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Sunday, February 27, 2005

relative humanity

those who don't believe that the conflict between israel and the palestinians is a case of imperialism or colonialism need to explain the U.S. media's different valuations of israeli and palestinian lives. teddy roosevelt sums the attitude up:

'[A] Conquest may be fraught with evil or with good for mankind, according to the comparative worth of the conquering and conquered peoples.'

- Theodore Roosevelt

this double standard - essentially white supremacy, with israelis defined as white and palestinians as other - is most clearly on display when palestinians resume violence against israeli civilians after a period of refraining from it. universally in the establishment media, this is portrayed as shattering the truce or the calm. the assumption, and therefore the message, is that the israeli crimes that the palestinians held back their response to - killings, woundings, house demolitions, colony construction, wall construction - were not violations of the truce or disturbances of the calm, because what we value is calm for israelis not palestinians - peace for the whites, not for the colonized.

thus, the recent bombing in tel aviv, possibly carried out by islamic jihad, was universally reported as shattering the calm, but the same is not true of the 170 israeli killings of palestinians since the last such bombing in november.

if americans knew conducts studies of reporting of israeli vs. palestinian deaths in the US print media. the consistent conclusion is that israeli deaths are reported much more prominently than palestinian deaths. the executive director, alison weir, writes here about the LA times' coverage of the recent bombing.

here's a challenge to those who disagree with the colonialist/imperialist analysis: is there any other way to understand these facts?


Yesh Gvul
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