Media elites slam news coverage of Palestine issue

Western and Arab media organs criticized biased coverage of the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

Media elites slam news coverage of Palestine issue

World Bulletin / News Desk

Media elites from the Arab and Western world have criticized media coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, accusing it of being biased in favor of Israel.

Speaking at the Palestine International Forum for Media and Communication in Istanbul, Dawood Abdullah, the director of a news website, London-based Middle East Monitor, said there is a huge gap in Western media between what we would like to see and what really exists.

"The BBC recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is in conflict with international law. They explain that Jerusalem is the de facto capital of Israel and the BBC has no choice but accept it. This example clearly shows that they are on the side of power, not truth," he said.

The conference is a coordinating group connecting various media organizations which support the rights of Palestinians.

Approximately 400 local and foreign participants - mainly from media, academia and politics - will discuss how the latest technology and media applications can influence public opinion in the Arab and Western world regarding the Palestinian cause.

Islamophobia connection

Explaining that French media had a different approach toward the Palestinian cause in the 1970s, Alain Gresh, Editor of Le Monde Diplomatique and a specialist on the Middle East, said this approach had changed in favor of Israel.

"There is a connection between Islamophobia and the Western media approach towards the Palestinian cause. To change that we first need to take on the Islamophobia," said Gresh.

Egyptian columnist and writer, Fahmi Huwaydi, said there had been changes in the Arab world in the sense of media and voicing expectations of the world and themselves.

"After the Arab Revolution, the vision that we see in Middle Eastern countries is that the Palestinian cause has been dropped out of the agenda of Arabic society. However, it remains in the mind and heart of each and every Arabic family," said Huwaydi.

Since the founding of Israel on Palestinian land in 1948, millions of Palestinians have found themselves in exile, mostly in neighboring countries.

Under siege

About 1.8 million Palestinians live in Gaza under siege by Israel.

Nearly 70 percent of them are refugees who live in five camps set up by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

As their numbers increased, many moved to the cities of the five provinces, while the camps still house hundreds of thousands of people.

Arguing that Arab media gets weaker in Palestine, Muhammad al Musfer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Qatar, said there had been a lack of coverage on mutual meetings between Hamas and Fatah and Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2006 and 2009.

"Palestine is responsible for media itself. Arabic media should give enough support for Palestine channels," he added.

Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2014, 10:49
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