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Posts tagged ‘media’

News agencies still whitewashing Israeli forces’ lethal violence

Many media outlets are continuing to repeat important mistakes when it comes to covering the killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces, errors that result in a whitewashing of the routine violence of Israel’s occupation, and ultimately, biased coverage.

When I wrote about this issue last year (see here, here, and here), I focused on the output of news agencies like Reuters and The Associated Press (AP), on the basis that their reports go global, and that their coverage – perhaps more than other outlets – is perceived as objective (or striving to be).

Unfortunately, the flaws that have characterised the reporting of events since autumn 2015 have persisted into 2017 – as the following examples demonstrate. Read more

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How The Guardian continues to exclude Palestinians from its comment pages

This time last year, I carried out an informal survey of how The Guardian was covering the issue of Palestine and Israel in its comment pages. The results were not good.

Out of 138 op-eds on the topic published by the newspaper in its ‘Comment is free’ section from October 2013 to November 2015 (including both print and online-only articles, as well as content from The Observer), just 20 were written by Palestinians – 15 per cent of the total. Read more

Israeli shooting of Palestinians: The media need to check the facts

Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s armed forces, the circumstances and aftermath of the killing of Mustafa Nimr by Israeli border police in Shuafat refugee camp last Monday take some beating for their sheer cruelty and gall.

At the end of an overnight raid in Shuafat early Monday, Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle in what authorities immediately described as a thwarted car-ramming attack. Passenger Mustafa Nimr was killed, while the driver, his cousin Ali, was wounded and detained. Read more

The media’s Palestinian disappearing act

Early on Tuesday morning, Israeli forces – three battalions worth, according to press reports – invaded the al-Fawwar refugee camp, located south of Hebron.

An Israeli military spokesperson said the raid was an “operational activity to uncover weaponry”. Palestinian residents described it as an unprecedented attack on a beleaguered refugee camp. Read more

Lies and Israel’s war crimes

This month marked six months since the “official” conclusion to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, “Operation Cast Lead.” From 27 December to 18 January, the might of the one of the world’s strongest militaries laid waste to a densely-packed territory of 1.4 million Palestinians without an escape route.

The parallel propaganda battle fought by Israel’s official and unofficial apologists continued after the ceasefire, in a desperate struggle to combat the repeated reports by human rights groups of breaches of international law. This article will look at some of the strategies of this campaign of disinformation, confusion, and lies — and the reality of Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Very early on in Operation Cast Lead, the scale of Israel’s attack became apparent. In just the first six days the Israeli Air Force carried out more than 500 sorties against targets in the Gaza Strip. That amounted to an attack from the air roughly every 18 minutes — not counting hundreds of helicopter attacks, tank and navy shelling, and infantry raids. All of this on a territory similar in size to the US city of Seattle. Read more

Direct from Iran, an Unvarnished Assessment of Protests’ Potential

The protests rocking Iran are of great significance for the politics and society of a Middle East regional superpower, yet one relies in vain on Western media coverage for a decent understanding of developments. Once again, the mainstream press seem incapable of analyzing crucial events in the Middle East without recourse to cliché, condescension, simplification, and decontextualization.

In terms of the election itself, this is not a case of goodies versus baddies. Mousavi, who has now become the principal political figurehead opposing the results of a highly suspect election, is not a random outsider, but a veteran of the Islamic revolution. As Prime Minister for most of the 1980s, he had low tolerance for dissent and was backed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. Read more

Israel wanted a humanitarian crisis

The scale of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip, and the almost daily reports of war crimes over the last three weeks, has drawn criticism from even longstanding friends and sympathisers. Despite the Israeli government’s long-planned and comprehensive PR campaign, hundreds of dead children is a hard sell. As a former Israeli government press adviser put it, in a wonderful bit of unintentional irony, “When you have a Palestinian kid facing an Israeli tank, how do you explain that the tank is actually David and the kid is Goliath?”

Despite a mass of evidence that includes Israel’s targets in Operation Cast Lead, public remarks by Israeli leaders over some time, and the ceasefire manoeuvring of this last weekend, much of the analysis offered by politicians or commentators has been disappointingly limited, and characterised by false assumptions, or misplaced emphases, about Israel’s motivations. Read more

Gaza violence: some lives worth more than others

Once again, we are learning that when it comes to the conflict in Palestine/Israel, some lives are worth more than others. Earlier today, dozens of Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip fell on Sderot, the Israeli town that has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket fire over the last few years. This time, an Israeli man, “father-of-four” Roni Yechiah, was killed in a car park by shrapnel. Others have suffered injuries.

Even as I write this, however, there is news that in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military, in separate attacks, has killed a 6 month old baby and three Palestinian children age 10, 12 and 14. No names yet. In the case of the three children, the Israeli army claims that it was aiming at militants, and a spokesperson said it was “strange” that there should be children around the alleged vicinity of rocket launchers. Read more

Media distortion by omission

In the second such incident since the 2006 war, two rockets fired from within Lebanon struck Israel Monday night. The news understandably made headlines in Israel, and was featured as a major story by all the major Western news outlets such as CNN and the BBC, coming just before President Bush starts his Middle East tour.

However, completely unreported, or at best featured as a small afterthought, was the fact that Lebanese-Israeli border tensions had been already raised Monday by the Israeli abduction of a Lebanese shepherd. Read more

The Nakba in Israeli textbooks and official discourse

The contents of school textbooks in Palestine/Israel have often been the cause of controversy, normally when a report is published purporting to reveal “shocking revelations” about the alleged indoctrination of Palestinian schoolchildren. Last week, however, it was Israeli textbooks in the spotlight, as the Ministry of Education approved a new textbook with a difference. As the BBC reported, “for the first time” the “Palestinian denunciation of the creation of Israel in 1948″ had been included. This incident afforded a perfect opportunity for seeing how the Nakba — what Palestinians called their expulsion by Zionist forces from their homes and villages in what is now Israel during 1947-48 — is viewed by “official” discourse in the West (through the filter of the mainstream media), and within Israel itself. Read more