Terrorism is on both sides

Area of ​​the Gaza Strip bombed


Those who consume information about the current conflict in Palestine need to be educated to know what media they are consuming

The Jews (of Israel) and the Arabs (of Palestine) have been in conflict for at least seven decades. The attacks that have been taking place since the beginning of October in that region are now an offensive by Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) that killed 500 people in the first hours of the confrontation alone. In practice, Hamas is reacting to decades of what it considers humiliation, violence against Arabs, genocide and terrorist actions by Israel.

Both sides of this conflict have suffered human losses and promoted violence in different forms of terrorism. Populations are without water, others have lost land, suffered barbaric restrictions such as food and medicine, housing, and shortages of basic necessities. Economic difficulties and lack of infrastructure in a region already completely destroyed by previous conflicts make the possibilities for peace in the region even more difficult. Children, women and the elderly suffer psychological trauma. Those in the region have nowhere to escape, the borders are closed.  

World leaders do little when they only express concern or support for one side of the conflict. This has also been the case in other global wars, such as between Russia and Ukraine. International organizations become powerless in the face of armed action and reaction. In the case of this conflict between Arabs and Jews, the dispute is over a territory claimed by both sides, either because they already inhabited the place, or for later historical religious reasons, as the Jews argue, based on their Holy Scripture.

But the fact is that for both peoples, that region is a sacred region and neither of the two peoples want to give it up. And since 1948, with the creation of the State of Israel, after the Second World War, there have been tensions that make the harmonious life of two states as nations in that territory unfeasible. The United States supports Israel economically and militarily. Iran supports the Palestinians.

The Arab League, made up of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, never accepted the creation of the State of Israel. The other side, however, does not recognize the State of Palestine. Hamas is an extremist group that supports the cause of the Palestinians. There is no moral, political or military equivalence on both sides. For decades, Palestinians have been killed and oppressed in their living conditions, surrounded by a strip of land. Now, it is Hamas that attacks the Israeli side. When an uprising is against the colonizer, the world screams. When it is against the colonized, it seems to be silent. But the issue is much more complex than that. Hamas is using the language of violence it learned from Israel.

There is no media capable of accounting for this plurality. In the United States, as in Brazil or anywhere in the world, the media have ideological positions. Coverage that can give the dimension of reality must therefore be plural, with the media defending one and others defending another point of view. Journalism is not neutral, nor exempt, as has already been built on the social conscience and deontology of the profession. What is democratic is in the plurality of voices, in what they, the media, in the plural and not in the singular, construct realities.

Journalism builds realities. Which is very different from inventing. When versions of a fact are chosen to report what is happening, this is neither manipulation nor a lie. It's framing the news. Because we simply work with language, and language is not transparent. Not even those who show a less obvious side of an event will only be closer to the truth because of this. There are distortions everywhere. No one is exactly right, because in a war, rational or moral judgment makes no sense.

Anyone who consumes information needs to be educated to know what media they are consuming. We cannot expect the entire press to cover any news event in the same way. That is why there is democracy of media, variety, plural diversity. And there are other aspects to consider: our dependence on news agencies, our difficulty in accessing other media, other sources.

Terrorism exists on both sides: those who surround a people on a strip of land and try to isolate them and those who attack civilians, killing and causing more destruction. Violence breeds violence and when it comes to wars with the sacrifice of civilians, everyone is wrong. No economic, national, political, or even religious interest can speak louder than respect for human dignity and lives.

*Geder Parzianello Professor of Journalism at the Federal University of Pampa (UNIPAMPA).

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