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Why is the Media Downplaying the Palestinian Civil War?

By Michael Freund
6/12/2007, 12:00 AM


there is a simple reason why the world press has chosen largely to ignore this outbreak of violence: both the perpetrators as well as the victims are Palestinian, and hence they can not blame Israel (at least directly) for the bloodshed
With great care, the media has thus far studiously avoided calling the internecine Palestinian warfare exactly what it is: a civil war.

But as the violence has reached new heights over the past few days, with running gun-battles taking place in Gaza hospitals between Hamas and Fatah thugs and mutual assassination attempts directed against the leaders of the two groups, it will become increasingly difficult for the media to continue to downplay and minimize this crucial story.

Of course, there is a simple reason why the world press has chosen largely to ignore this outbreak of violence: both the perpetrators as well as the victims are Palestinian, and hence they can not blame Israel (at least directly) for the bloodshed.

Moreover, ever since BBC reporter Alan Johnson was kidnapped by Palestinians in Gaza, the media has been cowed into silence, undoubtedly for fear of offending one terrorist gang or another.

But don't let the media's non-coverage fool you - what are we witnessing now is the meltdown of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as armed warlords battle each other for control and kill their own people.

This only underlines once again just how absurd it would be for Israel to enter into negotiations with the PA or turn over additional territory to their control. The Palestinians can not even keep their own house in order, and use unspeakable acts of violence to settle their home-grown rivalries.

But of course you won't be hearing much about that on CNN......