Reuters takes sides — and it ain't ours

Meryl Yourish catches two different Reuters stories today that highlight that the news service has clearly chosen sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict — and they like the bus bombers.

In the first story, they go into great detail about a clash between Israelis and Palestinians. They mention one Hamas leader by the name of Saeed Sayem, whose group had fired many rockets into Israeli settlements recently. According to Sayem’s father, Sayem was going out to water his garden when he was struck down by a single bullet.

Later in the story, Reuters gives the death toll in the latest flareup: eight Palestinians, six Israelis. Pretty darn even, right?

Then you read a little more carefully: the six Israelis were all civilians, killed at the outset by rockets and a suicide bomber. The eight Palestinians killed were all Hamas members — and the core purpose of Hamas is the destruction of Israel. So, according to Reuters, it looks like deliberately targeting and killing civilians with unguided rockets and suicide bombers is equivalent with selective killing of those who order and carry out those attacks.

Now, before we look at the second story, let’s see what we have here. We have precise details of the killing of a terrorist leader. We have comments from his father, who proclaims that his son was acting perfectly innocently when he was struck down. We have detailed commentary from a variety of sources about how these strikes by Israel are threatening the fragile peace.

Now, it’s time for the second story:

NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – A mortar bomb fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip hit a house in the Neve Dekalim settlement on Sunday, causing several Israeli casualties, a rescue service said.

That is the story in its entirety, and it’s six hours old as of this writing. Several questions spring to mind:
1) “Casualties?” That can mean killed or injured. Which was it?
2) “several?” How many is “several?”
3) Who were these casualties? Any names, ages, or sexes?
4) What time of day did the attack occur?
5) Was this a completely spontaneous attack, or was it part of a battle?

This is where I would fail as a journalist for Reuters. I would want just as much detail about these six (presumably) civilians as I had about the one Hamas leader. But that would be wrong. You see, in Reuters’ eyes, the Palestinians are the victims, the noble wronged people, the valiant strugglers against the brutal Jewish oppression — so they must be humanized at every opportunity. On the other hand, the Jews are the bad guys, and the’re “asking for it” by their continued occupation and suppression, so anyone killed or injured on their side is just “part of the price they have to pay” for their ongoing injustices.

Hmm… a quick check of news sources finds a few more details on the attack from Reuters. They now say two were injured, and give a few details. Other sources have upped the total to four, and give the kinds of details that Reuters lavishes on the Hamasshole.

Others have problems with Israel whenever they resort to tit-for-tat moves, killing one terrorist for every innocent civilian killed by terrorists. They don’t want to “perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

I don’t care for that tactic, either. I’d like to see Israel up the toll a bit — 2,3 5, or a dozen or so terrorists for every single terrorist attack or victim. You can call it “The Chicago way” or “the cowboy mentality,” but one thing is indisputable: a dead terrorist won’t hurt anyone else ever again. A bunch of dead terrorists also won’t ever get to kill or injure innocents.

And to those who say that they’ll just become martyrs and inspire more terrorists, I say this: that might happen in the short term, but in the long term, it won’t work. And bullets and missiles are a lot cheaper to replace than dead civilians.

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