Gaza, the news that’s unsuitable to print

BBC Wales

Protest march fails to find space in Sunday paper

A crowd of 53,271 turned up at Cardiff's Principality Stadium yesterday afternoon for a meaningless rugby match between Wales and the Barbarians that provided a winning send-off for retiring full-back Leigh Halfpenny as Wales romped to a 49-26 win.

I say meaningless... but the fixture did commemorate 50 years since the epic match between the Barbarians and New Zealand in Cardiff that witnessed the “greatest try in rugby history”… started by Phil Bennett and scored by Gareth Edwards.

And this landmark event also saw the national side bid farewell to Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones who lined up for the Baa-Baas, the former Wales skipper scoring a rousing try on his exit from the sport. So perhaps it wasn’t an entirely meaningless game after all.

So I concede it’s a worthy sports story for Wales’ national newspaper, deserving of some front-page presence, especially since preparations for the match had earlier been somewhat overshadowed by the arrest of 37-year-old former London Irish player Api Ratuniyarawa, who was supposed to line up for the Barbarians but instead had an assignation in court in the morning on charges of sexual assault in Cardiff on Tuesday night.

So these were the two stories today’s Wales On Sunday went with on its front page, strangely allowing no room for arguably the most momentous event to take place in the Welsh capital yesterday when thousands of protesters ignored the threat of the clouds opening up to march against Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Bombings have continued there following a false-flag incursion into Israel by Hamas on 7 October, staged to justify the barbaric Israeli assault on the people trapped in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison where children are forced to live in horrendous conditions and thousands have lost their lives during the incessant attacks over the past month.

Even though St Mary Street was almost completely blocked off by thousands of protesters immediately before kick-off, Wales On Sunday saw no merit to the story whatsoever… and I mean whatsoever, not only did pictures of the march not make the front page, they didn’t make one of the 48 pages in today’s edition, not a word about it anywhere in the paper.

I spent 15 years as a sub-editor with MediaWales until taking voluntary redundancy in 2016 and at no time during that period would a protest of such magnitude, about an issue of huge international importance, have been completely ignored, but now the company is part of the Reach media empire and “news” is sanitised to fall in line with the New World Order agenda… so no place for stories about Israel slaughtering innocent people in Gaza, which I suppose is fair enough since governments worldwide don’t seem to give a hoot about it either (I chose the word hoot because some people take offence at expletives, although they also seem to view Israeli barbarism as perfectly acceptable… weird what things upset different people these days).

Yesterday’s protest began at the Aneurin Bevan statue on Queen Street and proceeded along St Mary Street before turning down Wood Street to the BBC offices, where protesters loudly proclaimed “shame on you BBC” due to the organisation’s unwavering support for the official narrative of Israel being totally justified in defending itself against unarmed civilians cowering in hospitals, schools and refugee centres in their own land where they live in constant fear of the incessant bombs, but simply cannot escape because to cross the border with Israel would more than likely result in them being targeted by a sniper pointing an automatic weapon at them.

Wood Street, Cardiff

But luckily for the Hamas intruders on 7 October the Israel Defence Forces had the day off as the country’s president, Bibi Satanyahu, needed an excuse to spend the rest of the month blasting the shit (apologies, but I decided that expletive was totally warranted) out of Gaza.

Even though the MediaWales office is simply a stone’s throw away from the BBC building nobody can have been granted permission to see what all the noise was about across the road since nothing appeared about it in today’s Wales On Sunday… not a peep.

Last week Darth Drakelord, first minister of Wales, succumbed to pressure from a group of backbenchers and called for a humanitarian pause in Gaza to allow aid into the region with more than a third of Senedd members reportedly supporting calls for an immediate ceasefire.

Plaid Cymru has also proposed a debate on the matter when the Senedd returns after recess this week, with one believed to be scheduled for Wednesday.

But former Welsh Secretary Stephen “Boston” Crabb fears a ceasefire would be in the interests of Hamas, Israel’s puppet representatives in Gaza tasked with prolonging the conflict until the land lies bare.

"I completely understand why people want to see a pause in hostilities," the parliamentary chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel said. "People want to see aid getting through and that's absolutely right."

However Boston argues Hamas has shown "no sign at all that they want to abide by any ceasefire"… hardly surprising though since its role in all this is to provide Israel with an excuse to bomb Gaza off the face of the planet.

The people of Gaza are too pre-occupied with their struggle to survive to give a rat’s behind about Hamas, which came to power in Gaza 17 years ago when the last elections were allowed to take place there in 2006.

In its early days Hamas, according to some former Israeli officials, was seen as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organisation so Israel supported it as a way to break the PLO’s hold on the region because its leader Yasser Arafat had come around to the concept of a peaceful solution... which really didn’t fit in with Israel’s plans at all.

Retired official Avner Cohen, who worked in Gaza in the 1990s and oversaw religious affairs in the region, was even quoted in 2009 as saying: “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation."

So... Israel created it, supported it to an electoral victory in 2006, then prevented the people of Palestine from having any further say on the matter… not even now.

Why have no elections taken place in Gaza since 2006? The answer is quite simple, Israel has its cronies in control to enforce a policy that affords Satanyahu all the justification he requires to blitz the place to the ground.

So Boston, you are right on the money with your assessment that Hamas has little interest in a ceasefire. And why is that? Simple... because that’s not what Israel wants.

I hope that if a debate on the subject does take place in the Senedd on Wednesday that everyone opposed to this humanitarian tragedy in Gaza will get down to Cardiff Bay to show that Wales stands with the Palestinian people and calls for the phoney war inside the world’s largest open-air prison to stop… now!

It’s not something we can enforce… but we have to let the politicians in the Senedd and at Westminster know we do not support Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, they do not speak for us when they condone the genocide!

Paper: Sunday's Wales On Sunday

Hamas: Israel's Puppets In Gaza

Gaza: Senedd Debate On Ceasefire

Rugby: Wales Versus Barbarians

Media: Reach Website

Media: Key To The Human Psyche

Support: Palestine Solidarity Campaign