Wednesday, September 05, 2007


As sure as night follows day, the Melbourne Age Jerusalem correspondent Ed O'Loughlin reappeared today.

His article was brief but so very predictable. Although he's not the one necessarily responsible for dreaming up the headlines to his stories it was always a certainty that we would see something like
ISRAEL THREATENS TO CUT OFF GAZA'S WATER heading up a news story in this newspaper.

On Monday, the children of Sderot, an Israeli town located near the border with Palestine's Gaza Strip were greeted back to school by rockets launched from Northern Gaza. Seven such missiles were fired in their direction and one struck near a day care centre in their town. There were no injuries, but 12 children were treated for shock. Following the attack, the Sderot Parents Committee decided to keep children home from all of the city's schools until further notice. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

This story was not covered by the Age on Tuesday. O'Loughlin was nowhere to be seen or heard and there was no headline ringing out saying PALESTINIANS TARGET JEWISH SCHOOLCHILDREN (you needn't bother clicking; there's no link and no story!).


The news of the resumption of large scale rocket attacks only appeared on the Age's radar when an Israeli Minister made the suggestion that if the attacks did not cease, then his country would consider cutting off the supply of electricity, water and fuel to its neighbour whose elected rulers have shown no interest in preventing the murderous activities of its citizens and are, in all likelihood, right behind these criminal acts.

Why are stories of the trauma inflicted upon Israeli schoolchildren routinely ignored and consigned to the blank pages (and for that matter we should add stories of the indoctrination of Palestinian children to hate their neighbours)?

Why do they only become news when the angle of possible Palestinian suffering as a result of a proposed Israeli response to terror activity is on the table?

Surely the powerbrokers at the Age don't really believe that their readers are only able to identify with the victimhood of one of the participants in this tragic conflict? Or are the readers themselves being subjected to an agenda aimed at ensuring that they think about it in one way and therefore it is they too who are being manipulated to become victims of a selective campaign of misinformation?

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