The current flashpoint in Gaza has people galvanized on both sides of the debate, but there is disproportionate attention given to those who argue that Israel is perfectly justified in its continued military mission in Gaza.
Along with most rational observers, I agree that a nation has a right to defend itself. But this is more complex that a black-and-white case of defense. It is not just a question of rockets being launched into Israel. This whole crisis is deeply connected to the well-being of Palestinians (and thus their willingness to support Hamas). During the ceasefire period, Israel cut off most humantiarian aid to Gaza. Jimmy Carter recently wrote an op-ed that details some of this. And here is an interesting piece by an Israeli.
But the subject of this post isn't so much about the less publicized argument as it is about the fact that there are many in America who do know that this is more complex. Although they are speaking out, many media outlets do not want to give them attention.
A clear example of this is large protest -- up to 20,000 people -- that was held in DC this weekend. Even at the doorsteps of the Washington Post, the Post would not report the event. A co-worker, who was at the protest, has a brief story about it:
"I attended the march for Gaza on Saturday in D.C. and thought I'd share what I observed...
People gathered at Lafayette Square and heard from a whole range of speakers (some were rather politically incorrect, some were OK), these included Ralph Nader and former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
After the speeches, the march went around D.C. - the march could not get near Obama's residence (and it later turned out he was at Ben's Chili Bowl - so were probably all reporters as that became the main event of the weekend - I'm being cynical). The march blocked K street for a short bit as it made its way around D.C. and stopped at two places . One of the places was the Washington's Post headquarters , which ended up not reporting the march at all in its Sunday paper.
This was a funny incident actually, I took pics of the protesters as they shouted "can you see us now?" and some of the staff were waving from inside the building while the police made sure no one entered - actually, the protestors did not even go on the pavement, just on the street - yet the Post did not report anything in its Sunday paper. You'd think maybe 10k people showing up outside your door to protest your coverage of something would get mentioned even if negatively. In any case, all reporting on the march is very minimal...
Number of people reported varied between 10K and 20k, I say about 15k is right, but have no way of telling. I also heard there are many videos on you tube too, but I haven't seen any yet.
Forget who you agree with on the conflict in Israel; this is terrible for our society. If there is a legitimate perspective that many people in the country hold, then it is the job of the press to report it.
If someone in America were to watch evening news programs, then they may be conivinced that America is unified on its support of every action that Israel takes. But just as in the case of Gaza itself, the reality is more complex.