With the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the western media’s framing of fundamental aspects of what constitutes invasion and legitimate resistance will have negative long-term repercussions for Israel’s informational narrative.
As the war in Ukraine continues, more and more individuals engaged with the media have noticed the blatant double standard in how western media organizations have championed Ukraine’s right to self-defense in comparison to Palestinians.
Even prominent Jewish columnist and a member of Haaretz’ editorial board, Gideon Levy pointed out that “the Ukrainian is a hero, the Palestinian a terrorist. Russia is a cruel invader and occupier, while Israel liberates territories and reclaims the land of its forebears, sans context. Yet, perhaps there is some hope hiding here. Perhaps when this accursed Russian war in Ukraine is over, the world will acknowledge that there is no difference between one occupation and another, and will dare to draw the necessary conclusions.”
The last portion of Levy’s above quoted conclusion is Israel’s upcoming headache.
During the last Gaza war in May 2021, many witnessed the normalization in mainstream discourse of Israel being an apartheid entity.
It also introduced on mass media scale the notion that just like all people living under occupation, Palestinians have the right to resist.
The western corporate media’s glorification of Ukrainian resistance has shown the reality that in many situations, the notion of journalism being a 50-50 reporting affair is inapplicable.
This notion was long championed by the prominent global affairs journalist, the late Robert Fisk.
The veteran journalist famously stated that “we must be neutral and unbiased on the side of those who suffer, would we give equal time to the stories of the slaves and the stories of those slaves thrown overboard with the slave-ship captain and interview him for 50% of the report? Our job is to have a moral conscience when we are reporting; the occupier and the occupied should not necessarily have an even playing field.”
Fisk’s framing of what journalism is, instead of what it ought to be in theory peddled by western academia used to be applied in a less obvious manner.
However, the ongoing war in Ukraine has propelled Fisk’s understanding of journalism into practice of journalism on a mass scale.
Post-Ukraine war, it will be very difficult for western media to hide behind the objectivity excuse and not view Palestinian resistance through the angle of self-defense and liberation struggle.
Over several years, zionist Israel has been losing the information war.
Not just during its full-scale military assaults, but even when there are no outbursts of significant acts of resistance by Palestinians.
Until about two years ago, some media organizations and media professionals used to self-sensor when covering zionist occupation of Palestine, as the impartiality slogan still played a superficial role in mainstream journalism.
Media coverage of the war in Ukraine established that impartiality is not as sacred a principle that many assumed it to be, which one must uphold at all costs.
When covering the right of the invaded people, the impartiality notion can become a method of delegitimization of occupied people.
As the world’s media scene has become more even and the multipolar global order is here to stay, together these two notions will further undermine Israel’s narrative as it will not be able to shed its role as the occupier.