I witnessed the Nuseirat massacre: Western journalism doesn't want to know

I witnessed the Nuseirat massacre: Western journalism doesn't want to know
The reframing of the Nuseirat massacre in Gaza as an 'Israeli rescue operation' is proof that Western media doesn't care about Gazans, writes Abubaker Abed.
3 min read
14 Jun, 2024
Journalists in Gaza are censored and silenced by Western media, writes Abubaker Abed [photo credit: Getty Images]

Last Saturday in Deir al-Balah was the worst day of my life. While the sound of Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets screeched over our heads, Israel carried out the Nuseirat Refugee Camp massacre, moments away. 

You could hear the screams of children in central Gaza from our window. Occasionally, a lone siren cuts through the chaos: I say a prayer in hope.

Since the war began, we've forgotten how to rest. My mother's hands are constantly clammy, she twitches with trauma. 

My father hasn't stopped praying. At one point, as the bombs crept closer, we joined him, gathering in one room to recite the shahada and wait for the roof to fall in.

I clutch at the yellow rose I grew in my garden and bid it farewell. This is daily life in Gaza: we dream to live while the rest of the world lives to dream. 

Media coverage of the Nuseirat massacre is a linguistic crime

A day later, my heart sank for what felt like the millionth time when I read Western headlines about Israel's massacre in Nuseirat refugee camp.

The BBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Guardian, and more ran with the headline 'Israel's rescue operation', as if more than 270 Palestinians hadn't been slaughtered and 400 more maimed.

For Western journalists, it's a simple equation: one Israeli life equals 150 Palestinians. 

I doubt they'd use the same kind of language were it their own loved ones under fire. But now the mask has slipped, journalism in the West isn't about covering the truth, it's about faking it. 

I think back to March 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. The coverage was unanimous: Russia 'invaded', 'occupied', and 'killed'. But when Israel does the same in Nuseirat and Gaza, it's 'self-defence', 'ancestral home', and 'collateral damage'. 

As a Palestinian journalist in Gaza, living under daily fire and genocide, I won't forget how Western media has treated us. Nonetheless, I've spared no effort in spreading the truth of crimes committed by Israel — and the West — to the world.

But, on each occasion, my voice has been silenced and my analysis has been slandered, both on social media by pro-Israelis and on email by Western newspapers. 

After the Nuseirat massacre, I knew that appearing on BBC News was risky but I felt I needed to wake their audience up. Yet after reading the BBC's headlines, I stopped talking to them.

Now my answer is always the same: "I don't deal with linguistic criminals."

Meanwhile, other journalists from major Western outlets have sifted through my social media for 'radical' views. And when I speak to them about the horrors on the ground, I'm censored and cut off. 

The inconvenient truth is that it's inconvenient for journalists to listen to our voices in Gaza. They reveal too much. We are witnesses, reporters, and archivists to Israel's genocide and the West's complicity.

But the pen is mightier than the sword. Our voice and actions will wake the world from its slumber, in a way that all international laws and regulations have failed to do thus far.

Journalists and everyone in Gaza are living testimony to the Palestinian fight for freedom. We live in the hope of seeing a free Palestine, and we see you — those protesting, marching, boycotting, and divesting — as a reflection of this hope. And no newspaper headline can ever stop that.

Abubaker Abed is a Palestinian journalist, writer, and translator from Deir al-Balah Refugee Camp in Gaza, interested in sports and languages.

Follow him on Twitter/X: @AbubakerAbedW and Linkedin

Have questions or comments? Email us at: editorial-english@newarab.com

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The New Arab, its editorial board or staff.