Sunday, August 27, 2006


By Tony Sayegh

Two events that took place almost simultaneously in Gaza establish a disturbing pattern. The first was the kidnapping of two Fox News journalists from New Zealand by an obscure and strange-sounding group of crazies which made some bizarre demands as a condition for their release (the reporters were released today). The other event was the Israeli air strike Saturday on a well-marked press car carrying two newsmen working for Reuters in the Shija'iaa district in Gaza. They were both injured.

It is obvious that the objective behind both events is to scare foreign reporters and news agencies from covering the daily slaughter, kidnappings, home demolitions and "incursions" taking place in the world's largest open-air prison. Israel, whose massive war crimes in the attacks on Lebanon received considerable attention and coverage even in European and US media and were the subject of investigations and documentary reports by international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International is determined not to allow a repeat in Gaza. Israel wants to seal the Gaza ghetto not just economically to prevent any financial aid, food or medical supplies from entering the ghetto and not just to prevent the movement of the captive population between Gaza and Egypt by having the crossings closed most of the time and subject to Israel's humiliating control over Egyptian sovereignty, but Israel most of all wants an information blackout around Gaza in particular and occupied Palestine in general. Israel wants the killing to proceed in the dark.

Now it becomes crystal clear that Israel was behind the kidnapping of the Fox reporters by creating a phony surrogate "Islamic" group which kidnapped them. The Israeli message to the media of the world: don't enter the ghetto.

It is hard to believe that in this age of information, with satellite T.V. and the Internet, colonial states such as Israel still believe that they can draw a black curtain around millions of helpless inhabitants populating these latest reservations so that the slaughter and destruction can proceed in the dark. The White Man succeeded in such effort against the native population in North America, but that was about 300 years ago. Israel may be able to slow down the news coverage or reduce the volume but the word and the picture will get out. These are desperate measures of a racist colonial state trying to rewind history.

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