Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Enduring Failure of MS Media Reportage on Palestine

John Lyons, the Australian's Middle East correspondent, has a lot of credit with me. He is after all the man behind Stone Cold Justice, the recent (2/14) Four Corners expose of Israel's "widespread, systematic and institutionalised" (UNICEF) abuse of Palestinian children.

Anyone, moreover, who manages to piss off the Australian's foreign editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, has my vote. (See my posts Ground Control to Major Greg (5/3/14) & John Lyons Slams Sheridan, AIJAC (9/3/14))

Lyons is hardly infallible, however. He is, after all, an ms media cog.

For example, if we juxtapose this:

"When three Jewish youths forced petrol down the throat of a 16-year-old Arab boy before setting him alight, they could not have imagined the political earthquake they were setting in motion." (Savagery up-ends Israelis' conviction, John Lyons, 12/7/14)

With this:

"This is not to try to portray Hamas as any peace-loving entity - in my view its members are Neanderthals on a good day and terrorists on a bad one." (Conflict heats up with credible peace broker missing in action, John Lyons, 14/7/14)

We can see why so many consumers of the ms media are no better informed on this issue than they were ten or twenty or thirty years ago.

All of which goes to show that, no matter how good the quality of a ms Middle East correspondent's on-the-spot reportage, when it comes to an understanding of the underlying coloniser/colonised, oppressor/oppressed, hammer/anvil dynamic underlying the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, he invariably just doesn't get it or cannot, if he values his job, go there.

I mean, viewing a Palestinian resistance movement, which would never have emerged but for the prior existence of massive and unrelenting Israeli violence directed against the Palestinian people, in a worse light than the violence spawned by the Israeli apartheid regime (and merely encapsulated in the torching of young Mohammed Abu Khadeir and the mounting death toll in Gaza), is to completely misrepresent this fundamentally (because settler-colonial in origin) asymmetrical and unequal conflict.

Unfortunately, this is the message you'll never get from the ms media: the roots of Israeli/Palestinian violence date back to the imposition of an alien, European, colonising movement on a naturally unwilling and resistant native people.

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