Two Palestinian women were killed in front of a mosque in Beit Hanoun this week, protecting the gunmen (presumably their family/ husbands) who were hiding inside from the IDF. This is just the latest in an ongoing nightmare situation in the Middle East and has caused a further bone of contention between myself and a friend of mine who look at the situation from reverse sides of the coin. I find it difficult to reconcile what “the truth” is anymore. It seems mad that the Israeli army should be branded bullies/ demons etc for firing at militant gunmen amid a government who called on their women to stand outside the mosque to deter the Israeli army. To what extent should Hamas be allowed to exert influence over the way the IDF is portrayed by the media because they call on their OWN women to intervene in military action?
But more pertinently, who knows exactly why these men were in the building and what they had been doing prior to the attack which led to the IDF firing at the mosque? Media coverage of the Middle East has become such blur of who did what to who that it has become nearly impossible to decipher the facts behind a screen of emotionally charged fiction coming from both sides. How much simpler would it be for laymen to understand the politics of the region if they were simply told that the IDF attacked because militants fired rockets at them first, which is why they surrounded this mosque, or conversely that Palestinian men were idly walking by, minding their own business, when the IDF unexpectedly opened fire.

There must be less bias and, what my teacher calls “padding out” a story, from the media on both sides where reporting on the Middle East is concerned and a desperate return to good journalism- that is, merely the facts. This is the only way we, who are not living in the region, can hope to have an understanding of what is going on that is based purely on solid, factual reportage and not on the biased interpretations of so many of the news networks and outlets.

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