Mainstream journalism falls down on the job more often than not in giving context to news stories. Perhaps it’s the fear of slant that leads writers and editors to refuse to analyze and frame the news events they’re reporting. I’ve been thinking about that again due to the recent attacks by Israel on Gaza. The what, where, when and how is almost always on offer, but the why almost never is. So, I read about these attacks and I say, “Fine. But why?”
So, Israel has been shooting rockets and dropping bombs on Gaza. Now, they’ve sent troops in. But in none of the articles I’ve read has it said why. I don’t expect journalists to unequivocally know. But surely motivation should be part of the story. And it would be safe enough to report it if they did nothing more adventurous than interviewing a decision-maker or an academic, or something.
This is what I’ve figured out. The Hamas organization, who, as a political party, won the last Palestinian election and took over the running of Gaza, have a long history of killing Israelis, based on a political platform avowing the physical destruction of the country of Israel and all the Jews there. The group recently broke the latest cease-fire, lobbing missiles into Israel, killing some, and creating a great deal of, well, terror. So, the decision-makers of the Israeli government decided to put the frighteners on the Hamas government by bombing them in return, focusing on Hamas members. Between killing Hamas members in authority and thereby decapitating the organization and making Gazan life dangerous and miserable – or moreso anyway – Israeli government decision-makers hope to destroy the reputation of the organization as well as its ability to materially effect Israel in the future.