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Israel-Palestine Media Coverage

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Israel-Palestine Conflict
Haaretz vs. Al Jazeera vs. Fox and CNN
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, recently won the United Nations’ General Assembly vote of Palestine being recognized as an observer state and now they are officially considered the “State of Palestine” by popular vote. Israel and the United States, however, did not recognize Palestine’s upgrade within the UN. This issue is very important to understand the United States’ role in today’s Israel-Palestine relations.
The United States’ most watched news channels, Fox and CNN, have a very one-sided view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—generally one that favors Israel. Al Jazeera, the most popular Arab news channel, seems objective for the most part, but occasionally Palestinian favoritism can be seen. Haaretz newspaper, the most read Israeli newspaper in English, seems to be neutral, but also anti-Hamas on this debate; however, it does acknowledge good aspects of the Palestinian side. All of this is apparent through the wording used in the articles, the various sources of each news channel’s information, and the amount of opinions versus fact based information included in each article. The United States is a proud supporter of Israel and has been ever since Israel declared statehood. As seen in history, Israel has had full U.S. support not only militarily, but through the media also. The CNN and Fox articles are both about how the Palestine is treated, or should be treated by the United States. The Fox article discusses how the U.S. Ambassador, Susan Rice, in the UN General Assembly objected to the acceptance of the name “State of Palestine” for the Palestinian territories within Israel. The language used in the article is a clear indication that Fox news is pro-Israel. For example, towards the end of the article, the author talks about the Israeli Ambassador’s support for peace negotiations alongside his criticism of Palestinian leadership: "That resolution does not diminish the need for negotiations…the major obstacle to the two-state solution is the Palestinian leadership's refusal to speak to their own people about the true parameters of a two-state solution." To American viewers this may make it seem like Israel is the one for peace and Palestinian leadership hinders that. Fox does not include that Palestinian leadership also wants a two-state solution.
CNN on a similar note is seems to be anti-Palestine according to their news sources. CNN’s article is strictly the opinion of an American scholar and lecturer. Of course, since it is an opinion it will be skewed; however, the wording here again puts Palestine in a negative light. The author talks about teaching Palestine a lesson by cutting off U.S. aid: “The best gift the United States could give the Palestinians is not hundreds of millions of dollars more, but the knowledge that Western patience…has ended.” This wording belittles Palestine’s authority figures and makes the U.S. seem like they can “teach” Palestine how to act, putting the U.S. on a pedestal. The American public may automatically feel a sense of superiority to Palestine after reading this article.
Al Jazeera’ article is mainly objective; however, some aspects of it can be interpreted as Palestinian favoritism. This article is about Abbas officially renaming Palestinian territory after winning the UN General Assembly’s vote for the recognition of Palestine as a state. Fox news addressed this same situation, but nowhere in the article did it mention that Palestine was declared its own state, yet in Al Jazeera it does. This could possibly be concluded as Al Jazeera favoring Palestine by declaring something that is not verified in another major news source. If Palestine did get recognition of a state the issue would be solved, which is clearly not the case. Al Jazeera’s wording makes it seem like Palestine is excelling in progress, whereas Fox makes it seem like Palestine’s progress is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Lastly, Haaretz seems to be quite neutral, but very anti-Hamas rather than anti-Palestine. This author, an Israeli scholar, does acknowledge that the President of Palestine is working towards peace negotiations with an Israeli partner, but it also sheds a negative light upon Hamas leaders: “While Palestinian Authority President Abbas has stuck to the position that talks with Israel are the only way to promote Palestinian interests…Hamas has viewed talks as groundless nonsense at best and collaboration with the enemy at worst.” The use of the words “nonsense” and “enemy” make it hard for the reader not to assume that Hamas is the bad guy in the whole scenario. However, the light shed upon President Abbas is very neutral, therefore setting a balance in the article.
Seeing that the American public receives most of their world news from Fox and CNN, it is expected that Americans’ have a skewed, pro-Israel and pro-American view on this issue in the Middle East. Ironically, Al Jazeera and Haaretz, the two papers that represent the populations directly involved in the conflict, seem to be the most objective on the issue. Based on whichever American news source used, a reader’s view of the issue can be skewed in one direction resulting in an unfair representation of the countries or authorities involved in the issue.…...

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