Why is so much of the Palestinian suffering never considered newsworthy?


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Right now Israeli-Occupied East Jerusalem is much in the news because of the sudden eruption of violence by Palestinian youngsters venting their anger and frustration. These young people have grown up under Israeli military occupation, in an imposed atmosphere of contempt and oppression that was not of their making. The news media have the responsibility to present as balanced a view as possible.

Just to take the past week alone, if the news of the Palestinian violence had been equally balanced with news of Israeli Army and settler violence, then most of the news broadcasting time, and several pages of newspaper columns, would have been devoted to the appalling violence suffered by Palestinians. All we ask is that more attention be paid to context and balance. Why is so much of the Palestinian suffering never considered newsworthy? Some very recent examples:

27 Palestinians killed, 1400 injured and 400 taken prisoner so far this month alone (13 October). http://icj.einnews.com/article/291313623/s8_Iw2iPO9V2q0LR

In Israeli-Occupied East Jerusalem: 15-year-old Hassan Khaled Mahayna killed by Israeli forces: ambulance held up deliberately: Video. The boy’s cousin, Ahmed (13), was also seriously wounded as settlers scream “Die!”. Watch as a number of people stand around and do nothing to help the injured boy. One even pushes him with his foot! An ambulance is forced to move away!


Pregnant woman and child killed – family injured – home destroyed:

Ceasefire violation – air strike – 2 dead – 4 injured: Gaza – 10 October 02:05, Israeli war planes carried out two air strikes on the al-Zaytoun neighbourhood, destroying a home and killing a pregnant woman, Nour Hassan, and her two-year-old child, Yahya Hassan, injuring four other members of her family: Mohammad Hassan (5), Yahya Hassan, Najah Rasmi, and Mohammad Hassan. 

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Escalating tear-gas deployment against schoolchildren in Hebron. The onslaught began at 7:41 am when a crowd of children could be heard playing noisily in the street near several primary schools. Suddenly their laughter turned to screams and the sound of running and gunfire as the first canisters were shot and could be seen flying over the crowd with their white streams of gas.


Settler shoots 5-year-old boy. 


Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy attack – hijacking: Northern Gaza – 05:00, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats, took prisoner two crew members, Mohammad Al-Nu’man and Jihad Kaskin, and hijacked the boat. http://palestine.org.nz/phrc/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2872&Itemid=44

Year after year! In September Israel destroyed 46 Palestinian homes.


As a reminder:

The Fourth Geneva Convention

Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) affirmed once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention was “applicable to Palestinian land, including Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967”. The Resolution also determined that “the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories . . . have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East”. This Security Council Resolution strongly deplored the failure of Israel to abide by UNSC Resolutions 237, 252 and 298, as well as General Assembly Resolutions 2253 and 2254. The Resolution specifically condemned any attempt by Israel to materially affect the demographic composition of territory occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem in particular, and to desist from undertaking any transfer of parts of its own civilian population into occupied Palestinian territory.


The source and cause of all the violence and instability is Israel’s determined drive to change the “demographic composition” of Jerusalem. The solution has to be respect for and enforcement of international law. Witness for truth – end the Occupation.



  1. To answer your headline question:

    Because the media here take its cue from the USA, which takes its cue from the Jewish lobby.

    So we get the ‘american’ perspective on our news, as well as on pretty much everything else these days.

    That’s in part due to a ‘USA boot-licking PM’ who sets the tone for the rest country, and especially for the media.

    And that’s why I watch Al Jazerra for a part of my daily news uptake. At least Al Jazeera are not ‘up the *ss of the american news machine’.

    But I suppose we can pretty soon count on “Free-to-Air Al Jazeera” going the way of “free-to-air Deutsche Welle”, which went the way of “Free-to-air BBC World News” which went the way of “Free to air China Central TV” on NZ freeview TV during the terms of this government.

    “If it don’t preach in americanese, it aint gonna survive under this pathetic government.”

  2. Q:

    Why is so much of the Palestinian suffering never considered newsworthy?


    Because so much of it is just pandering to the media. The vast majority of the conflicts in the region are instigated by Muslim/Arabs but when the involve Israel, the Israelis generally finish them.

    The media is but one of the battlegrounds for 4th generation warfare and since the Arabs have been repeatedly defeated on the ground when instigating conventional attacks, they have adopted irregular tactics whereby woman and children are embroiled in the conflict and used as disposable propaganda tools.

    • Or, maybe Palestinians are the oppressed and occupied, Andrew, and you are siding with oppressors? How does that make you feel?

      Because here’s the thing; Israel has expanded it’s borders since 1948. Meanwhile, Palestinians have lost land in the West Bank, and are occupied/blockaded in Gaza.

        • You really are quite nasty in your opinions Andrew. If you thinking that seizing territory by conquest is acceptable civilized behaviour then that shows what kind of character you are.

          By the way, the Israeli’s started the 1967 War.

  3. Why is so much of the Palestinian suffering never considered newsworthy?
    My impression is that news that puts Palestinians in a positive light is deliberately suppressed.
    Just one example: Just over a year and a half ago I read about 2 Palestinian teenagers, both amputees, who climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the plight of Syrian children. It struck me, and still does, that this was a story that the public would consider ‘newsworthy’, after all, it was about mountaineering, about brave teenagers showing compassion for others. I contacted every Radio NZ program. I even wrote a snail mail letter, which was ignored, to the overall head of Radio NZ .

    So the question really should be, how and by whom are decisions about what is ‘newsworthy’ decided?

  4. Right so AndrewO is fine with 5 year old children being shot in the stomach http://www.albawaba.com/news/israeli-settler-shoots-five-year-old-palestinian-boy-750452 …………

    ….. a pregnant woman and her two year old child blown up or burned to death in their own homes ….. homes located in open air prisons which they are forced to live in by rule of the gun and missile aftrer after they were ethnically cleansed from their former country , Palestine).

    AndrewO like cam slater would probably find it amusing if the dead children had funny names ………………

    Our media is ‘dirty’ and a disgrace which is why they rarely report on israels ongoing crimes …………..

  5. Just this morning on ‘The Nation’ NZ envoy to the Palestinian Authority (and former leader of the National Party) Jim McLay desribed last year’s 49 day bombing of Gaza with its 2000+ deaths as an ‘interaction.’ When I tweeted his comment, ‘The Nation’ came back pointing out that Mr McLay had later described the event as ‘troubles’ and had expressed strong concern. I wonder why an independent current affairs show finds it necessary to behave like Jim mcLay’s press secretary.
    The Nation ‏@TheNationTV3 9h ago
    @JohnRobertMcRae He used a few phrases. Talked about “troubles” as well, but was quite strong in his expression of concern

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