Americans were horrified to hear that Trump wanted to have US forces at the US-Mexico border to charge migrants with bayonets or shoot them in the legs. Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the New York Times reported that Trump wanted US forces to fire on migrants as they sought to come into the country, aiming for their legs so as to injure but not kill them. Trump has denied that he urged these courses of action, but the Washington Post was able to confirm the conversation with staffers (who objected that these steps would be illegal and who simply disregarded Trump’s instructions. Among those who pushed back was then Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who is said to have insisted that US troops not “interact” with the migrants in any way.)
The Jupiter-sized blind spot of US media, however, managed to report on all this with horror without mentioning that this procedure, of shooting people massing on the border in the legs has over the past 18 months become the routine Israeli policy, so routine that the deaths and injuries inflicted by Israeli army snipers on largely peaceful Gaza Palestinian protesters no longer make the news for the most part in the United States.
Oh, you can find the carefully, clinically worded wire service reports on the Internet if you look for them, but they seem never to come on US cable “news” and if they appear in newspapers at all they are buried in back pages. Reuters reported on September 6, for instance,
- “Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers including a 14-year-old during protests along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, Palestinian health officials said. They named the dead as Khaled Al-Rabai, 14, and Ali Al-Ashqar, 17. Seventy protesters were wounded, 38 of them by live fire, medical officials said.”
But here is the long version of the past two weeks of Israeli mayhem against the protesters, via the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
And, note these absolutely horrific numbers from Electronic Intifada:
- “More than 210 Palestinians, including 46 children, have been killed during Great March of Return protests since their launch in early 2018.