Anti-Palestinian racism still drives western media coverage of Israel’s 75-year war on Gaza


Reporting on the “Middle East conflict” (never reported as it should be as “the Israeli military occupation of Palestine”) has a long history of anti-Palestinian racism.

New Zealand reporting on events in the last 10 days has reinforced all the long-standing anti-Palestinian tropes that dominate western reporting. These biases are so hard-baked into our media that news editors and reporters adopt them without thinking – just the way Israel and the US expect.

  • Israelis are never the aggressors and never the terrorists – never!
  • Palestinians are the always the aggressors
  • Palestinians who resist military occupation are always “militants” or “terrorists”
  • No matter how many civilians are killed it is always the Palestinians’ fault
  • It’s OK to have sympathy for Palestinians, but only when their children are battered and mangled and in that case the Palestinian leadership is to blame anyway
  • Israel never starts trouble – it is always Palestinians and Palestinians who provoke and attack Israel
  • Israeli lives lost are always in “terrorist attacks” while Palestinians lives are lost in an Israeli military response to terrorism
  • Israel always has the right to defend itself – Palestinians don’t have that right
  • Israel offers peace deals, Palestinians always reject peace
  • Israel is a democracy (a racist apartheid state can never be a democracy)
  • Settlers attacks Palestinians – ignore it
  • Settlers bulldoze olive groves – ignore it
  • Settlers drive Palestinians off their land – ignore it
  • Israel builds more illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land – ignore it
  • Israeli leaders make dehumanising comments about Palestinians – ignore it
  • Any Palestinian making dehumanising comments about Jews – highlight and condemn
  • When Israeli settlers chant “Kill the Arabs – may their villages burn” – ignore it. When a Palestinian says “Gas the Jews” – highlight and condemn
  • Israel conducts raids in the west bank where Palestinians are killed – it’s an anti-terror operation.
  • When Palestinians fight back it’s always terrorism
  • Israelis steal Palestinians land – “contested land”
  • When Palestinians try to reoccupy stolen land – “terrorism”
  • Palestinians attacking settlers – militants or terrorists
  • Israelis attack Palestinians – provocation caused it
  • Israeli leaders make statements – fulsome coverage
  • Palestinian leaders make statements – ignore or reframe as from a “terror” group
  • Never explain the ethnic cleansing that created Gaza as it is today
  • Above all – never report on the Nakba – never! – just on the Holocaust

When coverage is needed on local responses to Israel/Palestine

  • Give regular coverage to pro-Israel lobby – quote extensively
  • Give limited, if any, coverage to local Palestinian voices
  • Palestinian solidarity protests in New Zealand – complete media blackout – don’t report it (RNZ says “small peaceful solidarity actions” have been held in NZ – in fact large, angry demonstrations up and down the country last weekend with more to come this weekend)
  • Never ask the government to explain why they refuse to call for a ceasefire, an end to bloodshed, an end to violence in Gaza (this is because the US doesn’t want them to)
  • Accept and extensively report on government condemnation of Israeli civilians killed (A war crime under Fourth Geneva Convention) but don’t ask the government why it refuses to condemn Israeli war crimes (bombing a densely populated civilian area while withholding food, water, electricity and fuel is a war crime – genocide in fact)

The past two weeks we have been super-saturated with the Eurocentric view of the “conflict in the middle east” (as I said earlier it is never reported as the “Israeli military occupation of Palestine”)

Our newspapers have been dominated with endless reports from the likes of the Washington Post, Telegraph group BBC, AP and Reuters stories. All of which follow the guidelines above.

I’ve written before about appalling framing of the Israeli military occupation.

Western Politicians and western media are the source of the problem. If this war had been reported accurately from the outset, Palestinians would have the state of Palestine where religion, ethnicity and human rights were respected – as they were before European colonisation of Palestine early last century.


  1. The Palestinian people would have helped themselves immensely by being led by democratically elected governments, rather than leaders of ‘resistance’ groups who conducted terrorism over many decades.

    That is why it is so easy for the world to default to ‘Palestinian = terrorist” stereotypes.

    • Basic ignorance Ada but all is forgiven, Hamas which literally translates to “Islamic resistance movement” (Bet you didn’t know that) who would have thought, the cheek of naming yourself a “Resistance” movement.
      Welcome to Hasbara 101.
      Hamas predominately runs civilian infrastructure in Gaza (Not to be confused with the Military wing which is a separate entity)
      When Israel says it’s targeting “Hamas” what they really mean is any Palestinian, be it a civilian Hamas government worker or militant.
      There’s a saying for that, hang on it’s on the tip of my tongue. There it is.
      Collective punishment.

  2. “Western Politicians and western media are the source of the problem”

    To whom do they serve, that’s the real problem here. We think that they serve us but they do not…they serve corporate-financial interests whom ultimately run this world. It looks like racism drives the media coverage here, and most likely it does play its part, but recently Russia has been suffering a similar fate, China is starting to attract similar coverage also. It seems that Western interests, aka corporate-financial interests is at the heart of this problem, if not, all problems.

    What this tragedy shows, is just how long our politicians and our media have been captured by big money interests. Even more tragic, is that we believe our politicians and the media more often than not, too. Vicious cycle as the on-going horror in Palestine/Israel clearly shows.

  3. The United States of America aka Murder Inc. is the biggest sponsor of State Terrorism.

    Notice Biden can’t get a ‘gathering’ of statesmen and leaders together. It’s only him and bb.

    But, the western world’s leaders are still a gutless bunch of c…ts! (Complicit).

  4. I think clear eyes will see plenty anti Israeli racism in the media and anti Semitism in general. In particular, the unquestioning printing of stories that an Israeli bomb had blown up a hospital and killed some 500 people. This was reported by many as a fact rather than a claim from Hamas.
    It now is questioned. The hospital is still there, but the riots have been triggered around the world so the disinformation job is done and dusted.

    • I understand your disbelief, but you are just very naive about the actual nature of Israeli “military operations” and how far our US-led media is complicit in their coverage.

      THere is footage of the israeli jet fleeing th scene, and Israel have been telling hospitals to evacuate they will bomb them, and they have been bombing the evacuation corridors. And it is impossible, impossible for a Hamas rocket to have done that – anything like that would have gone boom in Tel Aviv long ago. THe people were sheltering there because they knew it was away from a Hamas zone also.
      Even Biden could barely bring himself to utter the lie, “uh, it was the other team”. From the media that swallowed “Russia bombed its own pipeline”, of course they are running the usual Israeli, “independent Bellingcat” and US expert line.

    • Every Lefty in the world hates the Holocaust and also hates the establishment of Israel in Palestine. Cos we’re rational and idealists. Unlike the Nazis and the Zionists.

      It was understandable entirely after the WW ll genocide. But hurting another people for your comfort — nah. And the best of that great people knew it from the get-go.

  5. This is a very important article to read and people must be aware of the atrocities in Gaza. As a Born and raised Palestinian, who is constantly facing the anti-Palestinian articles on the Western Media, the lies must stop. Thank you John for spreading the word of Palestine and letting people know the truth.

  6. Your absolutely right John Minto. Media in Aotearoa like many western media report from a colonizer narrative as the dominant narrative, one sided, uses racist othering language that is dehumanizing and rarely is the narrative given any context. Where are the Palestinian voices?

    • Palestinian Author President is mostly a tool of the Israeli state and has no more legitimacy than the leaders of Hamas. In fact the PA in every respect is pretty much an enabler of the apartheid Israeli machine.

  7. It appears to be rule in Western corporate media to NEVER NEVER NEVER report ‘Palestinians retaliate.’
    NO NO NO Only Israeli forces retaliate.
    How a story is reported depends on when the clock is set.

    I don’t think any other people on the planet have been so lied to and so lied about. I’m thinking about the Sykes-Picot agreement so long ago. During WW1, the Arab peoples were promised autonomy if they rose up against their Ottoman rulers. But the British and the French had other plans.

    • Jews got a mere 17% of the Mandate in their ancestral homeland. Do you take issue with the artificial creations of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon? Of course not. No Jews involved.

  8. good precis of the about something about the media frenzy around misfired rocket, the media where keen to blame it on the IDF?

    • No surprise that you support both the brutality of the Russian imperialists and the racist colonialist US puppet state in the Middle East.

      Gagarin: Who has never seen an imperialist project he didn’t lile.

      • sorry pat if having an opinion offended you….1st find 1 word in support of putin in any of my posts…just one you, expressed your opinion on what basis?

        I’ve often made it clear that both sides in palistine are murderous children who need to be defunded.

    • As long as the USA provides cover for the apartheid state of Israel it will not be held accountable for its ethnic cleansing and genocide against the people of Palestine

      • You are both correct.
        So what do we do to change things?

        I just hope we learn from history when we move forward here in our little part of the world.

        • We need to stand up and help Israel accept its colonial occupier identity. It will be painful and scary, but it is the only thing that is right. As a colonial country NZ can help them down the path of decolonisation, but only once they surrender this absurd racist artifact of “we need a pure homeland under our control, and it has to be where all those Palestinians are living”.

  9. Brilliant … list. Never thought I’d say that. You fight like the periphery Briton I assume you are, like me. We admire the conversational southern English. But we peripherals have our parts. Hence my admiration for you in this intensest, but right, fight.

    Israel conquered Palestine before our modern eyes, with a strong assist from wrong-headed idealism. They’re there now, by which they have to double-down on the wrongness.

    Solution, no. But Israel holds Palestine by sword-right, and deeply desires a deed of right from the rest of us. Not least from its neighbours, beyond pay-offs. Not sure that can ever be, but the incessant funds from broken America don’t help.

    Nah, I have no solution. Just support the Palestinians against their conquerors.

    I don’t think the Israelis can ever make that right.

  10. For those trying to use Israeli propaganda to blame Israels deliberate precision bombing of the al-Ahli hospital ,,, where thousands of civilians were seeking shelter/sanctuary ,,, and farcically put the blame on Hamas/the Palestinian resistance fighters for this mass slaughter war crime ,,,, many indisputable facts show the truth of the matter.

    1) ,,, the Al-Qassam Brigades and other Palestinian military resistance fighters do not have missiles with warheads that are any more than a fraction of the 250 pound ,,, 500 pound, and 1000 pound monsters that the usa supplies,,, and the Israelis use to destroy/obliterate buildings and people in Gaza…..

    ie these almost 1000 pound high explosive (944 pounds ) JDAM lazer guided high precision bombs….. ‘U.S. Continues to Supply MK84 Bombs to Israel to Slaughter Civilians in Gaza’

    2) Video footage of the Israels targeted strike on the hospital has a signature ‘incoming’ sound ,,,, and a signature massive explosion from a huge high explosive war-head ,,, the Palestinians do not have these weapons ,,, or an air-force to deliver them with ,,, as in the case of the usa MK84 1,971 lb guide bombs featured in the video above.

    3) Israel issued warnings they were going to do it ,,,, “Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s extreme right national security minister, said on Tuesday that “the only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives from the air force, not one ounce of humanitarian aid.”” ,,, and they have a long history of targetting/murdering medics, ambulance drivers ,,, health workers……

    ………. ie “Great March of Return” protests”,,, ” 14 May 2018. In a single day, sixty people were killed and 2,771 injured, including 1,359 hospitalised with gunshot wounds, amid Israel’s widespread and systematic use of excessive force against demonstrators.” ……. “Among the casualties, was Musa Abu Hassanin, a 34-year-old paramedic, who was fatally shot by Israeli forces while trying to evacuate wounded demonstrators.

    The 2019 UN independent Commission of Inquiry found that Musa was 250-300 metres from the Gaza perimeter fence and was wearing a high visibility Civil Defence vest. He was the first of at least three health workers killed and 845 injured at the protests. No criminal investigation has been announced by the Israeli authorities into Musa’s death.

    Shortly before his death, Musa helped rescue a member of his team, Tarek Loubani, a Canadian Palestinian doctor, who had been shot in both legs while also working at the protests:”

    …. “Regarding children, the Commission ( UN) found that, “several children were recognizable as such when they were shot [finding] reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot them intentionally, knowing that they were children.”4 The Commission also found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers intentionally shot health workers, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such.”5 And similarly, the journalists who were shot, were also considered not to represent an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the Israeli forces when they were shot.

  11. While I agree with John’s article another concern that I have is the various church groups that fall in behind Israel, a basic part of Christianity is that they should not believe or tell lies yet they use all sorts of false claims to justify the wrongs that Israel commits. I guess this should not surprise us as we are warned of a church/state combination to come that will deceive most of the world.

  12. Israel does not intentionally kill civilians in its war on Gaza. Of course not, because all Palestinians North of Wadi Gaza are not civilians but terrorists, or terrorist “sympathisers”

    Israel tells Gazans to move south or risk being seen as ‘terrorist’ partner
    October 22, 20239:31 PM GMT+13Updated 8 hours ago

    Palestinians said they had received renewed warnings from Israel’s military to move from north Gaza to the south of the strip, with the added warning that they could be identified as sympathisers with a “terrorist organisation” if they stayed put.
    The message was delivered in leaflets marked with the Israel Defense Forces name and logo…

    This is a planned and executed forced expulsion and genocide. We need to call out our elected representatives for not condemning this genocide and for not calling for it to be stopped.

    If we don’t we are all complicit.

  13. The 300 thousand strong Israeli military force massed on the border will not be entering Gaza, at least not until the aerial and artillery destruction of Gaza City and the extermination and expulsion of all the inhabitants of North Gaza is completed.

    What to look for:

    The US advising their ally Israel not to invade Gaza. And Israel complying.

    This move will be spun by the US and Israel as a humanitarian measure.

    In fact it will be to allow the artillery and aerial bombardment of Gaza to reach a new crescendo of barbarity and mass murder.

    This genocide will be not be reported by the media, or if it is, the true enormity will be glossed over. And our media hacks will close ranks to sing the praises of IDF as the most humane army in history.


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