Thursday, January 21, 2016

Palestinians: Western Media's Ignorance and Bias

By Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Foreign journalists based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have for years refused to report on the financial corruption and human rights violations that are rife under the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas regimes. Palestinian "suffering" and the "evil" of the Israeli "occupation" are the only admissible topics.
  • Another Ramallah-based colleague shared that a few years ago he received a request from a cub correspondent to help arrange an interview with Yasser Arafat. Except at that point, Arafat had been dead for several years. Fresh out of journalism school and unknowledgeable about the Middle East, the journalist was apparently considered by his editors a fine candidate for covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Western reporters would do well to remember that journalism in this region is not about being pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. Rather, it is about being "pro" the truth, even when the truth runs straight up against what they would prefer to believe.
Two Western journalists recently asked to be accompanied to the Gaza Strip to interview Jewish settlers living there.
No, this is not the opening line of a joke. These journalists were in Israel at the end of 2015, and they were deadly serious.
Imagine their embarrassment when it was pointed out to them that Israel had completely pulled out of the Gaza Strip ten years ago.
You have to have some pity for them. These foreign colleagues were rookies who aimed to make an impression by traveling to a "dangerous" place such as the Gaza Strip to report on the "settlers" living there. Their request, however, did not take anyone, even my local colleagues, by surprise.

No comments: