Israel’s Defense or Offence? The US Role and the Media Bias in the Palestinian Conflict

The Israel-Palestine conflict is a multifaceted and long-lasting struggle that spans generations and borders. It encompasses a clash over land, identity, faith, security and justice, rooted in ancient history and shaping the present and future. The conflict has witnessed cycles of violence, wars, negotiations, peace efforts and failures, human suffering, and human rights violations. The core of the conflict is the Palestinian territory that Israel regards as its homeland and the status of Jerusalem, a holy city for Muslims, claimed by Israel. The conflict has also involved regional and international actors, such as the United States, Iran, the United Nations, and others, who have various interests and roles in the situation. The conflict remains unresolved and volatile, with periodic escalations and flare-ups that risk sparking a wider confrontation.

In this brief article, I aim to shed light on the alleged US support for what some perceive as Israel’s atrocities in Palestine. Additionally, I will discuss the role of Western media in shaping the narrative surrounding this conflict, particularly regarding the portrayal of Israeli actions in the region. If I were to summarize my article in a single line, it would be: “Israel asserts its rights amidst accusations of harming Palestinians, while the media is failed to present a comprehensive view of Israeli atrocities.”

According to USAID, from 2000 to 2020, the US provided Israel with $68.9 billion in total aid, of which $59.5 billion (86.4%) was for military assistance and $9.4 billion (13%.6) was for economic assistance. The military aid consisted of grants, loans, loan guarantees and missile defense funding. Israel is widely regarded as a regional military power with a large, sophisticated conventional and unconventional weapons arsenal. Israel is also widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, although it maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity and does not confirm or deny its nuclear status. Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity, which neither confirms nor denies its nuclear status, exposes its double standard. Israel is eager to receive sophisticated US weapons and develop its nukes but opposed to seeing other countries, especially Iran, pursue nuclear development.

Thus, some argued that the US aid has contributed to the region’s instability and remained silent about Israeli atrocities. The political game has been set up in such a way that even the Western media is hiding the true face of Israel’s atrocities in the region. Since 2020, more than 1,150 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in the context of illegal occupation and annexation. The US has not condemned such killings; even the United Nations and Human Rights organizations have remained silent or ineffective, and even the media is silent over some of the illegal activities of the Israelis. Case in point, The New York Times is more supportive and favorable towards the Israeli side, as it focuses on the security and military aspects of the conflict. It uses technical and neutral language to describe the Israeli occupation and presents it as a justified and necessary response to Palestinian reactions. It also highlights and exaggerates Israel’s threats and challenges, such as rocket attacks from Gaza and car-ramming incidents in Tel Aviv.

The Jerusalem Post (JP) uses positive and supportive language to describe the Israeli maneuver, such as “achieving goals,” “neutralizing target,” “dismantling weapons,” and “thwarting planned terror.” It also praises the IDF’s performance and professionalism; it emphasizes its intelligence and technological superiority. Meanwhile, JP uses hostile language to describe the Palestinian side, such as “terrorist,” “militant,” “fighter,” and combatant.” It also accuses and exaggerates them of hiding weapons in the mosque and launching rockets.

These media are hiding Israel’s war crimes in the region. However, some rules of war forbid killing people indiscriminately. For instance, war crimes are among the most serious offenses under international law, and they carry harsh punishments, such as imprisonment, fines, forfeiture of property, or death. War crimes also implicate individual criminal liability for anyone who commits, orders, assists or fails to prevent them, including political leaders and military commanders. This implies that intentionally killing, torturing or mistreating prisoners of war or civilians, taking hostages, committing genocide, ethnic cleansing, and attacking protected places such as schools, hospitals and religious sites are strictly prohibited in war. Yet Israel is openly doing these war crimes in Palestine, and the irony is that these are the same people who talk about war crimes and international laws while violating them themselves, and even other influential actors are silent over them.

Few local media outlets have tried to expose the real face of Israel’s alleged crimes in the region. They have reported Israeli air strikes that destroyed buildings housing media offices and civilians in Gaza and the Israeli police raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that injured hundreds of worshippers.

It is thanks to social media that the inhumane activities of the so-called IDF in the sacred land of Palestine have been exposed. The US and the UN must take action against the perpetrators for the sake of innocent children dying daily in Palestine. On the other hand, the US must urgently stop its aid and the transfer of sophisticated weapons to Israel, which significantly contribute to the escalation of the war. The international community cannot remain silent and indifferent to the suffering and oppression of the Palestinian people, who have been living under occupation and siege for decades.

Meanwhile, Israel, which is eager to build relations with Arab states, is making it highly impossible with the way it behaves in the region. Israel’s actions and policies in Palestine, such as illegal settlements, the blockade of Gaza, the demolition of homes, the detention of children, and the use of excessive force, are alienating and provoking its Arab neighbors, who sympathize with the Palestinian cause. Israel cannot expect normal and peaceful relations with other Arab states while it continues to violate the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

Finally, investigating Israel’s defense or offense in the Palestinian conflict has provided insight into the complex dynamics formed by US involvement and media bias. It has become clear that the United States plays a substantial role in determining the conflict’s direction through its support and aid to Israel. Furthermore, the prevalence of media bias raises questions about the impartiality and comprehensiveness of the coverage of Israeli activities in the region.

In the dark abyss of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where stories clash and emotion flare, the mystery remains: is there a covert plan behind the chaos, manipulating the strife, or is it merely a complex maze of historical wounds and land claims?


About Asadullah 1 Article
Asad Ullah is a PhD scholar at Shandong University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China. He is interested in Middle East politics and China-US relations

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