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OPINION: Western bias, and how it holds responsibility in aiding the Palestinian genocide

By Zahra Ahmad

A Washington Post article is titled, “Four fragile lives found ended” when addressing Palestinians, but titled “Rockets kill Israelis” when addressing Israel. 

The West’s bias against countries of color has been prevalent for decades; however, prejudice has taken the spotlight in recent months. The Palestinian genocide often labeled as a “conflict” is a prime example of how western media abuses rhetoric to push dehumanizing narratives.  According to, “The Guardian referred to Israeli hostages as ‘women and children’ but the Palestinian prisoners were being exchanged with ‘women and people aged 18 and younger.’ ” 

The organization also highlights other instances. 

“The BBC and the CNN wrote that Israelis ‘were killed’ (by Hamas), while Palestinians ‘have died’.” 

These slight changes of word choice not only push concepts of inferiority for those of color, but enforces the dehumanization of entire ethnicities. 

Although some may overlook these “discreet” efforts to emphasize certain perspectives, coverage is a major factor in illustrating narratives. According to The Intercept, in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times,  the word “Palestinian” is mentioned once for every two Palestinian deaths (that number is most likely low due to the intensely increasing death rate) and Israelis are mentioned at “a rate 16 times more per death than that of Palestinians.” 

The West’s double standards when it comes to non-European countries is made even more evident in recent weeks. The U.K had also pledged $15 billion for Ukraine since 2022, and the U.S passed a bill aimed at Ukrainian and Israeli support, with $95.3 billion in foreign aid. This bill seems almost hypocritical to many with aid being sent to Ukrainians facing a colonizing power yet also being given to the colonizing state of Israel responsible for genocidal acts. The West’s immediate aid to Ukraine has left Palestinians saddened by the tragic lack of aid they have received. 

The U.S. in particular has failed in its protection of its citizens in Palestine. This absence of support is strong for the Alagha family in Gaza. On Feb. 8, two brothers and U.S. citizens from Chicago, Borak Alagha (18) and Hashem Alagha (20), were taken by Israeli soldiers along with 18 other male family members. The remaining women and children were left blindfolded and tied up. After much pleading from Alagha members living in Chicago, officials stated “efforts” were being made. The family said that they were previously granted permission to evacuate but no facilitation measures were ensured to allow that. Many say initiatives should have already been ensured to confirm the safety of these forgotten Americans. While American Israelis were granted chartered flights for their departure from Israel, many American Palestinans received unfulfilled promises of protections and a safe exit from the Gaza Strip. 

Some claim that Western media is providing unbiased information on the “conflict,” equal coverage, and diverse representation through the varying guest speakers. However, more than 750 journalists from U.S. news organizations have signed an open letter calling out the Western media’s coverage of the Palestinian ethnic cleansing. Deeming the media’s actions as “‘accountable for dehumanising rhetoric that has served to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,” responsible for having “ printed misinformation spread by Israeli officials, and failed to scrutinize indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza — committed with the support of the US government.” 

Even though these prejudices against Palestinians remain, public outrage has shaken those strong foundations. On Jan. 13 a date for global protests, an estimated 400,000 protesters in Washington D.C. , and hundreds of thousands in London, standing up against the ongoing ethnic cleansing. Rising pressure through calls, emails, and demonstrations has led to the call for ceasefires across many cities in the U.S, the largest one being Chicago. Through increasing awareness, more and more individuals are calling out the “war” for what it truly is – a genocide.

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