This Tuesday morning a Palestinian man - who was later identified as father of four, Nimer Jamal - approached the entrance to the Har Adar settlement (near Jerusalem) and opened fire, killing three Israeli paramilitary guards, leaving a fourth injured. Jamal, the Palestinian gunman was also shot and killed on site and has since had his photo and name plastered throughout world media, portraying him as some sort of a born and bred vicious terrorist.
A BREAKDOWN OF THE SCENARIO
(What should’ve been mentioned, but wasn’t) -
When such headlines are thrown into circulation as “Three Israeli’s killed by Palestinian”, normally there is a calculated response that is expected by the publisher of such content. Context is everything to a story like this, yet such reputable media corporations - with such extensive funding and a plethora of resources at their fingertips - forget the most basic principles of journalism, forgetting to ask any questions as to why and how such an attack would/could happen and jumping to quick and meaningless slogans, which follow in accordance with Israeli government rhetoric.
Just imagine for a minute that U.S occupation forces were killed during paid military duty on Iraqi soil, an Iraqi militant emerged and opened fire on troops in uniform and killed three of the on duty U.S forces. Would it be a reasonable headline to report the scenario, reading; “Three American’s killed by Iraqi”?
I think you would find that most readers would feel misled in some way, perhaps the headline would’ve had a retraction.
So why is it, that such poor headlines - with such minute traces of journalistic integrity -are granted to a scenario where a Palestinian man, who opens fire on paramilitary guards - who operate on his home soil in violation of international law - who are actively participating in guarding an illegal settlement and who do not have civilian status.
The now executed Palestinian, is painted as some sort of villain in this black and white portrayal of events, but is this the case? is he really the monster he is made out to be?
To answer this, let’s ask ourselves two key questions;
Question 1)- Who was in the right under international law?
Question 2)- Who was in the right under the law of morality?
Answer 1)- Palestinians have the absolute right to resist their illegal occupiers by means of violent resistance, this is in full accordance with international law. In this case - which was an attack carried out on paramilitary guards, who were actively enforcing the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and aiding the illegal settlement project (by choice) - the actions that were taken were completely legal, in fact, the settlement of Har Adar should not exist and is in strict violation of three specific U.N security council resolutions, which call for the dismantlement of all West Bank settlements amongst others which have called for the withdrawal of all settlers from the illegal settlements.
Answer 2)- Now for the part that needs real context to understand, this question can often get crowded with emotion and bias, so let us make this about finding out who was truly in the wrong.
The Palestinian father of four Nimer Jamal approached an illegally established settlement - that he was forced to work at, in order to provide for his family - Nimer then opened fire killing three Israeli gun men, the men were fully armed.
Nimer lived under the constant harassment of Israeli settlers and endured the depressing conditions of an illegal military occupation on his land, he had no freedom of movement, no freedom of speech, was ruled under separate laws to the Israeli settlers who occupy his homeland, he was treated like dirt and was watching his country disappear as the international community tool no action. Nimer, knowing very well that his actions would result in the end of his life, then took matters into his own hands (as he is permitted to by international law) and reacted to his oppressors, carrying out an act of armed resistance. Nimer Jamal’s house has now been raided, his wife and four children expelled from their home, his entire village of Beit Surak in now under siege and his house is set to be immediately demolished, on top of this all of his relatives have been stripped of their permits to work in settlements (a form of collective punishment).
So was Nimer Jamal a terrorist? was he in the wrong? was he attacking innocent Israeli’s as the headlines in the corporate media would have you believe? No, he was not, and at the very least after looking deeper into this scenario, you should at least have a more rounded opinion of the matter, regardless of your political persuasion.
Instead of providing context, the mainstream media reports in complete ignorance of the ongoing military occupation of the West Bank.
To report this scenario without mentioning the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people, is like reporting a ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe’ attack in the 1970’s upon Afrikaner forces, without mentioning apartheid or the colonization of South Africa.
Nimer Jamal was no terrorist and because of the corporate media’s blind allegiance to the Israeli government, Palestinians will be brutalized and murdered without any recognition in what will be passed off as “Israeli retaliation”.