MN protests corporate media silence on Israeli settler violence
Minneapolis, MN – On Oct. 21, the Anti-War Committee here organized a picket of the Star Tribune newspaper to protest the local mainstream media for the lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. Dozens picketed the state’s largest newspaper with signs calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel and a banner denouncing a media blackout of Palestine.
The Palestinian News Agency reported this weekend, “Sources said that a settler deliberately ran over Inas Khalil and Toleen Asfoor, both aged five, while walking home from kindergarten near the entrance of the village of Sinjil; a settler, coming from nearby settlements, drove toward the two girls and ran them over before fleeing the scene.” Khalil died of her injuries and Asfoor is still in a critical situation. This story has outraged Palestinians but has received little attention in the U.S.
Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a spokesperson for the Anti-War Committee who traveled to the West Bank in 2002 to document Israeli settler violence explained, “This is one example of growing settler violence on the West Bank which has continued from this summer's murder of another Palestinian child, Mohammad Abu Khdeir , age 16, by Israeli settler violence in July. The world is outraged.”
Aby-Keirstead continued, “Meanwhile the Star Tribune and other local mainstream media have covered the conflict in a way that excludes Palestinian voices. The Star Tribune didn't even bother to cover this child's murder. Instead on Monday the paper ran ‘Unable to come up with a new strategy, Abbas turns to more belligerent rhetoric’ which is a lopsided article which is very critical of Palestinian leaders, mocks Palestinian claims of genocide and doesn’t mention any Israeli military or settler violence.”
Aby-Keirstead concluded, “The local Palestinian community is outraged and asked the Anti-War Committee to organize an action to draw attention to increasing settler violence and to the death of this particular five-year-old. As the mother of a five-year-old myself, this story has a particular emotional connection to me.”
Protesters were also encouraged to participate in the Committee to Stop FBI Repression’s call in day to support Rasmea Odeh.
The Minnesota Anti-War Committee’s next protests will be focused on the midterm elections and pressuring U.S. Senate candidates to stop supporting aid to Israel.