The Palestine Solidarity Alliance expresses our heartfelt condolences to the family of the slain journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh. Our sympathies also extend to all Palestinians, who had come to rely upon Abu Akleh to truthfully represent their situation to the world. The 51-year-old was widely respected as a veteran in the struggle to bring objectivity, truth, and accountability to mainstream discourse around Israel and Palestine. Her assassination by the Israeli army highlights the threat that journalists pose to the apartheid regime. In the strongest terms, we condemn the Israeli government for the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, and for its brutal onslaught against media freedom in Palestine.
We often complain about the world’s silence on Palestine when Israel’s occupation continues unabated. This biased approach is no accident. The job of a journalist is doubly compromised when reporting on Palestine. Not only do they face repression on a global scale from a Western media that is sympathetic to Zionism, but they risk their lives covering stories on the ground with Israeli guns aimed at them. As the assassination of Abu Akleh demonstrates, Israel will spare no effort to subdue dissenting voices. It shows how reporting on state-sponsored Israeli terrorism can render you a victim of that exact crime.
Immediately after being exposed for killing a journalist, the Israeli propaganda machine has churned out misinformation in an effort to blame Palestinians for their own tragedy. Despite journalists and several other fellow eyewitnesses testifying that Abu Akleh was shot in the head by the Israeli army, the Israeli regime has put out a video of Palestinian gunmen in Jenin and blamed the killing on them. Israel hopes to be judge, jury, and executioner in a shameful attempt to distort the narrative and absolve themselves of Abu Akleh’s murder. Despite these efforts, the Zionist state’s version of events has been exposed as a deliberate attempt at deceiving the public. The Israeli human-rights organisation, B’tselem, clearly shows how Israel’s video of Jenin’s resistance gunmen was nowhere near the scene of the crime.
As South Africans living in a country where freedom of expression is protected by the constitution, we have a responsibility to amplify the voices of those who are silenced. Around the world, many news outlets simply regurgitate eurocentric narratives of racist governments like Israel. This, however, obfuscates the truth and does a disservice to the people struggling against repression across the world. The Palestine Solidarity Alliance calls upon the Government of South Africa to condemn the violent assassination of Abu Akleh by Israel, as well as the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the Apartheid Zionist Regime. We, as South Africans, cannot remain silent as Palestinians suffer at the hands of a brutal apartheid regime while we witness the legacy of apartheid running deep within our own country.
United Against Apartheid Israel!
Palestine Solidarity Alliance
PO Box 357, Lenasia, 1820
Palestine Solidarity Alliance www.palestinesa.co.za
This press statement was released by Palestine Solidarity Alliance on 11 May 2022.The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Karibu! Online or Khanya College.