Tale of Two Conflicts: Palestinian Chest Injury vs. Hundreds Killed by Islamists

Dear Guardian, thanks for making this easy! Rarely are a media outlet’s prejudices and blinkered sense of moral equivalence more in evidence than in two stories on the left-wing British newspaper’s site.

Exhibit A: A 461-word July 19 story picked up from the AP. Boko Haram killed more than 100 people when the Islamist group entered a town in North Eastern Nigeria on July 20. They “attacked the town of Damboa before dawn on Friday, firing rocket-propelled grenades, throwing homemade bombs into homes and gunning down people as they tried to escape the ensuing fires.” The accompanying photo captioned as “A screengrab taken on 13 July from a video released by Boko Haram shows the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”

Exhibit B: A 511-word July 20 story by The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood accusing the Israeli military of using “flechette shells, which spray out thousands of tiny and potentially lethal metal darts, in its military operation in Gaza.” In the incident, helpfully related to Sherwood by a group called the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, six flechette shells were fired “toward the village of Khuzaa” and one woman, “Nahla Khalil Najjar, 37, suffered injuries to her chest.” The PCHR gave The Guardian a very detailed photo of some flechette darts, and the Guardian supplemented with a 2009 photo of a grim-looking Palestinian man leaning against a flechette-bristled wall.

Apparently, in 2001 and 2002 the IDF allegedly killed nine Palestinians with flechette rounds.

In the meantime, flip back to the AP article to learn that Human Rights Watch “published a report this week which said Boko Haram had killed more than 2,000 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014.”

There was no word on how many chest injuries they caused.

If The Guardian wants to be a willing conduit for anti-Israeli propaganda, fine. But it should at least make an effort at pretending to be a news organization.

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture