Israel-Palestine Conflict The Western Media’s Conspiracy Presentation against Palestine
The Palestinians have nothing to say, said Edward Said, a prominent Palestinian American intellectual and professor at Columbia University in 1984. Thirty-six years after his statement, University of Arizona professor and Palestinian-born author Maha Nasser analyzed comments published in two prominent dailies—the New York Times and the Washington Post—and two weeklies—The New Republic and The Nation—from 1970 to 2019. After a lot of research, Maha Nasser commented that the editorial board and columnists of these newspapers had probably already made the policy decision that they would not write anything about the Palestinian sufferings. In all these years of editorial and sub-editorial work for these papers, she felt that these journalists did not need to listen to the voice of the Palestinians.
Biased media display
An in-depth review of top liberal American and Western newspapers in recent times reveals how Israel’s unrelenting mass terror of the Palestinians is being legitimized. The Western media’s endorsement of the United States’ backing and funding for Israel’s military actions in Gaza is seen as a means to bolster its legitimacy, particularly in relation to its support for the resistance movement. Critics are even denouncing those who express protest against these inhumane, forceful assaults and repressive roles. US news organizations and Western media have displayed the portrayal of Israeli aggression against numerous helpless Palestinians as a virtue of justice.
Nowadays, that single-minded policy is reflected in almost all Western media. Not only have they stopped following the policy of not listening to the Palestinians, but they are also conducting a coordinated information campaign against the residents of this open prison. In the latest incident, this has come to light. The media showed Hamas beheading 40 children. The Independent, CNN, Fox News, and the New York Post all reported the allegations, despite the lack of supporting evidence. Even the President of the United States, Joe Biden, indicated that he had seen the photos of the dismembered children on October 12. The White House later backtracked, saying Biden had not seen any such images and that he had seen the news report. Lebanese writer and critic Lina Mounzer, who writes for major Western news organizations, said the claim—and other unsubstantiated allegations such as the rape of hundreds of Israeli women by Hamas fighters—were an attempt to build public support for Israel’s military response in Gaza.
On October 12, the Washington Post, one of the most influential news organizations, published an editorial praising US President Joe Biden for denouncing Hamas as an accomplice to terrorism. In an editorial published in the Washington Post, Joe Biden received the unequivocal support of a small number of left-wing members of Congress in his own party, while some members of Congress specifically rejected his statements, most notably White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre’s words specifically indicate that his objection is that Israel should specifically treat Hamas’s attack on Israel as a pre-emptive action that is contrary to human rights law and, as a result, contrary to Israel’s launching of a major movement against Palestine.
A day before the editorial was published, human rights groups Mezan, Al-Haq, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights jointly claimed that between October 10 and 11, Israel destroyed the entire neighborhoods of Al-Karam, Ezbet Abdrabbo, and Al-Sika, reducing the area to rubble, and that rescue teams” “recovered dozens of bodies” while others are still searching for themselves lost under the rubble. The bombing of Gaza’s prestigious Islamic University and the al-Fakhura Scholarship Program building fatally killed 57 Palestinians, including 20 children. They also noted that at least 49 Palestinians, 15 of them children, were killed as a result of Israeli airstrikes and shelling on agricultural land and residential areas, especially the three densely populated refugee camps of al-Bureij, al-Nusairat, and Deir al-Balah in the Central Area district. The current Western media should understand whether the United States should finance such atrocities or seek to end them through a ceasefire.
Rationalizing the language of genocide
The Washington Post, in its editorial, expressed concern about Israel’s attacks on Palestinians but still supported Israel’s military campaign. Despite Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians, the editorial insisted that Israel had the right to teach Palestinians a lesson as part of its defense movement and supported its proper implementation. The Washington Post claimed that Israel’s violence was justified. Israel can retaliate militarily to kill Palestinian forces, but Palestinians do not have the same rights, even after 75 years of ethnic cleansing. An editorial in the New York Times on October 14 strongly supported the Israeli offensive, saying that Israel is determined to break the power of Hamas, and in that effort, it deserves the support of the United States and the rest of the world. The authors also say that ending Hamas’s control over Gaza is an essential step. They also noted that a state like Israel should pay special attention to its commitment to the protection of those who have not yet taken up arms among people of different professions and classes and among people of merit. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called the Palestinians “human animals” and claimed that Israel has the right to protect its territory and its people, while the New York Times called his statement only provocative and low-minded towards the Palestinians but didn’t claim the statement was a disgrace for the Palestinians.
Of course, Gallant is not the only Israeli official to use the language of their vengeful genocide against the Palestinians. Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Israel dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on Gaza only to protect its own land and people and to teach the Palestinians a lesson. The Palestinians are solely responsible for this brutal attack on Israel and must take full responsibility. Israeli President Isaac Herzog said his country is determined to protect Israeli civilians, and he wants to teach the Palestinians a lesson. We Israelis are defending our home, and that is true, and when a nation joins the movement to defend its home, it is only natural that it will continue to fight until its adversary crushes the enemy to the ground and breaks its back, he added. One thing is very clear from this: Israel is not attacking the Palestinians just to protect the civilians of their country but deliberately to teach them a lesson, and they will continue their movement until they are able to protect their territory. Surprisingly, a day before the publication of the editorial, the award-winning human rights organization Defense for Children International Palestine reported that Israel had killed nearly 600 Palestinian children in its offensive against Gaza, a third of the total deaths.
Although Israel has always claimed that its words and actions are only to protect Israeli civilians and that it has no ulterior motive, there is no question of constantly avoiding its attacks on Palestinian civilians and its aggressive behavior, but the New York Times repeatedly compared Israeli military policy favorably to that of the Palestinian forces, writing that Israel was preparing to send its young men and women to war, where they will face an enemy that will not stop until they are driven from their own territory. Israel is fighting to protect its civilians and children, and that is because Israel is a state that values human life and the rule of law. Since Palestinians do not value human life and the rule of law, the message is that it is legal to slaughter Palestinians.
Meanwhile, two days before the publication of the editorial, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that Israel had used white phosphorus, which can “burn people to the bone thermally,” against Palestinian civilians, both in Gaza City’s port and in urban and rural areas along the Israel-Lebanon ceasefire line. HRW said the use of white phosphorus in Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated areas, contributes to increased risk to civilians and is sufficient
to put civilians at unnecessary risk, and it violates the prohibitions of international humanitarian law. HRW also noted that Israel also used the weapon in Gaza in 2009 and that, as part of the current offensive, Israel has cut off electricity, water, fuel, and food to Gaza in violation of international humanitarian law prohibitions against Palestinian civilians.
The policy of these media outlets is so single-minded that they try to avoid the word ‘Palestine’ as much as possible. When describing the expulsion of a Palestinian from his land and the settling of a Jewish state, they repeatedly referred to the occupying Jew as a preacher. Through this word’ preacher’, an attempt is made to create such an impression on the reader’s psyche.
Unprofessionalism sustained for years
How the Western media has given moral support to Israel’s indiscriminate killing can be gauged by reading an article titled ‘How the Media Gives Israel a Free Pass’ by an author named Faisal Hanif, published in an online portal called Middle East Eye. Faisal wrote that he analyzed the data collected by the Center for Media Monitoring. He discovered that between 2018 and 2019, the mainstream media reported on 182 incidents in which Israel was responsible for the torture and oppression of Palestinians in Gaza, but three well-known neutral news agencies—AFP, Reuters, and AP—suppressed 143 of these stories. The practice of labeling any Palestinian resistance or movement as terrorism is quite old. They held a meeting somewhere; they said it was a conference to spread terrorism. When an Israeli occupier went to build a building on their land and stopped them, they were immediately labeled as terrorists. Israelis are being blamed for the killing of Palestinians. There are attempts to conflate the Palestinian liberation struggle with Islam and to portray the Palestinians as Muslims.
The fictional story of the killing of children by Hamas has parallels to the way false stories of weapons of mass destruction were peddled to provide a pretext for the 2003 campaign against the Saddam government in Iraq. Following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by forces of the Saddam regime of Iraq, Kuwait, a close ally of the United States, accused Iraqi troops of killing newborns by removing their oxygen from the incubators of Kuwaiti hospitals. The U.S. launched the Gulf War in 1991. In 2011, Western officials accused soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of overdosing on the drug Viagra to carry out mass rapes of dissident women in Benghazi. The Western media reported the allegations as facts. The allegation was later found to be false by a British parliamentary inquiry. But by then, Gadhafi had been overthrown.
BBC World described the Palestinian deaths as dying. On the other hand, the word killed is being used for Israelis. “They have reserved the word resistance only for Israeli soldiers. There is not a single BBC journalist who would hesitate to describe the massacre of Israeli soldiers as resistance. According to a study, 8 out of 10 readers get an idea about the news just by looking at the headline. The remaining two entered the text of the news. This means that those who carried out attacks with this title and killed a large number of people have been given a free pass with impunity. This manipulation of the media on the Palestinian issue is very old. They put the attacker and the victim on the same page in the process of implementing.
Finally, in Edward Said’s book on Palestinian life, ‘After the Last Sky, Saeed had a long conversation with Salman Rushdie, in which Saeed said, “There is no sky after the last sky.” There is no land after the last one. So, the Palestinians have no choice but to fight to the death, and the biggest opponent of this fight to the death is the lies of the Western media.
Author : Assistant Editor, Perspective