Is there any comparison between the pictures showing the corpses of four siblings lying in a morgue in Gaza and those depicting the “horror” of some Israelis hiding in the shelters?
This is not a call for gloating, but the comparison is not in any way possible. However, some media outlets chose to focus on the Israeli “horror” at the expense of the horrid depictions of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip.
Laying much emphasis on the fear of Israelis is a strategy that has had it precedents in similar situations in Gaza and is basically meant to give the illusion that some victory is being celebrated. The question is: what victory?
Did the missiles fired at Israel cause the same horror and damage as those fired by Israel at the people of Gaza?
Can we actually compare four injured Israelis with 80 dead Palestinians let alone the damage inflicted here and there?
Several Arab media outlets considered the missiles fired at Israel a victory and made sure to highlight the impact inside Israel.
“Tens of missiles fall on Tel Aviv”
“Sirens echoing in the skies of Israel”
“Horror in Israel”
This definitely reminds us of the 2009 “victory” in Gaza and the 2006 “victory” in Lebanon.
The media is involved in some sort of victory industry and this constitutes a crime no less than those committed by Israel because it involves trading a tragedy for an illusion. If one party emerges triumphant from a battle, how would it be able to expose the brutality of its enemy and insist that justice be served? That is the whole point. This illusion involves getting over the tragedy under the pretext that it ended with victory and avoiding the acknowledgment of defeat.
The end result is that whoever “claims” we are in danger would be a traitor. It is as if we are not allowed to admit that we are being threatened and could be killed any minute. How could we do this while we insist that we won the battle? How could we admit that someone is capable of killing us when we claim we are that strong?
In the war on Gaza, it is pointless to think of victory and defeat in the first place. What is more important are the children who were killed and the houses which were destroyed and neither of the two features in this discourse of alleged victory. If we go by this logic, we would not be able to say that Hitler was defeated if we compare the number of Jews he killed to the amount of dead Germans. In any cases, the number of the dead is not a criterion to measure victory or defeat; it is only a proof of the human price war entails.
In short, celebrating an illusory victory and bragging about a few fired missiles is only a way to cover up for our inability to wage an ethical war on Israel, one in which we hold it accountable for the death of those Gazan children.
(Diana Moukalled is a writer for Asharq al-Awsat where this article was published on Nov. 22, 2012)