The double standard policy of the West towards Gaza since the start of the war is quite surprising. Free opinion today is buried under the bullets of the West, which claims to give itself freedom of expression. The terminology using American, Britain, Canadian or Australian media about Hamas or Palestine is a new version of the naming politics. Meanwhile, the Indian media’s media coverage of the Gaza issue is completely one-sided and dangerous at the same time.
After the start of the Israeli army’s ground operation in Gaza, the number of Palestinian civilians killed has increased to more than 12,000, thousands have been injured, millions of people have been displaced, and the entire Gazans are in need of food and water. According to the United Nations, Gaza is now a ‘children’s graveyard’, a place of death. Despite all this, the hypocrisy of the American media is quite noticeable. It is as if they are given the responsibility to legitimize the killing and brutality of the Israeli forces. They point to the 4-hour cease-fire by the Israeli army as a great example of humanity, while the remaining 20 hours of non-stop bombardment are as like fireplaying. According to the American news media, the killing of Israeli civilians was purely for self-defense. However, there is no mention of a ceasefire in the media, as a result of which the lives of ordinary Palestinian citizens could have been saved. Although some American media personnel have opened up about the unequal war, there is a strange silence throughout the media empire as if this killing of Israel is unquestionable and undeniable. According to an Al Jazeera spokesperson, America is Israel’s shield, Israel’s diplomatic guardian. A US government spokesman made the statement, “The war in Gaza is a religious war. I stand with Israel in this war.”
On the Gaza issue, there is a big difference between the commentary given by journalists or citizens on the battlefield and the commentary of the popular media worldwide. An American media personnel stated that Gaza is not blockaded by Israel, but Israel has been under blockade for 75 years.
Abdullah Fayyad, a former member of the editorial board of the Boston Globe, said, “Talk shows, media personnel, politicians, intellectuals in the American media are talking like as if they are paid employees to legitimize the most brutal genocide, attack on the hospital, international law violations of the Netanyahu government.” According to the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association, “Arab and Middle Eastern journalists are slightly avoided to report on current war issues. Rather, they are forced to report using specific ‘terminology about Hamas and Palestinians.”
War crimes and massacres in Gaza are not getting a place on social media. Authorities are banning posts, shares, or news about the Gaza issue on social media. You scroll for hours and you will not come across the cries of the innocent people of Gaza. Also, some American media reporters who were trying to cover this attack by Israel were forced to apologize and sometimes fired. A senior reporter of ‘Artforum Fires’ was fired for writing an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Rutgers University Assistant Professor Noora Erakat said, “Social media is not even able to express sympathy for the Palestinians. Media authorities are erasing statements that favor the Palestinians, calling lies, extremism.” Citizens who are calling for a cease-fire in Gaza are being labeled as extremists. Several US citizens have been arrested for advocating for a cease-fire. This is clearly unfair.
After more than a month of attack on Gaza, the Israeli army has finally allowed some Western media journalists to enter Gaza. But very surprisingly journalists are not free here. Their information is filtered by Israeli authorities and then comes to the fore. As a result, instead of exposing the truth, the media has become a medium of propaganda.
On the other hand, journalists inside Gaza are going through a very scary situation. Israeli forces have already killed 3 journalists. Their family members are dying in front of their eyes. The entire city is turning into dust before the eyes of the journalists due to the attack by IDF. For these reasons, the journalists staying in Gaza are going through unbearable emotional trauma. But the Western media has chosen silence even after knowing this. Although some Western journalists are highlighting the unbearable suffering of civilians including women and children in Gaza, the overall attitude of the Western media is shameful.
Al Jazeera journalist Nicholas Muirhead highlighted in his speech the Hippocratic position of influential media in other countries outside the American media. For example, The correspondent of BBC in Beirut, Rami Ruhaiyam, complains that he emailed BBC Director General Tym Devy about the massacre in Gaza, outlining his concerns based on evidence and expert opinion but Tym avoided without showing any reason. A Canadian legal journalist also made the same complaint about CBC. More than 200 journalists of the Australian news agency ABC complained that the ABC was being prevented from using certain terms against the Israeli army, such as ‘racism’, ‘occupation’, ‘genocide’, and even ‘attack’. Even When the Palestinians were being fled from their land, the journalists weren’t allowed to go near them, they weren’t allowed to talk to them. They weren’t even allowed to talk to Palestinian journalists.
Indian politicians and the media are also heavily biased towards Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly supported Israel in this war. New Delhi said that the attack by the Israeli army was against terrorism and in self-defense. Last month, the Indian government voted against Palestine on a humanitarian aid question at the United Nations. Indo-Israeli relations have been at an all-time high for the past few years. According to some Indians, Israel is surrounded by “enemies”, which is very similar to India. For this reason, Indian citizens have taken a stand in favor of Israel everywhere, including media, and social media.
Azad Essa, author of ‘Hostile Homeland’ says, “The reaction of Indians since the start of the war in Gaza has been remarkable. They have expressed their solidarity with Israel in various ways on social media. Some of them feel that India may face similar security complications to Israel.” They found a parallel situation with the attacks by Hamas in India in 2006. Various Indian media termed Hamas as an Islamic fundamentalist ‘terrorist’ organization. According to an Indian media spokesperson, “Israel is fighting this war against terrorists on our behalf. Israel is continuing this war on my behalf, on your behalf. So I strongly support Israel.”
A few months ago, the media which was not so active about the conflict in the state of Manipur in north-eastern India, instead of being silent and favoring the government party on the Manipur issue, those media have also stepped up to legitimize this genocide of Israel in the current issue. “Israel should follow the policy of 1,000 against one. If 1,000 Israeli children are killed, then Israel should kill 1 million Palestinian children,” one politician was quoted as saying by an Indian media outlet.
A BJP leader is seen making violent statements and spreading false propaganda in the name of Palestinians, Where the leader said, “Hamas fighters are dismembering the bodies of Israelis and tearing out the livers of dead bodies.” Also, the Indian Muslims who were standing in solidarity with the Palestinians were subjected to torture in various ways. Indian media is creating an unknown hatred towards Muslims in the minds of Indian Hindus by repeatedly calling Muslims terrorists. As a result, they consider Muslims as a security threat.
India and Israel have had good relations for several years. India gained its independence from the British in 1947. The Israelis established the state in 1948 after removing the Palestinians. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, the pioneers of India’s freedom fight, stood in solidarity with the Palestinians at that time. In 1936 When the issue of the state of Israel was raised, Indian leaders opposed it. After 10 years, only 3 non-Arab countries took a stand against the establishment of the state of Israel, including India. Time has passed.
After the BJP came to power under Modi in 2014, India’s new good relations with Israel began. According to experts, the ideological consensus of both countries is playing a big role in the good relations between these two countries. The trade relations of the two countries are also playing an effective role in this regard. India buys 50 percent of its military equipment from Israel. Indian media is comparing India and Israel as two brothers from a mother.
Meanwhile, India last month advocated a so-called ‘two-state solution’ for the Israel-Palestine issue. Also sent some medical support to the wounded in Gaza. Basically, this war is a big issue in India, even bigger than many internal and regional issues in India. That is why the BJP government is doing this duplicity. According to experts, they can act as a big influence in the upcoming Indian national elections. It is not impossible for the Hindu nationalist BJP government to use this issue as an electoral tool.
Israel is a role model for India to build India as a strong modern state through ‘Hindutva nationalism’ by sidelining Muslims. The Modi government has recently managed to establish a narrative that there is no alternative for good relations with Israel to make India a militarily strong nation.
After all, the exposed nature of the Western and ‘pro-western’ Indian media are not only hypocritical but also against the fundamental ethics of humanity, mutual harmony. Where the innocent death faces of thousands of children and women are nothing but just a hypocrisy tool, here it is clear that we have nothing to expect from the Western ‘civilization’ but this kind of hypocrisy.
Author : Columnist and International