The murder of Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces, the attack on her funeral by Israeli Police, and the heavily propagandized coverage of it all. Politicians and media in the US are sending a message to the world right now as they defend one of their closest allies.
It was a disturbing scene to say the least, as videos surfaced on social media that showed Israeli Police assaulting mourners with batons and attacking them with tear gas as they carried the casket of the journalist who was murdered by Israeli forces just days before.
And to be clear… Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered. She was targeted and assassinated by an Israeli sniper in cold blood as she was doing her job in the West Bank.
While Israel’s Foreign Ministry immediately took to Twitter to claim that Shireen must have been shot by Palestinian gunmen firing indiscriminately in the streets during clashes with Israeli forces… Both the geolocations of videos on the ground and the testimony of the witnesses who saw the attack unfold tell a very different story.
Those accounts are horrific. Palestinian journalist Shatha Hanaysha, who was with Abu Akleh in Jenin, told the Middle East Eye that the attacker “aimed to kill,” noting that they were in an open area where there was no fighting at the time—and their PRESS vests were clearly visible.
She went on to say, “Palestinian fighters normally use semi-automatic rifles that spray bullets continuously. These bullets were different. They were sporadic and precise. They were only shot when one of us moved. One bullet at a time.”
The videos from the scene back up her account. While it doesn’t come as a surprise that Israel immediately tried to deny any blame, it does make it all the more disturbing that the media coverage blatantly tried to shield Israel from any form of accountability, with the New York Times claiming Shireen was killed during “clashes” in the West Bank.
Or The Washington Post claiming she simply “died on the job.” Or every other mainstream outlet that claimed she was shot and killed—but refused to say by whom.
Meanwhile, the US Government did nothing, with Ned Price of the State Department ignoring the available information and claiming there needed to be an “immediate investigation.” So much for protecting a U.S. citizen and member of the Press.
Shireen Abu Akleh was a legendary journalist who posed a threat to no one when she was targeted and killed. Not only should the tragic and criminal end to her life spark international outrage, it should also force the public to ask why she was assassinated in the first place—and why both politicians and media in the west have gone above and beyond to cover up Israel’s role in her murder. Because at the end of the day, that is something everyone should be talking about.