Letter from the Editor: U.S. journalists enable crimes against Palestine
This Letter from the Editor was originally published in the 4th print issue of Palestine in America. Order a copy of our 4th print issue here.
Journalists — especially those in the U.S. — are still reluctant to report the Palestinian cause truthfully and fairly. We’ve witnessed improvements since Palestine in America’s inception, but nothing worth celebrating.
Yes, journalists and publications must strive for neutral and balanced coverage. But those hallmarks of journalistic integrity are not even in jeopardy of being breached. The crimes being committed against the Palestinians are objectively heinous. To ignore them in the name of neutrality is at best lazy and at worse evil. Regardless of intentions, the media silence allows the destructive settler project — which is backed by some of the most powerful and wealthy people on earth — to continue.
Israel has violated international law since its creation in 1948, and the U.S. has played a key role in allowing Israel to do so with impunity. The dishonest reporting — and lack of reporting in general — only reinforces that dynamic.
All too often, reporters uphold Israel’s right to exist and divert attention away from the actual problem — why aren’t Palestinians afforded the same right to exist unapologetically on their own land? White colonizers seem to be the only group of people worthy of freedom. And this narrative has been pushed without hesitation from journalists and news organizations for as long as I can remember.
Of course the solution to the occupation of Palestine is not just in the hands of the media moguls and the reporters who work for them. But when reporters ignore Israel’s disregard for Palestinian lives in the name of “fair reporting,” they actually offer biased reporting. During this day and age, we cannot tolerate this type of reporting from our news outlets in the U.S.
Too often, questions from news anchors to Palestinian rights activists double as Israeli talking points. I do not remember the course in journalism school where we learned it was mandatory to repeat false claims from anyone.
As a journalist myself, I find these circumstances are hard to deal with.Most of my colleagues entered the field with a great amount of respect and admiration for the profession. Seeing the medium being used to spread falsehoods is tough for anyone. Now imagine the Palestinians who witness these lies being spread about their homeland.
Yet Palestinians living in the diaspora grow only more resilient. When we become saddened and angered by the state of politics and journalism in our second home, we become more ambitious and zealous about achieving our goals — the main one being seeing a free Palestine. Palestine in America isn’t any different, and each year we try to improve what we do while reaching a greater audience. Whether we create content or put on an event, our goal is to educate people in the U.S. about the plight of the Palestinians.
In our fourth print issue, readers will get a glimpse of The Great Return March, which began earlier this year on the border of Gaza and Historic Palestine; you will get to know Belal Muhammad, a Palestinian and one of the most talented martial artists in the UFC; and you’ll get a look into the first Palestinian museum in the U.S., plus much more.
Stories like these are just a few examples of the diaspora’s resistance to the occupation. By picking up this magazine, becoming a subscriber, attending Palipalooza or donating to our organization, you help Palestine in America complete its mission.
Here’s to another successful year of reporting and organizing for Palestine and the Right of Return.