army unprepared and breached the frontier, soldiers Sunday were waiting for the demonstrators and used gunfire to hold them back. Continue reading

Press reports reveal divisions over settlements; Israeli artists declare boycott

Prominent Israeli theatre artists boycott new centre in settlement

Israeli children walk past the new Theater in the Jewish settlement of Ariel in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Leading Israeli theater artists have pledged not to perform in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, stirring a heated debate in Israel over the settlements, which have been deemed illegal by the international community and built on occupied Palestinian land.

August 29, 2010

Jerusalem – Citing reasons of conscience, 36 prominent Israeli theatre directors, actors and writers have declared a boycott of a new cultural centre to be opened soon in a settlement in the West Bank town of Ariel, media reports said Sunday.

The group sent a letter to several theatre directors around Israel declaring their boycott aims.

Among those signing the letter was famous dramatist Joshua Sobol, author of, among other works, the triptych of plays, Ghetto, Adam and Underground.

“We wish to express our revulsion of the fact that theatres are planning performances in the new hall in Ariel,” the letter said.

“The actors below hereby declare that they will refuse to perform in Ariel, as in every other settlement,” it added.

The letter stirred controversy in Israel with some right-wing politicians calling for cutting the budgets of those theatres which do not perform in the occupied areas. Continue reading