A quite unambiguous expression of mainstream western media with their denial and effacement regarding the question of Palestine can be seen in the recent talk between Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and CNN Correspondent Bianna Golodryga during his diplomatic visit to the US.
The minister’s claim about Israel’s investment in winning the support of western media (‘deep pockets’ as he termed it) was viewed, rather distastefully, by the woman journalist. However, despite her professional claims of objectivity or at least feigning objectivity, Bianna could not resist cautioning the minister to use “Anti-Semitic tropes” against Israel.
Read more: An open letter to CNN’s Bianna Golodryga
In saying this, she implicitly tried to cover the unbridled force and violence by Israeli troops against Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank. Interestingly, Bianna’s indignation coincided with the New York Times’ display of a Jewish Rabbi’s note of warning about “Hamas calls for a second Holocaust” to three American supermodels – Hadid sisters and Dua Lipa when they expressed their solidarity with the bereaved Palestinians subjected to Israeli aggression last week.
Paradoxically, such expressions of conflation and effacement in different pockets of western media run counter to the so-called claims of objectivity and freedom as fetishized by the west. It also underpins the valid argument by many Anti-Zionist voices of how the fraught rhetoric of holocaust and Anti-Semitism has the effect of presenting Jews in their perpetual victimhood (Finkelstein, Pappe, Chomsky).
Read more: Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitism?
This once-victim-always-the-victim image of the children of Israel – a bunch of hapless homeless people inflicted with misery and abuse – eclipse the empirical evidence of Israel being guilty of blatant acts of aggression and genocide against unarmed people including women and children in present-day Palestine.
Even the sight of a demolished house or hospital showing a lone Palestinian child cursing and crying for help is viewed as Anti-Semitic, has the effect of ignoring the hideous Israeli policy by simultaneously portraying the Jewish settlers in and outside Gaza as equally (and sometimes greatly) suffering than the Palestinians living there for centuries.
Read more: Children of war: Where is Israel’s morality?
The irony is further heightened when such skewed images on western media represent the Jewish longing and belonging to Al-Quds in an attempt to give legitimacy to Israel’s absolute control and uncontested domination over a land that is sacred to other divine religions too – including Muslims and Christians.
Even an expression that suggestively reverses (or dares to reverse) this hardline Zionist view of history is regarded as heretical and subjected to silence or intimidation by orthodox Zionists in and outside the west. See for instance their response to films/documentaries like Arna’s Children (2004), or With God on Our Side (2009), etc.
The unqualified notion of Anti-Semitism
In contrast, the silence and complicity of the western world, especially its corporate/media elite to their much ado about the holocaust and Anti-Semitic slur, sufficiently illustrates what Norma Finkelstein argues when she says “to make moral distinction between “our” sufferings and “theirs” is itself a moral travesty”, hence to repeat Jewish mantra of Holocaust with its angst and sufferings for the Jews (ONLY) has in fact another way to justify the criminal policy and atrocious practices of Israel.
Consequently, any voice that speaks against this blatant act of aggression and violence is dubbed as anti-Semitic thwarting the possibility of judging such claims on the basis of historical scrutiny and rational analysis.
The ultra-radical claims of postmodernism with its relativism have further strengthened such unqualified notion of Anti-Semitism and its more unqualified acceptance by the western media as it fails to debunk the fundamental myths that exist in the subject regarding the Jewish question in Palestine.
The recent conflict in Gaza where the Zionist regime has unleashed all sorts of violence without any legitimate pretext resonates what the Left-wing British intellectual Eagleton has termed as living perpetually in a world of ‘oppressive boardrooms and abusive bedrooms’ until and unless a majority of people (in and outside media) become conscious of their moral and political responsibility to stand and speak for all wretched of the earth – including the Palestinians.
Read more: Why Israel is able to suppress Palestine
The author is an Assistant Professor of the Department of English at Government College University, Faisalabad. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.