Friday, January 02, 2009

Where To Read About The War

Firstly, the IDF Spokesperson now has a blog as well, which shows, discusses, and gives some explanation of some of the actions being carried out in Operation Cast Lead, or even some footage of Hamas actions just to show how they truly work, such as shooting mortars from a UN school. It also has a post in memoriam for the soldier who was killed by a rocket two days ago.

Jameel (@ the Muqata) and Dave (IsraellyCool) are the live-bloggers of this war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Jack keeps churning out roundups of posts from the J-blogosphere and pieces from the media, though it's worthwhile to note that the stories the media picks up tend to be about a day or two behind the blogs. Even some of the news aspects are slightly trailing the blogs...

A couple posts I particularly liked in addition to Gila's below were Treppenwitz' on the media being allowed into Gaza, and WestBankMama's on an impressive feat the Israeli school system is pulling off, educating even the 200,000 students who are within range of the rockets and can't go to school. Excerpts on expand.

3. The Palestinians have demonstrated their willingness to play to the cameras during two Intifadas. Your presence has a tendency to get young, bored, otherwise-non-political Palis out onto the streets and into violent confrontations with our troops. So far we've been able to limit our attacks to Hamas leaders and combatants. But once your camera crews draw out the idle young mobs, the casualty figures will shoot through the roof. And that will end up being your story. Reporters are supposed to report the news... not manufacture it.

4. You have demonstrated that you have no contextual or historical background for covering this conflict. You have also made it clear you have no desire to acquire either. You will inevitably send in 'journalists' who don't know the geography, language, culture or history of either side in this conflict, forcing them to rely on unreliable (and biased) local sources and 'fixers' to supply the meat of their stories. There are already Palestinian journalists inside Gaza. Your stories are going to end up echoing their propaganda, so why not just take their feed?

The educational ministry has set up a way to teach the kids (at least part time) by having both the students and teachers go online. Each schoolkid gets a special code and a time to go on to a site, and he gets assignments from his teacher. Sometimes the teacher is online also, and can answer questions in real time.

Due to the fact that the cities of Sderot and the small villages near the Gaza border have been under rocket attack for years, the government saw to it that each child received a computer. They haven’t done the same for the students in Ashdod or Beersheva, because the rockets haven’t reached there until now. But at least most of the kids are covered.

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