Contemporary journalism often fails to lift up the voices and tell the stories of the individuals being impacted by large-scale political or economic situations. This past week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment based on charges of bribery, breach of trust, and fraud received widespread mainstream media coverage. As Israel approaches an upcoming election, most of the coverage I saw focused on the political or economic implications of Netanyahu’s indictment. I have also seen some coverage about what this may mean for Donald Trump, considering Trump and Netanyahu’s close political alliance. However, I did not see any mainstream, American media outlets covering Palestinian perspectives or what Netanyahu’s indictment may mean for Palestine, its people, or its sovereignty.
Personally, I find journalism more interesting when it tells a story at a micro-level that exemplifies the macro-level issue. The United States often fails to incorporate how the citizens of a country are being impacted by major world events outside of the United States. Considering that Netanyahu’s regime has been widely considered harmful to Palestinians, I immediately found myself wondering what this may mean for them. I’ve seen a wide variety of opinion pieces regarding the Trump impeachment proceedings, and I’d like to see the same diversity of valid opinion regarding Netanyahu’s indictment.
Due to the lasting legacy that Benjamin Netanyahu has on the people of Palestine, the rights and futures of Palestinians are inextricable from his prime ministership and indictment. It’s not only the voices of Palestine that are not being lifted up, but I have not seen any coverage regarding the perspective of Israeli citizens. I was only able to find these perspectives on media outlets geared specifically towards Palestinians, Isrealis, Jewish people (both secular and non-secular). According to the politically unaffiliated newspaper The Times of Israel, 56% of Isreali citizens support Netanyahu’s resignation as of November 22. According to the left-leaning Isreali newspaper Haaretz, Netanyahu’s indictment “raises morale” for Palestinians.
In general, the American public (myself included) is greatly uninformed about the Isreali-Palestinian conflict. Mainstream American media tend to oversimplify the incredibly convoluted conflict, and hopefully Netanyahu’s indictment mainstream American media coverage surrounding the topic can begin to acknowledge the complexities that it brings. While Donald Trump may use his purely political alliance with Netanyahu to disguise his thinly veiled anti-Semitism and disregard any criticism of the Isreali government as anti-Semitic, Netanyahu’s indictment shows that their are critics of his far-right leadership within his own country.
Because the perspectives of both Israeli and Palestinian citizens are incredibly important in understanding the complex conflict between the two states, incorporating these perspectives would be essential to the American public’s understanding of this conflict.