Shireen Abu Akleh

“This was fcuking (sic) evil and utterly unacceptable and many voices decrying it are required,” said the emailed message. News had just come through that Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran journalist with Al Jazeera, had just been shot and killed in Jenin-Palestine on the West bank, and this was a call for a fitting response.

As tragic as the news of this valiant journalist’s assassination is, it would be dishonest for me to mourn her in any personal sense. The truth is that had the Isreali’s not killed Shireen Abu Akleh, I wouldn’t have known her name. And for me, that is the tragedy!  

That someone can spend twenty five years of their life reporting on something as horrendous as the creeping genocide being waged on the Palestinians, and all the international duplicity that condones it, yet still remain anonymous to most of us – that is the tragedy.

Shireen Abu Akleh was killed this week doing her job as a witness to a crime of historic proportions, but as far as most people are concerned Shireen might as well have died years ago, when our media determined not to publish what she and so many others like her, were reporting – that’s the tragedy. 

That so many small minds, captive to their salaries and the dictates of US imperialism, have over Shireen’s time as a reporter, and longer, been prepared to turn a blind eye to her work, and that of a myriad others, exposing the Israeli state for the rotten corrupt edifice that it is – that’s the tragedy!

That today we can be literally swamped in reporting of all the hideous happenings in Ukraine, amounting to more media coverage since February this year than has been reported over the entire time since the Israeli invasion and murderous suppression of Palestine began in 1948, that is the tragedy!

The tragedy is that if, from the outset in 1948, our media had fairly reported what journalists, like Shireen Abu Akleh, witnessed happening in Palestine then, the western world would been better informed and would have reacted as it is now to events in Ukraine – and Shireen Abu Akleh would be alive today. 

That is the tragedy!


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