Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reporting on Terror in Australia and Israel

I don't look at "the news" too much on television, but when my baser instincts seduce me and I do watch, I often get left feeling hurt, baffled and powerless by the way the terrorism against Israelis is covered. Air time is invariably given to Palestinians about their losses, even when those losses are a Palestinian who has blown him/herself up while trying to murder Israelis, or a Palestinian who has been shot after a 'successful" or unsuccessful knifing attack. The faces of israeli victims are rarely shown. Thir families and friends are rarely interviewed. Ordinary Israelis talking about the fear and trauma generated by tha attacks are not featured. Its not that I'd like ONLY Israeli points of view to be featured (and there are many) but that they ALSO be featured, alongside Palestinian ones. 

Last night, (15/102015) for example, on ABC the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), the focus was on Palestinian losses, and all the interviews were with Palestinians. There were no pictures of any of the Israeli victims, or any video of the stabbings, shootings and car rammings. There was some footage of MDA (Israeli Ambulances) and of Israeli soldiers. There was an English soundbite from an Israeli woman - a member of shalom achshav (Peace Now) saying that the security measures Israel has put in place amount to "collective punishment". This is in keeping with the general approach that the only Israeli voices featured are ones that reinforce the narrative of Palestinian victimhood and non-accountability.

BY CONTRAST, in the same newsbulletin there was long coverage of a terrorist shooting in Sydney which occurred two weeks ago. Then a 15 year old schoolboy "inspired" by Islamist thinking, shot a Chinese police accountant before being gunned down himself. Predictably the coverage focuses on the victim, on his funeral which will be with full police honours at one of Sydney's largest cathedrals. There is no attempt to humanise the perpetrator. His accomplices, who were arrested yesterday, are not interviewed. their grievances against The West or against Australia are not lovingly dwelt upon. The loss of the assailant's life is not mentiond before the loss of his victim's life, i.e the headlines do not read "15 year old boy gunned down by Australian police." But when the BBC reported on the stabbing of two men in Jerusalems old city, it reported the death of the Palestinian attackers first, and then as an afterthought, without causally linking the two, that two Israelis had been murdered.

And by the way, is not the stabbings of random Israelis a form of collective punishment? Are not the pronouncements about keeping "Jews with their dirty feet" away from the El Aksa mosque a form of Islamic supremacist apartheid? I hope those who care about either Israelis or Palestinians, or both (rather than those who care about conflict) will expose themselves to multiple and varied news sources in order to get a more 3 dimensional piture of what is going on.