The term media bias does not do justice to the western corporate
medias relationship with Israel and Palestine. The relationship is,
indeed, far more profound than mere partiality. It is not
ignorance, either. It is a calculated and long-term campaign, aimed
at guarding Israel and demonizing Palestinians.
The current disgraceful
coverage of Gazas popular protests indicates that the
medias position aims at suppressing the truth on Palestine, at any
cost and by any means.
Political symbiosis, cultural affinity, Hollywood, the
outreaching influence of pro-Israel and Zionist groups within the
political and media circles, are some of the explanations many of
us have offered as to why Israel is often viewed with sympathetic
eyes and Palestinians and Arabs condemned.
But such explanations should hardly suffice. Nowadays, there are
numerous media outlets that are trying to offset some of the
imbalance, many of them emanating from the Middle East, but also
other parts of the world. Palestinian and Arab journalists,
intellectuals and cultural representatives are more present on a
global stage than ever before and are more than capable of facing
off, if not defeating, the pro-Israeli media discourse.
However, they are largely invisible to western media; it is the
Israeli spokesperson who continues to occupy the center stage,
speaking, shouting, theorizing and demonizing as he pleases.
It is, then, not a matter of media ignorance, but policy.
Even before March 30, when scores of Palestinians in Gaza were
killed and thousands wounded, the U.S. and British media, for
example, should have, at least, questioned why hundreds
snipers and army tanks were ordered to deploy at the Gaza
border to face-off Palestinian protesters.
Instead, they referred to clashes between Gaza youth and the
snipers, as if they are equal forces in an equivalent battle.
Western media is not blind. If ordinary people are increasingly
able to see the truth regarding the situation in Palestine,
experienced western journalists cannot possibly be blind to the
truth. They know, but they choose to remain silent.
The maxim that official Israeli propaganda or hasbara is too
savvy no longer suffices. In fact, it is hardly true.
Where is the ingenuity in the way the Israeli army explained the
killing of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza?
Yesterday we saw 30,000 people, the Israeli army tw...