History is filled with narratives about killing fields. This troubled writer looks at the killing fields of Gaza, and is driven to begin with a story:
"A man kills his mother and his father. Brought to trial, he begs for mercy because he is an orphan."
There are times when two sides have legitimate claims to a side. The killer in this story does not have a "side."
The story comes to mind when this troubled writer sees the deaths of Palestinians in the killing fields of Gaza and is driven to fury by the willingness of others to embrace the killer's narrative.
I write, of course, of Bibi Netanyahu, grinning ear to ear, ordering Israeli soldiers to secure themselves behind safe mounds on the Gaza "border," and fire into Palestinian crowds, who were protesting their imprisonment. The New York Times, in its usual tepid "both sides" journalistic style, defends the slaughter.
On May 16, the New York Times ran a story with this headline, which on-line reads: A Child of Gaza Dies. A Symbol Is Born. The Arguing Begins.
The arguing begins? The man who killed his parents has a side from which to argue? No he does not. A judge who knows a phony plea for mercy when she sees one, can only utter the words, "take him away."
And yet in this nightmare of Orwellian reality in which we live, Israel's occupying military force continues its death-dealing ways and calls it a side.
Here is the start of the Times' "argument" story, written by Decian Walsh:
"GAZA -- Layla Ghandour, an 8-month-old girl with sparkling green eyes, was in the arms of her grandmother when a cloud of tear gas engulfed them at the protest in Gaza on Monday. The child inhaled a draft of acrid gas that set off a rasping cough and watering eyes. Hours later she was dead.
"The story shot across the globe, providing an emotive focus for outrage at military tactics that Israel's critics said were disproportionately violent. ['Israel's critics'? 'disproportionately violent'?]
"Yet within hours the family's story was being questioned. Doctors said Layla had suffered from a congenital heart defect that, one suggested, might have caused her death. Then the Israeli military issued claims, unsupported by evidence, that it held information that disproved the family's account. [information that she died from tear gas sent from Israel's 'side'?]" --emphasis added.
A 1984 film, The Killing Fields, examined deaths in the killing fields of Cambodia, an earlier story of brutal, hateful, human conduct evoked by another "complicated" colonialist conflict.
Do not look for a film about "The Killing Fields of Gaza." But look to disperse the use of "complicated" excuses to kill those who stand in the way of empirical expansion. Search not for truth and wisdom about Israel, in the pages of The New York Times.