Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not a Case of Media Bias

A number of blogs have been complaining about the media's reporting of the Israel-Palestine ceasefire and Hamas's decision to officially breach it. Melanie Phillips and Little Green Footballs both mention it linking to an entry on the Honest Reporting blog.

The complaint is that the media continues to report that a ceasefire is in place and, apparently, doesn't treat Palestinian attacks as de-facto breaches of that agreement. Ms Phillips, in her usual hysterical style, concludes:

The inescapable implication of this systematic and mind-twisting denial of Palestinian military aggression and equally systematic concentration on Israeli measures to counter it is that such Palestinian attacks aren’t considered to be attacks at all because their targets are Israelis, whose own self-defence is thus characterised falsely as aggression.

Well not quite, Melanie. There is a very obvious reason why Palestinian attacks do not constitute a breach of the ceasefire - they are not carried out by the Palestinian government.

Supposing a random Israeli, acting on his own, launched an attack in Gaza this would not be a breach. So, neither are attacks by random Palestinians. They only would be if the agreement stipulated as much, which seems unlikely.

Unfortunately for Israel they made a deal with a government that cannot control its population. The reasons for this are many and it's quite likely that Hamas (a terrorist group themselves) weren't too bothered that attacks were continuing. Nevertheless, those attacks aren't reported as breaches of the ceasefire simply because they are not breaches of it.