All the main news outlets are currently carrying the story of the killing of four Israeli colonist-settlers yesterday by the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, near the Palestinian city of Hebron.
What is notable about the coverage on the BBC, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Guardian is that none of them point out that the settlements that the four Israelis were living in were illegal settlements. They are regarded under international law as unlawful as they have been built on occupied Palestinian land.
All the main media outlets are under relentless pressure from pro-Israel lobbyists to skew their reporting to avoid reporting facts such as this that are uncomfortable for the Israelis. No wonder that in their landmark study of TV news coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Bad News from Israel, Professor Greg Philo and Dr Mike Berry found that more UK viewers believed – erroneously – that it was the Palestinians who were unlawfully occupying Israeli territory rather than vice versa.
The Jewish colonist-settlers near Hebron have very deliberately built their houses on occupied land so as to prevent the emergence of an independent Palestinian state. The Jewish colonists make no secret of their refusal to dismantle the illegal settlements on occupied land to pave the way for a Palestinian state.
I do believe that a two-state solution is the most practical and realistic way of ending this long-running conflict. This requires that all Jewish colonists abandon their fanatical dreams of a Greater Israel and leave their settlements built on land stolen from the Palestinians.