Sunday, January 03, 2010

Censorship, American Style...

Phil Weiss has a great little piece on coverage of Tel Aviv demo against the slaughter of Gaza:

Last night in Tel Aviv there was a great demonstration against the Gaza slaughter of a year ago. 1000 people marched through the middle of the city, from Rabin square to the Defense Ministry. They carried signs showing a blood-soaked land. Anarchists against the wall denounced apartheid. They said that Israel had targeted women and children. Some called for a binational state.

The stars were out: Shlomo Sand, author of the Invention of the Jewish People, the everlasting Uri Avnery, and Gideon Levy, who had written that day that the peace process is a joke. As we marched, a police helicopter flew over us and Israeli media interviewed many of the protesters.

Two foreign crews were there.

One was Brazilian. Another was a hardworking woman journalist who walked through the body of the protest, asking people why they were there and filming their posters and banners. She was from Al Jazeera. Joseph Dana told me that he regularly runs into Al Jazeera at protests in Israel. Al Jazeera follows activists into the West Bank when they march against the wall or try and protect Palestinian farmlands from settlers.

“Al Jazeera has interviewed me many times. They’ve asked me what I’m doing there.” He has also seen al-Arabiya at protests. “I’ve never been interviewed by American media. I’ve never seen them at a demonstration. They are all stationed here. CNN is here. Bloomberg is here. ABC and CBS. They’ve never interviewed me. Even the BBC. Where is the BBC?”

The point is obvious. Arab media are trying to document the dramatic struggle that is taking place for the soul of Israeli society after 42 years of occupation. The American media have largely closed their eyes to this wrenching division in Israeli life–and, on a parochial note, deprived American Jews of any awareness of, let alone sustenance for, the reemergence of a non-Zionist tradition in Jewish communities. On this subject as on many others involving the Israel/Palestine conflict, Arabs are better informed than we are.

Aaahh, America, home of the not-so-free...

4 Comments:

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Is this a case of self-censorship, or is it just a question of what people in the media find interesting? Journalists will usually cover protests if they're either of a very rare sort and/or end with deadly clashes. The left holds protests in Tel-Aviv quite frequently and nobody was hurt during this rally, so I guess Western journalists didn't think there was really anything to report.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Gert said...

To quote from commenter 'Kathleen' at Mondoweiss (post about Galloway):

"Rachel Maddow still giving endless coverage to the human rights issue in Uganda having to do with Gay Rights. Rachel still giving lots of time to protesters in Iran. But Rachel along with the so called liberal Keith Olbermann still not a whisper about the Goldstone Report, the Gaza Freedom March or Viva Palestina. Oh that liberal press. Rachel more than willing to pick and choose her human rights focus. 14oo Palestinians killed last year and Rachel neither mentioned this anniversary, the continued siege on the Gaza or the recent convoy that made it in. Rachel Maddow is a hypocrite, a serious hypocrite.

The alleged progressive website of Crooks and Liars continues to be Israeli occupied territory. Not a mention of the Gaza Freedom Marchers or of Viva Palestina. Not a mention of Viva Palestina over at Firedoglake, Juan Cole has a bit about it, Have yet to check, Raw Story, Huff Po etc.

Serious blog clogs on the I/P issue at many of the so called progressive blogs.

Rachel's no different than the rest of U.S. news outlets on this issue. Her owners allow which human rights issues she can cover and RAchel complie$$$$ "


Do you think the BBC's almost non-coverage [only web coverage, AFAIK) of Galloway's battle with the Egyptian authorities is a coincidence? Considering Galloway is a British MP?

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I haven't watched BBC News lately, but if it's true they haven't covered the attack on Galloway's convoy, it really is surprising. It certainly has been on the news in Israel. Also, I thought this would reach the news in the States as well.

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger Gert said...

It's not really surprising in my book: we've seen coverage of the conflict by the BBC steadily decline: see also the the Gaza emergence appeal which the Beeb refused to broadcast. Please note that the commercial stations did broadcast it and that the Beeb had broadcast an almost identical appeal for the victims of Leb II in 2006.

"Honey, the Zionists have shrunk the BBC!"

 

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