Unlike the 2008 Israeli aggression on Gaza, this year international journalists managed to enter Gaza to report from within the Strip. Yet, accusations of “bias” and “unfair” coverage are multiple.
Whether out of ignorance or deliberately, there are three facts, mainstream media, have kept aside when covering the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.
- Who’s responsible for the escalation?
According to the narrative repeated by international media outlets, the Palestinian side (Hamas) is the one to blame. What we often hear is that Israel has acted in “self-defence” by responding to rockets fired by Hamas at the Israeli territories. But, what we do not see maintream media reporting about, is the killing of a 13 year-old Palestinian boy by Israeli Occupation Forces when they invaded southern Gaza on November 8th.
On November, 15 Human Rights Watch reported:
Hostilities between Palestinian armed groups and Israel have escalated since an Israeli military incursion on November 8 that left a 13-year-old Palestinian boy dead, followed by a Palestinian attack on an Israeli military vehicle on November 10.
It was the same case with the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Hezbollah was the one to blame for capturing two Israeli soldiers on the border. On the other hand, Israel was depicted as acting in “self defence”. This was the repeated media narrative. Media however, did not report that during the six years that followed the Israeli withdrwal from Southern Lebanon in 2000, Israeli planes had been violating the Lebanese airspace on a regular basis. These provocations from the Israeli side went unnoticed. Yet, Hezbolla’s capture of the Israeli soldiers, which was its “first cross-border action” in six years as reported by Noam Chomsky in his article “Exterminate all the Brutes”, was depicted as the real reason behind the 2006 war.
- Gaza is not Hamas:
For mainstream media (especially in America and Europe), Hamas is interchangeably linked to Gaza. The Strip is often described by major media outlets as a hub for Hamas members who happen to be ”terrorists” and a “threat to Isreal’ s existence”. In other words, the civilian side of the story is marginalized and marginalized, and Gaza where 1.5 million people live, is dehumanized . This is a point that Aljazeera English’s Sherine Tadros discusses on The Huffington Post:
Hamas is not Gaza. Gaza has over 1.5 million Palestinians living in it. There are mothers and fathers and brothers and babies. There are people that have no interest in politics. Gaza is a society, not an island of terrorists. You cannot use the words Gaza and Hamas interchangeably. Similarly, Hamas is the ruling authority in Gaza — there is no such thing as a Hamas school, or a Hamas police station or a Hamas ministry. These are adjectives are used by Israel to justify the targeting of these sites.
- US is also responsible:
On November, 17 President Obama said that Israel has “every right” to defend itself against rockets fired from Gaza. This statement was, of course all over the news. However, what the media do not report on, is the Israeli-killing machine fueled by unconditional and unlimited US military aid. Last July, Obama released an additional $70 million in military aid for Israel. In 2009, he supported “ sending up to $30 billion in unconditional military aid to Israel over the next 10 years”, a 25% increase over the Bush administration. The mainstream media does focus on the United States’ diplomatic “effort” to put an end to this conflict but marginalizes its military role in supplying Israel with techologically advanced and destrutcive arms that kill civilians in Gaza. The following video made by Dimensions Studio, illustrates better what I’m trying to say:
Worth reading: On the media coverage of Isreal’s recent offensive on Gaza it is worth reading the following three articles:
5 Lies the Media Keeps Repeating About Gaza: by political Scientist Omar Baddar
Covering this Gaza War: by Aljazeera English’s Sherine Tadros
Israel’s Latest Assault on Gaza: The Lie of Who Started It: by John Glaser, a senior editor of antiwar.com