Monday, January 05, 2009

A man-made disaster.

Despite the BBC's hectic schedule of relaying pro-Israel propaganda (and it truly is an outstanding effort on their part), they manage to have found someone to go into Gaza and report directly on the humanitarian situation. Here, Rushdi Abu Alouf reports from the al-Shifa hospital, where he interviews a Norwegian medic who angrily disputes Israel's claim that it does not target civilians. He describes it as the worst man-made disaster he has seen. Interestingly, the idea that there is some human - as opposed to natural or divine - agency involved in this slaughter seems rather out of place in the overall coverage. Still, I admit there is nothing subversive about the BBC's sideshow. Even the New York Times is reporting that Gaza's hospitals are filling with civilian casualties. But it is nice to see the BBC, which possibly has the worst record on Israel-Palestine across the whole UK media, find a Johnny Foreigner to explain things to them.

Actually, it sems that hospitals are increasingly a target themselves. So are ambulances. No surprises here: one of the bitter jokes of the 'war on terror' has been that smart bombs are so fabulously accurate that they can even hit buildings and vehicles with big red crosses on top of them. And these hospitals are themselves suffering from shortages brought about by the blockade. Apparently, one of their biggest shortages these days is body bags. Naturally, all of these targets and corpses were either contiguous with legitimate military targets or insidiously taken over by the ominous Qassam rockets. Still. I don't want to alarm anyone, but you do realise that if the Israeli military wanted to attack civilian targets and terrorise the population of Gaza, they would be almost guaranteed to pretend that every target they hit was somewhere that Hamas had been hiding weapons or fighters?