What does the mainstream media tell us about the on-going crisis between the Palestinians and the state of Israel? As a busy community activist addressing issues that are close to home, I can honestly say I don’t know what’s going on there. But the difference between the bits and pieces I pick up from the mainstream press and the progressive alternative media is striking.
If you listen to the network news, who refuses to “pick sides” for fear of appearing less than “objective”, you’ll hear that the situation is basically hopeless and that the two sides will never reconcile. Perhaps it is due to time constraints built into the format of television news that makes it so difficult for the networks to educate their audience on the history of the conflict or even to present anything approaching a complete picture of the current conditions. An analysis of the military and economic interests that have compelled one US administration after the another to support the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to support Israel financially and to give only tacit rebukes when they continue to expand the settlements illegally, not to mention the human rights violations, is hard to come by. It may be the time constraints that make all of this difficult to report. It’s also possible that the corporations that own most of the news (General Electric, Westinghouse, Rupert Murdoch, et al) actually profit from the on-going conflict. But as I said, I don’t know what’s going on there.
I do know that I appreciate it when media activists like Netfa Freeman of the Institute of Policy Studies and contribution producer for the WPFW public affairs program Voices with Vision, not only make it to the demonstrations that I don’t have time for, but also report on them. His audio documentary on the Gaza flotilla tragedy, takes us to the demonstrations outside of the Israeli embassy after the event. This was of course back in May, but as President Obama assures the world that the relationship between Israel and his administration is all good, it might not be a bad idea to revisit this regrettable demonstration of Israel’s military policy. Gaza Flotilla Tragedy: The Audio Story