NBC News correspondent Richard Engel reports from a hospital in Gaza that is overwhelmed with dead and injured children. As one doctor says while examining a ten-year old whose mother and two sisters died in the blast that left her paralyzed, “This is a Palestinian child, guilty of the most horrible crime: to be born Palestinian in Gaza”.
According to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, these may be just a few more “telegenically dead Palestinians” whose purpose it is to make Israel look bad and that Palestinians actually want more of their people dead in order to help their cause, a statement that is breathtaking in its sheer cynicism. It brings to mind US General William Westmoreland’s infamous comment about Vietnam to justify American slaughters there that “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient” that was rightly condemned as outright racist thinking.
Meanwhile, the UN’s top human rights official Navi Pillay has condemned Hamas for what she says are “indiscriminate attacks” against Israel and has also charged that there is a “strong possibility” that Israel’s military actions in Gaza may constitute war crimes.
The UN says about 74% of those killed in Gaza are civilians, with medical clinics among the facilities hit by air strikes.
“Civilians in Gaza have no safe place to go as 44% of the land has been declared a ‘no-go zone’ by the Israeli army,” the assistant secretary-general at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
“Families are taking the heart-wrenching decision to split to different locations – mother and son to one; father and daughter to another – hoping to maximise the chance one part of the family survives.”
The above NBC news report and others similar to it and the critical response to Netanyahu’s ‘telegenic’ comment suggests to Deepa Kumar that Israel’s protected status in the US media may be crumbling.