If four Israeli children, ranging from one year old to six years old, were killed by a Palestinian bombing, it would likely make the front page of most major US newspapers. But four Palestinian children, killed in their home by an Israeli tank shell on April 28th, will probably not even make the back pages of the paper, let alone the front. Why is this? Are their lives any less valuable? Are the 986 Palestinian children who have been killed since 2000 any less important than the 119 Israeli children who have been killed in that same time period? It seems that the editors of the major US papers think so — according to a study by If Americans Knew, the major media in the US reported on 100% of Israeli children's deaths, and just 18% of Palestinian children's deaths in the time period studied.
It is up to the media to provide a fair and accurate account of the conflict, and by failing to report on Palestinian deaths, the paper is contributing to a false narrative of the conflict in which the daily death toll of Palestinian civilians goes relatively unreported (as does the imprisonment of the Palestinian people into enclaves, the illegal takeover of Palestinian land, home demolitions, and all the other daily injustices resulting from the Israeli military occupation), while the infrequent bombings of Israeli civilians become huge media events – and often, front page news.
So I urge you to please report on the deaths of Ahmed Abu Moatiq, 1 year old, Hanna Abu Moatiq, 3, Saleh Abu Moatiq, 4, and Rodaina Abu Moatiq , 6, who were killed early Monday morning, April 28, when an invading Israeli tank shelled their home in the village of Izbit Abed-Rabo, near Beit Hanoun. Their mother was critically injured, and died later that morning in the hospital. Imagine if she had lived! Can you imagine, just for a moment, being in her place and losing all your small children to a shell fired at your home? Can you imagine being imprisoned inside the Gaza Strip, with no way in or out, with no commerce, no employment, no industry, everything ground to a halt, and even emergency food aid unable to get past the Israeli guards?
It is a crime against humanity – and the US media furthers this crime by allowing it to go unreported. People in the US were flabbergasted at images of Gazans breaking through the border fence – they didn't understand what was being portrayed – they weren't sure who was imprisoning whom, even! This is the enforced ignorance that the US media pushes on the people of the US when by refusing to do your job and report all sides of the story. By reporting so unevenly, for so many years, your US audience remains in the dark on the origins and basic facts of this conflict. Now is the time to come clean, to live up to the high standards of your profession and begin reporting ethically and honestly about the Israeli occupation. Because if you continue along the same path, you will no longer be worthy of being called journalists. You will be mere apologists for the Israeli occupiers – as your headlines and news articles have shown you to be, for far too many years.