Ok. Thank you for coming to class. Please take your seats. We have alot to go over today.
DonkeyRock, put your paint set down and pay attention. Busy Wolf, quit running around the Menorah and SIT DOWN! I won't tell you again.
Ok. Today we are going to analyze some random news articles taken from a reputable news service and see if we can find any problems with their editing. Ok? Now, please take out your network-equipped power pads and open to this link.
Ok. Got it? Someone wake Kevin up!
Ok, Now if you ... (rrrrring). Was that the recess bell? Ok, we will discuss this after the break.
Ok. Everyone back? Good. Ok, first example please notice this paragraph from the esteemed writers IBRAHIM BARZAK and JASON KEYSER.
Gaza health officials reported that since the campaign began on Dec. 27 more than 550 Palestinians have been killed and 2,500 wounded, including 200 civilians. U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told reporters in New York on Monday that U.N. officials believe at least 500 people have been killed in the fighting and that as many as 25 percent are civilians.
Notice anything odd here? No? Kevin wake up please. Please note that the first sentence states that 550 Palestinians have been killed. Who? What? Where? Can we assume that this number contains only the deaths of the terrorists who have been attacking Israel? Note that it doesn't even say that or even lead you to think that. These are just plain ol' Palestinians.
Also note the end of that first sentence. So, 550 have been killed and 2,500 have been wounded. And the way the sentence is written you now think that of those 2,500 wounded, 200 were civilians. Pretty important bit of information there, don't you think? So, according to this first sentence, Israel has killed 550 terrorists and only 200 civilians were wounded. The fact that it states ", including 200 civilians" after stating the number of wounded, confirms that the previous numbers were talking about someone other than civilians.
Then, why have someone else tell us basically the same thing in the second sentence? Except now, it is the UN telling that 25% of those killed were civilians. Meaning 125 out of 500 people killed in a densely packed urban setting were civilians. Where is the analysis? How many civilians died in the air war against German cities during WW2? How many Britons died in Germany's air bombardment? What is the population density of Gaza?
Is it good or bad that if Israel drops a one-ton bomb in the middle of a neighborhood and only less than a dozen civilians are killed?
Meanwhile, according to one source
, the Arabs of the territories themselves have killed 243 Palestinians in 2008, among them 12 women and 28 children. In 2007, there were 618 Palestinians killed by other Palestinians, among them 41 women and 44 children. In context (which I have taught you over and over again is very important), there have been 36 Palestinians murdered by other Palestinians in 2009 already. [ED: Elder now cites that the 2009 count is up and climing over 43, now that Hamas is escalating their assassination of supposed Israeli-collaborators. Remember, Islam is a religion of peace
If you take the UN's numbers at face value, then Israel has killed 12.5 civilians per day since Dec 27th (125/10days). Meanwhile, the Palestinians themselves have killed 7.2 Palestinians per day on their own since 2009 began (36/5days).
A point could be made that Israel is just better at what the Palestinians are doing already.
DonkeyRock, please bring that photoshop of Iran's Achmed in a green tutu pointing to someone's private area to me. Now!
Next, please read this paragraph:
Israel ignored mounting international calls for a cease-fire Monday and said it won't stop its crippling 10-day assault until "peace and tranquility" are achieved in southern Israeli towns in the line of Palestinian rocket fire. Friendly fire killed three Israeli soldiers.
What does that last sentence have to do with the paragraph? Looks like it was just haphazardly thrown in there. Also, why should Israel listen to international calls for a cease-fire when its enemy is calling for continuous assaults on Israel? Why should Israel stop fighting when their enemy refuses to?
Arab delegates met with the U.N. Security Council in New York Monday, urging members to adopt a resolution calling for an immediate end to the Israeli attacks and a permanent cease-fire.
Arabs are making demands on Israel's defensive maneuvers? Shouldn't that be up to Israel? Where is Israel in all of these discussions? Also, where is the counter-point to forcing Israel to a permanent
cease-fire. Besides, has anyone in the entire world ever been subject or conducted a "permanent" cease-fire? Wouldn't that be considered VICTORIOUS CONQUEST
? Are they seriously considering trying to make a non-arab nation abide by a permanent cease-fire while the enemy of that nation continues to attack? Where are the counter-arguments and facts in this paragraph?
Despite Israeli claims that casualties have been heavy among militants, no injured Hamas fighters were seen Monday by an Associated Press reporter at Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip's largest. Instead, the hospital was overwhelmed with civilians. Bodies were two to a morgue drawer, and the wounded were being treated in hallways because beds were full.
Obviously the editor of this piece failed to even know what the rest of its service bureau is doing as another bureau member did in fact photograph a "militant"
inside that same hospital that same day. Also, a little context would be helpful here. How many morgue drawers do they have? How many beds were in this hospital? Is it like a small county hospital that has 20 beds or a major metropolitan hospital that has several thousands?
At least 20 Palestinian children were killed during the day, said Dr. Moaiya Hassanain, a health official. Most confirmed deaths have been civilians.
Where were these kids that they were subject to the fighting? Where were they found? You would think that since this wire service loves to point out the agonies of wounded and maimed children, that they would be able to provide some context. Also, who is this doctor and what are his affiliations? The authors then make a curious statement in that second sentence. "Most confirmed deaths have been civilians.
" So, then that would mean that those 550 that were reportedly killed were civilians? Or, is this doctor just hyping numbers in order to play up the civilian toll to a sympathetic media who fail to even conduct basic fact checking.... like... counting the dead in the morgue.
Let's continue. There is so much here.
U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes called the Gaza strife an "increasingly alarming" humanitarian crisis, directly contradicting Israeli denials that its offensive caused the growing problem.
John Holmes is the humanitarian chief of what? The whole of the UN? Or, just the part that oversees giving free food and supplies to Gaza terrorists? Context! Besides, his statement that the "strife" in Gaza is an "increasingly alarming humanitarian crisis" is a bit over melodramatic. Is he wanting us to assume that prior to the Israeli defensive maneuvers that Gaza was without strife or crisis? Is he trying to tell us that Gazans were in need of nothing prior to December 27th? Or, is he telling us that the Israeli maneuvers were exacerbating the crisis that was already there? But yet, there didn't seem to have been a crisis in Gaza
before all of this.
So, what kind of crisis are we supposed to believe is there in all of Gaza?
He said Gaza is running low on clean water, power, food, medicine and other supplies since Israel began its offensive. Israeli leaders have maintained there is no humanitarian crisis, and that they have been delivering vital supplies.
Take note students that we are to believe that Israel's maneuvers in a small part of Gaza, around Gaza City, is affecting the whole of the Gaza Strip. Also, take note that the statement by a UN representative in Gaza "contradicts" the leaders of Israel, yet the statements attributed to Israel only "maintain" their beliefs. Any checking to determine if either statements are true? Is the UN guy making it up and is Israel in deed trucking in tons of food and supplies
In Shajaiyeh, troops seized control of three six-story buildings on the outskirts, climbing to rooftop gun and observation positions, Israeli defense officials said. Residents were locked in their rooms and soldiers took away their cell phones, a neighbor said, quoting a relative who called before his phone was seized.
So, this is a relative of one of these writers? Is that journalisticly ethical? Could there have been a reason WHY
the Israeli soldiers took away their cell phones?
"The army is there, firing in all directions," said Mohammed Salmai, a 29-year-old truck driver. "All we can do is take clothes to each other to keep ourselves warm and pray to God that if we die, someone will find our bodies under the rubble."
Question. I know it is possible, but would a person named Mohammed, 29, living in Gaza City pray to GOD? Or would he be praying to his Allah? Also, wouldn't you think that it might be dangerous to go out and about carrying "clothing"(??) to others might be a bit dangerous? Should he not flee? If he is worried about his building being bombed, shouldn't he take his family away? Could it be that he knows that he or his place could be a prime target for Israel?
Also, how was this information gathered if there was a firefight going on?
Israel has attacked several mosques during the campaign, saying they were used to store weapons.
"Saying".... did anyone bother to go check? How about sending that reporter who is interviewing that Christian muslim in the middle of a firefight to go look at the rubble?
In another strategic move, Israeli forces seized a main highway in Gaza, slicing the territory in two.
What? Did they kidnap the road? Or, are they now in control of traffic on the highway?
Israeli defense officials said one soldier was killed when soldiers fought off an attempt by Hamas fighters to capture Israeli soldiers hours after the ground operation began. They said the infantrymen were advancing up a strategic hill before dawn Sunday when militants emerged from a tunnel and tried to drag two Israeli infantrymen inside.
I'm sorry, but isn't that against all international norms? Are these Hamas terrorists violating someone's civil rights? Does this violate the Geneva principles? Or, if the Hamas terrorist organization is not bound by these rules then should Israel?
That death and the three soldiers killed by friendly fire brought to eight the number of Israelis killed since the offensive began. One other soldier and three civilians were killed during the initial air phase of the offensive. Israeli officials are concerned that heavy casualties amoung[spell check anyone?] its troops could undermine what has so far been overwhelming public support for the operation.
So, 8 soldiers deaths is enough to cite a possible undermining of public support? Or, should the statement be that if deaths rise to a certain level then public support could wane. Then a statement about the rise in the numbers of soldiers killed during the 2006 Lebanon War could have provided context as the public's support did start to fail after the initial weeks in to that battle.
Hamas already holds one Israeli soldier, captured in June 2006, and another would be an important bargaining chip.
How about the name of the kidnapped prisoner here you callous terrorist sympathizing baboons?!!? Oh, sorry. Anyway, the name of that soldier is Gilad Shilat
. These authors feel that this kidnapped soldier, another crime against humanity and goes against all known edicts of war fighting (but then we don't hear that because these Hamas are after all, terrorists!) is a very important chip in the gamesmanship that will be played between two honorable parties. And, the underlying statement is that it will be a good thing if the Hamas terrorists kidnap even more Israeli soldiers.
When you sell your soul out to the enemy, especially terrorists, then there isn't anything that you can say or write that give you an ounce of credibility. You probably should be arrested for giving aid and comfort to an enemy's propaganda machine. Especially when you call it such:
The deputy head of Hamas' politburo in Syria, Moussa Abu Marzouk, rejected the U.S. proposal, telling the AP the U.S. plan seeks to impose "a de facto situation" and encourages Israel to continue its attacks on Gaza.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who unsuccessfully proposed a two-day truce last week, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.
Europe "wants a cease-fire as quickly as possible," Sarkozy said after meeting Abbas,
How can a cease-fire for both sides mean that Israel would be allowed to continue to keep up its campaign? Also, who cares what Europe wants? What does it matter what Europe, or any other country, wants when it comes to another country's safety of its civilians? What if we told France to stop its attacks on Germany at the start of WW2? Would that have ended the war and led to peace? I mean, we gave Hitler Czechoslovakia (Land For Peace) like he wanted. Look how well that did for international peace.
Where would Sarkozy be now if freedom-loving nations decided on a cease fire after only a hundred or so civilians had died. Heck, more than that died before we even found out what Germany was up to. What if we decided on a cease-fire a few hours in to the D-Day invasion and allowed Germany to regroup with supplies? I am sure that they were suffering through a humanitarian crisis as well.
Our boys were not doing much better.
A European Union delegation met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
"The EU insists on a cease-fire at the earliest possible moment," said Karel Schwarzenberg, the foreign minister of the Czech Republic,...
The EU brought no truce proposals of its own because the cease-fire "must be concluded by the involved parties," he added.
As the bruising campaign entered its 10th day Monday, Hamas pummeled southern Israel with more than 30 rockets and promised to wait for Israeli soldiers "in every street and every alleyway."
So, they recognize that coming up with their own proposals and demands are fruitless unless the two "involved" parties [strike] refuse[/strike] (oops)
accept it, but they continue to force their demands, don't they? Also, what is the point of forcing a cease-fire, albeit permanent cease-fire, upon Israel when the very same enemy proudly states that they will continue to attack Israel and desire to continue their attacks?
One of the rockets struck a large outdoor market that was closed at the time in the town of Sderot, just across Gaza's northeastern border. Another hit a kindergarten in the coastal city of Ashdod, north of the strip.
"hit a kindergarten"? Seems that rocket did a bit more
than just hit
Meanwhile, as this article of CR(ap) shows, and we have seen from our other classes, that the world is focused upon the numbers of "civilian" Palestinian deaths. Here is how these authors handled that sticky subject:
Israeli military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said Hamas was to blame for civilian casualties because it operates in densely populated areas.
"If Hamas chose cynically to use those civilians as human shields, then Hamas should be accountable," she said.
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar exhorted Palestinians to fight the Israeli forces and target Israeli civilians and Jews abroad.
So, if the terrorist leader of the enemy calls for all civilians to stand and fight Israel, then how can you say that all those who were killed were positively identified as "civilians"? Can you prove that they were purely civilians? I am sure an argument could be made that they were un-uniformed combatants. I mean, the Hamas leader just did that very thing, did he not? But, you don't hear the authors analyze that aspect.
Ok, that ends the lesson for today. Please continue your critical reading assignments we have given you previously.
Someone wake Kevin up, please! Tell him he can go home now.
Tags: associated press