As the Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues, the media seem to be losing interest. Once a staple of every front page, the story has gradually slipped from the national consciousness.

The massive Stop The War march, held last Saturday, and attracting hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators warranted barely a mention in the national media.

The immense suffering being endured by the Palestinian people being bombed, starved and displaced is of little interest to news editors. In the American press things are only marginally different. For most American media the story is still one of Israeli suffering.

The latest is the press coverage being given to Sharon Alony Cunio who was released from captivity after 52 days along with her 3 year old twin daughters. 

She tells the world’s media, “I had a mental breakdown, I had tics, I had panic attacks.” The media responded as one with headlines describing how “hostage relives horrors of captivity”.

Being taken captive must have been frightening, and nobody is going to pretend otherwise. But most of the ‘horrors’ being described seem to have been inflicted by her own side.

Ms Cunio describes how her two young children really did not know what was going on. She told the girls the near-constant sounds of bombardment were just thunderstorms and the militants who guarded their door were their protectors. Now, when it rains in Yavne, the central Israel city where the three are staying with Sharon’s parents, the girls ask, “Mommy, where are the booms?”

She does not recognise, or at least she does not mention, that many Palestinian children, no older than her own, are also in constant fear of bombardment. Even prior to 7th October children in Gaza could be little more than target practice. In June last year two-year-old Mohammed Tamimi was killed after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. He was not the first. 

Ms Cunio describes how a bomb exploded in the house next to the one they were being held in Khan Younis. This was a terrifying experience. But houses being destroyed by Israeli bombs is a common experience for Palestinians. Since 7th October 65,000 homes have been destroyed by the Israelis. Yes, it is terrifying. But not just for Israelis, mostly for the Palestinians whose homes they were.

Ms Cunio’s description of life as a hostage includes the story of how Hamas fighters moved the family from the bombed house to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. This is evidence to the media that claims that Hamas was using the hospitals for military purposes were clearly true. It never occurs to them that perhaps Hamas moved the hostages to the place they thought might be safest. Of course, Israel has bombed hospitals regardless of the international convention which prevents attacks on medical facilities.

Ms Cunio had become separated from one of her twin daughters – Emma. She describes how one day, whilst in the hospital, she heard the unmistakable sound of Emma’s crying. “This guy just handed me Emma, like she’s a box or something. And I was shocked,” she said in her account. “I was certain she was dead. She was panicking and crying. I couldn’t believe that they brought her back to us.”

This does not sound like the act of a group who might behead babies. It sounds like an act of compassion. Reuniting a mother and baby. 

The media want us to believe that Hamas are ‘evil’ and that this description justifies the attacks on Gaza. The description by Ms Cunio suggests that Hamas had great care for the hostages, providing those who needed it with medical attention. 

The greater number of dead hostages would appear to be victims of their so-called liberators, including the gunning down of three released hostages carrying white flags. It is the Israelis on a killing spree, not Hamas who have treated their captives with respect. That does not fit the West’s narrative – it just happens to be the truth.


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