[News] How to Report on Gaza

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 10 10:39:47 EDT 2018


  How to Report on Gaza

by Vijay Prashad <https://www.counterpunch.org/author/drespu/> - April 
10, 2018

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, the 
best thing to do is to treat the Palestinians as a threat.

Their bodies are weapons, their existence is dangerous. If a Palestinian 
is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to 
call it a “clash.” Clashes take place when two armed forces confront 
each other.

Unarmed Palestinians are armed by the fact of their existence. If 
Israeli soldiers shoot to death 15 unarmed Palestinians, then the best 
way to tell that story is to say that “deadly clashes” took place in 
Gaza (“Deadly clashes in Gaza mark start of Palestinian campaign,” March 

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, don’t 
talk to any Palestinian officials. Talk only to the Israeli military and 
to the Israeli government. When the Israeli military says that the 
Palestinians began the “clash” with rocks and “burning tires,” repeat 
that as the origin for the Israeli use of tear gas and live fire.

Don’t bother to report what you have seen with your own eyes, or to 
watch videos on YouTube shot from both sides of the perimeter fence. No 
need to see that video of unarmed men kneeling down to prayer and then 
Israeli snipers picking them off one by one. Better to be a stenographer 
for the Israeli army than to be a journalist of the facts.

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, talk 
to a few Palestinians who say that they will never give up, that they 
“have nothing to lose.” Offer no context for these statements, nothing 
to make these statements of futility make sense. Or to appear sympathetic.

Don’t write about the permanent siege on Gaza – its land and sea borders 
closed by Israeli authorities. Don’t bother with the documentation from 
the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, based in Gaza City.

If you read their weekly reports, you will find that the Israeli navy 
repeatedly has been bombing the Gaza coastline over the past several 
weeks — including regular attacks on Palestinian fishing boats off 
al-Sudaniya. There you will find reports of Israeli warplanes striking 
the Beit Hanoun Services Club stadium in northern Gaza. You will find 
evidence that the Israeli soldiers have been repeatedly shooting at 
shepherds in the eastern part of Gaza Valley. Israel will not let 
international human rights agencies to enter Gaza. Israel does not want 
this context.

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, don’t 
ask the Palestinian political groups about the planned six weeks of 
unarmed protests at the perimeter fence. Don’t bother to report that 
this is a peaceful protest, something that liberals have often demanded 
of the Palestinians. Don’t bother to ask why the Palestinian leadership 
has urged people to be peaceful and why they have asked for this 
gathering at the fence.

Why mention that March 30 is the anniversary of the 1976 Land Day events 
in the Galilee, when Palestinians fought to defend their way of life in 
northern Israel?

Why mention that there is a politics at work here and not merely the 
instinct of an encaged people?

/This article originally appeared in the Daily Hampshire Gazette 

/*Vijay Prashad’s* most recent book is No Free Left: The Futures of 
Indian Communism (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2015)./

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