The media is a powerful tool and for the Palestinian cause, it is a weapon that continues to be used in the war that began with the Israeli occupation in 1948. Aware of the ability of media outlets to sway international opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Israeli regime continues to crack down on Palestinian news outlets that are disseminating news from the other side’s point of view amid a Zionist control over western media.
Recently, Israeli occupation forces stormed and shut the West Bank headquarters of Falasteen Al-yawm or Palestine Today, a TV station affiliated with the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad. The Israelis claimed that the offices of Palestine Today were shuttered over its “inciting broadcasts.”
In a sign of resistance, the channel continued to broadcast from the Gaza Strip as the Islamic Jihad affirmed the media’s role in disseminating the truth about the occupation.
“The occupation will not succeed in silencing the voice of truth,” said Daoud Shihab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman. “The Palestinian resistance and free media will continue on their path and will not fall — they will continue to expose the crimes of the occupation.”
Jamil Mazhar, another Islamic Jihad representative said the closure was a “blatant violation of the law,” and urged international media outlets to criticize it while another member insisted that “the ongoing crime against journalists and media outlets demands a united front.”
Shin Bet members entered the headquarters in Ramallah on Thursday night and confiscated transmitters as well as other technical equipment. They also detained the owner of the station, Farouk Omar Kassem Aliat, without charges according to reports.
What the Israelis call incitement is their version of the truth and the continuing support for the resistance. Attempting to silence the voice of the resistance, however, is no novelty. In the summer of 2014, during the war on Gaza, the media particularly social media was able to circulate information about casualties, massacres, destruction, and Israeli violations that otherwise would have been ignored by the biased mainstream media.
In addition to the selective reporting and media blackouts imposed by the Israeli regime, attacks against media outlets were carried during the latest war on Gaza which killed more than 2,100 people.
Not long ago, both Al-Manar and Al-Mayadeen have been blocked by Arabsat, a Saudi-owned satellite company, over the two news channels’ coverage of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. However both channels, renowned for their support for the resistance, have vowed to keep echoing the truth in spite of increasing pressure, threats, and measures taken against them. Similarly, the latest Palestinian news channel has promised to remain a thorn in the side of the Israeli propaganda machine.
The media war, in the modern world, cannot be seen as a separate conflict. Instead, it is part of, if not complementary to the ongoing international confrontation. It is the medium, the tool, through which the good is demonized, the evil is victimized, minds are shaped, and opinions are swayed, all under the manchette of the so-called truth and the headline of so-called objectivity. That’s why when it comes to issues as important as the Palestinian cause, one must always be vigilant.