The Complicity Of The Western Media In The Palestinian Genocide By Israel

In a more equitable and fair world, where the West could emphasize with the global south, it would not have required Palestinians to present the world with the images of dead bodies of their children

The Complicity Of The Western Media In The Palestinian Genocide By Israel

As Israel continues with its war crimes and bombardment of civilian residential areas in Gaza, killing hundreds of innocent people with each passing day, the active role of the Western media in evoking sympathy and support for the genocidal state worldwide cannot be overlooked. 

As the whole world is witnessing an active genocide being committed against Palestinians with hundreds and thousands of people including children being killed by Israel every day, the Western media is busy perpetuating the Israeli violence and crimes through its criminally biased reporting. Since October 7th, mainstream Western news channels have consistently posed the question, “Do you condemn Hamas?” during their interviews with Palestinian guests, all the while overlooking the century-long Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine. 

In the aftermath of October 7, as the world witnessed a significant increase in Palestinian casualties, the Western media continued to focus primarily on Israeli losses. This biased reporting raises questions at the impartiality of the Western media as they have the power to shape public narrative.

In addition to the overtly partial reporting and interviews, the Western media resorted to linguistic techniques like “colonial euphemism” to portray Israel in a positive light and justify its crimes. The words chosen to describe events, actions, and casualties can have a profound impact on public perception. 

Many mainstream channels like BBC and CNN used these tactics in their coverage of news on Gaza.  For instance, while Israelis are often said to have been “killed,” Palestinians are reported to have “died” or suffered “casualties.” This linguistic disparity goes on to create an implicit bias, presenting a distorted view of the war’s impact on both parties.

Similarly, the Western media has been using ambiguous terminology like “dozens, many, few” instead of providing exact number of the Palestinians killed in order to create an impression of less severe situation. 

In its most recent attacks, Israel bombed the largest refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, killing over 194 people. 

However, the BBC report stated “Israeli airstrikes reportedly kill dozens” without specifying the exact number or the identities of those killed and injured. The headlines do not even indicate it was the innocent civilians who were killed. What's particularly intriguing to observe is how the Western media reduces actual human beings to mere statistics, further eroding the potential for empathy and consequently for justice, if any, within the Western world. 

The predominant narratives in these major Western media outlets largely follow a similar pattern. Sky News, a British news channel, made an attempt to delve into the historical context of the “Israel-Palestine conflict” in one of their news stories. The heading of this story of Sky News is, “Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a century of war, heartbreak and hope for peace.” 

Notably, they refrained from using the terms “occupation” and “colonialism,” even though a comprehensive and honest account of the history of Israeli occupation of Palestine would be incomplete and even impossible without these crucial terms. It appears that the Western media is tasked with a deliberate avoidance of using terms like colonialism, occupation, or ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. 

This active involvement of the Western media in aligning with Israel not only diminishes the gravity and extent of the atrocities and crimes being committed against Palestinians but also influences the perceptions of large populations by presenting a distorted historical account and disseminating biased reporting of the war. Thousands of people all over the world rely on these news channels as their primary source of information. 

However, the role of Western media in this context can be seen as nothing short of active complicity in the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. 

The use of media as a tool to perpetuate colonialism and imperialism is far from a novel phenomenon. Throughout history, media has played a significant role in reinforcing stereotypes and emphasizing the “otherness” of regions in the global south, with the Middle East being a particularly prominent example. 

It should come as no surprise when Netanyahu calls Palestinian “children of darkness.” It is the norm of colonizers to dehumanize the colonized and reduce them to mere metaphors and figures of speech. 

This manipulation of language is intended to strip the colonized of their humanity and portray them as savages to the rest of the world. 

These portrayals often suggest that the colonized need to be either “civilized” or eliminated, implying that the world would be improved by their absence. This serves to provide colonizers with a rationale for carrying out genocidal actions.

Having witnessed these colonial strategies employed by the Western media and the Israeli regime, one cannot help but recall Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism. The chief aspect of the Orientalism is the binary between the West and the non-West (East), with the East often represented as “aberrant, underdeveloped, inferior”. 

The same Orientalist thought process and mindset can be observed in statements by Israeli officials, such as the Defense Minister's reference to Palestinians as “human animals.” Similarly, Israel's ambassador to Berlin, Ron Prosor, labeled Hamas resistance fighters as “bloodthirsty animals.” 

Such dehumanization attempts aim to desensitize the rest of the world to the suffering and oppression faced by the Palestinian people, making it more challenging for the Western world to empathize with them. 

The Israeli officials along with the Western media have actively been trying to portray Hamas as a terrorist group, and in order to simplify this further for the Western psyche or mindset they have been equating Hamas with groups like ISIS. 

It is important to note that all this propaganda is being fabricated in order to not only underscore the necessity of eradication of Hamas but also justify it. Similarly, the Israeli government and Western media went a step further in their attempt to depict Hamas as utterly ruthless and bloodthirsty savages by fabricating false stories like alleged killing of forty Israeli babies. 

However, these claims have been debunked as Israel failed to provide any substantiated evidence to support these assertions. Israel’s propaganda stories have been widely circulated by the Western mainstream media without any proof. The Western media has predominantly used these propaganda narratives both to overshadow the massacre of Palestinians and to provide a justification for Israel’s continued airstrikes on Gaza and slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians. 

Amid the pervasive dehumanizing narratives propagated by mainstream media, which often act as mouthpieces, a glimmer of hope and a silver lining emerged through the presence and influence of social media. 

It has been truly remarkable to witness the Palestinians journalists, members of the Palestinian diaspora, and individuals from various corners of the globe stepping forward to challenge and debunk the longstanding mainstream media narratives. 

These individuals have not only fearlessly called out media outlets and corporations for their perceived complicity in the ongoing crisis but have also laid bare Israeli propaganda and misinformation. 

The mainstream narrative has undergone a significant shift, the tide has shifted in favor of Palestinians with the relentless efforts of courageous Palestinian journalists who have persistently covered Israeli bombardment of Gaza, ensuring that the entire world has access to the actual situation on ground. The massive global mobilization for a ceasefire, with millions taking to the streets, owes much to the influential reach of social media platforms.

In a more equitable and fair world, where the West could emphasize with the global south, it would not have required Palestinians to present the world with the images of dead bodies of their children and document their oppression and suffering as an evidence to convince the world of the genocide and apartheid being committed against them on their own land. 

Unfortunately, we do not live in that world, until then we persist and resist, we employ words as our weapons. We bear the responsibility of strengthening the Palestinian voice for freedom. We resist until Palestine is free, from the river to the sea.