A brave few are re­port­ing

ANAL­Y­SIS

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY CON COUGH­LIN

IN THE chaos of any mil­i­tary con­flict, even the best gen­er­als can find it dif­fi­cult to work out pre­cisely what is tak­ing place be­tween the war­ring fac­tions.

Amid the rapidly chang­ing land­scape of the bat­tle­field, fight­ers on the ground need to take spur-ofthe-mo­ment de­ci­sions to gain the ad­van­tage and pro­tect the lives of their com­rades. Even with the ben­e­fit of so­phis­ti­cated com­mu­ni­ca­tions, mod­ern-day com­bat­ants will rarely have any pro­found un­der­stand­ing of what is go­ing on else­where on the bat­tle­field.

If this is the predica­ment fac­ing those ac­tively en­gaged in the fight­ing, then just imag­ine the dif­fi­cul­ties ex­pe­ri­enced by in­ter­na­tional me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions charged with pro­vid­ing 24/7 news cov­er­age of a con­flict, par­tic­u­larly when their cor­re­spon­dents on the spot have lit­tle, if any, con­tact with those di­rect­ing op­er­a­tions on ei­ther side.

The ex­ten­sive me­dia cov­er­age of the Gaza con­flict is a case in point. Day af­ter day, we have been treated to har­row­ing ac­counts, in words and pic­tures, of the ap­palling suf­fer­ing of Pales­tini­ans.

But while this is un­ques­tion­ably an im­por­tant part of the story, it is not the only is­sue that needs to be cov­ered. What about the cir­cum­stances that led to the at­tacks in the first place? What about the provoca­tive acts, such as Ha­mas fir­ing rock­ets into Is­rael?

The prob­lem fac­ing those cov­er­ing this ter­ri­ble war is that in­vari­ably they ar­rive in the af­ter­math of an at­tack, com­pletely obliv­i­ous to what tran­spired be­fore the bombs started fall­ing.

And yet, af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a 72-hour cease­fire, new de­tails have

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