One of the staples of American culture is our freedom of speech and our freedom of the press. However, with the way the media has reacted to the recent developments in the Israel/ Palestine conflict, one might wonder how free our press really is.
Since Israel is one of America’s allies, many news sources are biased in favor of it. This is evident even in the way these stories are titled. For example, the Wall Street Journal recently ran a story titled “Israel Targets Gaza Rocket Launchers,” but they failed to mention that civilians are being targeted as well and with much more frequency. American media tends to excuse and justify Israeli actions in their reports while demonizing Palestinians, but this approach is just deceitful.
Though our media tends to take the side of Israel, the Palestinian Ministry of Information’s report on civilian casualties states that one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every three days for the last thirteen years. In fact, Israel has been targeting areas with many civilians like UN shelters and schools. According to a news report from reuters.com, “Israel’s security cabinet decided to continue its offensive in the enclave and there was no sign of a halt to a 23-day conflict in which 1,346 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died. On the Israeli side, 56 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.”
As reported by the New York Times, “Israeli officials have argued throughout their 27-day air-and-ground campaign against Hamas, the militant group that dominates Gaza, it is the enemy’s insistence on operating near shelters and other humanitarian sites that endangers civilians.” The Israelis are claiming that they are aiming for militants and only unintentionally killing civilians. The evidence contradicts this: before the attack in Jabalia the UN warned Israelis 17 times that there were no militants there, and in the attack on Rafah, they had been warned 37 times. After such attacks, no militants or weapons were found.
In a story from The Times of Israel titled, “When Genocide is Permissible,” it said, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel.” This vague wording coupled with clearly intentional attacks on civilians show Netanyahu’s true goal of exterminating Palestine altogether. Israel is clearly breaking international laws, yet many American news sources still support them.
When CNN reporter Diana Magnay witnessed Israeli people cheering as they launched bombs on Gaza, she tweeted the following : “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong.’ Scum.” CNN’s response was to pull her from the story and give this statement: “She deeply regrets the language used, which was aimed directly at those who had been targeting our crew…she certainly meant no offense to anyone beyond that group, and she and CNN apologize for any offense that may have been taken.” CNN is obviously pandering to the Israelis and defending those who would cheer at bombs dropping.
Obviously the crimes of Israel do not excuse the crimes of the militant Palestinian leader Hamas, but Americans should not excuse one and condemn the other. Either we condemn killing civilians, or we don’t. The media should be more responsible with reporting the truth of the situation instead of having bias for Israel.
Mikayla Rust, Editor-in-Chief