The following report on the latest non-news from Southern Israel comes from a woman who calls herself BarnesA. She was referred to us by MC, who says: “BarnesA is a fellow Sderotian who, like me, sometimes rattles the keyboard.”
Why is this not news?
Two days ago, as we were celebrating the close of the modern State of Israel’s 67th Independence Day, we heard the familiar click. The click that precedes the glorious recording in dulcet tones warning us that the green bandana’d banditos across the border, two miles away, have decided to send some fireworks of their own our way. (Mohammed coefficient 100%) .
So for the first time since December, we gathered our most precious belongings (most of whom were already in bed and fast asleep) and raced for our shelters. Here in Sderot, we did not hear the rocket fall. Two hours later we were blessed with the satisfying yet devastating sound of the IAF’s retribution on northern Gaza. I counted at least five large explosions, but now it is a little hard to recall.
Memories of last summer spend the night turning my brain like a pastry hook. Did we kill any children? Did they fire from a school, hospital, residential building? Needless to say, I did not sleep peacefully. To my utter and complete surprise, the rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza, and the resulting reprisal from the IAF, went completely unreported in the international media.
Yemen, of course, is in the forefront of the news. The casualties are growing daily, just this year, the civilian deaths are estimated at between 550 and 1000, depending on the source. There were stories about the Islamic State and their very scriptural adherence to the commandments in the Qur’an, and about their take on the NHS, complete with a cheerful Australian doctor. Stories about Obama and Iran, the earthquake in Nepal, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide (take that, Erdogan!), various other tidbits, and of course the vital updates on whatever Kardashian is the centerpiece of the world today.
Nothing about the fact that rockets were fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza at my town on my Independence Day. Nothing.
Of course, I am writing this for a captive audience. You may all be interested to know that the Kibbutzniks have started to talk again about the ‘strange noises day and night’ coming from under their homes, as the Hamas neglect the suffering of their electorate and funnel the world’s aid direct to the esteemed and holy project of earth removal. How proud the donors must be to know that the money that they gave to alleviate the very real and horrific suffering of the children of Gaza is being invested in the land in a very real and horrific way.
This, also, is not news.
When we go to war again in the summer, when the IS/Hamas try again to pour out of their tunnels and create death wherever they can, will that be news? When EU/US-funded ‘freedom fighters’ burst out of Judenrein Gaza to create a Judenrein Palestine, will that be news?
Is it that the ‘nuisance’ of rocket fire at my town is such a commonplace occurrence that it is no longer considered newsworthy? Not even as a three-sentence article buried at the back of a website?
Was it not even worth mentioning for the disproportionate response? Perhaps for Hamas’ denial of responsibility, which highlights how tenuous their control is over their kingdom?
We live here, own houses we cannot sell, (who would buy?) have jobs we cannot leave, debts we cannot pay and friends we cannot bear to lose, right here. We either don’t want to leave, or we cannot leave. We live here with a black cloud hovering in the sky just outside the city. On the day that we celebrate the triumph of our grandparents over the genocidal desires of our neighbours, their children and grandchildren fire rockets from populated areas into civilian areas, and this is not news.
But a politician tugging a ponytail is. The worldwide ramifications of a quick tug are obviously so much more important than a war crime. After all, the war last summer was also not news, there were no protests for and against in most major cities, globally. The repercussions of another escalation in my back yard will not affect anyone else outside of the blast radius — right?
So I guess what I want you to think about is this…
Why is this not news?
Why is an act of war not news?
Imagine that your neighbour fires rockets indiscriminately at your city. Imagine that on your national day or independence day, rockets are fired at you. Now imagine that what Kim is wearing is more important than that.
Now ask yourselves why…