‘Western media is reporting that the 2018 attacks on Palestinian protesters was the single bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 ‘clashes.’ The lexicon of ‘clashes’ — used to refer to Israel’s brutal summer 2014 bombardment of Gaza, and also the recent Israeli assassinations of civilians in protests — is corporate media’s typical distortion of reality and of the balance of power. When unarmed protesters calling for human rights are literally gunned down, these are not ‘clashes,’ these are ‘assassinations’. So says Eva Bartlett, a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip. And I say this word ‘clashes’ has to be banned from all media coverage of Palestine as well as Kashmir because in these two ‘theatres of conflict’, it’s almost always unarmed civilians that are ‘fighting’ armed-to-the-teeth hard-core military professionals. Oh their weapons are vastly different in the scope of harm for their opponents; on one end, guns of all ranges including long-range rifles, tear-gas canister-propellers, rubber-coated bullets and pellet-guns (in Kashmir) known for blinding their victims with bursts of hundreds of metal pellets shot in one go directly in the eyes. On the other, usually, mere stones, sometimes even pebbles in a sling. Sure, the Palestinian activists, notably Hamas fighters among them, until sometime ago could still resort to use of a gun. Hamas even had an inexplicable, oh-so-mysterious pile of so-called ‘rockets’. Dear me, where did they get it from… those tunnels CNN found… but who from we don’t know, but have abstained since the bombing of Gaza into rubble in 2014. Since that 50 days long nightmare in which Gaza was pounded day and night by Israeli bombers killing 2200 and maiming countless others (with very large number of children), Palestinians mostly fight through their children hurling stones and pebbles at Israeli tanks. International media calls these …’clashes’. Kashmiris have had guns provided to them from across the border by Pakistan, sometimes, in their 70 years history long freedom struggle. Since the 2002 rapprochement between India and Pakistan, that channel has been virtually closed by Indian security apparatus installed at the borders; Comprehensive, all-across net of electrified barbed wires, interspersed concrete bunkers with searchlight towers, motion-sensors, constant day & night border patrol by thousands of security vehicles, eyes-in-the-sky surveillance besides. The Kashmiri militants still get their guns somehow. Wherefrom is a question all Kashmiris need to ask but the weapon that has sustained their freedom movement in its high and lows, particularly since the virulent nineties, has been the throwing arm of their young. Published in Daily Times, April 6th 2018.