December 16, 2023
From Popular Resistance
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I recently became the recipient of the Women and Media Award from the Women’s Institute of the Freedom of the Press. While it’s truly an honor to receive this recognition for the journalism that I direct at MintPress News, it’s nearly impossible for me to revel in this accolade when my heart is weighed down heavily by the ongoing turmoil in Gaza.

As a Palestinian-American journalist who has lived under the oppressive shadow of Israeli occupation and witnessed firsthand the relentless brutality of the apartheid regime, I cannot remain silent as my people face relentless oppression and violence.

I want to dedicate this award to the fearless journalists in Gaza who are risking their lives to show us the raw reality of life under Israeli bombs.

Since October 7th, the death toll stands stark and horrific – Israel is systematically taking out journalists, one by one, and killing their families. The Israeli military has already claimed the lives of at least 82 Palestinian journalists in Gaza. These courageous individuals, committed to unveiling the truth, have become direct targets of a regime desperate to cloak its genocidal actions from the world’s scrutiny.

Israel doesn’t want the world to see the reality of its genocidal onslaught in Gaza, so it’s assassinating the messengers.

In most parts of the world, wearing a flack jacket marked “press” gives you protection. But right now in Palestine, it may as well be a target, as Israel has turned Gaza into what the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has called a “cemetery for journalists.”

And you’d think mainstream corporate journalists would talk about the targeting of journalists in Gaza, but they’re not. If legacy media outlets like the New York Times or CNN cover Palestinian journalists killed in Gaza, they don’t have the basic journalistic integrity to say who killed them and fail to point out that Israel is systematically targeting them.

Corporate media are whitewashing Israeli crimes and playing the fool, pretending not to understand where the missiles come from. They pretend not to hear the genocidal rhetoric emanating from Tel Aviv. And even as Israel makes Gaza the most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist, they ignore what is in front of their eyes, manufacturing consent for ethnic cleansing.

Brave women have lost their lives trying to document the Israeli onslaught. Women like Alaa Taher Al-Hassanat, a presenter for the AlMajedat Media Network, whose house was bombarded by Israeli missiles on November 20.

Or Salma Mkhaimer, killed alongside her child in an Israeli air strike on her house in Rafah, Gaza.

And Freelance journalist Ayat Khadoura was also killed in her home by an Israeli air strike. In her “last message to the world” posted on Instagram, she said: “We used to have big dreams, but now our dream is to be killed in one piece so they know who we are.”

This only continues a long history of Israel systematically targeting journalists since its founding in 1948.

Just last year, Israel went so far as to murder our beloved Shireen Abu-Akleh, an American citizen and recipient of the same Women and Media Award that I’m receiving today. And in 2021, it blew up the Associated Press building in Gaza. Yet throughout all this, Israel continues to get a free pass in corporate media.

Despite the hardships, many journalists are risking their lives working around the clock to document the genocide in Gaza. Journalists like Motaz Azaiza, Younis Tirawi, Muhammad Smiry, Motasem Mortaja, Wael Dahdouh, and Hind Khoudary, to name a few, speak truth to power, chronicling the horrors in Gaza.

These people show us in real-time the courage it often takes to be a journalist. And because of that, dozens pay the ultimate price for their bravery.

This award I humbly dedicate to them—the fallen journalists who were mercilessly taken by Israel and those who, against all odds, continue to broadcast to the world the unimaginable horrors of life under incessant bombings.

As for journalists like myself, we vow to carry on their legacy and amplify their voices in the West. We will repeat their message of hope and truth while we challenge and confront the very system perpetuating my people’s destruction, supported directly by our governments and their lapdog media.

If wars can be ignited by deceit, then let us rally for peace through unwavering truth.




Source: Popularresistance.org