War against media | By Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din

The writer is an award-winning journalist, TV anchor, and social media influencer.

War against media

GIVE us ten minutes, the owner of Al Jalaa pleaded to the Israeli Intelligence, only to be met with a cold shoulder and a decimated building.

Just like similar attacks before, Israel claimed that the building housed military interest for Hamas, but providing no evidence to back its claims, this was nothing but a cock and bull story concocted just to find another excuse to disrupt media coverage in Gaza.

The airstrike was just a deliberate attack on press freedom as the building housed offices of AP news and Al-Jazeera.

One must think that such an attack must have been met with criticism but what followed it, was the height of hypocrisy shown by the so-called champions of freedom as no one voiced their denouncement against the unjust attack.

Attacking media buildings has somewhat become a norm for Israeli forces as this was not the first time but the third time media organizations were targeted in Palestine. Such attacks have been the centerpiece for Israel in the Gaza strip.

What is appalling and frustrating, is the response of many international organizations and countries, most notably the United States.

The US has been a firm ally of Israel and has let it have its way by running amok against Palestine.

Uncle Sam has turned a blinds eye over what is happening in Gaza by a blatant objection to a public statement by the Security Council on the atrocious war crimes Israel has been carrying against the Palestinians. The US government worries that this could debilitate diplomatic ties between the US and Israel.

The height of hypocrisy was further highlighted when Biden announced that he supports a ceasefire, but Israel has the ‘right to defend’, indirectly giving free hand to Israel to whatever they feel like.

Moreover, Israel is also claiming that it had evidence that supported the bombing but that evidence was just forwarded to the United States.

If there was such evidence, then why wasn’t it shared openly and only with its biggest ally? The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken provided no further information when asked about what “information” or “evidence” Israel had provided that justified the bombings.

On the other hand, Israel often declares itself as being the only real democracy in the Middle East, which guarantees freedom of expression, including press freedom, as part of its constitution.

However, this is meaningless if it only includes the press within Israel’s formal borders. This is the height of hypocrisy seen both by the United States and Israel.

Such an airstrike — coming a day after the Israeli Army incorrectly told international media that ground troops had entered Gaza — makes us question Israel’s integrity when it comes to interfering with independent reporting on the conflict.

Israel’s actions and their blatant lies have led us to believe that the country did not only announce war against the Palestinians but also has declared a war against media and journalism.

The US officials took notice of the airstrike but instead of reprimanding Israel or condemning them, the White House continued to maintain a lenient attitude towards Israel when tackling the safety of journalism.
This shows clearly the biased support the US has for Israel.

Journalists, unless they are war correspondents, are actually protected by the law and according to the Geneva Convention they are considered civilians, thus the Israel Defence Force bombing the tower is actually a direct violation of international law and human rights and such an incident should not be swept under the rug like how the US is trying to do.

The US truly is acting like that parent who overlooks every wrongdoing their child does.

Media Watchdogs reporters without borders, also coined the attack as a “war crime” and going as much as to say that Israel should be reprimanded and the case of this bombing should be taken to International Court of Justice Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to “include Israeli airstrikes on more than 20 media outlets in the Gaza Strip in her investigation.”

Such direct attacks on media organizations as a whole are not often seen, even by terrorists.

Individual attacks on journalists are one thing but a full-out attack against a whole media agency is something that no other terrorist organization has ever done. This just comes to show that the IDF is even worse than a band of terrorists.

This, therefore, shapes our general definition of a terrorist as those “aggressors” that are not supported by the United States.

Therefore, any organization or country supported by the self-proclaimed champion of democracy, can’t be considered as a terrorist since that would affect the White House’s behind the scene diplomacy.

Even if we delve into history books, such a full-blown attack against not one but two international media organizations is unprecedented.

We all know how Pakistan was met with international criticism when Daniel Pearl was murdered, especially by the US. Then why suddenly did the US government not openly criticize the attack on Al Jalaa? There is only one reason and that is a conflict of interest.

The US deems any unlawful activity lawful when their interests coincide with the aggressors and offenders in question.

According to China, the United Nations had been slowed down due to the US when making decisions concerning Palestine.

Therefore, world leaders should take a unanimous decision as one body when tackling Israel and the US.

— The writer is an award-winning journalist, TV anchor, and social media influencer.

Twitter: ShahabSpeaks

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