Coverage Trends

US media ignore Israeli violence after Aqaba summit

Following the 4 June Aqaba summit between President Bush and Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the US media fell quickly into the pattern of ignoring or severely downplaying Israeli attacks on Palestinians, and playing up Palestinian counterviolence as a threat to a budding “peace process.” The media, rather than correcting the record, simply amplify the distortions. Palestinians are unjustly blamed for ‘reigniting’ a cycle of violence that in reality never paused for a single day. EI’s Ali Abunimah reports. 

Violence and the Road Map: The US Media's Double Standard

“It was an all too familiar scene in Afula on 19 May 2003. Screams, sirens and blood stained ground. When Hiba Daraghmeh detonated the explosives strapped around her just outside a shopping mall, she took the lives of three innocent people in a most brutal fashion. The American media was quick to report that the recent bombings would hurt the peace process, but they gave little note to the numerous obstructions that Ariel Sharon’s government has placed, or the Israeli army’s continued unprovoked attacks on Palestinian cities.” Ben Granby reports. 

The Achille Lauro hijacking: Selective memory does none of us justice

“The Achille Lauro is back in the news. Most of us know that a Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Abbas, is believed to have planned the 7 October 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship. His group, the Palestinian Liberation Front, demanded that Israel free 50 Palestinian prisoners. An American Jewish passenger in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and thrown into the sea. While Abbas was not on board the ship, the hijacking, taking of hostages, and killing of Mr. Klinghoffer were heinous crimes for which he should be brought to justice.” Daniel Jacob Quinn writes about another, forgotten event that happened one week prior to the hijacking. 

The Brian Avery shooting: When will we realise that there can't be this many "accidents"?

On 5 April 2003, Israeli troops in Jenin shot International Solidarity Movement activist Brian Avery. Avery, a 24-year-old American from Albuquerque, New Mexico experienced serious wounds to his face after Israeli troops shot at him with heavy machine gun fire from an armoured personnel carrier. In this coverage trend, EI co-founder Nigel Parry examines some of the misrepresentations in initial reports, and lists what we do know, uncomfortable facts which would seem to preclude the event being an ‘accident’. “For those of us who have lived as eyewitnesses in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, it is not news that Israeli troops regularly shoot at people without there being clashes or any threat to the soldier. This is one of the consequences of maintaining a military occupation for over one-third of a century, the dehumanisation of the occupied people by the occupying army. Increasingly during the Intifada, we have observed that internationals have been targeted by the Israeli army.” 

US media ignore Sharon's embrace of ethnic cleansers in new Israeli cabinet

The inclusion in the new Israeli government of the racist National Union, which openly calls for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, received muted coverage in the US media and passed largely without comment. EI co-founders Ali Abunimah and Nigel Parry, and regular EI contributor Michael Brown analyse how the US media mishandled the story in this coverage trend. 

Fraud fit for a King: Israel, Zionism, and the misuse of MLK

Even with my cynic’s credentials established, the one thing I never expected anyone to do would be to just make up a quote from King; a quote that he simply never said, and claim that it came from a letter that he never wrote, and was published in a collection of his essays that never existed. Frankly, this level of deception is something special. The hoax of which I speak is one currently making the rounds on the Internet, which claims to prove King’s steadfast support for Zionism. Tim Wise investigates in Zmag. 

Mystery surrounds killing of two Palestinians in Occupied Gaza

The duty of reporters is to alert readers to the inadequacies of the information available, to emphasize that Israeli army reports, which
are often false and self-serving, are unverified, and avoid reporting
such claims as uncontested fact. Reporting an incident in Gaza on January 13th, several media organisations once again failed to
maintain clarity about the quality of their information source. Ali
Abunimah reports. 

Washington Post retracts "Holocaust revisionism" claim against Norman Finkelstein

Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher revealed either simple ignorance of a well-established school of thought or journalistic laziness when he attached the label of ‘Holocaust revisionist’ to author Norman Finkelstein. Amazingly, it took a while for Finkelstein to get a retraction. Mark Hand reports. 

The New York Times gets an 'F' for geography

“Every six months or so a report comes out detailing the woeful state of geographical knowledge held by many Americans. Usually people chuckle and wonder how it is that so many Americans think California is on the East Coast. After all, every rightly educated American knows it’s on the Left Coast.” Mike Brown writes about what happens when the New York Times sits in on a Middle East geography test. 

False Washington Times report convinces Canada to ban Hizbullah

On Wednesday 11th December 2002, the social arm of Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah was one of three organisations to be added to Canada’s official list of “terrorist entities”. Canadian newspapers and politicians cited, as the ultimate deciding factor for Canada’s policy change towards Hizbullah, a statement attributed to its leader Hassan Nasrallah last month in which he allegedly urged Palestinians to undertake suicide bombings outside of Israel/Palestine, in locations around the world. But it has now emerged that the source of the remarks is suspect, meaning that an organisation widely recognised for its humanitarian contributions in desperate areas of the Middle East has been cut off from a considerable number of donors on the basis of a false account. EI’s Nigel Parry reports.