Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's settlements, not prisoners, that are important

CBC has made an unnaturally big deal out of the Israeli prisoner release, and has paid much less attention to the much more fundamental issue of continued expansion of Israeli settlements (that is, Israel eating the pie while slowly negotiating how to divide it).

There have been several headline articles over the past week about the prisoner release, but only one about settlement expansion:

Israel approves nearly 1,200 new settlement homes

However if one looks at this article, even here about half of the words are about how painful it is for Israel to release a hundred or so of its 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners.

On August 14th we have this latest of several articles on the prisoner release:

Israel frees 26 Palestinian prisoners before peace talks

Israel will free 104 Palestinian prisoners before Wednesday's peace talks

Notice how CBC goes to the extent of naming the victims of Palestinian violence:

"Among those released Tuesday was a Palestinian convicted in the 1994 slaying of Isaac Rotenberg, a 69-year-old Holocaust survivor who was attacked with an ax as he was working at a construction site where he was a contractor. Others were convicted in the slayings of Ian Feinberg, an Israeli lawyer killed in a European aid office in Gaza in 1993, and Frederick Rosenfeld, an American slain while hiking in the West Bank in 1989."

The fact is that 3 Palestinians are killed by Israelis for every Israeli killed by Palestinians, and the ratio is as high as 5 to 1 more Palestinian children and youths being killed. How often are we given the full names and details of these killings.

What exactly is CBC trying to prove by going into such detail on Israel's supposed generosity in releasing a few prisoners, and offering so little detail on Israel's duplicity in expanding settlements? Why not give the full names and details of Palestinians killed, injured, or simply illegally dispossessed of their homes and land by Israel? Why not more details on how painful the actual new construction will be for Palestinians living nearby?

CBC, if you think we need to know the names of victims, give us the names of the hundreds and thousands of Palestinian victims as well!

And lets have more details about what actually is happening with the expansion being announced by Israel. There is a campaign of ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from East Jerusalem which is being furthered by this expansion; the settlement (colony) of Ma'ale Adumim literally divides the West Bank in half so expanding this is a death blow to Palestinian sovereignty. Why are details like this absent from CBC's reporting? Why do we need to know the name of Isaac Rotenburg who was killed almost 20 years ago?

If this is balance for CBC, I shudder to think what would be considered imbalance by these so-called journalists.

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