Yves here. It’s too soon to see if this cover story memorializing the deaths of Palestinian children is a turning point. But it at least signals a change in sentiment in Israel, and perhaps also a recognition that supposed victories are Pyrrhic, since Israel’s support abroad is evaporating.
By Julia Conley, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at CommonDreams
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz published the photos of 67 children who were killed in Gaza in the recent 11-day bombardment campaign by the Israel Defense Forces. (Photo: Haaretz)
Human rights advocates and journalists applauded the Israeli newspaper Haaretzfor its “unprecedented” cover story Thursday—one featuring the photos and stories of 67 Palestinian children killed in the latest bombardment campaign by the Israel Defense Forces.
“This is the price of war,” the headline read.
The article came a day after the New York Times published its own extensive account of the youngest victims of Israel’s most recent 11-day offensive, in which the IDF frequently targeted residential areas of Gaza, known as the world’s largest open-air prison.
Haaretz‘s focus on the children killed in Gaza was especially noteworthy, said author and Brooklyn College professor Louis Fishman, considering the newspaper’s “readers also send their children to fight in Israel’s wars.”
“This is unprecedented,” Fishman tweeted.
While Haaretz leans to the center-left editorially, Israeli’s mainstream media has traditionally not covered the Palestinian casualties of the IDF’s military campaigns and the Israeli government’s violent policies, said journalist Khaled Diab.
As Diab tweeted, previous attempts by organizations in Israel to publicize the human cost of the IDF’s assaults have been repressed.
During the 2014 war, human rights group @btselem tried to counter the wilful silence in the Israeli media about the victims of Israeli airstrikes. It paid for a radio spot naming the dead children. The Israel Broadcasting Authority banned it.#Gaza https://t.co/eSCDXJ92YF
— Khaled Diab (@DiabolicalIdea) May 27, 2021
Haaretz‘s front page represented “a bold move,” tweeted journalist Saima Mohsin, adding, “Will it make a difference?”
Others on social media took note of the unprecedented cover story.
Wow. Front page of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz features the faces of the all the Palestinian children killed in Gaza.
The headline reads: “67 kids were killed in Gaza. This is the price of war.” https://t.co/JMcvm3tg8x
— IfNotNow? (@IfNotNowOrg) May 27, 2021
In a publishing first, Haaretz, read by the israelis, prints the 67 name and faces of the Palestinian children, slaughtered by israelis | #Gaza pic.twitter.com/InmmAWdrKv
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) May 27, 2021
Palestinian lives matter.
Thank you @Haaretz for publishing the faces of these 67 beautiful children.
Like the Israeli kids killed, they were victims of the endless bloodletting of a conflict & an occupation that will only end with Palestinian freedom and self-determination. https://t.co/s3W6TyBjVM
— Debra ? Shushan?דבורה שושן?دبرا شوشان (@DrShushan) May 27, 2021
“Conversations around Israel/Palestine are changing in Jewish communities across the globe,” tweeted rabbi and author Abby Stein. “It’s about time.”
As Jewish Currents editor-in-chief Arielle Angell wrote last week in The Guardian, since Israel’s 2014 50-day assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, rights advocates have “seen the growth of a small but committed Jewish anti-occupation movement [and] the last week and a half have brought an even larger circle of the community to a place of reckoning.”
We’ve seen Jewish politicians, celebrities, rabbinical students and others speak up loudly for Palestine. We’ve seen a powerful display of solidarity from Jewish Google employees, asking their company to sever ties with the IDF. At Jewish Currents, the leftwing magazine where I am now editor-in-chief, we asked for questions from readers struggling to understand the recent violence. We’ve been deluged. These questions taken in aggregate paint a striking portrait of a community at a turning point.
In Israel the Haaretz front page appeared to touch a nerve, garnering at least one outraged response from Oded Revivi, head of the Efrat Regional Council in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, who said Haaretz‘s article was evidence that “people pity the wrong mothers.”
On social media, Mairav Zonszein of the International Crisis Group said rather than the “price of war,” the Haaretz front page specifically shows the price of “Israel’s “continued military rule, dispossession, discrimination, and violence.”
I was immediately reminded of the LIFE magazine piece on Faces of the American Dead in Vietnam. When it became obvious to all that the American project had gone way south, this LIFE magazine publication was a sensation. Hawks and doves alike understood that the war was lost, and the only course left was to get out as quickly as possible. When you loose LIFE magazine…
When you have lost Haaretz… Time for the reactionaries to resurrect their endless discussion of The Two State Solution. What did they used to call that? Cutting the grass?
Mowing the grass…
Its Haaretz. Thats like being surprised the guardian printed some lefty article. If it was J Post, Times of Israel or any other paper i would think something of it.
what Edwin said
B’tselem tried to do something similar in 2014 in response to Operation Protective Edge. They produced a radio add where they read out the names of children dead. The Israel Broadcast Authority (IBA) banned the add.
If I’m reading things right, the Israelis seem to be rattled by the way disturbances extended beyond the usual parts of the Occupied Territories. There seems to be a slow realisation that the current policy is unsustainable and even if militarily successful, will rot Israel from within.
That said, of course the Israeli population is still voting for a range of political parties from ‘right wing militarist’ to ‘very very far right very very militarist’, with the left or traditional liberals or moderates becoming increasingly irrelevant. Its very difficult to see where they can go from here until they can luck out and get a real leader (maybe from the right, someone like Ian Paisley in Northern Ireland) who sees the light and changes course. That is certainly not Netanayu.
For now, policies like Bidens aren’t helping Israel, they are making things worse. Maybe someone should tell the geniuses in the Washington Foreign policy establishment that Israel doesn’t need support, it needs tough love.
This is mind-boggling this. Normally the Israeli military censors would kill something straight away but instead this got published. This would have to have been let through from the higher levels of government. Maybe not Netanyahu but obviously someone with power. I think that something changed in this Gaza onslaught. Israel finally came across a red line that they cannot cross.
No, not the fact that they did not dare actually invade Gaza but their attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque. Extremist Ultra-orthodox want it torn down so that Jerusalem’s third temple can be built in its place. They already have all the prayer equipment made, ready to be installed. But now they find that if they did this, the entire Arab world (and the Iranians) would be baying for blood. They could expect simultaneous attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah if this goes ahead and I cannot see Saudi Arabia intervening on their behalf. So having the Israeli army fight off Palestinian worshipers so Israeli settlers can go up to the Mosque to pray may not be the brightest of moves.
That issue reminds me of something from American history which I see chuck roast has also thought of. Back in 1969 “Life” magazine did an issue that had the names and photographs of 242 Americans killed all during one week. Soldiers hated it – but many kept those issues anyway. But here, it is the faces of the youngest victims being published from the other side. Gunna have to wait to see what develops from this-
Just one correction, these aren’t extremist ultra orthodox. There are extremist messianic groups who believe that Jews should be active participants in bringing the messiah, and there are the ultra Orthodox Jews who are not Zionist, the believe in a Jewish way of life, not the Messiah. They are forbidden to go up to the mosque to pray. For them that is tantamount to sacrilege. They could easily live under Muslim or Zionist or any other nation.
Doubt they could live under a Muslim nation since every Muslim nation has pretty much ethnically cleansed their Jewish population. And if you bothered to read history, you’d know that attacks on Jews were common before the rebirth of Israel.
Extremist Ultra-orthodox want it torn down so that Jerusalem’s third temple can be built in its place.
Some of the most powerful ministers in the US Evangelical Christian church want the third temple built; they believe the third temple will herald the second coming. Evangelicals are a powerful voting bloc in US politics. Think of Revs Graham, Falwell, Hagee, Roberson, and others. (After 20 years of endless war their power seems now to be waning.)
This 2001 article gives a good flavor of the ideas still circulating in the more fire-and-brimstone parts of US Evangelicalism. ( Certainly not all Evangelical church groups and ministers agree with this, not any of this.)
adding: When T moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the MSM were quick to note the influence of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s influence on T. What went unnoticed was Rev. Hagee’s (voting bloc size ) influence on T.
Politicians calculate votes and funding.
I was brought up evangelical Baptist. My Mother did not want to die, she wanted to be Raptured–this did not happen. It flummoxes me continually that these insane idiots want to bring this about in their time, but I get it. They are terrified of dying and finding out it was just all wrong. Whatta buncha control freaks. Just because somebody wrote something down and you bought into it, ya gotta make it happen. Aarrghh
Nothing like pro-Zionist anti-Semites creaming for the Apocalypse to clarify US policies toward an increasing fascist Israel…
Paul Jay’s “The Analysis” had a useful interview with Larry Wilkerson, who was a national security official under Bush I and has since altered his politics. The gist of his take is that, while Israel might have served a useful geo-strategic purpose for the US during the Cold War, once the Soviet Union dissolved, it became a strategic liability; absent a severe policy about-face, Israel will not exist in twenty years.
As Gabor Mate said on a recent Grayzone broadcast, in the long arc of Jewish history, the “Zionist Interlude” will likely be seen as a catstrophe for the Jewish people.
Nah, not Arab governments and Muslim nations. Thing is, there’s this messed-up dynamic with how Arab governments, and to a broader extent, Saudi-influenced Muslim ones, treat Palestinians.
Israel can literally put their boots on the necks of the Palestinians, literally break every human rights and international law on the planet in suppressing Palestinians, and Arab and Muslim governments will scream for blood, beat their chests… fund a bunch of things… and do absolutely nothing at all to substantially change the situation on ground.
Why would they? The Palestinians are a great rallying point, they bring in donations for humanitarian and… other kinds of efforts, and are great distractions away from the terrible and corrupt shit Arab and Muslim governments pull. No one in power wants to disrupt such a useful cause. What, not be able to rely on anti-Semitism to distract the hoi polloi from the fact that you’re picking their pockets? You must be joking.
But Israel did cock up by laying their hands on al-Aqsa, but not because they’ve raised the ire of the Arab and Muslim world. PlutoniumKen made a great observation — the agitation extended way past the Occupied Territories, and angered even Palestinian-Israelis.
Someone did the math and realised that pissing off one-fifth of your population, even if that population is discriminated against and reviled, is a stupid idea. You can’t purge 20% of your population — not a lot of the other 80% want to do it, for one, and… well… those 20% do work and and stuff. They contribute to your economy.
And for what, so that a tiny fringe of people can immanentize their eschaton? Yeah, no. If there were 500,000 Palestinians, sure. If the Israelis outnumbered the Palestinians 10 to 1? Al-Aqsa would have been gone decades ago. But 4 to 1? The Israeli government knows they’re not going to be able to pull it off without cutting deep into the bone.
Palestinians and Israeli Arabs make up a large part of the working and servant population that fuels profitable industry and cleans the toilets of Israel. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-general-strike-highlights-israel-s-dependency-on-palestinian-workers-1.9824446
Slave revolts get ugly fast, even if they are mostly unsuccessful.
And besides, the Israel ites of today have between 200 and 600 nuclear weapons ready to be delivered, and have expressed their intention to bring it all down on all our heads if things look to be going really bad for the Likudniks who don’t give a rip for the “average” Israeli… http://www.aljazeerah.info/News/2010/March/11%20n/Israel%20could%20to%20wipe%20out%20Europe%20with%20nuclear%20weapons%20and%20expel%20all%20Palestinians,%20says%20Israeli%20military%20historian%20Martin%20Karfeld.htm
This is why I continue to subscribe yearly to Haaretz, it is the only news paper in Israel who has some kind of resemblance to what Israel was before the likud party took over. But do not raise your hopes, the right wing parties are working hard to convince the population that these are only actors and they all used makeup to show horrible photos and blame Israel for the disproportionate response.
This should be embarrassing for American MSM no?
The only thing that embarrasses large US Corporations is missing revenue targets.
What Synoia said. Large corporations like that don’t get ’embarrassed’, at least not when purposefully not reporting on something.
Israeli papers regularly publish articles and opinions more critical of Israeli policy than anything you’d find in a US paper and that hasn’t embarrassed the stenographers at the WaPo and NYT yet.
Thank very much for this post.
The cynic in me sees this as empathy theater. Kind of like the physically abusive spouse or parent uses the line:
“See what you made me do…” or “This hurts me more than it does you.”
It looks like the intent is to rub Palestinian faces in what the other side did to them
I doubt they need a reminder.
By reminding Israelis of the death toll of what just happened is rubbing it in the faces of Palestinians? That’s some serious mental gymnastics.
The NYTimes had an essentially identical article, complete with pictures, on its front page today. Is this an encouraging sign that no one here bothers to read the Times any more?
More of the neoliberal “empathize and deflect?” That would be my guess.
I am cancelling my subscription to NYTimes. I grew up in America on the NYT- I delivered the NYT to my classmates- I learned civics- democracy and all the news”fit to print” for 65 years but no more. Today’s blood libel of Israel and the Jewish people on the front page is enough
As the Orthodox community have many more children than the more secular Jewish community, will Israel not become more hard line over the next 5 to 10 years?
If Israel does become more hard line, where is the line that will cause the US to pull back their support?
As a long-time NYT reader, I was startled to find the photos of the Gaza child victims on the front page today. This means that even the mainstream pro-Israel US press has turned against Netanyahu. We may finally see some movement toward a political settlement.
Wilkerson made a case that US support for Israel is an existential threat to the existence of the US, and of humanity, due to the risk of nuclear war.
I recommend people watch/hear that interview.
“People pity the wrong mothers” is a truly mind-boggling phrase.
How soon will we see coverage like this from the NYT and WaPo of the results of American Drone Strikes?
Perhaps they could divvy it up, WaPo could cover all those slaughtered at wedding parties and the Times could cover the slaughter of children starting with an American 16 year old, Abdulrahman Al-Alawki.
MIC pays big bucks to ensure their wares stay out of the papers.
I weep for the Palestinians, and for my country which supports such barbarism.
As Michael Ratner asked times before and again before his death:
Question for all Israel critics: What should Israel do that would bring peace and not bring about the destruction of Israel?
How about stop doing stuff like bombing and killing people around the whole world which gets them hated. And then sit down and negotiate with neighbors instead of trying to destroy them – like how Israel supported ISIS in Syria to break it up. That would be a good place to start.
Why isn’t this question addressed to Hamas, Fatah and the PLO? It was their bombing of Israeli civilians and the barrage of missiles as well as their killing of Jews and Israelis around the world which should get them hated. Israel only retaliates. As for negotiations, again, does nobody here know history? There have been countless offers to create two states over the decades but the Arabs always say No. There is only one Palestinian aim–which is not only written but stated–that the goal is the destruction of Israel and the death/expulsion of the Jews.
The only justification for the “State of the Jewish People” was Bible stories.
It is just another example of Euro/American colonialism (hopefully the last gasp).
The Palestinians made the mistake of recognizing the SotJP and they got hundreds of thousands more land grabbing settlers.
Return the borders to the Green Line which Israel agreed to as part of the UN Partition plan which created Israel in the first place.
Remove the walls, every one of them.
Remove all checkpoints.
Dismantle all settlements created since Israel reneged on the 1947 partition. Remove all settlers.
Allow freedom of movement for all Palestinians, regardless where they’re from.
Allow refugees to return to Palestine.
Cease controlling Palestinian airspace and maritime traffic.
Cease controlling supplies into and out of Palestine.
Stop bombing Palestinian hospitals, schools, commercial and civic structures, infrastructure.
Allow Palestinians to rebuild, stabilize and thrive.
Acknowledge Palestine’s right to exist, normalize political relations.
Return the tax moneys stolen from Palestinians.
Admit that this path was a terrible mistake, learn from it, make political apologies to this effect, build bridges, be genuine about it.
After all, you are family, have an extensive shared history.
Culture shift, steer Israel away from Zionism, otherwise it’s doomed.
Control the settler terrorism which will ensue as a result. Recognize the settlers are the problem. Now we can all focus on the correct problem.
I’ll add another. Let Gaza access their off-shore gas fields which will let them build up their state and provide a decent standard of living for their people.
Well, considering that Hamas’s official policy is to destroy Israel entirely, that they don’t recognise any partition, don’t you think that there is a chance that this policy, whatever its merits, will lead to military defeat, expulsion and/or genocide of the Jewish population? Maybe this is the outcome you consider acceptable, but you will surely understand why not a lot of people would support such a suicidal policy here.
A thing to consider:
Operation Pied Piper: The Evacuation of English Children During World War II
Now it might be that children in Gaza CAN’T be evacuated but it seems odd to me that the Israeli government would not encourage this. Otoh, I’ve read that Hamas itself has, at times, hindered its own people from leaving Gaza.