This Is What Happens When You Denounce Pro-Israel Bias Live On Mainstream Media 

MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal broke the unspoken rule of mainstream media punditry this week, and denounced the bias towards Israel that is endemic in western media.  She appears to have been blacklisted for her efforts.

Speaking on Ronan Farrow’s show, she accused MSNBC of covering the Israeli perspective far more than the Palestinian side.

“We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” said Jebreal, an Italian-Palestinian journalist with dual Italian and Israeli citizenship. “Look how [much] air time Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis — Andrea Mitchell and others. I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues —”
“I’m going to push back a little on that,” Farrow interjected. “We’ve had Palestinian voices on our air.”

“Maybe for 30 seconds, and then you have twenty-five minutes for Bibi Netanyahu, and half an hour for Naftali Bennett,” Jebreal countered, referring to Israel’s prime minister and minister of the economy, respectively.

Jebreal has a point, and is not the only voice piping up on this issue.

Much of the coverage in the West places the onus for peace on the Palestinian side.  This is done with questions like: What is being done within Palestine to stop Hamas firing rockets into Israel? While failing to mention the 8 years Gaza has been under siege by Israel.

As Mohammed Elmasry writes for Middle East Eye, if they really wanted to change the narrative, they could ask questions like:

“why – according to the world’s leading academic experts – Israel consistently blocks legitimate peace initiatives, leads the world in United Nations resolutions violations, and has broken all of the recent ceasefire agreements with Hamas, including in the most recent episode of violence. Or inquire about how Israel has created apartheid-like conditions as part of its 47-year illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and, in so doing, has pursued a policy of collective punishment on defenseless Palestinians”

But those questions remain unasked.  Because of this, the impression left with unwitting viewers is one of an intractable situation in which Israel has few choices, all of them unpalatable – as if in some kind of battle for survival against a determined and equal foe. This is quite different from the reality of one of the world’s most powerful militaries maintaining an illegal and brutal occupation over millions of civilians.

So, what happened when Jebreal called out this failure? She started getting cancellations.


Days earlier, CNN reporter Diane Magnay was pulled from the country for tweeting her disgust at threats of violence she received by Israelis watching the assault on Gaza from a hill and cheering as the bombs dropped.  Her tweet and the coverage is below.

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Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow.

Meanwhile, Israel is bombarding – from land, air and sea – a densely populated urban area in which 1.8m are trapped behind Israeli-built security walls.  Palestinian deaths have soared to nearly 600 in a week, and with over 3,000 injured.  Israel has obliterated hospitals, homes, a treatment center for disabled people, even ambulances making their way to the injured and dying- and snipers have been killing Palestinian civilians as they search the rubble for their relatives.

This morning, Israel killed 28 members of the same family in air strikes.

But you’ll be hard pressed to find a mainstream US commentator decrying this massacre.

It looks like you can say a whole lot on US mainstream media – you can endorse the rape of women in the military, you can throwracist insults at the President, you can even rant against gay and lesbian citizens and compare them to child rapists – but what you cannot do, as a mainstream media pundit, is point to Israeli bias in news reporting and expect the chance to do it again.

“Al-Wafa Hospital, the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza and the West Bank, was shelled by Israel on Thursday. At the time of the attack, the hospital was filled with patients who were paralyzed, unconscious and unable to move. We speak with the hospital’s executive director, Basman Alashi, who says the hospital received a warning call ahead of the assault. “I don’t understand why they hit us,” Alashi says. “We’ve been in this place since 1996, we are known to the Israeli government.””

Israel Bombs Gaza’s Only Rehab Hospital: Staff Forced to Evacuate Paralyzed Patients After Shelling

War is a disability issue. Occupation is a disability issue. Militarization is a disability issue. Imperialism is a disability issue.

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Giuseppe Penone,TRA…, 2008 

Giuseppe Penone,TRA…, 2008 


Israel strike on Gaza school kills 15, 200 wounded
July 25, 2014

International scrutiny of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip intensified on Thursday when more than 15 Palestinians were killed and 200 injured in a strike on a UN school in northern Gaza crowded with hundreds of displaced civilians.

Most of the injured were women and children. Among the dead was a mother and her one-year-old baby. UN staff had been attempting to organise the school’s evacuation when the attack took place.

Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the UN, condemned the attack, which came hours after the agency had warned that Israel’s actions in the Palestinian enclave could constitute war crimes. “Today’s attack underscores the imperative for the killing to stop and to stop now,” Ban said.

The Israeli military first claimed, in a text sent to journalists, that the school could have been hit by Hamas missiles that fell short. Later, a series of tweets from the Israel Defence Forces appeared to confirm the deaths were the result of an Israeli strike.

"Today Hamas continued firing from Beit Hanoun. The IDF responded by targeting the source of the fire."

"Last night, we told Red Cross to evacuate civilians from UNRWA’s shelter in Beit Hanoun btw 10am & 2pm. UNRWA & Red Cross got the message. Hamas prevented civilians from evacuating the area during the window that we gave them."

Chris Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works agency said there had earlier been “firing around the compound” and his organisation had asked the Israeli army for time to evacuate civilians. “We spent much of the day trying to negotiate or to coordinate a window so that civilians, including our staff, could leave. That was never granted … and the consequences of that appear to be tragic.” Gunness said the Israeli military were supplied with coordinates of UN schools where those displaced were sheltering. UN sources told the Guardian a call was placed to the Israeli military at 10.55am requesting permission to evacuate but their call was not returned.

The deaths in Beit Hanoun raised the overall Palestinian death toll in the conflict that began on 8 July to at least 751. Israel has lost 32 soldiers – all since 17 July, when it widened its air campaign into a full-scale ground operation – and three civilians.

Hours after the attack, a trail of bloody footprints could be seen crossing a deserted playground littered with abandoned possessions. There were pools of blood both inside and outside the school building; more blood splashed over wooden school desks.

The Israeli military, which said it was “reviewing the incident”, claimed the incident had occurred during “heavy combat” in the area and accused “terrorists” of “using civilian infrastructure and international symbols as human shields”.

Although missiles belonging to Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups in Gaza do sometimes fall short, there was no visible evidence of debris from broken Palestinian rockets in the school. The injuries and the number of fatalities were consistent with a powerful explosion that sent shrapnel tearing through the air, in some cases causing traumatic amputations.

The surrounding neighbourhood bore evidence of multiple Israeli attacks, including smoke from numerous artillery rounds and air strikes. One building was entirely engulfed by flames.

Thursday’s assault on the school – one of the grimmest incidents of the war – occurred at about 2.50pm as the playground was crowded with families waiting to be ferried to safety. According to survivors, one shell landed in the schoolyard followed by several more rounds that hit the upper stories of the building.

Most of the wounded were moved initially to a local hospital where terrified women and children clung to each other, waiting for news of relatives. A shell exploded about 50 metres from the hospital building as they waited.

Nour Hamid, 17, was hoping for news of her sister. As she attempted to comfort her terrified nephew, she said: “We were packing up to leave when the attack happened. We were standing outside when they started hitting us, some of the women holding their babies. My sister-in-law was one of the injured. There were bodies everywhere, most of them women and children.”

Laila al-Shinbari told Reuters: “All of us sat in one place when suddenly four shells landed on our heads … Bodies were on the ground, [there was] blood and screams. My son is dead and all my relatives are wounded including my other kids.”

Sabah Kafarna, 35, had also been sheltering at the school. “At about 11.30 someone from the municipality came to tell us that we were going to be moved because it was too dangerous. But the buses didn’t come. That’s why [there were] so many people all outside when the shells landed,” she said. “The shells came one after the other. I was inside by the windows when they smashed.”

Full article

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The presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia have decried the IDF’s incursion into Gaza as genocide and called for the UN to condemn Israel. President Nicolas Maduro likened the latest operation, which has claimed over 350 lives, to an “extermination.”

Israel launches ground incursion in Gaza Strip LIVE UPDATES

Venezuela called for an emergency session of the UN’s Human Rights Council to address Israel’s ongoing military incursion in Gaza, on Saturday. The South American nation’s government reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and warned the Israel had “initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys.” 

“President Nicolas Maduro has instructed the Ambassador to the UN Jorge Valera to call for an emergency session of the Human Rights Council,” said an official statement on Saturday, adding the UN should address the “systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Palestinian population in Gaza by the State of Israel and adopt the necessary measures to halt those violations.” 

Venezuela has been a staunch supporter of Palestinian statehood, with the previous president, the late Hugo Chavez, severing relations with Israel after he compared its 2009 military incursion into Gaza to the Holocaust.

An Israeli artillery fires a 155mm shell towards targets in the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel's border with the Strip on July 20, 2014.(AFP Photo / Jack Guez )

An Israeli artillery fires a 155mm shell towards targets in the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel’s border with the Strip on July 20, 2014.

“Venezuela also rejects the cynical campaigns trying to condemn both parties equally, when it is clear you cannot morally compare occupied and massacred Palestine with the occupying state, Israel, which also possesses military superiority and acts on the margins of international law.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales joined with the Venezuelan leader in condemnation of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. During a visit to Brazil, the Andean leader said it was high time something was done “to end the genocide that Israel is carrying out on Palestine.” 

“There is no UN High Commission on Human Rights, there is no Human Rights Council. When an empire attacks a country with a view to dominating it, unfortunately there is no one who can defend the people,”said Morales in a statement.

Israel has ‘surpassed Hitler in barbarism’

Turkish Prime Minister also rounded on Israel for its Gaza offensive on Saturday, alleging the Jewish state had “surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” 

"[Israelis] have no conscience, no honor, no pride. Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism," Erdogan told supporters at a political rally in the Black Sea city of Ordu. 

He accused the US government of taking a “disproportionate” approach to the conflict and said the Muslim world had not reacted strongly enough to the offensive. Israel has discouraged its citizens from traveling to Turkey, citing the current public mood and the underlying cause. 

Israel’s military Operation Protective Edge has entered its twelth day on Sunday, with a death toll of over350 people, according to UN estimates.


The Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement is a peaceful, civil disobedience initiative started by Palestinian civil society in 2005, in response to a paralyzed peace process and continued Israeli violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories…