There is much that calls for astonishment in the way the media and officials in the West deal with what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the nature of the “solutions” that are proposed for this “conflict,” including, for example, the possibility of “transferring” the Palestinians to neighboring Arab countries. A solution that seems very easy, but it is based on the assumption that the land is worthless, simply because we are all Arabs, and it is all desert, exactly as it appears in the movies. Therefore, there is no problem with the Palestinians living in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, the diaspora, or even in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Which is thousands of kilometers away from Palestine, according to some “proposals” that are now being discussed at the highest governmental level in the occupying state. All of them are backward, crowded Third World countries accustomed to wars, and a few million additional refugees will not make a significant difference (1) (2) (3) .
All this is not surprising, of course, but it is shocking at the same time. We know that the phrase is confusing, but Owen Jones, the English journalist and writer for The Guardian, could not find a better way to describe the current situation. He knew that there was some degree of racism in the coverage of his country’s media – and the Western media in general – of various events in the Middle East and Africa, but he did not imagine that it would be manifested with such bright clarity in 2024, after the West had achieved what were supposed to be great leaps in the path of human rights and freedoms ( 4) (5) (6). This contradiction faced by Owen Jones, and those like him who still retain their humanity in this crazy Western cultural and political climate, is in fact not a contradiction at all; Simply because Western civilization has never voluntarily achieved “broad leaps in the path of human rights and freedoms,” but rather those rights and freedoms were taken away from them after decades and centuries of popular struggle by oppressed minorities.
This is the truth that everyone knows, but which Western civilization is ashamed to acknowledge. It was not “given” but rather “forced”, and after it was forced, it spent the following decades falsifying the reality of this conflict, and portraying the change in racial mood as a voluntary decision stemming from human feeling. “Broad leaps” suggest that the entire issue was a conscious choice, preceded by an admission of error and serious attempts to purify and atone for centuries of crimes, direct enslavement, and other things, while in reality it was more like a forced surrender of what the leaders of that civilization saw as an inherent right by virtue of race, religion, or material production.
This foundational confusion is what brought Jones and other honest people like him who believed in this propaganda into the current contradiction, and struck him with “unsurprising shock,” as he put it. Only when this intentional confusion becomes clear does it become clear that the current brutal racist pattern against the Palestinians is nothing but an extension of the line. The original “civilizational” one, and the only difference here is that there is – yet – no reason for the leaders of the same civilization to concede this time.
This introduction is very important for interpreting the phenomenon under study and understanding its background. Hundreds of these journalists, correspondents and broadcasters in the main Western media networks, who are full of racism, ignorance and laziness towards the Palestinians and others, did not suddenly appear out of nowhere, nor were they created for exceptional emergency requirements. Rather, they only found an opportunity to reveal what is going on inside them, and local Western laws do not allow this to be done. Against minorities in their countries, at least with this clarity and this crudeness.
From here came the many attempts to document the issue, and to transform the verbal arguments that were lost in the Zionists’ linguistic maze into solid numbers that are difficult to deny or argue with. The first of these recorded attempts came from Holly Jackson, a graduate student in computer science at the University of Berkeley in “California”, which recorded the times in which Palestinian and Israeli “dead” were mentioned in three major American newspapers: “The New York Times”, “The Washington Post” and “The Wall Street Journal” in the period between October 7-22, 2023. Comparing it to the actual number of deaths according to United Nations records, and of course what I found was remarkable (7).
Even after the first week, when the Palestinian death toll exceeded the Israeli counterpart announced by the occupying state, the number of times they were mentioned remained lower, which is what Mona Shalabi, the English journalist of Iraqi origin, and writer for the English “Guardian” and others, and who holds a B. The Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious international journalistic award, applied it to the coverage of the British BBC network specifically over a larger period, including live television coverage and others until December 2nd, to obtain similar results (8) (9).
This separation from reality that answered the question of “quantity” prompted Mona to search for the question of “how” as well. She began studying the language of description used and its words, and discovered that even though the Palestinian dead were mentioned times that were completely disproportionate to their number, BP journalists “C” often deliberately uses anonymous descriptions when covering their news, such as “people” or “persons” or even without mentioning the subject at all, such as “150 died today in Gaza as a result of Israeli military operations,” while the Israeli dead are presented with descriptions of their family and social relationships. Such as “mother,” “grandmother,” “friend,” “brother,” “son,” and “granddaughter” (8).
The evidence here, of course, is the dehumanization of the Palestinians through their ignorance, as if these “people” or “persons” were not brothers, grandchildren, mothers, grandparents, husbands and wives, and therefore they did not leave behind orphans, the bereaved, or widows, and their killing did not affect the network of their family and social relationships, and thus it is difficult The viewer/reader/listener must form some human connection to their situation, and sympathize with their oppression, as if they came from nowhere and returned to it.
What Mona also discovered is what we think you noticed on your own in the previous statement, which is that the Palestinian usually “dies,” “perishes,” or “dies” in BBC coverage, unlike the Israeli, who is often “killed.” Or “slaughtered” or “mutilized,” as if natural disasters also include American-made bombs, in which the Palestinian “dies” just as people die in earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods.
All of these methods work to address the subconscious by summoning mental images associated with certain words. They are not useful with any Arab who watches the genocide every day and is aware of its vocabulary and aspects, but they are very useful with non-Arabs who are learning about these vocabulary and aspects for the first time, and of course this deliberate ignorance. It then reflects not only on the victim, but also on the killer, because it simply exonerates him; “Murder” requires the presence of a perpetrator and a victim, while “death” is the fate of everyone, even if the world is devoid of murderers.
“They are not Israelis”
Adam Johnson and Othman Ali, journalists at The Intercept, picked up the thread of blatant racism in Western media coverage, and published an extensive report on January 9 that relied on the same statistical analysis methods for the speech of three newspapers. The major American newspapers were the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times between October 7 and November 25, 2023, and the results were more racist than all of the above, and by a noticeable difference (10).
The axes are the same; The Palestinian deaths are not mentioned in any logical proportion, and only Israelis are subjected to “slaughter like animals,” but the differences in numbers become clearer as the time span of coverage expands.
The most painful and at the same time racist point in the Johnson and Ali report was that this brutal media treatment – so to speak – extended to children, women and journalists, the groups that usually arouse the most sympathy among viewers, listeners and readers.
Israeli children are children, of course, while Palestinian children are “people under 18” or “minors.” In a diabolical attempt to circumvent the fact that – believe it or not – they are actually children, and the first term – “people under the age of eighteen” – is an extension of the same racist language that Arthur Balfour used in his hateful declaration almost a hundred years ago, when he described the Arab majority. Palestinians in historical Palestine with “non-Jewish minorities” (10)(11)(12).
Unfortunately, the editors of the three American newspapers were unable to repeat the matter with women, considering them “not men.” But it is worth noting that the second term, “minors,” is essentially an English legal term, usually used with perpetrators of crimes and those accused of them in the American judicial system, and the insinuation Here it does not need explanation.
In an interview by the same journalist, Owen Jones, with Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, an activist and former spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority in the Madrid peace talks, she drew attention to this established methodology in Western media and political discourse, which summarizes the historical method of dealing with the Palestinians with painful genius, As simply “not Israelis” (13).
This is all that the majority of the Western media needs to unleash its racism, and this is proven by experience in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, Libya, or any country whose people’s problem is that they are not Westerners or Israelis, and this seems to be enough to turn them into “people” and “people.” And considering their children as “minors” and reducing them to soulless numbers and tables that do not arouse any sympathy or build human connections, is a prelude to denying their truth and concealing it from the world.
These are the hard, solid, abstract truths, and the problem with the hard, solid, abstract truths is that we spend our lives trying to realize them, and then become paralyzed once we succeed. We are busy planning the journey towards the truth, imagining that the easiest thing is the moment of arrival, and this is what makes it, ironically, the most difficult of all.
We are faced with nations that have bombs weighing a ton each, and their media, politicians, and armies despise us because we are not Israelis. This is the solid, solid, abstract truth, with which we exchanged silent, rigid looks with a face of stone that does not care about our feelings, perceptions, or biases, is not shaken by our fear of the horror of reality, and is not deceived by our attempts to beautify or deny it. Perhaps it is the right time to start thinking about our next step.
1- Talk TV presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer wonders whether ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is the solution – Novara Media
2- Israel is in talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries about Palestinian “immigration” plans in the wake of the war – Times of Israel
3- Congo denies its participation in talks with Israel about its readiness to receive hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees – Times of Israel
4- The BBC’s racism against Gaza is revealed in a shocking study – Owen Jones
5- Media racism is revealed by new studies – Owen Jones
6- Joe Biden shows sickening contempt for Palestinian lives – Owen Jones
7- Study | Media bias towards Israel in major American newspapers Holly Jackson – Github
8- Study | The BBC is biased towards Israel in its coverage of the war on Gaza Mona Shalabi – Github
9- Mona Shalabi – The Guardian
10- Coverage of the Gaza war in “The New York Times” and other major American newspapers clearly sided with Israel, as analyzes show – The Intercept
11- Documenting the Western media’s bias against the Palestinians between October 7 and November 7 – The Column
12- After a century; Explanation of Balfour Media – Al Jazeera
13- A Palestinian icon exposes the West’s complicity against the Palestinians – Owen Jones