Truth, as the old adage goes, is the first casualty of war. It's no less true in this case. Since the ground invasion began yesterday, the pro-Hamas English language news source, the Palestinian Information Centre at the time of writing claims to have killed 13 Israeli soldiers, captured two (including a high-ranking officer) and destroyed seven tanks. For its part, the Israeli army army confirms one dead and 30 injured. On top of all this, a group of Norwegian doctors claim to have recovered traces of depleted uranium from the bodies of several Palestinians. How to separate what is true from what is propaganda?
Media organisations aren't helping matters. In the West, they mostly rely on Israeli state sources, and have their own blind spots and ideological biases. The BBC have been doing a fine job of letting the official Israeli narrative go unchallenged - that the blitz and invasion of Gaza is morally justified after Israel has "lost patience" with completely unprovoked rocket attacks by Hamas militants. The main criticism of Israel that does appear is the disproportionality argument, which, of course, does little to challenge the official grounds of the invasion itself. Surprise, surprise, Fox has been the Israeli state's vocal friend in the US media, saying it has the "moral high ground" and that Hamas could easily end the bloodshed ... by surrendering. Other satellite news sources, namely Al-Jazeera and the Iranian-sponsored Press TV offer takes unencumbered by pro-Israel bias, but that isn't to say they do not have their own agendas. Press TV, reflecting Iran's geopolitical strategy, gives Hamas the kind of free-run Israel gets from Western news outlets.
What the media confusion attempts to do is extend the fog of war back before the conflict began. In an excellent post at Lenin's Tomb explains, Hamas is not an organisation committed to permanent war with Israel. It has hinted at peace deals, offered cease fires, observed unilateral cease fires, and so on. And at every stage, Israel have interfered in internal Palestinian affairs, abducted activists, carried out assassinations, and turned Gaza into an open air internment camp. The rockets Hamas have launched against Israel prior to the present war did not happen without reason. There are material reasons for everything, and in this case, it's in the years of low-level warfare Israel has subjected Gaza to. This is why, much to the exasperation of the Israeli state and its apologists, tens of thousand have marched, and millions across the world are turning against it.Socialist Struggle Movement (Tnu`at Maavak Sotzyalisti/Harakat Nidal Eshteraki – CWI in Israel) statement here.Socialist Party statement here.