SBS tonight screened around 15 seconds explaining why Israel are still hitting Hamas in Gaza and the next 15 minutes showing all the fine, peace-loving people protesting Israel's "atrocities"...just in case we all started thinking for ourselves and stepping outside the popular consensus.
We even heard from my sparring friend in The Melbourne Anglican letters section, Michael Shaik (scroll down, and note that he wrote his letter without disclosing his position as spokes-liar for Australians for Palestine). Shaik appeared on SBS spouting his usual facts-from-upside-down-land to clutch at his Israel-hating straws.
The irony is that for the first time only, Australians are hearing about (some of) the 4,000 plus rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza which have peppered Southern Israeli towns since Israel pulled all Jews out of Gaza in an attempt to bring peace. There have been some creative efforts in playing down these attacks. Creative efforts from people who don't live under the threat of these deadly rockets. These apologetics for terrorism are typified by this article in The Australian, courtesy of Amin Saikal, who says
...the primitive Qassim rockets fired by Hamas militants last week, in response to the Israeli killing of three Hamas figures at a time when there was supposed to be a ceasefire in place, has taken only three Israeli lives...
Let me get this straight Mr. Saikal: No mentioning the other 4,000-ish rockets fired since 2005. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are okay in response to well-targeted attacks on terrorists. And these rockets are "primitive". They're nothing, They're just Palestinian kids firing bottle rockets on Guy Fawkes night. "Primitive" is interchangeable with "home-made", also a popular term with media commentators wishing to create the same pathetic impression.
Yep, "primitive". They're harmless, those Kassams. Made in Iran, smuggled through the Sinai in tunnels, up to 90kg total weight and up to a 40km range depending on how much of the 20kg allowable payload weight you pack with explosives and ball bearings. Fired indiscriminately into civilian areas.
Some kids playing with fireworks. Photo courtesy of boy-on-a-bike
But the most hideous of intentional understatements is; has taken only three Israeli lives...
Only three? (last week's rockets, that is). Why would that be? Because Hamas mean Israel no harm? Or because Israel do a better job of caring for their own?
Example: All Israeli residents must have adequate bunker or bomb shelter protection in all homes built. Their emergency response crews are second to nobody in speed and their early warning systems are constantly developed.
Mind you, their EWS gives Southern Israeli schoolchildren 15 seconds to get to a shelter. That's less time than Israeli Defence warnings give to Palestinian Gaza residents to evacuate before their air strikes.
And the other reason for such a large discrepancy in death toll? Hamas, as with Islamic terrorists in general, love death. Whether their children die from being brainwashed into suicide bombing duty, or an Israeli missile, it's all the same to them. These are not my words, these are their own words.
Or try this article, in an Iranian newspaper...(which was promptly closed down).
The rising tide of anti-Israel bias is way beyond the scope of this post. If you're concerned about facts on the ground, go to Israellycool for live blogging updates and all the links you need for real information. And do what all smart, pragmatic people do; prepare for war, pray for peace.