American media has “deep pockets” of Israeli lobby and here is the proof

American media has “deep pockets” of Israeli lobby and here is the proof

By Fidato

The Israeli narrative is deeply entrenched in mainstream discourse of the US. The analysis of the media coverage of Israel’s occupation over the last 50 years across five major American newspapers shows that there are “deep pockets” of Israeli lobby.

The five newspapers include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

1. The number of headlines citing Israel over the 50-year period is more than four times than that of headlines citing Palestine.

2. Israeli sources are near two and half times (250%) more likely to be quoted as Palestinian ones.

3. The mention of “Palestine Refugees” has declined by 93% over the 50-year period.

4. Israeli headlines were statistically more significantly positive than Palestinian ones.

5. As per the UN report on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza back in 2014, 2,251 Palestinians died, including 1,460 civilians, 556 of whom were children. The number of Israeli officials brought to speak on CNN were 20 compared to only four Palestinian.

6. Over the 50-year time period, there has been a near 85% decline in the instances of the word ‘occupation’ in Israel centric headlines. In the Palestine corpus, there has been a 65% decline in the word occupation.

7. The power imbalance between the military might of Israelis and Palestinians, who are often armed with nothing more than rocks and rockets, has been described as “enhanced fireworks”. No distinction is made between the occupier and the victim. (Democracy Now, 2018)

8. Greg Shupak of the University of Guelph in Canada has done empirical study of US media’s coverage in his book “The Wrong Story”. Shupak shows that in five editorials immediately before and those during IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza back in 2014, the New York Times mentions the blockade of Gaza by Israel only once. The blockade was a key factor in the lead up to the conflict (Shupak, 2018, p.15). Obscuring the importance of the siege to Palestinians distorts the narrative of Protective Edge in Israel’s favour. (p.15).

9. In another instance, Shupak cites a Times editorial published on July 25th during Protective Edge – in which the editors write that “the war is terrorizing innocent people on both sides of the Gaza border”. While day prior to the publication of the editorial, a UN report claimed two Israeli civilians had been killed, while a staggering 538 Palestinian civilians (including 186 children) had died.

10. The continuing blockade of Gaza since 2006, one that has seen two major wars in the past decade, has been a significant factor. But the unigram ‘blockade’ in the Palestine corpus is mentioned a mere 30 times in the five newspapers. In contrast, unigrams mentioning Hamas over the same period was 394. While the unigram ‘terror’ and its affiliated words appear over 1092 times in the Israeli corpus.

11. The word terror appear almost three times as much in the Palestinian dataset – 316 to be exact – compared to the word occupation.

12. The unigrams related to economic hardships faced by the Palestinians appeared only 122 times as identified in the Palestinian corpus.

Reference: “50 Years of Occupation: Sentiment and N-Gram Analysis of US Mainstream Media Coverage of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine” by Usaid Siddiqui and Owais A. Zaheer


Categories: Geopolitics, Palestine

Tags: , , ,

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