Western media’s relationship with the subject of Palestine and Israel, and the ongoing turmoil, violence and seemingly perpetual conflict, has been marred by inaccuracies, strange perceptions and incongruities.
It is true that the verdict on Western media’s success or failures in conveying an accurate account of the situation in Palestine and Israel is, ultimately, subjective. Even Israelis who support the occupation of Palestine and the rightwing policies of their government often complain of media bias.
However, we can say with certainty that Western corporate mainstream media is failing, not because of the pro-Israel attitude held by most Americans – and to a lesser degree of Europeans – but because of their sheer ignorance of the uncontested facts thereof.
For example, an IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys, concluded two years ago that majority of Americans are under the misconception that Palestinians occupy Israeli land, instead of the other way around.
This devastating lack of knowledge, considering the amount of time spent discussing Israel on US television channels and in newspapers, is indicative of a horrific failure. It has created the kind of intellectual vacuum that allowed such twisted ideas as ‘Palestinian mothers hate their children’ to perpetuate for far too long.
Alas, the above line was in fact a media staple in major American TV networks during the Second Palestinian Intifada between 2000-2005. Such dark judgement was not founded in any rational claim to support it, but on Zionist ideals of the past.
The idea originated in a statement attributed to Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who allegedly said that “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” Regardless of the authenticity of the statement, many of Israel’s supporters have indeed eternalized the notion and perpetuated its racist undertone ever since.
Unfair media coverage is not fueled by the simplistic notion of “clever Israel, imprudent Arabs”. Western media is actively involved in shielding Israel and enhancing its diminishing brand, while painstakingly demolishing the image of Israel’s enemiesRamzy Baroud