A. Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: WHY IS THE WEST SO UNCONCERNED ABOUT THE SUFFERING OF THE PALESTINIANS?
A: First off, this is as much a statement as it is a question, so we must check to see if the West really is unconcerned about the suffering of the Palestinians and if so, how unconcerned it is.
However, we all know that the current US president has done everything in his power to please Israel, such as moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and authorizing the Israeli claim to the Syrian Golan Heights. Yet we also know that he has never once criticised the brutality of the IDF against the Palestinians. As for the people of America and its allies, we hear very little complaint from them about the atrocities committed by Israel in the W. Bank and Gaza and the illegal settlements by Israelis in these occupied regions, where water sources are stolen from the Arabs for exclusive use by the settlers.
To cut through to the heart of the matter, we need only look at the number of Palestinians killed every year, remembering that the US is the most influential country in Israel yet does nothing to change the situation. A headline of a publication of B'Tselem (Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights) reads, “Israeli security forces killed 290 Palestinians in 2018; most were victims of a reckless open-fire policy.” It is significant that this organization is Israeli and not Palestinian.
The site www.ifamericansknew.org says: “American news reports repeatedly describe Israeli military attacks against the Palestinian population as ‘retaliation.’ However, when one looks into the chronology of death in this conflict, the reality turns out to be quite different.” A chart from that site [I was able to import it to Quora but not to this site] clearly shows that the Palestinians are getting the worst of it in the conflict.
We see from this chart that:
1—The Palestinians are dying at a very high rate about 10 times as high as Israelis.
2—American media have been buying into the extremely biased reports from Israel painting the Palestinians as the culprits responsible for all the deaths.
If you doubt item #2 above, have a look at this from Middle East Monitor https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190130-fifty-years-of-us-media-study-reveals-massive-anti-palestinian-bias/
Fifty-years of US media study reveals massive anti-Palestinian bias
January 30, 2019 at 11:45 am | Published in: Article, Asia & Americas, Israel, Middle East, Opinion, Palestine, US
Ray Hanania January 30, 2019 at 11:45 am
Confirming what most of us have always known — and what Israel spends a fortune on trying to conceal — 416 Labs has confirmed that the mainstream news media in America is biased in favour of Israel and against Palestinians. The 416 Labs study covers an exhaustive period of 50 years, from the aftermath of the June 1967 Six Day War and the start of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“Our results support previous research and claims that the US mainstream media’s coverage of the issue favours Israel by providing greater access to Israeli officials, focusing on Israeli narratives both in terms of the quantity of coverage as well as the overall sentiment, as conveyed by headlines,” say the 416 Labs team.
The study concludes that the failure to achieve peace is a direct result of both media bias that protects Israel from most if not all blame for almost anything and everything, regardless of how serious, as well as Washington’s unwavering and unconditional support for the Israeli government.
“A key factor in prolonging the conflict has been the United States’ unconditional support for successive Israeli governments; which has helped entrench Israel’s illegal presence in the Palestinian territories. Augmenting this has been the US mainstream media, which critics argue has maintained a slanted view of the occupation, one that favours the Israeli narrative over those of Palestinians.”
In other words, no matter what crimes Israel commits — including murder, human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity — the media will spin the propaganda to erase Israel’s culpability while exaggerating Palestinian shortcomings.
In a country like America where most people get their “education” about current Middle East events and Arab history from the TV and newspapers, the media’s biases are embraced almost without question. For Americans, the pro-Israel lie is spun into the truth while the pro-Palestinian truth becomes the lie.
And therein lies the problem. When the American people are brainwashed into believing Israeli lies by never-ending pro-Israel propaganda, it has a direct impact on politicians who find it even easier to whitewash Israel’s war crimes and introduce legislation that violates the Constitutional pillars of US democracy.
This week, for example, the US Senate’s first item on the agenda is not legislation intended to tackle some of the most important issues facing the people of America, such as hunger and homelessness, murder and crime, the economy and healthcare. Far from it. The first issue that legislators will address is a law to punish any American citizen who exercises their right to free speech enshrined in the US Constitution and supports a boycott of Israel. Adopting Senate Bill 1 in the 116th Congress essentially violates the First Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees that every American has the right of “free speech” to express their opinions without intimidation, bullying or demonisation.
If there is any confusion about what that Amendment States, here it is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“Abridging the freedom of speech” in this case means making it illegal for someone to oppose Israel’s violations of human rights, theft of land and building of Jewish-only settlements on occupied territory; and preventing citizens from boycotting any goods that are produced by companies which benefit from such activities which are specifically deemed illegal under international law.
The anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) legislation is expected to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate and then go to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives where, once passed, any American who criticises Israel and boycotts the state and its products faces prosecution and severe penalties.
Media brainwashing almost always follows the Israeli narrative in its reporting and has thus contributed to this state of affairs coming into being. As a result, it becomes easier for Israel to push its version of events, making itself look good, while discrediting the Palestinians. One example of this is the steady replacement of the word “occupied” with “disputed” territory when referring to the West Bank and Jerusalem.
As well as introducing draconian laws like the anti-BDS legislation, the US Congress also votes through billions of dollars of military aid to Israel every year. While American citizens are homeless and hungry, their government pays Israel at least $3 billion every year; that’s $8 million a day. It’s astonishing.
How does the media respond to this? It hides its coverage of Israel-Palestine behind its more objective professional coverage of other topics. The mainstream US media may be outrageously biased in its coverage of Israeli and Palestinian issues, but that news probably only represents around 5 per cent of the total output, which is overshadowed by the 95 per cent. That’s how the media maintains its own image as a fair, principled and accurate profession.
The 416 Labs study is shocking, but should come as no great surprise. Nevertheless, its conclusions are a sad indictment of the state of the mainstream US news media.
But there is another factor in this bias that may be even stronger than the media bias and that is, the Evangelical church that teaches that Israel is anointed by God, suggesting that everything its leaders do, ie, all their policies, including those that harm Arabs in the occupied lands, are just and righteous.
These fundamentalists think of themselves as “Christian” Zionists, but the problem with this descriptor is that it suggests very strongly that Jesus would approve of their belief that the secular state of Israel, where, according to Jerusalem Post (https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Gallup-Israel-one-of-least-religious-countries-398823), 65% of Israelis state in a WIN/Gallup poll that they do not have any religious beliefs at all (!), is key in the Second Coming. These US religious Zionists base their belief largely on the dry bones prophesy in Ezekiel 37, but verse 24 of that chapter clearly states that this resurrected Israel would be obedient to God’s decrees. Yet if over half of them have no serious belief in the God of Abraham, then “Christian” Zionism seems to rest on shaky grounds.
For the record’s sake, Jesus only made one prophetic remark regarding the link between his Second Coming and Israel, and the message was given in front of the Jerusalem temple: Mat 23:39 ...Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Mat 23:39
The most influential “Christian” Zionist pastors never mention this verse. It doesn’t fit in with their doctrine. Thus it is hard to understand why they call themselves Christian Zionists and not just simply Zionists. But it is in fact this confusion that makes US anti-Palestine policies so successful.
Finally, a very important component of US-Israeli propaganda is the narrative that all the violence is due to Islamic beliefs. The Israeli propagandists openly and repeatedly smear Islam for causing violence but yet, Israel is supported wholeheartedly by the Saudis, whose brand of Islam – Sunni Wahhabism – is the ideology of ISIS and al-Qaeda, groups that receive most of their funding from Israel-friendly Saudi Arabia. It is more than odd that ISIS has almost never struck at Israel and on one occasion when it inflicted harm to the Israeli forces, its representative immediately apologized! Yet Israel and its US partner insist that Hezbollah and Iran, which fight real terrorism in Syria and Iraq, are “terrorists.” In fact, Trump repeatedly said “Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terror in the world.”
No wonder Palestine gets little support from Westerners and mostly just smears, pain and death from the Western powers that be.