Media Bias on the Israel-Palestine Conflict – By Cameron Pullen

Posted on December 14, 2014 by

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This past summer the Israel-Palestine conflict took a turn for the worst. Nearly everyday there was a bombing in Israel or Palestine. The media covered the story ceaselessly, but failed to present the news unbiasedly. Here is a video discussing the medias bias on the subject.

We can’t base our opinions on who is right and who is wrong in this situation based solely off of media coverage. The wording used by media provides evidence for their skewed position on this subject. From FOX to CNN, the media continuously used the terminology “striking back” when referencing the Israel bombing of Palestine. This type of wording implies justification of Israel’s actions. For me, conveying the righteousness of killing numerous innocent people is just wrong. This type of news should be looked at from a more sympathetic view for all parties rather than glorifying Israel’s retaliation. Others agree with that assessment, but standing by this opinion in the public eye can result in harsh criticism. For example, in July of this year Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard tweeted out “#FreePalestine” in support of the innocent Palestinian civilians only to receive intense backlash. Apparently the attacks on Howard were bad enough for his publicist to delete the tweet and issue an apology on Howard’s behalf. So we can support Israel, but when someone takes pity on Palestine they get admonished? I just don’t understand. People should be allowed to support peace by any means.

During the conflict Jon Stewart from The Daily Show on Comedy Central provided us with a satirical view on the conflict and the one-sidedness of the media. In the bit, Jon Stewart, Jewish himself, attempts too discuss Israeli bombings on Palestine only to be interrupted by multiple opposers who scream incoherently of Israel’s right to defend itself. This is exactly the problem with how the media views this issue. Yes, Israel does have the right to defend itself, but that doesn’t mean their actions should go unscrutinized.

The media also has blundered at times by misreporting events in the conflict. In August, ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer made an egregious reporting error where she talks of bombing in Israel while showing images of a bomb-leveled city. The story was correct. There was a bombing in Israel. The mistake that was made was that the images they were showing on screen were images of Palestine not Israel. The amount of damage to Israel is nothing compared to that of Palestine. Palestinian missiles are non explosive while Israeli missiles are. ABC should know these things and not make a mistake that can change public opinion in a heart beat. How are we supposed to know what is going on over there when news outlets are so untrustworthy?

The truth is Israel is an ally of the United States and Palestine has a certain stigma because of the majority Muslim population that is controlled by an extremist group in Hamas. Past events have created distrust for Muslims by the American public and a lot of the Western World. Most Muslims, though, are strongly against those extremist ideals and don’t fully support Hamas’ rule over Gaza and Palestine. But the fact is that that is there home and they have the right to live peaceful lives free of bombing, extremist government or not. Jewish Israeli soldiers have even appeared on live television stating that what their government is doing is wrong. The citizens of Palestine are innocent. They don’t deserve what is being put upon them. People should be informed of the true nature of the conflict. It is not fair to take one biased stance without seeing the conflict from both sides.

The conflict is more than reactions to wrongdoings done to the other. It stems from centuries of land right battles. In the early 19th century the Palestinian land was occupied by Arabs of the Ottoman Empire. Once the Ottoman Empire fell apart Arabs took control of the land. It wasn’t until Jews began experiencing intense anti-semitism in Europe during WWII that the Palestine region began to have a large influx of Jewish settlers. They wanted to return to Zion, holy land, as promised to Abraham from God and establish their own Jewish state. It is of Jewish belief that the Jew’s right to that land is eternal so using weapons and force, they took what they thought was theirs. That is where the problem started and now continues.  Palestinians want to retain the land they have been living on for centuries and Israel would like to have control of their holy land. My question is what is stopping both sides from compromising? Is it religious based or is it pure selfishness at this point? These are questions I can’t answer, but what I can say is next time you see any media regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict (or perhaps more accurately Arab-Jew conflict) try and look at it objectively. See all aspects of the situation then form your opinions.

 

References:

Martin, Abby. Israel-Palestine Conflict: ABC Manipulates Truth to Fit Pro Israel Bias of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Breaking The Set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ESHeOIkMIw

If America knew. Synopsis of Israel/Palestine Conflict. IfAmericaKnew.org. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/

Historical Timeline-Israeli Palestine Conflict. ProCon.org. http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000635

Zirin, Dave. On Dwight Howard and #FreePalestine. The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/blog/180702/dwight-howard-and-freepalestine

Media Bias for Israel Masks Israeli Aggression Towards Palestinians. Representative Press. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95re8B04hyI

Bozell, Brent. Brent Bozell on the Media Bias Towards Hamas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31jwk-lYhX0

Stewart, Jimmy. The Daily Show: We Need To Talk About Israel. Comedy Central. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmCKZYKsiGM

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