At Princeton, Activist Ali Abunimah Critiques U.S. Media Coverage of Al-Aqsa Intifada

By Adas, Jane | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

At Princeton, Activist Ali Abunimah Critiques U.S. Media Coverage of Al-Aqsa Intifada


Adas, Jane, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


At Princeton, Activist Ali Abunimah Critiques U.S. Media Coverage of al-Aqsa Intifada

Jane Adas is a free-lance writer based in the New York metropolitan area.

Addressing the Princeton Middle East Society Nov. 19, media activist Ali Abunimah said Palestinian grievances during the current al-Aqsa intifada, as in the first intifada, are about land and occupation. U.S. media rhetoric, Abunimah pointed out, also is the same: Palestinians are portrayed as people who do not want freedom and do not love their children.

Abunimah outlined several ways in which the mainstream American media reveal a pro-Israeli bias. Rarely, he noted, do they refer to the West Bank and Gaza as occupied territory. Abunimah cited a study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) that found only four of 99 network reports on the Middle East from Sept. 28 to Nov. 2 mentioned occupation. Because the media talks about "violence in Israel," the public is not made aware that the Israeli army is in Palestinian cities in violation of international law, or that all but two Israeli deaths occurred in occupied territory.

Secondly, Abunimah said, the media obscure the nature of Israeli settlements. The New York Times, for example, repeatedly has referred to Gilo and Har Homa as neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Gilo, however, was built on land belonging to the Palestinian villages of Beit Jala and Beit Safafa prior to Israel's 1997 expansion of Jerusalem's boundaries. And Har Homa, the Jewish settlement built on land belonging to Bethlehem, is not yet even inhabited.

Thirdly, American media present the conflict as though it were between equally matched opponents, with the Israeli army defending itself from Palestinian gunmen. Armed Israeli settlers are not called "gunmen," Abunimah pointed out, and most of the more than 250 Palestinians killed were civilians who were not carrying guns.

Abunimah cited an NPR report that stated, "Three Israeli soldiers and six Palestinians died in heavy fighting." When he checked other news sources, he found that two of the Palestinians were killed by helicopter gunfire, a third was shot dead while standing on his own porch, and three others who were throwing stones at tanks were killed when the tanks fired back with 50 mm shells.

News reports keep statistical track of Palestinian deaths, but hide how the deaths occur or who the dead are. Meanwhile, Abunimah said, any Israeli death leads the news, usually with the comment that "violence is escalating." In media language, he contended, Palestinians kill Israelis, but Palestinians die as a result of "clashes," as though it were some newly discovered disease.

ABU-SITTA, NORMAND DISCUSS PALESTINIAN REFUGEES

Salman Abu-Sitta, an authority on the Palestinian refugee situation, spoke on "Realistic Solutions and the Feasibility of Return" at the New School in New York City on Nov. 27. The event was sponsored by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, The American Committee on Jerusalem, and Al-Awda.

In introducing Abu-Sitta, Roger Normand, founder and co-director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, noted that international law seems irrelevant in the face of Israel's force. At their first congress in Basel in 1897, Normand said, Zionists sought "to establish a Jewish state secured by international law." However, he continued, by expelling 85 percent of the population in 1947-48, in what today would be labeled ethnic cleansing, and by occupying all of Mandate Palestine in 1967, Israel has violated international law.

The Jewish state's continued violation of the human rights of Palestinians, according to Normand, is the main reason Israel has not been able to achieve full legitimacy. He characterized the Oslo peace process as Israel's attempt to achieve by negotiation what it has failed to do by force. The paradox of Oslo, Normand said, is that it has led to a major increase in human rights violations and considerably worsened the situation on the ground. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

At Princeton, Activist Ali Abunimah Critiques U.S. Media Coverage of Al-Aqsa Intifada
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.