An open letter to the ABC re: silence on Israeli atrocities against Palestinians

An open letter to the ABC re: silence on Israeli atrocities against Palestinians

9 May 2021
Signatures: 25,628Next goal: 35,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by If not us, then who?

ABC, we see you. And we ask you to do better. 

Your silence on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine is as loud as the stun grenades that Israeli forces are throwing into Al Aqsa Mosque, as we speak.

Your scarce coverage on the crimes committed against Palestinians by Israeli authorities – despite numerous international incidents – is an abject failure of journalism and not in the interests of the Australian public. 

The little reporting you have done – stripped from the wires – has framed the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem as “clashes”. How evicting Palestinians and moving settlers into their homes or attacking peaceful worshippers with grenades is a “clash” in any universe is beyond us. Your coverage so far - a wire story and a mention during a radio discussion – is virtual silence.

Currently, Palestinians are being forcibly evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, and those who resist are being attacked by the Israeli military and the armed settlers they’re protecting. These settlers are on rampages through Jerusalem, hunting down Palestinians and invading their homes.

Israeli forces have thrown stun grenades at peaceful worshippers in Al Aqsa mosque, a Jerusalem hospital, and in the streets of Jerusalem, injuring hundreds, blinding numerous Palestinians, and incarcerating them.

The ABC also failed to report on Human Rights Watch’s recent findings that Israel is committing crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. It has also failed to report on the Australian government's intervention - at the request of the Israeli government - at the International Criminal Court to prevent an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine, a shocking failure to report on issues in the public interest, involving our government's encouragement of impunity for international crimes.

Over the past year or so, the Australian government has recognised West Jerusalem as the so-called capital of Israel, has strengthened trade deals with the state of Israel, petitioned against the ICC’s proposed investigation into Israeli crimes, and overall, has strong relations with the state of Israel.

We want to know why the ABC remains mumm on a humanitarian crisis in Jerusalem, when it should be reporting the facts on the ground and asking questions of the Australian government, and when they will step up and do what they should be doing in the name of journalism. There is a sharp contrast between the lack of reportage at the ABC on Israeli crimes against Palestinians, and the extensive reporting on other internationally decried crimes against humanity, such as those committed by China against the Uighur people, and the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. We ask: why the dissonance? Why do you choose to ignore Palestine?

We call on the ABC to report on what’s happening on the ground in Jerusalem, and the violence being committed by a state that this government supports unconditionally. The ABC employs a Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem, but is not utilising them. 

We demand journalists probe this government and their relationship with a state responsible for ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Journalism is the fourth estate, and is meant to expose atrocities and hold perpetrators to account. Instead, the editorial decision to ignore Israeli crimes against Palestinians is a wilful attempt to shield from the public from the reality on the ground.

To those who have signed, consider sending a complaint to the ABC here:

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Signatures: 25,628Next goal: 35,000
Support now

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