Coverage Trends

Media grossly exaggerate Palestinian voter turnout

How many Palestinians in the occupied territories actually voted in the January 9 election for president of the Palestinian Authority? Many major media organizations are reporting a turnout close to 70 percent. In fact the turnout was well below 50 percent as EI’s Ali Abunimah explains. The distinction between registered and unregistered voters is crucial to understanding the actual turnout figure, but it is a distinction the media have failed to grasp. 

Israeli conduct in West Bank and Gaza did not change during election campaign

Today, is the last day of the election campaign. Media reports say that the Israeli army will halt operations in the occupied Palestinian territories “to avoid interfering with Sunday’s elections”, however, Israel has already interfered with the elections since the start of the election campaign. Since November 25, Israeli forces have killed 68 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. Most of them in the Gaza Strip. Seven Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank. EI’s Arjan El Fassed cautions media from reporting the elections were “free”. 

The New York Times: Reality Bites

Last week Zachary Wales read New York Times’ Greg Myre’s latest attempt to save Israel from itself. The article, titled, “Israeli TV Tackles War for Hearts and Minds,” described Israel’s new “reality” show, The Ambassador, in which multi-lingual Israeli youths are flown around the world vying for bragging rights in Israel’s propaganda campaign. The show’s most recent loser, Ofra Bin Nun, took her exit after trying to “make it clear that Israel has not taken anything from anyone” (her words). Myre wrote about a “reality” show while ignoring “reality” altogether. The Ambassador’s judge is a former Israeli military spokesperson — a burning bush of irony that Myre somehow misses. 

The New York Times' coverage of Operation "Days of Penitence" in Gaza

One need not look further than the present, Gaza’s “Red October”. To date, Israeli forces have killed over 140 Palestinians, while some ten-times that number are homeless and starving. For the most part, the Times has its snake oils out again. A few exceptions stand out, like the vaguely balanced and grimly titled feature by Steven Erlanger, “Intifada’s Legacy at Year 4: A Morass of Faded Hopes”; or the October 4 op-ed by Michael Tarazi, which, unlike other Times op-eds, was pulled from the Web site the following day. Zachary Wales reports. 

Of settler crimes and media silence

If Americans appreciated the scale of human rights abuses committed by Israeli colonists in the occupied territories, they would condemn the journalists who keep them in the dark, a US peace activist says. Kim Lamberty, a member of the Christian Peacemakers Teams (CPT), has told on Tuesday that a cruel and criminal practice is largely going unreported: settlers are routinely attacking children on their way to school. And Lamberty should know. Unable to walk since a vicious attack on 29 September by Jewish colonists, she says physical assaults on schoolchildren and the volunteers who escort them have all increased in the past two weeks. 

Israel killed 436 Palestinians in past 'quiet' six months

Anyone following mainstream media today couldn’t miss the news today. CNN reported that two suicide bombers set off almost simultaneous blasts on buses in Beer Sheva, killing 16 people in addition to themselves. At least 93 people were wounded. Usually, such attacks are followed with a wide range of condemnations. While mainstream media tend to portray suicide bombings as a return to violence after a “relatively quiet” period, at least 436 Palestinians have been killed since March 14. This month alone, Israeli forces killed 43 Palestinians and injured 285. This underscores the lack of evenhanded attention given to loss of life in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Ha'aretz claims "Six Armed Palestinians Killed in Tulkarem"

According to Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz website Sunday evening: “Six armed Palestinians were killed by Border Police undercover troops in the West Bank town of Tul Karm on Sunday.” This Ha’aretz description bears little resemblance to what happened on the ground. Six Palestinians were assassinated 100 meters from the ISM apartment where three ISM volunteers were staying at the time. Only two of the six Palestinians assassinated were members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. According to reliable sources in Tulkarem, the other four were simply bystanders. Members of ISM-Tulkarem correct the record. 

Time to put the US media on trial for complicity in genocide?

Following pressure from the Israeli public, international condemnations and a UN resolution, and a flurry of rare coverage of Rafah from American cable news networks, Israel’s “Operation Rainbow” was ‘concluded’ in Rafah on 24 May 2004. According to Israel at least. Since then, in a one week period in Rafah (27 May-2 June 2004), Israel destroyed another 39 Palestinian homes, leaving at least another 485 Palestinian civilians homeless, and razed another 24 dunums of Palestinian land. Google News continuously crawls more than 4,500 news sources from around the world, yet a search for the keyword “Rafah” shows that, beyond the Israeli press, supplementary news websites such as the Electronic Intifada, and a handful of US newspapers, coverage of the latest demolitions has been minimal, particularly in the United States. EI’s Nigel Parry comments. 

Key Israeli distortions about "Operation Rainbow" in Rafah

Since the beginning of May 2004, Israel has dramatically increased its program of structural and ethnic cleansing of Rafah. While Israel claims that its military operations in Rafah are motivated by “security reasons”, numerous reports from human rights organisations paint a picture of arbitrary shootings of residents, including children, and nightly firing at border homes from Israeli watchtowers. EI co-founder Nigel Parry examines the various claims Israel has made about the ongoing “Operation Rainbow” and attempts to uncover some of the realities behind Israel’s distortions of what is happening in Rafah. 

Child rights groups appeal against biased reporting on Palestinian children

The apprehension twice in 10 days of two Palestinian children allegedly carrying explosives at Hawara checkpoint near Nablus has sparked a media frenzy. However, the multitude of violations to Palestinian children�s rights that occur daily at the hands of Israeli forces in the illegally-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are almost entirely ignored by journalists and the media. DCI/PS and NPA-Pal urge journalists and editors to adopt an impartial approach in informing the public of the truth.