My Op/Ed: Western Views of Palestinian Bid for Statehood

bush_pledging-to-israeli_flagTo properly analyze Palestine’s recent UN bid for statehood, historical context cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in most Western news media – for many reasons, not the least of which involves our own history of supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Historical documentation abounds of consistent and overt action by the U.S. to block the UN from enforcing international law critical of Israel.

In fact, as documented by Stephen Zunes, international relations scholar specializing in Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, and strategic nonviolent action, “U.S. opposition to Palestine has run so strong that the U.S. has withdrawn or has threatened to withdraw badly needed financial support from UN agencies that have supported Palestinian rights.

As well, United Nations documentation on issues involving Palestinian rights shows the United States and Israel consistently voting against otherwise unanimous resolutions in the UN General Assembly. Moreover, between 1972 and 2007, the U.S. used its veto power in excess of 40 times to block resolutions critical of Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories which it occupies. These 40+ U.S. vetoes – used solely to shield Israel from punishment – constitute more than all other countries who have used their veto powers on all other issues combined.

obama-with-us-israel-flag

Documented facts are hard to escape. Even so, reporting without context abounds in Western news media, presenting slanted images which generally lean toward dominant Western ideology. And its allies.

Our media has no problem reporting extensively on Palestine’s deadly rocket launches into Israel. As well it should: such violence and endangerment of innocent Israeli lives should make headlines. However, our media appears to have major problems reporting as diligently on Israel’s illegal occupation of and deadly actions upon Palestinians within these occupied territories.

The fact is that although the U.S. positions itself as impartial mediator between Israel and Palestine, nothing could be further from the truth.

I don’t have a stake in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Citizens in each of these countries deserve lives free from terrorism. They deserve to live freely, happily and respectfully. I have made friends in both of these countries, and I pray for them every single day. They, all of them – Israelis and Palestinians – deserve peace. I pray they work out their differences somehow, with as many lives spared as possible.

journalism-objectivity-quote

But though I don’t have a stake in their conflict, I do have a stake in honest media representations of their conflict. Each side, in any conflict, deserves fair representation in a democratic media which touts objectivity as its foremost tenet.

 

 

Here is a sample of prevalent context-free, ideology-laced terminology Western media reports on Palestine’s UN bid for statehood:

ABC

US and European diplomats are scrambling to stave off a Palestinian quest for statehood at the United Nations on the eve of the world body’s annual General Assembly.” (WHY?)

If the Palestinians seek a vote in the Security Council as they have promised to, the US has vowed to veto the resolution. ” (WHY?)

NBC Video /MSNBC

*NOTE: the overwhelming majority of Western news media choose to interview the Israeli Prime Minister over Palestinian leader Abbas.

Terminology relating to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

palestinian-president-abbas

Is the Middle East about to take another violent turn?”

“After a combative speech to the UN demanding recognition of Palestinian statehood…,” 

“Abbas…rejecting a blueprint for peace put forth by international mediators.”

(DETAILS OF BLUEPRINT?  

PEACE FOR WHOM?

WHICH “INTERNATIONAL MEDIATORS” – THE U.S. and ISRAEL?)

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Terminology relating to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

israeli-president-netanyahu

“Violence? I hope not.”

No peace process...because of them.”

Let’s just sit down and talk peace,”

“The only way we’re going to get peace is to negotiate it between the parties.”

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What are your thoughts on this issue?

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Read the posts this Op-Ed is based on:
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sylverblaque-world-news-wednesday

15 thoughts on “My Op/Ed: Western Views of Palestinian Bid for Statehood

  1. Pingback: Pro-Israeli U.S. Politicians Delay Aid to Palestine | Sylver Blaque

  2. I used to be a big supporter of Israel. And when I saw newsreels of the IDF attacking Gaza and the West Bank I was like “Well the Jews have been getting kicked around for the last 3000 years. It’s about time they kicked back.”

    But in recent years their behavior has become unacceptable. It’s partially the US’s fault. We back them up on everything they do and when they do something really crazy they rarely even get a slap on the wrist. The Palestinians deserve a state.

    The blame has to be shared. The colonial powers who granted the land to the Jews after promising it to the Palestinians. The US for blindly supporting Israel. Israel for failing to reach a compromise favorable to both sides. And the handful of Palestinian who are resorting to violence and extremism which, while understandable, is making life harder for the rest of their people.

    • No one is denying that Jews have been persecuted etc. Jews who lived among Moslem in the area had no problems, same for christian Arabs. It’s the Europeans who were responsible for all the racism and massacres. Britain did not promise Palestinians Palestine as the were there. British decided to cede to colonialist demands of the Jews of Europe. Having said that, Israel is there to stay but not on occupied lands. Palestinians will stay, occupied or not.

        • Jews and Christians lived in harmony for centuries in the Middle East. When Arabs ruled Spain, 700 years, Jews and Christians, were respected as they were “people of the book”, bible. Everyone prospered. When the Arabs were driven out of Spain, Jews left with them to North Africa and the Middle East to escape Catholic inquisition.
          For centuries, the keys for Christian holy places in Jerusalem have been in the possession of Moslems, as the Christian sects could not agree who will have them. Intolerance, polgroms, massacres, of Jews has always been in Europe, not the middle east.

          • This history is correct, of course. However, most Westerners do not know (or do not acknowledge) this history. Similar to how they are fully aware of Aristotle but have no knowledge of Avicenna or Averroes, the majority of Westerners would probably be surprised to learn that Spain was the Arab center of enlightenment and harmonious multi-cultural/religious coexistence while Europe was still in the Dark Ages. Thank you for reminding us all of this very important time in world history.

            • Read your comment. Very true. Now is it the media? Or is it the fault of Arabs? I have always said, until recently, that the Arabs of today are going through their dark ages. Yes Arabs, Abu Sina, (avicenne), Al Jabr (algebra), etc.. Also the Arabs who were in Spain brought with them the translated, into Arabic, Greek works, and in time translated them on Latin.

              • You have brought up some very good points.

                Is it the media? Well, I believe journalists have an enormous responsibility to fairly represent, in context, all sides of any issue they choose to focus on. When this is not done, I believe it is the fault of individual journalists as well as the corporations which essentially control our media in the same manner in which they control our government – by way of funding – and use it to embed their own ideology.

                Fox News does this blatantly (see my World News Wednesday “Clipgate: Fox News Slams Obama’s Choice of Office Supplies,” and my Sylver’s Saturday Smackdown “From Illegal Aliens to Aliens,” and “Knock off Obama” posts). However, most other Western news media embeds its ideology subliminally by choice of story focus (see my World News Wednesday Focus “The Journalistic Notion of Objectivity: Missing White Girl Syndrome” postings), and by way of the images and terminology it chooses to use in reporting.

                Is it the fault of Arabs? I believe it is the fault of fringe Arab groups who choose to commit violent acts upon innocent people. Because of the nature of Western news media to sensationalize each and every Arab-related violent incident — presenting each violent incident as if it is the norm for the entire Arab world — I believe it IS the fault of violent, fringe-group Arabs who commit horrific, violent acts.

                This small, fringe section of Arabs are creating Hell on earth for the rest of the peaceful Arab world. Because Western news media reports on such violent incidents without context (i.e. not differentiating between small groups of fringe Arabs and the majority of Arabs), this fringe Arab sector is responsible for coloring the entire Arab world.

                Because of all this, I do agree with you that Arabs may be going through a sort of Dark Age right now. But so are we all in that these fringe, violent groups coupled with the disproportionate media attention awarded them by Islamaphobic Western media are creating a perfect storm of a Dark Age overall.

                • US media is either silenced or owned by corporations with Zionist bias. FIX News as I call it and others owned by the likes of Murdoch. Ref arabs I don’t agree about fringe groups being the reason, sure they contribute. Fringe groups are more in number in the settlements. When I said Arabs, I meant the leaders, who were to busy protecting their seats than carry out coherent political strategies. Too busy filling their pockets in Saudi and Gulf, Egypt, Mubarak was too busy protecting his seat and the “aid” with conditions from the USA. Etc…
                  The most violent Moslems today are not Arab but more east.
                  Religion is making a scary comeback. Fanatic jews account for about 30% of Israel. Born again evangelists in the USA about to become the official religion, if they could. Islam is going backwards.. There is no hope when people start comparing gods. My god can beat up your god. Superstition and myths are taking over.
                  No room for logical thought.

                  • “FIX” News – lol! That is funny ; – >

                    As for your statements about U.S. media/Zionist bias, and the majority ethnicity of fringe groups, I really don’t know enough about these specific references to comment knowledgeably. But I do see from your comment that I have used the term “Arab” in describing these fringe groups much too freely. You are right: they are absolutely not all Arab, which is a very important distinction to make. Thank you for pointing that out.

                    The statement I most agree with is this: “There is no hope when people start comparing gods.” Nothing could be more true! This, I believe, is where the breakdown in coexistence begins. I dream of a world where all religions are respected, rather than opportunistically dissected by foreign ideologues for political purposes.

  3. Pingback: World Reaction to Palestinian Bid for Statehood | Sylver Blaque

  4. Pingback: World News Wednesday Focus: Palestine’s UN Bid for Statehood | Sylver Blaque

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