Near-Massacre in Israel From Gaza Rocket Fire -- and the Media Yawn

Late Saturday, July 31, an upgraded Qassam rocket from Gaza scored a direct hit on the ceiling of a children's hydrotherapy rehabilitation center in the heart of Sderot's Sapir College.  The center provides therapy and workshops for special-need children in Israel's western Negev and also for children from the entire country.  Many of the children who receive care at the center suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, incurred after years of similar rocket attacks.

The center was completely decimated, according to local accounts.  On any other day, the rocket attack would have been catastrophic.  During weekdays, the center is packed with hundreds of children and therapists.  But because, the rocket landed just after Shabbat, the building was unoccupied.

This was not an isolated incident.  Sderot has sustained hundreds of rocket attacks from Gaza since even before Hamas assumed power in that enclave.  Since Israel's offensive against Hamas in January, 2009, to put an end to such attacks, about 400 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza at civilian targets in Israel.  In fact, this was the fourth time that the Sapir rehab center has been struck by rocket fire.

Saturday's missile landed not far from where a Sapir student, Roni Yechiah, was killed by a rocket on Feb. 27, 2008.

Yet, there was not one single word about Saturday's near-massacre in the New York Times and the Washington Post.  Not in their Sunday, Aug. 1, editions.  Not in their Monday, Aug. 2 editions.

This is also not surprising.  The Times and the Post usually avert their eyes from such terrorist attacks against Israel from Gaza.  If they carry day-after stories at all, they usually lead off with Israeli retaliation airstrikes against terror targets in Gaza, thus fostering the impression of Israel as the aggressive party.

Just imagine for a moment if an Israeli strike had scored a direct hit on a children's therapy center in Gaza, even if it was unoccupied at the time, how different the Times/Post response would be.  Would they impose the same news blackout that marks their non-coverage of attacks on Sderot?  Not for a moment.  They would be all over such an incident, interviewing Gaza officials, therapists and children.

But when Israeli children come in the cross-hairs of terrorist rocket attacks, it just doesn't command any Times/Post notice, or journalistic interest, in their pro-Palestinian newsrooms.
Late Saturday, July 31, an upgraded Qassam rocket from Gaza scored a direct hit on the ceiling of a children's hydrotherapy rehabilitation center in the heart of Sderot's Sapir College.  The center provides therapy and workshops for special-need children in Israel's western Negev and also for children from the entire country.  Many of the children who receive care at the center suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, incurred after years of similar rocket attacks.

The center was completely decimated, according to local accounts.  On any other day, the rocket attack would have been catastrophic.  During weekdays, the center is packed with hundreds of children and therapists.  But because, the rocket landed just after Shabbat, the building was unoccupied.

This was not an isolated incident.  Sderot has sustained hundreds of rocket attacks from Gaza since even before Hamas assumed power in that enclave.  Since Israel's offensive against Hamas in January, 2009, to put an end to such attacks, about 400 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza at civilian targets in Israel.  In fact, this was the fourth time that the Sapir rehab center has been struck by rocket fire.

Saturday's missile landed not far from where a Sapir student, Roni Yechiah, was killed by a rocket on Feb. 27, 2008.

Yet, there was not one single word about Saturday's near-massacre in the New York Times and the Washington Post.  Not in their Sunday, Aug. 1, editions.  Not in their Monday, Aug. 2 editions.

This is also not surprising.  The Times and the Post usually avert their eyes from such terrorist attacks against Israel from Gaza.  If they carry day-after stories at all, they usually lead off with Israeli retaliation airstrikes against terror targets in Gaza, thus fostering the impression of Israel as the aggressive party.

Just imagine for a moment if an Israeli strike had scored a direct hit on a children's therapy center in Gaza, even if it was unoccupied at the time, how different the Times/Post response would be.  Would they impose the same news blackout that marks their non-coverage of attacks on Sderot?  Not for a moment.  They would be all over such an incident, interviewing Gaza officials, therapists and children.

But when Israeli children come in the cross-hairs of terrorist rocket attacks, it just doesn't command any Times/Post notice, or journalistic interest, in their pro-Palestinian newsrooms.

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