Monday, December 30, 2019

How Israel Controls the Palestinian Narrative

Let's open this posting with two videos,  First, we have this one:

...followed by this one at a demonstration in support of Muath Amarneh, the Palestinian journalist who who lost his eye after being shot by Israeli security forces while covering a protest in the occupied West Bank on November 17, 2019:

While one would like to think that Mr. Amarneh's injury is the exception, a study by The Palestinian Center Development and Media Freedoms or MADA indicates that such attacks against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli Defense Force is far from rare.

According to MADA's Annual Report of Violations of Media Freedoms in Palestine for 2018, the year 2018 saw a rise in the number and seriousness of attacks against journalists in Palestine compared to the prior year.  Here is a graphic showing the violations against media freedoms in Palestine for 2018 and the party that committed the violation:

On a year-over-year basis, the number of attacks against journalists in Palestine increased by 54 or just over 10 percent.  This follows an increase of 38 percent in 2017 when measured on a year-over-year basis.  When compared to 2016, the number of attacks against journalists has increased by a total of 52 percent.  Of the attacks, 78 percent were committed by the Israelis and 22 percent were committed by various Palestinian authorities in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Here are a table and bar graph showing the annual number of attacks against journalists in Palestine over the past decade:

Over the past decade, journalists and media outlets in Palestine were exposed to an average of 1.6 attacks per day with the number of Israeli attacks rising from an average of 21 per month over the past ten years to 38 attacks per month in 2018.  Over the past decade, the monthly number of Palestinian attacks against Palestinian journalists has averaged 9.4 per month, rising slightly to 10.7 per month in 2018.  Here is a line graph showing how the Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists has risen far more rapidly than Palestinian attacks against their own journalists over the past decade:

Here is a bar graph showing the annual number of Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists over the last ten years:

Here is a listing of the five most commonly recorded types of Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists in 2018 and the number of those violations:

1.) Physical Attacks and Injuries - 240

2.) Prohibition of media coverage - 72

3.) Adminstrative Arrest, Detention and Transfer - 41

4.) Detention (including questioning) - 41

5.) Confiscation or damage to equipment and vehicles - 18

Here is a table showing the number of Israeli physical attacks against Palestinian journalists over the past decade:

There were 127 serious attacks in 2018 which involved the use of live ammunition, rubber bullets and gas bombs and 115 "less serious" attacks involved the use of beatings or severe suffocation with exposure to tear gas.

In a significant escalation of violence against Palestinian journalists, on April 6, 2018, Israeli snipers shot photojournalist Yasser Abdelrahman Murtaja while he was covering a peaceful march in Khuza'a located to the east of Gaza and he died of his injuries on the same day.  Journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein who was also covering the peaceful return march to Gaza was injured by an explosive round on April 13, 2018 and died of his injuries on April 26, 2018. 

Let's close with this recent example of an Israeli attempt to control the Palestinian narrative:

During the first six months of 2019, MADA has recorded 330 violations against Palestinian media freedom including 65 attacks against Facebook.  Here is a bar graph showing how it appears that this could be a record year for violations against Palestinian media freedom:

Obviously, it has long been known that the party that controls the media controls the narrative.  By attacking and otherwise threatening Palestinian journalists, Israel can, to some degree, impact the media coverage of its aggressive actions against the residents of the West Bank and Gaza.  While it is interesting to note that Palestinian authorities also attempt to control their own media, for the most part (in 2018), this involved the use of summoning and questioning and suppression of a protest held in Ramallah on June 13, 2018, demanding the end of sanctions Gaza and the payment of salaries for West Bank employees. 

"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play."  Joseph Goebbels

1 comment:

  1. Goebbels had all kinds of wonderful quotes...