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November 04, 2014

Where's the Coverage? Egypt Demolishes Homes Near Gaza

Israel’s announcement it planned to construct new apartments in existing Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem, building that would not displace nearby Arab residents, drew a Palestinian-Jordanian call for a U.N. Security Council “emergency meeting,” a State Department reprimand and some full-blown news coverage. One example appeared in The New York Times (“Netanyahu Expedites Plan for More Than 1,000 New Apartments in East Jerusalem,” online Oct. 27, 2014, in print the following day).

Never mind that Jerusalem has been the religious and national heart of Judaism and the Jewish people for 3,000 years, or that since reunification under Israeli control in 1967 the city’s Arab population has grown faster than its Jewish sector. New housing for Jews is controversial, and therefore newsworthy.

No so controversial or newsworthy, apparently, was Egypt’s demolition of dozens of homes by explosives and bulldozers along the Egyptian-Gaza Strip boundary. Cairo’s military government acted after Islamic extremists killed 33 soldiers at a Sinai Desert checkpoint and, according to some accounts, escaped by tunnel into Gaza.

The action reportedly signaled removal of 10,000 residents from approximately 800 houses in a few days. In mainstream news media it generally rated a news brief—when covered at all. For example, The Washington Post’s print edition (“Egypt: Army razes homes along Gaza border,” October 30) reduced a 742-word, 17-paragraph Associated Press’ dispatch and accompanying photograph (“Army blows up homes, Egyptians evacuate near Gaza,” online at The Post October 29) to 157 words and five paragraphs in print, with no picture.

Apartments for several thousand Jews in eastern Jerusalem, to be constructed as part of a years’-long process—headlines. Dynamiting and bulldozing the homes of 10,000 Egyptians so Cairo can establish a buffer zone against Islamic terrorists alleged supported from the Gaza Strip—small print and not much of it.

Where’s the coverage?

Posted by ER at November 4, 2014 01:39 PM

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