On Jan. 28, Israeli occupation forces killed eight (some reports said 13) Palestinians in an assault on a neighborhood in the Gaza Strip. Among those killed were three teenagers: Sami Badawi, 16; Akram AbuAjami, 17; and Sameh Toteh, 16. Like many other such assaults, the mainstream media in the United States ignored this event or made cursory mention of it. No mainstream newspaper mentioned names of those killed, let alone described the Israeli assault as terrorism.
The next day, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 10 Israelis. These and other attacks inside Israel have been described in detail in major newspapers. The media have never shied from allowing the use of such labels as “terrorism” in those instances.
The net result is that Israeli lives and deaths become valued while Palestinian lives and deaths are diminished or erased from our conscience. According to human rights organizations, four times more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli forces as Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian forces. These same organizations (including Amnesty International, B’tselem, and Human Rights Watch) have clearly showed in past reports that Israeli forces do target civilians. State-sponsored terror is an organic part of colonization of native lands. The Israeli colonization program, over five decades, has left 5 million Palestinians as refugees or displaced people and cornered those remaining into ghettos surrounded by high walls and watchtowers.
There are individual acts of Palestinian terrorism, but the news media do not report on the more systematic Israeli terrorism or the reasons for all this violence. More than 530 Palestinian towns and villages have been erased completely in the last 60 years. Residents have been driven out by careful use of massacres (33 between 1947 and 1949 and dozens more since then), intimidation, deprivation, land confiscation and outright expulsions…