Four things wrong with Western media's 'violent loop' explanation for Israel-Palestine by Elizabeth Tarbell

17-11-2015 15:01

Source: Albawaba


If you follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you’ve probably come across the term, “violent loop.”


Al Jazeera America, Amnesty International, CNN, The New York Times, and numerous other news agency use it all the time to describe the current wave of attacks hitting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and areas across the West Bank.


With both sides constantly escalating the conflict, Western media understandably use the phrase to describe the seemingly-constant assaults. The phenomenon is described in simple terms as an endless and almost-unstoppable cycle of violence—a Palestinian stabs an Israeli, Israeli forces retaliate by shooting the suspect and jailing his or her associates and so on.


But there are actually a lot of problems with this term.


Here are four reasons why.


  1. It paints Palestinian youth as passive victims. This role tends to be the norm for Palestinians, but it denies them of being agents of their own fate, thus forming a trope of Palestinians that is reported with little variation among Western news outlets.


  1. It eliminates coverage of the needs and desires of Palestinians and perpetuates continued coverage of the Israeli side of the conflict, with greater detail of their plight. Associated Press journalist Matti Friedman argues this feeds the “‘Israel story,’ which is a story of Jewish moral failure.”


  1. It doesn’t explain the factors that make each incident distinct. The New York Times says an attack on Nov 10 “appeared to reflect a loop-like dynamic of Israeli-Palestinian violence: stabbings of Israelis followed by swift, often deadly responses by Israeli security forces and graphic video footage inspiring replica Palestinian attacks against Israelis.”


  1. It lowers the demand for further investigation. By blanket-naming each incident into these “violent loop” terms, it allows deeper questions to go unanswered. Speculation about weapons or diverging details about attacks get glossed over as a result.

Topics : #Israeli-Palestinian conflict #ThirdIntifada #Violent Loop

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