In Syria, deaths are apparent; in Gaza they are unquestioned truths

Don’t get me wrong, casualties of war is always a tragedy, regardless of where you stand in a conflict, the loss of life is sad, utterly destructive. Yet, when somebody points a gun (rockets, threats of genocide, etc) at me or somebody I love, I have no compunction in protecting my own life, first and foremost, and without any concerns for the welfare of my enemy.

For families who have lost a loved one in armed conflict these are the finer lines, the final frontier before one crosses into the much more murky terrain of bestiality. Sordidly, there can be some honor and order to be found in ordinary war fare, combatants identify as such, and the families, regardless of their side in the conflict are united in their fear, anguish and sheer terror that their loved ones won’t come home.

These are devastating tragedies for the ones involved.

When the international press casts its prying eye into the intimacy of sheer grief, often with a political slant, or tainted by personal preferences, these dramatic scenes of misery can be made even more miserable, more tragic, seen from the point of view of the lens that has been skewed to fit a particular narrative.

Scene 1: Homs Syria. In Norwegian newspapers – dreadful scenes of slaughter of women and children. The BBC Panorama airs a program on Homs; a journey into hell. Gruesome murders, senseless violence, flagrant violations. Yet. Every journalist will state again and again, that these are alleged events, not proven ones, even when world renowned journalists have paid the ultimate price in covering what they call a slaughter of civilians.

Scene 2: Gaza. Rockets are falling over Southern Israel, forcing more than a million Israelis to stay indoors. Israel defends itself, attacking terror units who are shelling civilians in Israel in a clear breach of international Law. Hamas is unwilling or unable to contain their wild beasts, but greedily takes the opportunity to whip up some sympathy from a generally disinterested world. Funeral parades are staged, no Western journalist questions its veracity. Bloody spots on the ground are presented as unequivocal proof that life has been lost here, no Western journalist digs in the dirt to see if it may be staged. Most reports mention in passing that life for israelis has been disrupted, nobody makes a mention of the fact that every Israeli home owner is required by Law to have equipped their home with a safe room, a shelter, which adds thousands of dollars to the cost of living to the average Israeli. Even Israeli reports on how many rockets they have sustained is questioned.

Our FM Støre has been quick to condemn the attacks on Gaza, yet he has not condemned the rockets over Israel, merely urged restraint from both parties, yet he appears to be oblivious to the fate of Syrians, whom he has not offered an official thought since February 24, when he magnanimously offered the hapless Syrian NOK 22 million to alleviate their suffering. In comparison, he lavished a whopping NOK 240 million on the doomed PA who now rub their hands for each rocket that pummels Israel.

Finally, no humanitarian organization, including the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Church Aid have offered as much as a vigil in honor of Syrians. Israeli rock artists in contrast, have offered to organize a charity concert for Syrians.

Isn’t this funny?