The mainstream media tiptoe around Israel, even when it shoots their own journalists

Image of glasses on top of a newspaper
John McEvoy

On 19 November, the Israeli military allegedly shot Associated Press journalist Rashed Rashid and wounded a further 24 Palestinians in Gaza.

Although the Israeli military frequently shoots civilians near the Israeli-Palestinian border, the sentence above is rare within the mainstream media. Because all too often in mainstream coverage, victims of Israeli aggression mysteriously ‘get shot’ or ‘die’ – with no mention of the perpetrator. And even after Israel shot an Associated Press journalist, the Associated Press is now doing the same thing.

Rashed Rashid

Rashid’s colleagues said that the gunfire came from the Israeli side of the border.

When the Israeli military opened fire, the 47-year-old was reportedly 600 metres from the Israeli-Palestine border in northern Gaza. He was also “wearing a blue helmet and brown protective vest with the word ‘PRESS’ written in white”.

Israeli forces have killed and wounded numerous Palestinian journalists wearing vests marked as ‘PRESS’ in the current wave of protests.

Proposed new laws in Israel “limiting media coverage of events in public spaces”, meanwhile, cast the event in an even darker light.

Those who ‘got shot’

This is the reality of reporting on Israel; victims of Israeli aggression ‘get shot’. The mainstream media rarely mentions who did the shooting, and the perpetrator thus escapes blame.

The latest example of the media’s misrepresentation of the conflict came from the Guardian. On 12 November, it reported: “Israeli officer killed during Gaza raid in which seven Palestinians died”. Before the deletion of the post, readers pointed out what should have already been glaringly obvious. The Palestinians did not simply ‘die’; Israeli forces killed them during a raid within the latter’s own territory.

The Associated Press

And now, the Associated Press has failed to tell its readers who shot its own journalist.

Though accounts strongly suggest that the Israeli military shot Rashid, the Associated Press reported that:

an Associated Press cameraman has been shot and wounded while covering a demonstration in the Gaza Strip.

Many confronted this all-too-familiar linguistic misrepresentation of cause and effect. Journalist Ben Norton, for example, tweeted:

To understand and deal with reality, we need to be direct with our language. That means saying very clearly: the Israeli military frequently shoots and murders journalists and civilians. Anything else just pushes us further away from peace and justice.

Featured image via pxhere

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