Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 2012-11-19
As the attacks by Apartheid Israel intensify, the question being asked is why is there a lack off or minimal media coverage of the massacre of the people of Gaza? In all, 84 Palestinians half of them civilians, have been killed in the five-day onslaught and 720 have been wounded.
The minimal coverage offered to the crisis by talk radio, current affairs on television and general mainstream media including newspapers is very disconcerting. Is the murdering of innocent women and children by a state that blatantly flogs international law not worthy of front page news or being the top story on radio and television?
Though South Africa is at the forefront of interactive media, the silence of these media houses is deafening; their reluctance to provide adequate coverage of gross human rights violations is deplorable. They are effectively sidelining an issue which concerns civil society. The media houses must broadcast these atrocities so that civil society becomes aware of the flogging of international law, and boycott Apartheid Israel until it stops its war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At a press briefing in Johannesburg on the 15th November 2012, Tahir Sema a spokesperson for SAMWU requested the media continue to afford coverage to Palestinian issues. “They are important issues because they are amongst the last remaining sights of struggle. And Palestine is amongst the last remaining place that’s experiencing blatant apartheid. So it is important that South African media and journalists continue covering the Palestinian course,” added Sema.
Sema reiterated that as South Africa builds a mass democratic movement, the international community is now looking on South Africa to take the leading role in the liberation of the Palestinian people. “We are meeting with Palestinians on a daily basis and sharing our experiences in defeating and overcoming Apartheid in South Africa with them so that they can do the same," said Sema.
Noam Chomsky, an American Philosopher, said, “Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the worlds largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subjected to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.
South Africans are beginning to question the stance by political parties about the War on Gaza not to mention the media. So far there has been no condemnation by any political party of the massacre of innocent women and children by Apartheid Israel.
In the New Age newspaper (Monday, 19th November) there were two pictures of the war in Gaza on the front page and the article on page 21 of the Insight section.
The Citizen (19th November 2012) and The Times (19th November 2012) were none the better. The articles on Gaza were relegated to page 10 of both newspapers. The Star (19th November 2012) plastered a picture of slain rhinos on its front page and discarded the story of Gaza to page 4.
Other publications did not feature Gaza at all. Is human life and gross human rights violations so insignificant that it only gets mentioned in the latter parts of newspapers or is it just biased reporting?
So ask yourself the question. Had a massacre taken place in the US or Britain, would the story and pictures be relegated to the latter pages of the newspaper?