Property damage is not news
Photo: Amir Cohen
Gaza infighting, more newsworthy
Photo: Reuters

Qassams ignored abroad

After overlooking continuous rockets attacks on Israel's southern communities, foreign media only gives conflict airtime after IDF fights back

WASHINGTON – Qassam attacks on Sderot have received very little coverage in world media, despite the heavy barrages that have been going on for the past three days.


Only when Israel began to respond to the attacks by aerial bombings, cannons and tanks did this part of the world receive attention from the American media.


The Iraq war has been consuming most of the airtime on American news networks, which have been rejecting Israeli representatives' requests to appear and discuss the Qassam problem.


American networks have also been reporting on the internal Gaza clashes, while only mentioning the Qassam attacks in passing.


Israel's complaints to the United Nations Security Council were simply not reported.


In Europe the issue also received very little coverage, especially compared to the factional fighting that has been going on in the Gaza Strip between.


The Europeans claim the reason for this is that most of the airtime in the past few days has been dedicated to the change of leadership in France, and the little airtime left was set aside for the difficult images from Gaza, and not Sderot.


An American television producer explained to Ynet, that as sad as it may sound, Sderot is a story that has been going on for years, and is no longer news.


The producer added that there are very few injuries in Sderot, and images of shock victims do not sell.

Qassams on Sderot 'don't sell' (photo: AFP) 


The moment that the Israel Defense Force began to retaliate, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict went back to making headlines.


Israeli diplomats in the United States clarified that the lack of coverage was not a result of a negative attitude toward Israel, but a difficulty to get the Qassam attack into American public awareness, in a time when the war in Iraq is combined with a heated race for presidency.


Israeli ambassador to the United States Salai Meridor, along with other diplomats in Israel's embassy in Washington, have begun appealing to senior government sources in order to explain the severity of the situation in Gaza vicinity communities, and have made it clear that Israel would have to react firmly.


Meridor made it clear in talks with White House officials that after demonstrating great restraint as Qassams continued to fall for weeks, Israel was now forced to respond in a periodic manner in order to prevent rocket attacks.


The US government has shown complete understating of Israel's position, as State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Thursday that Israel has the right to defend itself.


Israel's diplomatic campaign is meant to get the message across to local media that Israel can no longer restrain itself, and that deterioration in the situation would lead to an even harsher response, which Israel wishes to avoid.


Gil Yaron contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.17.07, 23:01
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