Letter to the Editor: Arab Media Can Do Better

Dear editor:

I just briefly glance at CNN…Israelis have arrested 30 members of a democratically elected government whose only “violation” was to condone rocket attacks against a nation which daily raids their houses and territory with supersonic jet aircraft, guided bombs, unmanned aircraft and guided missiles.

In a running foot-note banner, the same CNN reports that Iran has ignored UN sanctions, and must be called to account. How about the UN sanctions against Israel , the hundreds of which are being ignored every time Israel launches another air-strike against these people or arrests their legally elected council?
“HYPOCRITES!” I say, loudly and with vehemence.

On another channel, Al Jazeera interviews a young bearded man, sitting in the living room of his home, field stripping and cleaning an automatic pistol. He says, “…we are vigilant. We are always alert and watching out.”

We shall be reading about this anonymous man’s demise soon; as soon as he is identified, and targeted by an F-16 and a 500-pound “smart bomb”. It will, no doubt, kill his wife, all of his children and a few of his neighbours too.

This is the way I see it. The reason for today’s Middle East crisis is the world’s reluctance to help Arabs, an attitude that has been ingrained by exposure to the Western media. Arab presence in the media world is so small that the ground reality in the region hardly ever comes through. Also, sadly, Arab regional papers more often than not function as publishers of global news agencies like AFP, Reuters, etc, which are distinctly inclined towards the West.

The Palestinian crisis is pictured with references to Israel toned down and Palestinians are being projected as no better than terrorists. Even the Palestinian government is seen demanding the release of one captured Israeli soldier—the concern being the release of hundreds of women and children rotting in Israeli jails. These issues go unnoticed.

It is imperative in the modern world to have a media voice that is free and fair and, one hopes, someone can assume a leadership position in this respect. If the Arabs and, especially the GCC, held together on issues and took a strong stand, be it media, Israel ,  Iraq or Iran , I believe a whole lot more would be accomplished.

Truly, they lack unity and, therefore, a single voice representing all conflicts. There are more than 11,000 Palestinians—men and women, young and old—languishing in Israel‘s jails. The UN, the West and the Muslim World have all turned a blind eye to the plight of these i Four decades of occupation
nnocent prisoners. Do you ever hear of them in the local Arab press either?

Thank you editors! Instead front page coverage is allotted to a few Western kids massacred by some lunatic in a school for days until AFP or Reuters decides to change the subject.

I am horrified that the Israelis have yet again been allowed to massacre Arab civilians with impunity. No amount of pressure from Arab countries will ever force Israel‘s hand.

I believe ‘the Arab Media’ can do a lot better to emphasize and expose the injustices committed against the Palestinian people.

Only world pressure can bring Israel to agree on a proper Palestinian state free from Israeli troops and settlements.

–Debbie Menon, Melbourne, Australia

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