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article imageOp-Ed: Deaths of three Israeli teens should be seen in perspective

By Ken Hanly     Jul 3, 2014 in World
Jerusalem - The recent deaths of three Israeli teenagers who had been hitch-hiking in the West Bank has received extensive coverage in the UK, the US, and Canada as well.
An article from the Media Lens republished by the Information Clearing House notes the UK coverage: Major broadcasters, such as BBC News, devoted headlines and extended reports to the deaths, and included heart-rending interviews with grieving relatives in Israel. The Guardian ran live coverage of the funerals for more than nine hours. But when has this ever happened for Palestinian victims of Israeli terror?
Over the last 13 years one child has been killed by Israel every three days. Since Sept. 29, 2000 up to 2013 there have been 1,523 Palestinian children killed but only 129 Israeli children. The ratio is more than 10 to one. Even in reports of the massive operation to find the teenagers, there is little coverage given to the fact that in the process five Palestinians have been killed.
The coverage of the three Israeli deaths is in contrast to coverage of the deaths of two teenage Palestinians last May. Nadim Nuwara 17, and Abu al-Thahir 16 were shot and killed by Israeli security forces. The BBC did report on the deaths but they were presented so as to make what happened seem unclear and the truth in dispute even though there was a video of the event. The BBC reported: 'A human rights group has released a video it says shows two teenage Palestinians being shot dead by Israeli security forces at a protest last week.' The BBC then gave the view of the Israeli military who said the video had been edited and did not document the "violent nature" of what had happened. The Israeli military also questioned a claim that live ammunition had been fired at the boys. One wonders how they were shot to death if there were no live ammunition used. Just a few days later Israel removed the security cameras that had captured what happened.
The BBC coverage can be compared with that of Al Jazeera: The Israeli rights group B'Tselem said the images back its findings that troops killed the teens without cause by firing live rounds from more than 200 metres away. The soldiers were in "zero danger" at the time, said Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem.
Palestinian hospital officials said Mohammad Abu Thaher and Nadim Nuwara were both shot in the heart. Officials originally gave their respective ages as 22 and 17, but later said they were 16 and 17.
Al Jazeera also notes that the Israeli military said at first that they use only rubber bullets but that they were carrying out further investigations. The article by Medial Lens points out in detail that the same type of unbalanced coverage happened back in March of 2008.
Eight young people were shot at a Jewish seminary and the event resulted in "saturation media coverage. International statesmen lined up with condemnations of the attack and condolences for the victims and their families." In the previous week, over 120 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza: On one day alone, 60 people died in a hail of Israeli firepower using F-16 planes, Apache helicopter gunships, tanks, armoured bulldozers and ground troops. No western leader suggested the assault was "an attempt to strike a blow at the very heart of peace process" as the killing of the eight at the seminary was. There is no detail of the suffering caused by the Israeli assault on Gaza. The deaths are simply statistics.
Israeli radio reported that a Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and killed on Wednesday in what was possibly an act of revenge for the murder of the three Israeli teenagers. A comment beneath the article remarks: Now let's see if Netanyahu will apply the same response to the kidnapping/killing of this kid as he did to the killing/kidnapping of the Israeli Jewish kids. Since This 16yr old is an Israeli citizen, he should be protected by Israeli law and as a "democratic" state, Israel should not discriminate between its protection of Arab or Jewish citizens. I expect the homes of the Israelis to be bulldozed and all major cities of Israel to be locked down and raided.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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