National Public Radio's All Things Considered explained that "the strikes were in retaliation for the launching of more than 100 rockets at Israel in recent days", as noted by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.
To her credit, Amy Goodman had the outstanding Palestinian journalist from Gaza, Mohammed Omer, on her show,Democracy Now!, but failed to ask him pertinent questions about the background of the situation or provide it herself.
Some mainstream liberal media outlets have discussed the imbalance between the rocket launches from Gaza resistance groups and the attacks executed by one of the mightiest armies in the world. While some may take this as a sign of newfound "support" or "empathy" for Palestinians, this is precarious logic. If Hamas' rockets were to become more powerful, as they are proving to be, will these outlets retract their critique of Israel's actions? Or is support for Palestinians contingent on them remaining "victims" and will vanish at any sign of their resistance becoming more powerful or effective?
A focus on "who started it?" consumes the mainstream media's discussion on the latest violence, leading commentators to discuss timelines as though they were opinions rather than verifiable facts to consider and, to a one, even getting that wrong, with media outlets from NPR to theNYT declaring that Israel's - rather than Hamas' - strikes were retaliatory.
Meanwhile pundits feverishly try to tease out a political motive to explain Israel's latest massive assault on Gaza. So far, the realpolitick most commonly alluded to is the impending Israeli election, scheduled for January 22, giving Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak strategic reasons for timing an assault on Gaza now.
The other pervasive rationale has been that Israel is "testing" the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt as well as, to a degree, President Obama in his second and last term in office.
While it is understandably appealing for pundits and spectators to search for a reason for yet another indefensible assault on Palestinians in Gaza, this focus separates Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip from its ongoing policies to implement the "Iron Wall", a term coined by the far-right Zionist leader, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and referring to a strategy used throughout all Israeli regimes since 1948. As John Mearsheimer explains in his latest piece for theLondon Review of Books' blog, the Iron Wall is "an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission".
When it comes to looking behind the scenes of Israeli military assaults on Gaza (or Lebanon), there is always a general hoping for a promotion, a politician looking for votes, and an arms dealer making profits, but the rationale that enables that triumvirate to enact the lethal policies we are seeing play out in Gaza right now is the same one that allows the Israeli government to calculate how many calories each Palestinian in the Gaza Strip needs to survive, and to then intentionally allow fewer trucks and supplies in to meet that need.
And it's the same rationale that motivates the Israeli occupation authorities to prevent construction in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to encourage widespread drug addiction in Area B, and to make near-daily incursions into Area A to arrest political leaders, activists and journalists.
It's the rationale of a coloniser, who wants land but not the people on it.
When the media starts speaking about this, then we'll know there's been a sea change.