Portuguese / Spanish / English

The Missing Story

At a time of year when editors are looking for news items to fill their pages and programmes, one story sticks out: an international aid convoy with 400 participants from Britain alone; 1.5 million people awaiting eagerly its arrival and the relief it will bring; a rogue foreign government hindering the relief effort and friendly governments and their citizens who have given the convoy a heroic welcome as it passed through their countries, across Europe and what used to be called Asia Minor. Take some Brit heroes – men and women of all faiths and none – sacrificing their time over Christmas and probably the New Year to help people under siege in the land of Christ's birth and throw in the anniversary of the war that compounded the hardship for good measure. All the ingredients of a major story, you may think, but that's where you'd be wrong. This is one story that the major newspapers and television news programmes in Britain and the USA are avoiding. Apart from a brief two paragraphs on the BBC news website, you will be hard pushed to find anything. The Viva Palestina convoy to Gaza is a non-event as far as most of the media are concerned, which begs the obvious question; why?

Is it less important than Britain's weather? Or the Queen's speech? Or Victoria Wood's Midlife Christmas? Or Manchester City's human resources skills? What is it about hundreds of people trying to take desperately-need relief to millions of their fellow human beings, at Christmas – a time of peace and goodwill to all, in case that's passed you by – that editors think is not newsworthy? Could it be because the man behind it is British MP George Galloway? Could it be because the rogue state is Egypt and we are trying to ingratiate ourselves with Hosni Mubarak (God-forbid!)? Or could it be that too much coverage might upset the Israeli government whose blockade imposed with the attendant threat of massive military force has created the "shattered society" (see Amnesty's latest report) that awaits the convoy's assistance? Any one of these would be shameful if it were true.


So let's throw a challenge to our media in Britain: you have been sent a copy of this article, and now have the opportunity to put us right and correct any misconceptions that we may have about the contemptible absence of media coverage of this story. Over to you.

Categories
Asia & AmericasCommentary & AnalysisEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastPalestineUKUS
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments