The week-long Israeli onslaught against largely defenseless Palestinians in Gaza that began on November 14 provides a basis for assessing how Western corporate media whitewash the war crimes of America’s foremost ally in the Middle East. There are three often intertwined techniques consciously applied to such news coverage—historical context, sourcing, and objectification of the enemy to be targeted. Such practices can readily transform journalism into propaganda that acts to abet such crimes while at the same time allowing journalistic institutions to still claim the mantle of “objectivity.”
Such methods are on full display in the reportage of Israel’s most recent operation in Gaza. The use of such propaganda fits within a broader campaign of media disinformation that subdues potential outrage—particularly in the US—over Israel’s overwhelming use of force against an oppressed and vulnerable people, most of whom are civilians.
Meaningful historical context for understanding Israel’s aggression is almost entirely absent from most Western news coverage of the event. If present, such context would illuminate Israeli government officials’ true motivations for a military venture that involved 750 airstrikes in four days alone. “’Operation Pillar of Defense,’” Nile Bowie observes,
launched just months away from Israel’s elections, is a calculated component of the Netanyahu government’s strategy to topple Hamas and continue absorbing Palestinian territory. Decades of occupation and apartheid have shaped the current scenario; Israel has dehumanized an entire people by seizing their land and forcing them into prison-like ghettoes. Adherents to political Zionism have shown contempt for a genuine political solution to the Palestinian conflict, and the Netanyahu administration is poised to crush all opposition to the Jewish state. Continue Reading
This is only the surface of the Geo-Political realm, the truth goes much deeper.
Have you heard much lately about the 1.5 million Palestinians illegally imprisoned by the Israeli government in the world’s largest open-air Gulag? Their dire living conditions, worsened by a selective Israeli siege limiting the importation of necessities of life – medical items, food, water, building materials, and fuel to list a few – has resulted in an 80 percent unemployment rate and widespread suffering from unlawful punishment, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment in Israeli jails.
The horrific conditions were a result of the Israeli invasion of Gaza in late 2008, ignited by Israel’s breaking of a truce with Gaza on November 4. Fourteen hundred people died, nearly three hundred of them children, and thousands were injured. The terror bombing of the Gazan population smashed into homes, hospitals, schools, ambulances, mosques, subsistence farms, UN facilities, and even the American International School. Israeli bombers destroyed over 30 members of one extended family in their home. That toll alone was three times the amount of Israeli fatalities, which included friendly fire.
The humanitarian crisis in crowded Gaza – about twice the size of the District of Columbia – “is now more dire than ever.” That is the judgment of Norwegian physician and professor of medicine, Dr. Mads Gilbert, who just finished a ten-day speaking tour in the U.S. Dr. Gilbert, returning from a recent visit to Gaza, was one of the only two foreign doctors inside Gaza during the massacre of December 2008 to January 2009.
He says: “During the Israeli attack, I saw the effects of new weapons including drones, phosphorous and also DIME [Dense Inert Metal Explosives], which leave no shrapnel, but I witnessed their capacity to cut a child in two; they also leave radioactive traces.”
Today, anemia and protein deficiency are widespread, reports Dr. Gilbert, especially among little children. UN and other relief supplies are inadequate, and UN humanitarian relief staff is often harassed by Israeli officials. Rebuilding pulverized Gaza is seriously obstructed by Israel blocking the imports of building materials. Continue Reading
By Joharah Baker
Listening to the rabid statements coming out of Israel’s leaders over this past week has pointed to something border lining on the comical. Israel is paranoid and comes across sometimes as a little bit pathetic.
Of course, in the international arena, Israel’s tirades are taken as ‘defensive’ and the fact that the United States backs Israel at just about every turn stifles any real criticisms of its approach. But objectively speaking, Israel is ridiculous in just how much it attacks, not militarily this time, but through its never ending war of words.
Take for example, the recent Human Rights Council resolution to form a fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people” passed last week. Israel began ranting about how the HRC was hypocritical and biased and had an “automatic majority” against Israel. Obviously predicting what Israel would try to do, the decision also called on Israel “not to obstruct the process of investigation and to cooperate fully with the mission.”
Of course this is exactly what happened. Israel says it would refuse to cooperate with the mission, calling the Council “preposterous.” The United States was the only country that voted against the proposal. But instead of the United States bashing the council and its resolution, why doesn’t it ask why Israel is so hell-bent on not cooperating with its probe? If Israel is so confident that it has done no wrong, it should not be worried about anything. And if the United States claims it is opposed to settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, then why doesn’t it allow the mission to come to Palestine and see for itself? Because, it is no different than the Goldstone Report on Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza in which 1,400 were Palestinians killed. Much like many of the oppressive regimes in the region that are being slapped with sanctions and even military intervention, Israel will fight the world tooth and nail defending its actions but won’t allow anyone in to see for themselves if there is any truth to the “preposterous” claims being made. Continue Reading
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
In a now typical move by Israel to flout international lawand blatantly violate its most basic tenets, prevent human rights investigations and refuse to be held accountable for their illegal settlements, they have decided to cut all ties with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), simply because they have planned to investigate the expansion of settlements in the Occupied PalestinianTerritory.
Not only are they indefinitely severing all working ties with the Human Rights Council, they are also refusing to cooperate with plans to investigate Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories, which are widely regarded as being clear violations of international law.
It is only logical to assume that if Israel was acting in accordance with international law and respecting the rights of Palestinians, they would have no problem allowing such an investigation.
“Working relations, participating in debates and discussion and exchanging papers, sending information and requesting information, and organizing visits and so on and so on, this is all suspended,” Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry told CNN.
According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, this decision came after the Human Rights Council passed a resolution to create a “Fact Finding Mission on the Influence of Settlements on Palestinians.”
They described the move as “surrealistic,” claiming that the Human Rights Council “is instrumentalized as a tool to push for one-sided politicized moves instead of promoting human rights.”
Unfortunately, this delusional approach to reality seems to be all-too-common amongst the Israeli government these days.
By Stephen Lendman
On December 16, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, “Secret EU paper aims to tackle Israel’s treatment of Arab minority,” saying: Haaretz obtained parts of “a classified working paper produced by European embassies in Israel….”
The “unprecedented document” addresses internal Israeli issues. It was written without Israel’s knowledge. It also covers Israeli peace process intransigency, its self-characterization as a Jewish, democratic state, and how it treats its Arab population.
Removed from its final version were suggestions for EU action measures, including: filing official protests each time discriminatory Arab bills pass second Knesset readings; and ensuring all Arab towns have completed urban plans, “with each member state potentially ‘adopting’ a municipality to this end.”
Developed over the past year, it was written for EU foreign ministers to debate, advise, consent, or object. After failed efforts to achieve consensus, it was softened and designated a “food for thought” document, not a report. Among other concerns, repressive occupation and failure to advance peace talks equitably leave Israeli Arabs especially marginalized and at risk. According to the document: ”The stalemate in the peace process, and the continuing occupation, inevitably has an impact on the identification of Israeli Arabs with Israel. It will be more difficult for (them) to be wholly at ease with their identity while the conflict with the Palestinians continues.” Continue Reading
By Rev. Ted Pike
5 Oct 11
WorldNetDaily owner Joseph Farah strongly objects to the “delegitimization” of Israel. Yet, as I pointed out in my previous article (See, Farah’s Callous “Final Solution” for Palestine), he delegitimizes Palestinians. He believes they have no ancestral right to live in Palestine. Three million of them, he advises, should be removed to Arab host countries.
Of course, this scheme is unworkable at best, cruel at worst. It is dangerous in that it reinforces unwritten Israeli policy that the ideal solution for strife with the Palestinians is not compassion, respect and accommodation on Israel’s part but removal of Palestinians altogether.
In this reprint of a July 2010 article, I again protest Farah’s extreme, pro-Zionist, anti-Palestinian recommendations.
DEBUNKING JOE FARAH’S JEWISH FABLES
12 July 10
The Bible warns Christians to ignore “Jewish fables.” (Titus 1:14) In 1948 Israel violently drove half of the Arab population from Palestine, stealing land on which they had lived and farmed for thousands of years. To distract the world from this outrage, Israel created an elaborate tapestry of fables deluding generations of evangelicals and much of the world. Continue Reading