Analysis – Remember Shireen Abu Akleh: Apartheid Israel Leads The World For Killing Journalists


By Dr Gideon Polya for Countercurrents

The world was shocked by the recent deliberate killing by an Israeli sniper of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. However over 50 journalists have been killed by Apartheid Israel in the last 2 decades. Careful analysis reveals that Apartheid Israel leads the world by far in terms of  “average number of journalists killed per 10 million of population per year”. Self-respecting journalists world-wide must report this shocking fact.

Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh (1971-2022) worked as a reporter for Al-Jazeera for 25 years, and was one of the foremost reporters in the Middle East for her decades of reportage on the Apartheid Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories.

The International Federation of Journalists has reported that 2,658 journalist were killed in the last 30 years.  However even the routinely pro-Zionist Western media were shocked by the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh because she was an American journalist (albeit a Palestinian-American journalist), a relatively young woman, a very prominent reporter on Palestine and the Middle East, and because the killing was evidently an expert public execution by a Jewish Israeli employee of the serial war criminal Apartheid Israeli government. Al-Jazeera responded thus “Israeli occupation forces assassinated our beloved journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering their brutality in Jenin this morning.”

Miko Peled (anti-racist Jewish Israeli writer, son of an Israeli general, and author of  “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five” ) concluded: “Israel’s announcement that it will not pursue an investigation into the killing of famed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was not surprising. The specific reasons it gave to justify the decision make little difference. However, one thing is certain: It is highly unlikely that the killing of a journalist like Shireen Abu Akleh was the decision of a lone soldier or a commander on the ground. Abu Akleh was well known and well respected. She was clearly identifiable as a non-combatant and a journalist who posed no threat to Israeli forces. She had been in similar situations before and knew how to take the necessary precautions, including wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest. She had to be shot by a well-trained sniper, and their identity must be known to the Israeli authorities.”

Mainstream American CNN in a very detailed report on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and the wounding of a fellow journalist near a tree (now called the Journalist Tree in Jenin), quotes a firearms expert stating “From the strike marks on the tree it appears that the shots, one of which hit Shireen, came from down the street from the direction of the IDF troops. The relatively tight grouping of the rounds indicate Shireen was intentionally targeted with aimed shots and not the victim of random or stray fire.”

The Zionist-subverted New York Times responded equivocally but quoted the conclusion of CNN: “CNN and other news organizations have begun their own investigations. After reviewing video footage, witnesses’ accounts and audio forensic analysis of the gunshots, CNN reported that the evidence suggested that “Abu Akleh was shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.” The witnesses and videos, it said, provided new evidence “that there was no active combat nor any Palestinian militants near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death”… The Palestinian Authority, Israel and the United States would do well to agree on an independent investigator to determine who shot Ms. Abu Akleh and establish whether she was a target because of her work as a journalist. She served as a model of courageous, honest reporting for many aspiring journalists, including many women. The best tribute to her life and work would be to make sure that her death does not vanish in the fog of hatred and recrimination but serves to guarantee the safety of all journalists who seek to pierce that fog.”

However the Zionists immediately commenced downplaying the atrocity. Indeed The Age newspaper (Melbourne), the leading quality Mainstream daily newspaper in Australia, published a long letter from a fervent Zionist claiming “that for a quarter century, Abu Akleh reported from West Bank clashes in a press-emblazoned flak jacket and helmet, like most sensible war journalists, and had never been shot only makes a stronger case that this was an accidental shooting” (Letters, The Age, 29 May 2022).

This is rather like  saying that George Floyd (1973-2020) had previously not been mortally attacked over nearly 47 years, and that accordingly his suffocation to death over 9 minutes and 29 seconds by a policeman was accidental.  Or indeed, it is like saying that because Gandhi (1869-1948) had not been shot for 79 years makes a case that his shooting death was accidental.

I sent the following letter to The Age to correct what it had published that incorrectly argued that journalists are safe in Israeli-occupied Palestine, and that this was an accidental shooting (indeed the opposite is true in both respects).  

The Age (29/5) published an extraordinarily offensive and obfuscatory Zionist assertion: “that for a quarter century, [Shireen] Abu Akleh reported from West Bank clashes in a press-emblazoned flak jacket and helmet, like most sensible war journalists, and had never been shot only makes a stronger case that this was an accidental shooting”.

The Age is obliged to report the following facts in the interests of truth, journalists, their readers, free speech, journalism and an informed Australian democracy, especially as outstanding  Australian journalist Julian Assange faces death in a US prison for truth-telling.

According to the International Federation of Journalists 2,658 journalist were killed in the last 30 years.  In that period the average population of the World was 6,541.9 million, this indicating an average of 0.135 journalists killed annually per 10 million of population.

According to the Palestinian Journalism Syndicate, Israel has killed more than 50 Palestinian journalists since 2001. In that period the average population of Israel plus Palestine was 11.4 million, this indicating  an average of over 2.19 journalists killed annually per 10 million of subjects by Israel, or 16.2 times more than for the world.

Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya

Photo: Palestinian Information Center

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Published by I Can Handle the Truth

I am a journalist, editor, and activist for the human rights for Palestinians across the world. Long Live Palestine!

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