The biased Israeli and mainstream American news media are focused on the tragic murders of Israelis in the recent escalation of violence in Palestine, and are downplaying or ignoring the killing of Palestinians by Israeli terrorists to create the false perception that the conflict is driven by “anti-Semitism,” “hatred of Jews” and by “Arab extremism.” The truth is that Israel is the cause of the conflict
By Ray Hanania
It’s easy to blame Palestinians for the escalating violence over the past few months.
The mainstream American news media is driven by an anti-Palestinian bias, reflecting prejudices that many of its reporters, who are usually Israeli and Jewish, have against Arabs.
If there were many Palestinian journalists assigned to cover the conflict, then the prejudice would be different. That’s why the mainstream news media doesn’t assign Palestinian journalists to cover occupied Jerusalem or Israel.
Instead, they exaggerate violence against Israelis and minimize violence against Palestinians, creating a distortion in morality that drives Americans to view the violence as being caused by Palestinians, when in fact it is caused by Israelis.
The facts are there, plain as day, that show this unethical media imbalance.
For example, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed Eitam and Naama Henkin, on Friday, Oct. 2, while they drove with their four young children through the Israeli occupied West Bank. They were not in Israel, as the media implies, suggesting “Palestinian terrorists” have invaded Israel provoking violence.
The next day, Saturday, Oct. 3, a knife-wielding Palestinian killed Aharon Bennett and Nehamia Lavi. Bennett’s wife and young child were also wounded.
What was not reported was that the week prior to these unjustified and heinous acts of violence where other equally heinous and unjustified acts of violence. Not by Palestinians, but by Israeli soldiers and armed Israeli settlers, many of whom are soldiers who live quasi-lives as civilian militias protected and supplied by the Israeli military.
One Palestinian victim that few, if any media named in reports, was 18-year-old Hadil (Hadeel) Salah al-Hashlamoun, murdered at a Hebron checkpoint on Sept. 22.
As the violence escalated between the two killings of the Israelis, Israeli soldiers and settlers shot and killed Fadi Alloun, 19, on Sunday, Oct. 4. Alloun was being chased by a Jewish mob in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. The Jewish settler mob had been ransacking Palestinian property in Jerusalem when they came across Alloun who at first tried to defend himself, according to Palestinian witnesses.
Israeli officials asserted that Hadil, a young girl, was brandishing a knife, although Palestinian witnesses to the murder denied the claim and despite Israel’s sophisticated security measures and technology, no images of Hadil waiving or “brandishing” a knife have been shown.
Worse is that the Israeli soldiers and armed settlers refused to allowed any medical attention or Hadil who bled to death on the street as the soldiers and settlers posed to take photographs with her lying on the ground in her pool of blood.
You want to talk about disgusting behavior that is rarely challenged? No soldiers or settlers were punished.
The Israelis did not destroy the homes of the Israeli killers. Instead, they have been praised by Israel’s government leaders.
I have been to Hebron. It is a city of oppression. Israel has planted a handful of settlers in the heart of the city next to an important Islamic mosque. The Israelis have shut down hundreds of Palestinian businesses in Hebron’s downtown commercial center and erected barbed wire through the center of the town reserving the main street for the settlers and soldiers.
When I was there, Israeli settlers tried to beat me. I assume if they had gotten to me, they would have killed me. They know that the Israeli soldiers would have fabricated stories that I was a “terrorist.” Although the soldiers spit with disgust at me when I flashed my American passport, they reluctantly kept the settler terrorists who were waiving clubs and sticks from attacking me.
That’s how settlers act every day.
The settlers are armed extremists who constantly attack Palestinian civilians to steal their lands and property, and to chase the non-Jews out of Palestine. They destroy Palestinian farmlands, olive trees and fruit orchards located near the settlements. The settlers teach their children hate and train them to use weapons at a very young age.
Of course the murders of al-Hashlamoun and Alloun were not reported by journalists representing the mainstream media in Israel; Western journalists assigned to Israel must receive official approval, and therefore many Western media hire Israeli Jews who live in Israel to avoid government rejection and censorship.
You don’t have to take my word for any of this. Check yourself. Type the names of the Israeli victims in Google News and then type the names of the Palestinian victims in Google News. You will see how few reports have been published about the Palestinian killings.
The Israeli media really isn’t unbiased journalism at all, of course. The Israeli media is embedded in the Israeli military and government. The Jerusalem Post, a newspaper I once wrote columns for, frequently add the pejorative word “terrorist” to describe Palestinian targets of Israeli attacks, just to make sure there is no confusion about where their loyalties lie.
I oppose all violence and mourn all the dead. Shame on those American Jews and Israelis who claim to support peace and cry about the violence by Palestinians, but close their eyes to the violence by Israelis.
That’s the reason there is no peace.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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