Israeli FM tells al-Jazeera to shape up

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Appearing on al-Jazeera on Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the Arab news network to shape up in its coverage of Israel's war against Gaza's Hamas rulers.

When pressed by her interviewer over why Israeli forces are "killing women and children in Gaza," Livni fired back that only Hamas terrorists are being targeted by Israeli forces, and if civilians are killed then it is the responsibility of the Hamas terrorists who took shelter among them.

Livni also pointed out that there would be no war in Gaza at all if Hamas had not fired hundreds of rockets into southern Israel during the two weeks leading up to the Israeli assault.

Livni went on to criticize al-Jazeera itself for stoking the flames of hatred with its one-sided coverage.

"When you show one-sided images from Gaza you're not helping peace," said the foreign minister. "I understand that pictures which create provocation lead to anger and hostility among the citizens, but we want a better future for this region."

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Majallie Whbee, an Arab from northern Israel, took issue with the broader foreign media for failing to sufficiently report Israel's version of events surrounding the Gaza violence.

Whbee told The Jerusalem Post that major foreign media outlets are doing their best to ignore the Israeli side, and so are giving the impression in their reporting that Israel's attack on Gaza was a spontaneous and unprovoked action.

He was particularly upset that while nearly every news update on any foreign news network features images of children in Gaza, very few if any are broadcasting images of Israeli children cowering in fear in bomb shelters across southern Israel.

In related news, Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday agreed to a request by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to join Israel's international public relations campaign. Netanyahu is widely regarded in Israel as the nation's most competent and eloquent spokesman.

Despite the proximity to national elections, Netanyahu has pledged to maintain unity with the Olmert government for the duration of the Gaza war.

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