Israeli People and Palestinian ‘Unpeople’

Gilad Shalit freed, with family members           Unnamed Palestinian woman prisoner freed, with father

Last week’s greatest event in Israel and Palestine was the freeing of Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit, after 5 years of being a prisoner, for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

The blog post below, by James M Wall,  makes an analysis of the highly biased treatment of this event in American media. I think it is worth reading.

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In a talk at New York City’s Barnard College the night the Hamas-Israeli prisoner exchange was announced, Noam Chomsky anticipated the one-sided media coverage of the exchange.

He charged the media with treating Israeli Jews as people, while dismissing Palestinians as “unpeople”.

Chomsky, who is Jewish, brings credentials to this issue as both an acclaimed linguistic scholar, and a strong advocate of Palestinian human rights.

To illustrate his point at Barnard, Chomsky described a front-page New York Times story, dated October 12, with the headline: “Deal with Hamas Will Free Israeli Held Since 2006

The Israeli, of course, is Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years after he was captured June 25, 2006. Shalit, an Israeli army corporal, was on a patrol along the Israeli-Gaza border when he was captured.

Next to the Times story, Chomsky says, is a picture of four [Israeli] women, who are “kind of agonized over the fate of Gilad Shalit”.

The picture caption reads, he tells his audience, “Friends and supporters of the family of Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit received word of the deal at the family’s protest tent in Jerusalem.”

Chomsky adds:

Well, that’s understandable, actually. I think he should have been released a long time ago. But there’s something missing from this whole story. So, like, there’s no pictures of Palestinian women, and no discussion, in fact, in the story of—what about the Palestinian prisoners being released? Where do they come from?

We finally have pictures of Palestinian men and women released from Israeli prisons, What we do not have are the names of most of them. And we still do not know where most of them “come from”.

The woman in the picture above, shown with a man we must presume is her father, was taken at the Mukataa (headquarters) close by Yasir Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah and adjacent to what was once the headquarters in which Arafat spent his final months.

The photo caption does not explain the meaning of Mukataa for non-Arabic readers.  It also does not provide the name of the woman.. The picture, taken by Ilia Yefimovich for Getty Images, is available worldwide, but so far as I have been able to ascertain, it has not appeared in any American media outlet.

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Read HERE the rest of this post.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

5 thoughts on “Israeli People and Palestinian ‘Unpeople’”

  1. Prestigiu in cazul asta nu inseamna un lucru bun -in sensul spus de dvs-. Prestigiu insemana ca IDF nu se apuca sa impuste in stinga si-ndreapta si apoi spune ca l-ar fi impuscat pe vreun sef HAMAS. Din cauza asta, nu cred ca nici arestarile nu-s chair asa la-ntimplare. Au mai fost eliberati palestinieni a caror nume a fost clamat. Ca sa fii de temut trebuie sa ai un prstigiu ca stii ce faci. Si pina acum IDF are ceva istorie ca sa dovedeasca asta.


  2. Prestigiu? De parca le-ar pasa evreilor de asa ceva. Nici macar de Dumnezeu, ci doar de interesele si mindria lor. Ca tuturor pacatosilor.


  3. Interesant mi s-a parut ca pt Gilat Shalit s-au dat in schimb 1027 palestinieni. So what? Multe:
    -intii, evreii isi pretuiesc co-evreii; spre deoebire de alte neamui
    – 1027 este valoare numerica cuvintului ebraic al tapului ispasitor, Azazel… iar Galit a fost eliberat in jurul zilei ispasiril (sic)!.
    Or fi multi arestati in mod aleator; nu va grabiti! Multora li se cunostea numele si rolul instructurile militare palestiniene. Si cind cad rachetele peste o masina palestiniana… stiu cine era inauntru…Daca nu din alt motiv, macar pt ca costa bani si prestigiu…


  4. Ai vreo idee cine sunt acesti prizonieri? Unii, este adevarat, au miinile patate de singe, si merta sa fie acolo, dar cei mai multi sunt victimele hazardului cu care oipereaza fara mila ocupantul israelian. daca ai trai acolo, fie si o luna, ai intelege mai bine cum stau lucrurile.


  5. partea proasta e ca deja s-a oferit 1 mil dolari pt rapirea oricarui soldat israelian pt a obtine eliberarea a peste de 500 de palestinieni. nu ca o fi asta valoarea, dar era previzibil ca se va ajunge la asa ceva.


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