Americans assume that suicide
bombers are driving the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” And yet the death toll
of Palestinians in the last four years is six times greater than that of the
Israelis. This is true if you are counting civilians only, or counting both
civilians and combatants. The number of wounded is more than seven times
greater among the Palestinians than it is among the Israelis.
In the year 2004, the death toll
of Palestinian children was actually 22 times higher than that of Israeli children.
There were 179 Palestinian children killed as compared to eight Israeli
children, but the media would have you believe that the figures are reversed.
Do not believe it. In a detailed study of The
New York Times in 2004, it was discovered that they reported the deaths of
Israelis at a rate 3.6 times their reporting on the deaths of Palestinians. The
Times covered the deaths of Israeli
children 7.3 times as much as they did the deaths of Palestinian kids. For the
other media, the distortion was even greater.
The major networks reported on
the deaths of Israeli children up to 13 times as much as they reported on the
deaths of Palestinian children, revealing a purposeful bias designed to
But the death toll is only part
of the story. Palestine, or the meager part of it that is left—that which is
supposed to have been “given” to the Palestinians for their state—is being
destroyed and/or stolen on a daily basis by the occupying Israeli military and
by illegal Israeli settlers. Land is confiscated; olive trees uprooted; homes
demolished; political activists targeted and murdered; and honest journalists
gunned down as they attempt to cover these incidents.
The economy is intentionally
undermined by the Israeli policy of closure and curfew. Restrictive legislation
against the Arab Israelis in Israel proper makes it difficult for them to
function. Arbitrary arrest and torture in the Occupied Territories make the
lives of Palestinians a constant torment.
Years of distorted coverage of
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led most Americans to believe that it is
the violence of Palestinians that prevents their dream of a state. In fact, it
is a policy of the government of Israel. This policy is nothing short of
While American media covers the
minutiae of the so-called peace process, Israel continues to consolidate its
control over the West Bank. How it does so is described in my new book, The Holy Land Unveiled.
I spoke to businessmen and
Palestinian National Authority officials and employees of non-governmental
organizations. I also spoke to cabdrivers, waiters and families in refugee
camps. I spoke with mothers and fathers and people who had spent time in
Israeli prisons. My statistics were garnered from human rights organizations, some
of them Israeli. I saw it all with my own eyes.
It is important for Americans to
come to grips with the truth about this situation. Our extremely biased policy
toward Israel and our unwillingness to see the results are undermining our
credibility in the Middle East—and everywhere else. More importantly, it
enables Israel to make the lives of Palestinians a living hell (those who are
They are a people worn out by the
daily struggle for survival against all odds. As it is unlikely that the status
quo will change, it is equally unlikely that the future for Palestinians will
improve unless Americans can read the truth.
I hope you will take the time to
read this book and to think about them. In a democracy such as ours, the
responsibility for foreign policy ultimately rests with the people.
For this reason it is important
that Americans have a greater understanding of one of the most long-lived
conflicts that is uniquely affected by American foreign policy. Only then can
we all help save the people of the Holy Land from genocide.