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January 25, 2008

Post's 'Breach in Gaza' on target

Once more, a Washington Post editorial covers Israeli-Palestinian developments more thoroughly and directly — and takes much less space to do so — than the paper’s own news reporting. The commentary, “Breach in Gaza; As thousands stream across the border to Egypt, Hamas blockades the peace process” (January 24), makes several pertinent observations. Among them:

* Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip are not “starving,” notwithstanding Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s assertion to that effect;

* Israelis in the nearby town of Sderot “have been relentless terrorized [emphasis added]” by rocket fire from the Strip;

* The U.N. Security Council and its so-called Human Rights Council’s obsession with Israel is an “ongoing farce”; and

* The exaggerated, mostly Hamas-generated humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip has been “exploited” by the terrorist organization.

Recent, extensive coverage by Post Foreign Service correspondent Ellen Knickmeyer has been mixed. “Israel Blocks Supplies; Steps Up Gaza Airstrikes; Actions a Response to Continuing Rocket Fire” (January 19) was relatively balanced and in context. But dispatches about the Gaza “crisis” often have been superficial, not scrutinizing Arab claims, echoing the vocabulary of Palestinian polemics, and not being as direct or clear as “Breach in Gaza.”

Newspapers, including The Post, often insist that news and editorial pages function separately, though one rarely reads a paper in which they chronically conflict. But sometimes, as in this case, editorials outstrip news coverage. — E.R.

Posted by ER at January 25, 2008 09:33 AM

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