Columnist challenged on Gaza

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I have a few questions for columnist Lana Payne (“Is a just peace possible?” The Weekend Telegram, Aug. 9).

1. How many times have you attended the Holocaust Memorial service here in St. John’s and cried when the names of gassed and cremated Jews of all ages was read?

2. How many articles have you written about the Holocaust and the recurring anti-semitism (not anti-Zionism) all over the world, including in Canada? Where is your outrage at attacks on Jewish schools, synagogues, homes and random, innocent Jewish people in many parts of the world, including here in Canada?

3. Under what rock have you been hiding that you seem to ignore that the only reason there were so few Israeli civilian casualties is because Israel, unlike Gaza, has built bomb shelters in every building in the country, has implemented a safety protocol (Israelis hear a siren and have 15 seconds to get into the nearest bomb shelter) and has developed and implemented Iron Dome?

4. What type of journalist are you that you seem to ignore that Hamas “encourages” (read force or strongly persuade) the inhabitants of Gaza to act as human shields instead of running away when Israel Defense Forces warn, by leaflets, phone calls and texts, days in advance, of an upcoming bombing?

5. Where is your outrage at the knowledge that Hamas has fired rockets from and stored materiel in homes, schools, UN shelters, hospitals and other civilian places, knowing these will be bombed, so that they can complain about horrendous casualties while their leaders are hiding in concrete bunkers or in Qatar?

6. How do you know that the information given to journalists by Hamas about casualties is accurate?

How do you know that so many dead were innocent civilians? The majority of the dead appear to be males of a certain age, very likely to be actively involved in the war.

Journalists in Gaza were not allowed to go where they wanted nor to report everything they saw. They were directed to the areas of most destruction and watched carefully. Remember Jenin? The actual casualties were a fraction of what was initially reported, as well as the number of buildings destroyed.

7. Do you realize that, while Israel uses rockets to protect its citizens, Hamas uses citizens to protect its rockets?

8. Did you know that Israel has continued to supply Gaza with free electricity and has been sending tonnes of basic supplies to civilians even throughout the ongoing conflict? That Gazans are being treated in Israeli hospitals?

I agree that each death of an innocent person, child or adult, is a terrible thing. But before anyone points fingers and demonizes Israel, they should be sure to do their homework.

I can accept a difference of opinion and views, as long as it is based on unbiased information.

What Payne wrote is unacceptably biased.

As a journalist, she owes it to her readers to search all sources of information, not just the ones that agree with her biases.

Elena Hannah

St. John’s

Organizations: Hamas, UN

Geographic location: Gaza, Israel, Canada Qatar Jenin

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Recent comments

  • Paul J
    August 20, 2014 - 06:41

    this is an image that more people need to see, they see Arabs as the evil bad guy and the IDF- Israelis as the victims, good guys... what do you think of this video , the most moral army in the world at work...note the lack of military activity and the sound of childrens voices in the back ground...but I bet someoen will claim it was justified shooting of the unarmed teenager playing on the roof across the way... http://www.newstalk.ie/Shocking-video-of-Israeli-soldiers-who-celebrate-shooting-18-year-old

  • mike conway
    August 19, 2014 - 21:18

    proper thing.361

  • Malcolm F. Brown
    August 19, 2014 - 17:05

    Very well said Ms. Hannah, why would any journalist seek the truth when it does not agree with their bias and take on an issue such as this. We live in very strange times when accredited journalists, which unfortunately includes most in the MSM completely ignoring the reality right in front of their faces and instead go with emotion and bs emanating from completely discredited organizations such as the UN.

    • Paul James
      August 20, 2014 - 07:05

      what you are doing is called 'shooting the messenger', you are attacking the journalist personally and not addressing a single point she made... can you explain why you think she is simply 'biased' and incorrect? in doing this you expose your own bias against informed discussion...and in favour of repression... In the interest of open discussion I will ask you this one simple question- what do you think of the 'settlements' and 'settlers' in the west bank? it is wrapped up in the same issues surrounding the occupation (blockade) of Gaza...

  • J
    August 19, 2014 - 08:23

    I agree Elena. However, I was somewhat surprised she took a week off from slagging Steven Harper.

  • Paul James
    August 19, 2014 - 07:27

    right off the mark, you can not invoke the horrors of the holocaust to support what Israel has been doing to Palestinians for decades and most recently its murderous attacks in Gaza...these attacks are so blatantly wrong that finally even the USA, Isreals greatest supporter and benefactor, said 'enough'...which is likely why they are still working on a truce. the holocaust is invoked every time Israel commits some aggresive attacks on a neighbour...but its no excuse. perhaps Ms Hanah should watch the following interview with a prominent American Jew , Henry Seigman, who survived the holocaust himself, who calls out Isreals behaviour for what it is... http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39278.htm Ms Hanah calls Payne bias but ignores her own blatant, misinformed, bias.

  • Politically Incorrect
    August 19, 2014 - 06:39

    I would be careful bring up the issue of genocide (holocaust) or terrorism when speaking of Israel's on-going policy of de facto ethnic cleansing. Where's your disdain for the fascist Lehi Group (led by former PM Yitzhak Shamir) and the massacre in Deir Yassin? How many times, Elena, have you stopped to think about the numerous massacres, the 700,000 Palestinians who subsequently fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed during the During the 1948 Palestine War, or the thousands who have been murdered by Israeli "Defence" Forces since? Where is your criticism of Israeli politicians who advocate the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to "little snakes, and the ensuing hate-filled approval of the pro-war crowd? This didn't start with Hamas, it started with an ideology the proclaims that some people have a right over others including the right to steal land, murder, and occupy; to make second-class citizens of people based on race. If you, Elena, equate this blind support of a rogue state with the tenants of Judaism, then I would also be very, very careful about throwing around the term "anti-Semitism."

    • seanoairborne
      August 19, 2014 - 16:58

      Elena states "FACTS" and you and Paul James state "GARBAGE" and emotional rhetoric! You don't refute her points because refutation, with "real facts" to brain dead people is like wolf bane! Kind of like Kriptonite was to Super Man!!LOL...Everything she outlined was what anybody with a brain knows is fact! And folks like you are just despicable!Defending murdering cowards, honor killers of women and sexual mutilating douches! You ought to hang your heads in shame!

    • Chantal
      August 20, 2014 - 08:09

      Everything else aside in your little rant, honour killings and genital mutilation have nothing to do with the Palistinian situration. Murdering cowards? ... well given the number of dead Palestinian civilians, the IDF is very well represented. And that's a "FACT" (sic.)

    • seanoairborne
      August 21, 2014 - 19:16

      Shantall....Is that all you got? I hate to bust your bubble, but Palestinians are ARABS! 90 Pct.of Arabs follow Sharia law, Sharia law calls for Genital Mutilation and Honor Killings of their daughters when they date an Infidel ie, Blacks ,Christians , Jews and every other race and group that is "NOT" Arab and Muslim! Although you may not care about the women and young girls, that are Arab, and are being tortured, killed and Mutilated by those evil butchers, because you have an identity crises, the majority of decent people in the western world do!