• Serena Piccoli

The end of humanity

Updated: May 24

Since last week I have felt the need to write down some thoughts and so here I am starting my new blog (the old one is still online and is in Italian).


The killing of Shireen Abu Akleh has left me furious.


Furious - once again - for the nth horror made by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF): the death of senior Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who gave voices to Palestinians.


As Al Jazeera reported: Abu Akleh was on assignment in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, covering Israeli raids on a refugee camp, when she was killed. She was shot in the head while wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS”. The network accused Israeli forces of targeting the veteran journalist with live fire and assassinating her in “cold blood”.

https://bit.ly/3lzXT6f

Much has already been written about her death.


I can't remain silent, not least to show that many people outside Palestine condemn these horrors and are aware of the atrocities perpetrated by IOF.


I’m furious because of the predictable way Israel has responded to this tragedy (to deny it) and furious at all the countries that have shamefully turned their heads away once again.

The Israeli military spokesperson, Ran Kochav, described Shireen and her colleague, Ali al-Samudi, who was shot in the back, as being “armed with cameras, if you permit me to say that.”

Armed with cameras!

Please someone explain to the spokesperson that this is exactly what journalists do.

They wear a Press vest (like she used to) and carry a camera and a laptop.

I am grateful to all war journalists that witness events as they happen, tell stories and take photos or shoot videos so that we can understand what is going on.


Once again the IOF don’t allow journalists to do their job. Shall I count all the dozens of Palestinian journalists killed in the past two decades? Well, of course it was their fault as they were armed with cameras.


Just to add horror over horror Israeli occupation forces also attacked the funeral march, firing stun grenades and hitting pallbearers with batons, almost causing them to drop her coffin.


Apparently this is the ultimate trend copied and applied by Turkey as well.

On Saturday 14th May the body of Kurdish politician Aysel Dogan, who died recently in Germany, arrived in Dersim. Turkish police blocked the mourners' way to the Kurdish woman's birthplace and targeted them with water cannons and tear gas.

https://bit.ly/3lie8F1


This is where we are at: there is no longer any respect for the dead.


This applies to the mainstream media as well.

The New York Times in March 2022 wrote : Brent Renaud, an American journalist, is killed in Ukraine.

The same newspaper then wrote: Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian Journalist, dies, aged 51.


I bet many people read the title and thought she died from pneumonia or in a car accident.


This is the (in)famous Western double standard.

This https://bit.ly/38A6NOi and this https://bit.ly/3Ms0Am9


I know I am not saying anything new to you, but still we must speak out until this injustice stops.


In Italian mainstream media too there was either propaganda style coverage like the example above or very brief news. Very few media outlets gave the info correctly.


This makes me furious too, because it is all well planned:

Using “dies” instead of “killed”, “incident” vs. “assassination”, “'struck” vs. “shot” are just manipulative ways of faking the news by pretending to deliver the info to the readers.


We’re good journalists, we’re delivering the news, you can’t say we aren’t!

I can hear them saying.


Manipulating the news is an old - and still powerful - technique. We must be aware of it, we must spot the tricks and the traps they want us to fall into, we must be aware that even “our” mainstream media are doing it.


This also makes me wonder how these outlets have been reporting news in general so far.

What have I been reading? News depicting reality or just propaganda?


On top of that I am furious because I don’t think the widespread outrage followed by Shireen’s death and the violence at her funeral will trigger any change. (*A quick update a week after my post: Al Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post report that “Israel will not investigate Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing” https://bit.ly/39MUgHs).


The present situation will go on like this because many powerful countries and organisations are just fine with it.


This shouldn’t prevent us from demanding justice and an end to the violence inflicted on Palestinians along with suppression of the propaganda.


This is our way to fight the end of humanity.


***


I chose journalism to be close to the people, it might not be easy to change the reality, but at least I can bring their voice to the world.

Shireen Abu Akleh (1971 - 2022)