Friday, October 1, 2010

The one-armed bandit

In a story on the latest attempt to break the blockade at sea, Reuters correspondent Douglas Hamilton embraces and disseminates as fact, the notion that the Palestinian population in Gaza is suffering and seeks to associate that suffering with Israel's blockade.  On the other hand, Hamilton conveys his skepticism that Israel maintains a naval blockade to prevent Hamas from rearming.  Note the distinct rhetorical handling:
The group of nine activists -- from Israel, Britain, Germany and the United States -- set sail from Cyprus on Sunday, intent on defying the Israeli blockade of Gaza and highlighting the suffering of Palestinians who live in the territory...
But Israel maintains the naval blockade in what it says is an effort to stop arms being smuggled to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
For Hamilton, the state of affairs in Gaza (wholesale suffering), the agent responsible for that state of affairs (Israel), and the good intentions of the protagonist (activists) are a given.

Conversely, the state of affairs in Israel (thousands of residents suffering more than 8,000 Palestinian rockets and mortars fired into the country from Gaza), and Israel's intention to protect its people from these attacks, do not merit mention.

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