The Media and JSIL: Justifying the Occupation

Palestinian children throw stones at Isr

Today’s events in Jerusalem are a great example of the disturbing bias that pervades the mainstream media with regard to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The murder of four Israelis by two Palestinians is the top story on the BBC and the Guardian, complete with live updates as the story ‘develops’. There is little mention of the numerous Arab deaths that have occurred in the last few weeks; the Guardian merely states ’12 Palestinians have been killed’, yet devotes an entire article to naming and describing the four Israelis. Additionally, Palestinian killers are always labelled ‘terrorists’. For instance, a baby recently died after a Palestinian ran into a group of people in his car. He was shot dead at the scene and instantly deemed a terrorist, despite witnesses having said that the incident looked like an accident.

Of course, this suits the current narrative being peddled by Netanyahu and his government that equates Hamas, ISIS and Iran with one another; a comparison that is both ignorant and racist, as it assumes that all these groups are driven by the same agenda of mindless violence, have no individual motives for their actions, and cannot be reasoned with. This is just a further excuse to continue denying Palestinians their own state. A couple of weeks ago the New York Times published an op-ed by Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of the economy and a likely successor to Netanyahu, titled ‘For Israel: Two-State is no Solution’. In this he asserts that the Palestinians can’t be trusted to have their own country, and instead proposes more of the same, stating that:

There is a new reality in the Middle East, which has brought to an end to the viability of the Oslo peace process.

The regional upheaval and disintegration of nation states oblige us to act responsibility. We must work toward realistic goals that are capable of providing real security and economic prosperity.

Thus Bennett reasons that the current chaos in the Middle East such as the collapse of the Syrian-Iraqi border means that Israel cannot risk a two state solution, because the threat of Islamic extremism is too great. Ironically, Israel seems to be the one nation that hasn’t been affected by the rise of ISIS. In fact, the actions of ISIS are of some benefit to Israel: by creating sectarian divisions between Muslims, causing them to fight among themselves rather than standing united against Israel.

The premise of Bennett’s plan takes for granted that the security of Israel is more important than the Palestinians getting their own state; it’s not. As with the siege of Gaza earlier this year, Netanyahu is once again using this latest act of violence as an opportunity to collectively punish all Palestinians. He has ordered that the homes of the attackers be destroyed (with no regard for the other family members living there) and pledges a ‘heavy handed’ response to the killings. By continuing to ignore the crimes committed by Israel and its citizens and framing all of those carried out by Palestinians as “terrorism”, the corporate media are active participants in constructing the occupier’s narrative: that Israel has no choice to defend itself from terrorists who wish to see its destruction.


For Israel, Two-State is no Solution


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