Palestine and News Bias

Photograph Source: diario fotográfico ‘desde Palestina’- CC BY-SA 3.0

Can someone explain why Palestinian deaths at the hands of illegal Israeli settlers and IDF terrorists is not news? If a Palestinian dares to attack an Israeli, despite the fact that Palestinians, like all occupied people, have an international right to resist the occupation in whatever way possible, it is screamed across the world as an act of unprovoked terrorism. A quick online search sees reports of Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israelis reported by Aljazeera, the Guardian, the Middle East Monitor and the Electronic Intifada, but precious little from CNN, FOX or MSNBC. Yet those three ‘news’ outlets are quick to point out any act of aggression by Palestinians.

Occasionally, some crime by an Israeli is so shocking that it does get some minor coverage. In 2015, a 21-year-old Jewish settler, Amiram Ben-Uliel and an unnamed teenage accomplice, murdered three members of the Dawabsheh family, burning alive Ali, the 18-month old son and killing both parents. His 5-year-old brother, Ahmed, spent a year in the hospital as a result of his burns. As of this writing, the perpetrators are not incarcerated and have not been sentenced. The known perpetrators of this horrific crime are free to remain living in their comfortable homes. Palestinians accused of crimes against Israelis immediately have their homes bulldozed, long before any trial is held.

In August of that same year, what was left of the Dawabsheh house was stormed by IDF soldiers under pretext of investigating the crime. Whatever ‘clues’ were found is unknown, but the soldiers were able to steal some of the family’s possessions.

The atrocities against the Dawabsheh family didn’t end there. When compensation from the government was sought for Ahmed, it was refused. “On 3 May 2017 Israel refused to pay compensation to Ahmed and the Dawabsheh family. Yousef Jabareen MK had demanded that Israel’s Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, recognise the Dawabsheh family as victims of a terrorist act and therefore entitled to compensation. In a statement, Jabareen stressed that, ‘If we were talking about Jewish settlers hurt by Palestinians, the victims would automatically receive compensation.’ Lieberman responded with an official letter to Jabareen stating that compensation would not be paid.”

The indignities continued. During the trial of the perpetrators, Hussein Dawabsheh, Ali and Ahmed’s grandfather, who attended the trial, was subjected to unspeakable cruelty by some spectators. Some youths were heard shouting:  “Ali was burned, where is Ali? Ali is on the grill,” referring to the burning death of the 18-month-old baby. They also referred to Ahmed, the surviving son: “It’s too bad Ahmed didn’t burn as well.”

In May of 2018, illegal settlers threw a Molotov cocktail into the home of one of Hussein Dawabsheh’s relatives. The resulting fire was extinguished before the house was destroyed.

In March of 2016, Palestinian Abdul Fatah al-Sharif was lying wounded and motionless on the ground when a 19-year-old Israeli soldier/terrorist walked up to him and shot him in the head. This crime was caught on camera. The terrorist, Elor Azaria, became a national hero in Israel, and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, a sentence that was reduced to fourteen, but he was released after only nine. Some Palestinian children are sentenced to four years in prison for throwing stones at Israeli tanks.

These are just two examples; thousands of Palestinians have been killed by illegal settlers and IDF soldiers. And the killing continues.

The writer will ask: how much of this information has the reader seen elsewhere? Did Sean Hannity, his face contorted in righteous indignation, condemn Israeli savagery because of these events? Did Rachel Maddow peer into the camera, her voice shaking, as she spoke of an 18-month-old child being intentionally burned to death? Or did the reader perhaps see this news screamed across the top of page one of the New York Times?

Somehow, those news outlets gave these stories short shrift, if they reported them at all. But unlike other world events, they quickly faded from view, displaced by sports news, celebrity gossip or the political antics of U.S. officials. There was little or no follow-up; the bare information was, perhaps, given some notice, but the trials, the cruel taunting, the fact that these were terrorist actions and extra-judicial executions, and therefore crimes against humanity, were never pursued by the media. Note, however, how other stories keep repeating, in one form or another, but atrocities against Palestinians, crimes against humanity committed by Israel, are a mere blip on the news page.

It is now reported that Israel’s Prime Minister, the cruel, racist Benjamin Netanyahu, wants to name a village in the stolen Golan Heights after his U.S. patron, President Donald Trump. The erratic Trump will consider this, the most dishonorable ‘reward’ from one of the most dishonorable leaders in the world today, to be no less than he deserves for all his ‘service’ to the Zionist entity. It will encourage him to do more for Israel, including the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, which, from the little that has been leaked about it, gives Israel everything it wants and Palestine absolutely nothing.

There is a small glimmer of hope on an otherwise dismal horizon. Among the multitudinous people seeking the Democratic nomination, at least two (Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke) have actually called Netanyahu a racist. Just a year ago, such behaviour would have been unheard of. While one stops far short of accusing the Messrs. Sanders and O’Rourke of suddenly developing a conscience, one can say that they have recognized the political expediency of condemning Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians: the two major U.S. political parties no longer walk lock-step in their undying support for the Zionist entity.

If Trump can be kept from turning over all of Palestine to Israel for the next two years, it’s possible that some substantive change in U.S. policy will occur. This writer isn’t so naïve as to think any of the potential Democratic presidents will demonstrate statesmanship to such a degree as to adhere to international law, and demand that all its allies support human rights. But the winds of change are blowing; it’s just unfortunate that, as they do, nothing changes for the suffering Palestinians.

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach