Former Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, before the world at the United Nations Convention in 1951, spoke to expose Britain’s colonialist domination of his country. In his address he said, “They [the British government] are trying to persuade world opinion that the lamb has devoured the wolf.”
These sentiments reverberate in the mainstream media’s current portrayal of Israeli domination and occupation over Palestinians. In such a narrative life is preserved and life is taken. But we who digest the news fed to us do something sinister when we listen or read unquestionably: We become the silencer attached to the tip of a rifle invading Palestinian homes… the stealth by which genocide encroaches upon a people, executing them without a sound.
The press is supposed to keep us informed, aware and alert, critically engaged in the events of the world, so that when we object or want to change the course of happening-history, we can. In reality the mainstream press has acted more to misinform us, to make us the silencers of bombs, missiles and bullets, enablers of war and genocide, than wielders of knowledge and actors for justice.
Keeping the blinders on at all times
As events in Gaza grow increasingly lethal, as more and more Palestinians suffer or are displaced by Israeli forces — deaths now top more than 560 — the Western news machine drones on and on framing story after story in colonist narratives. Pro-Zionist coverage has and continues to dominate prominent Western news outlets. We are never meant to know the truth of Palestinian struggle — even if large protests about it are happening in our backyard.
Sunday’s march in San Francisco, and elsewhere in the United States, turned-out crowds of thousands. Counted together, tens of thousands. Still, not more than a bleep made it to airtime on local news. When the protests have gotten coverage, they have been misconstrued.
After the crowd mobilized in San Francisco to make their solidarity with Palestine known, passionately but peacefully occupying all lanes of traffic from the Ferry Building to City Hall, local news outlets reported the march as a “dueling protest” with another low-key, pro-Israel gathering in the city.
Da Lin, reporting for CBS San Francisco, per the usual course in mainstream coverage, committed the oft repeated fallacy of blaming both sides equally, or the act of creating similar culpability where it cannot possibly exist. In his follow-up to the station’s video coverage he stated:
“[S]upporters on both sides of the Middle East conflict chanted slogans outside the Jewish temple Congregation Emanuel.
Palestinian supporters called Israeli troops terrorists for killing dozens of women and children in recent days, while supporters of Israel denounced attacks by Hamas.”
And that’s it basically. Nothing was said of Israeli occupation, siege, or the ongoing blockade for which Hamas has taken to armed resistance. Not a word was spoken about the fact that Israel is the 4th largest military power in the world, or that it receives full backing AND billions in funding from the U.S. No mention of the Palestinian children actually killed by the Israeli Defense Force, or that “defense” against a people with no army who are resisting colonial domination, alien occupation, and a racist regime is not a “conflict” — it’s genocide.
But this is what blaming both sides does: It ignores material reality. Atif Choudhury, in a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post, put it well:
"Sentiments like “it’s both sides fault” may be true in the strictest sense of the principle that it takes two parties to have a conflict, but in practice the gulf is stark.
One side routinely have their houses demolished, while another is building mansions in their place. One side are routinely expelled from their homes; the other side is adverse possessing them like it’s a monopoly game. One side has water use rationed down to the drop; the other draws upon the same water supply to support swimming pools and fountains in illegal settlements. One side routinely has pregnant women and/or their newly born children die while trying to get through a maze of checkpoints in order to get to their local hospital, the other has roads criss-crossing occupied territory exclusively for their own use. One side can be jailed, shot, and even killed for protesting, while the other can vandalize, harass, and assault with impunity and has the full resources of a sovereign state act as their personal security guards.
The list of disparities goes on and on, and again does not even take into account a stark reality of each and every phase of this six decade tragedy — that one side routinely loses far more of their sons, daughters, husbands, and wives than the other.”
Being fed information is easy, understanding resistance is not
There is a sort of defacto pro-Zionism happening when we accept the mainstream narrative. It is frighteningly easy to do too (because it is meant to be). It is easy to digest a story which says two opponents are hashing out differences with all ignorance to nuance. One is winning. One is losing. Some are dying. Some are not. One is moral. The other is evil. It is a binarization of history which when one side is chosen as truth, the other’s history and struggle is executed.
Less we want to be culpable in the onslaught of Gaza, this is a time when we must make a choice between what is right, and what is easy. We have to realize when we listen to and accept the Zionist narrative we facilitate the conditions of Palestinian oppression. As Malcolm X once said, “If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
(Photo Credit: AmericaWakieWakie)
-I don’t care who started what or elected who. Killing civilians is wrong. Stop doing it.