What mainstream media coverage of Gaza violence is leaving out. Again.


Over the past few days, the story that’s been told in mainstream media about Israel’s latest bombing campaign in Gaza has followed a familiar pattern: Palestinians started firing rockets at Israel, and Israel exercised its right to defend itself by retaliating with airstrikes.

But as Yousef Munayyer of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights observes in the clip above from our 2016 film The Occupation of the American Mind, this longstanding storyline leaves out the brutal conditions and aggressive Israeli military actions that Palestinians have been enduring for decades.

This headline in the New York Times from a few days ago shows exactly how this works. As Munayyer notes in a tweet, the headline completely ignores the fact that Israel shot dozens of unarmed Palestinian protestors in Gaza and killed 4 Palestinians before any rockets were launched.


Even more striking has been the way mainstream media reports over the past week have completely ignored the brutal Israeli siege and blockade that Palestinians have endured for over a decade, leading the UN to conclude recently that Gaza could become virtually uninhabitable by 2020. As Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour has noted in multiple tweets over the past week, when you leave basic facts like these out of the timeline it erases crucial context and dehumanizes the Palestinian people …


But despite these attempts to bring context to what’s going on – and despite the fact that Israel has now killed 27 Palestinians, compared to four Israelis killed – reporting and commentary in mainstream media have perpetuated the longstanding dominant narrative that Israel is the victim and is simply defending itself from Palestinian aggression.

From the right, we’ve gotten headlines like this one from the Drudge Report …


And tweets like these from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and President Donald Trump …


And from liberal media outlets and Democratic politicians like House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), it’s been much the same …


If you’re interested in taking a deeper look at how U.S. media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has shaped American perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the decades, we urge you to check out our film The Occupation of the American Mind. We also recommend our film Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land.