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Propaganda Blitz: How Mainstream Media Is Pushing Fake Palestine Stories

After Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, IDF forces responded with airstrikes, leveling Gazan buildings. The violence so far has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people. Western media, however, show far more interest and have much greater sympathy with Israeli dead than Palestinian ones and have played their usual role as unofficial spokespersons for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
 
by Alan Macleod 

Part 4 - Context-Free Violence
 
Missing from most of the reporting was the basic factual background of the attack. Few articles mentioned that Israel was built upon an existing Palestinian state, and that most of the inhabitants of Gaza are descended from refugees ethnically cleansed from southern Israel in order to make way for a Jewish state. Also left unmentioned was that Israel controls almost every aspect of Gazan’s life. This includes deciding who can enter or leave the densely populated strip and limiting the import of food, medicine and other crucial goods. Aid groups have called Gaza “the world’s largest open-air prison.” The United Nations has declared the conditions in Gaza to be so bad as to be unlivable.

One of the principal reasons that this crucial context is not given is that it could influence Western audiences into sympathizing with Palestinians or supporting Palestinian liberation. Giant media corporations are largely owned by wealthy oligarchs or by transnational corporations, both of whom have a stake in preserving the status quo and neither of whom wish to see national liberation movements succeed.

Some media outlets make this explicit. Axel Springer – the enormous German broadcaster that owns Politico – requires its employees to sign its mission statement endorsing “the trans-Atlantic alliance and Israel” and has told any staff members that support Palestine to leave their jobs.

Other outlets are slightly less overt but nonetheless have Israel red lines that employees cannot cross. CNN fired anchor Marc Lamont Hill for calling for a free Palestine. Katie Halper was fired from The Hill for (accurately) calling Israel an Apartheid state. The Associated Press dismissed Emily Wilder after it became known that she had been a pro-Palestine activist during her college years. And The Guardian sacked Nathan J. Robinson after he made a joke mocking US military aid to Israel. These cases serve as examples to the rest of the journalistic world. The message is that one cannot criticize the Israeli government’s violent apartheid system or show solidarity for Palestine without risking losing their livelihoods.

Ultimately, then, corporate media play a key role in maintaining the occupation by manipulating public opinion. If the American people were aware of the history and the reality of Israel/Palestine, the situation would be untenable. For those wishing to maintain the unequal state of affairs whereby an apartheid government expels or imprisons its indigenous population, the pen is as important as the sword.

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