Yara Eid, a young Palestinian journalist based in London, courageously challenged the media’s portrayal of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Eid emphasized the critical role of precise language in reporting and journalists’ moral responsibility in this regard.
At the heart of Eid’s criticism was the observation that the media often skews the narrative by subtle manipulation of language. The issue became glaringly apparent during her guest segment on a Sky News program.
The 23-year-old, originally from Gaza, highlighted the discrepancy in the host’s description of casualties on different sides of the conflict. She expressed concern over the host’s characterization of Israeli casualties as “killed” while diminishing Palestinian casualties by simply stating they “died,” thereby minimizing the agency and impact behind these losses.
Eid contended, “Language plays a crucial role because journalists are morally obliged to report what’s unfolding accurately. Palestinians don’t just die; they are killed. They’ve been experiencing what amounts to ethnic cleansing and genocide for decades.”
She corrected the host’s framing of the conflict as a “Hamas-Israel war,” stating that such terminology is misleading. It falsely suggests equality between the two entities, whereas the reality is an imbalance of power and responsibility.
Personal Losses and Misleading Questions
Yara Eid not only spoke as a journalist but also shared her traumatic personal loss to illustrate the gravity of the situation. She recounted how Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) actions resulted in the death of her close friend, fellow journalist Ibrahim Lafi, and 30 members of her family, including 17 children.
When probed by the host about her expectations following a Hamas attack on Israel, Eid reiterated the importance of not oversimplifying or distorting the scenario. She emphasized, “You’re misleading the audience by diluting the severity of the events on the 7th of October. We need to discuss the broader context, historical incidents, and recurring aggressions, including those in 2014 and 2021.”
Through her statements, Yara Eid underscored the necessity for media outlets and professionals to uphold the truth and handle the narratives of conflict with the seriousness and precision they demand. Her standpoints towards a larger need for conscientious journalism in ongoing global conflicts.