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In the Newsroom

September 16, 2009
Reading the Israeli and Arab press on Gaza war crimes

Tuesday, the United Nations released the results of its fact-finding mission on human rights abuses during the Gaza war this past winter.

The report said there was evidence war crimes had been committed and criticized both the Israeli military and Palestinian militants. Still, the majority of headlines around the world focused on the allegations against Israel.

Israel did not cooperate with the investigation and has refused to launch its own inquiry. The U.N. report was met with outrage by Israeli President Shimon Peres, who called it “a mockery of history” that legitimized terror.

The findings dominated the news in Israeli papers this morning, where it was met with hostility from both commentators and authorities. It also got heavy play throughout the Arab world.

Worldfocus producers Yuval Lion, a fluent Hebrew speaker with an Israeli background, and Mohammad Al-Kassim, an Arab speaker of Palestinian descent, actively monitor the press in both regions. Al-Kassim says many reports in the Arab press tended to downplay the fact that the U.N. criticized Palestinian militants as well as Israel.

Both Israeli and Arab media picked up on an interview on an Israeli radio station with Nicole Goldstone, who said her father, who headed the investigation, is a Zionist who loves Israel.

Watch videos below of Al-Kassim and Lion  talking about how the news played out.

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I didn’t read any analyses in a media, why HAMAS are firering rockets for more than 3 years?? What is the goal they are trying to achieve??Media reported only about result of operation. For sure HAMAS know effectiveness of kassam rockets. They are not so “stupid Palestinians”, as one of their supporters said; they act by ORDER’s from Iran and Syria. HAMAS bosses have very simple plan: Provoke Israel to respond, put civilians under fire and so call “balanced media” prepare new “honest reports” to starts new anti-Israeli propaganda companies. Arabs could not defeat Israel in conventional wars; they switch to moral and political attacks to destroy Israel. Before they started aggressions in 1948, 1967 and 1973 they did not care about international law, but after every Israeli anti-terror operation they cry on front of CNN or BBC camera: “Israeli aggressor violated international law”, “war crimes” or “disproportional respond”…


the UN just doesnt want to anger the nations that hold much of the worlds oil so they blame civilized israel for everything even though hamas has done worse in every case


What really annoys me is that no one in the media ever mentions that almost all of the 20,000 residents of Sderot are the children and grandchildren of Jewish refugees from the Arab countries! Has anybody in the media asked what happened to homes and properties of the millions of Jewish refugees from the Arab countries forced out after 1948? And if tiny Israel, just barely the size of New Jersey, managed to integrate millions of Jewish refugees, while the 21 Arab states with 3 million square miles have pointedly refused to integrate the Palestinian refugees, or given them citizenship rights.


Why was there not a spokesperson representing the Palestinian side as there was representing the Israeli side? The obvious one-sidedness of this ME problem continues and is not represented as the American public sees it. Do we support the Israeli state? Yes and the people’s right to survive? yes but do we support the right to the Israelis just going into Gaza and killing and people including children and destroying the entire structure of the area without concern for what they are doing? They are committing war crimes and should be taken to task for that. We the majority of Amercians do NOT support that.


When a group invades another it is an immoral and anti-social act. Those who sit on the fence and or defend the invader are cowards and animals.

The press just needs to report the truth. They should have done that years ago when it was rocks and tanks. Now it is little missles and tanks and no WTC.


Facts are facts. History is history. When a group invades another it is an immoral and anti-social act. Those who sit on the fence and or defend the invader are cowards and animals.

The press just needs to report the truth. They should have done that years ago when it was rocks and tanks. Now it is little missles and tanks and no WTC.


I was waiting for someone else to say it. Indeed, they did.
I knew all along this was about land (illegal expansion of settlements). I’m guessing, the Palestinians were going to become refugees like some of the Iraqis and Afghanis, fleeing their country. Why gee, how can that happen when they can’t just go into Egypt or Lebanon – Syria has taken in a insurmountable number of Iraqis. So, what’s the real deal – genocide?
If someone can answer this for me, that would be great!
One more question, the treatment the Palestinians have received – are they supposed to love Israelis? I’m just asking, because I don’t think this is a case of “treat them like s*** and they will love the dirty drawers.” This is not the case of an abusive relationship, where eventually one spouse murders one or the other or both. Or the kid who likes to bully his schoolmates, ending in either the bullied kid committing suicide or doing worse at his school by snapping. This is worse.
I don’t think war is the answer either.
The Palestinians are people – human, and should be treated as such. They have feelings, emotions, thoughts just like any other human being.

FWIW, I will use this as an example: A teenage girl has strict parents – 9 out of 10 times she will become a teenage mother faster than a girl with less restrictive parents.
You keep a pet dog chained up all the time – when he gets free, he can’t be controlled.
A person spends half of his/her life behind bars – or mental institutions – when released into society, they can’t function because they’re accustomed to being institutionalized. An educated fool lack street smarts…..




Isreal have the right to defend itself from terorist actions made by a terorist organization declared by US and EU. UN has been warn many times to warn Hamas to stop shelling into Israel
with no respond from UN
Hamas is using civilians places for launching missiles and rockets with no cocern of it own people


-Did Hamas break international law in its
senseless firing of rockets into Isreal ?


-Does Isreal have the right to defend itself ?


– Does Isreal have the right to break
Internatonal law in doing so ?


-Isreal (due to the tragic history of its people)
should -so it would seem- want to
be seen as the worlds shining light in upholding
all humanitarian law in war and peace.

-That a powerful country is
trying to teach a group of people (any people)
lessons in “behavior” thru sheer and
overwhelming brutality
-must bring a tear to the eye of History.


When the Palestinians care about their own children as much as they hate Israel, the violence will stop. Israel cares about children and civilians of all nations. For far too long, Israel did nothing to protect its own citizens for fear of hurting civilians in Gaza that the Hamas fighters hid among. It came to a point that Israel had to protect its own. That point was far later than any other civilized country would have allowed. Israel never wanted Gaza; it was only taken because Egypt attacked from Gaza in numrous wars. Israel offered to return Gaza to Egypt several times but Egypt refused. Israel only held on to Gaza for as long as it did to not have such a dangerous enemy outside its borders and outside of its control. The only war crimes being committed are by Hamas and Palestinians that use their own citizens to further their own political agenda. When this stops, the world will be a better place for everyone, especially the Palestinians, both in Gaza and in the so called “west bank.” The UN needs to stop its prejudices against Jews, and focus on the real war crimes committed around the world.


If the 90% of the report documents Israel’s war crimes, then why does all the media in the world treat it as equal complicity, including World Focus?

The damage to Israel is 2 minor and 1 major home damage, while it was at least 10,000x worse. I believe the report is more than generous to Israel, it takes the media to whitewash it.


First, I like to give a “shout out,” to Martin – Where are you?

Now, for my comments. Israel should not continue to control movement of the Palestinians. It’s sad that all movement is controlled in and out. IMHO, this is nothing more than a big camp (prison camp) for the Palestinians. It lacks humanity, decency, and civility. The Palestinians should be able to fend for themselves, yet, they can’t, thanks to control of anything, everything, and everyone being controlled. What is this, a test case for the rest of the world?


Israel has to be blamed for using excessive force to kill civilian. Israel is not acting to defend itself. It is acting as a bully who punish anyone who does not like him.Israel should stand on trail as well as sudness. nobody should be above the law


Worldfocus is the only PBS news program that gives totally pro-Isreal biased reporting on the Arab-Isreali conflict. It happened during the Gaza conflict and now over the UN report. You should be ashamed! The rest of your reporting is valuable. Why are you so biased on this one issue?


Gilbert, comment #2, is right. Israeli citizens can be subjected to killings by their opponents, and UN refuses to prevent it, but yet Israel is criticized for protecting itself from its middle-east enemies.


For several years, Hamas launched rockets into Israel without regard to where they landed. Civilians were clearly targeted and the UN refused to lift a finger. Only when Israel retaliated were they concerned. More impressive hypocrisy has never existed than the UN treatment of Israel.


If Judge Goldstone is a Zionist who loves Israel, he should leave South Africa and move to Sderot Israel with his children and grandchildren and see how he would like his own grandchildren having to run to shelters with less than 18 seconds before rocket impact.

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