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14 May, 2018 15:23

US media focuses on embassy opening in Jerusalem amid bloodbath in Gaza

US media focuses on embassy opening in Jerusalem amid bloodbath in Gaza

Usually, the death of more than three dozen protesters anywhere in the world is something US media would be interested in — but it seems that old journalism maxim ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ may not extend to Palestinian blood.

On a day that has seen 52 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces amid historic protests, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan has said the decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem will be a “magnificent tribute to peace” — and it seems American media aren’t in the mood for questioning.

The US mainstream media has been less than keen to cover the Palestinian deaths, instead deciding to focus on the opening of the new embassy.

As news was breaking of the deaths of scores of Palestinian protesters at about 9:30 am EST, most US channels opted to show pictures from the feed at the new US Embassy instead of footage from the historic protests where more than 2,400 protesters — including 74 women and 23 children — have been injured in the most violent day of the six-week long Great Return March.

Fox News was particularly uninterested, barely making a mention of the violence in Gaza. CNN too focused more on the embassy opening than on the violence, but did show headlines about the numbers killed in the violence.

MSNBC, perhaps the most anti-Trump news channel, showed a split screen — one side showing pictures from the embassy while the other one showed the protests and admitted that there was a certain mockery to words of peace from US officials while protesters were being killed by Israeli forces in Gaza.

As for print, the New York Times, among others, was criticized by media analysts for using toned down language in order to avoid assigning responsibility for the deaths to Israeli forces.

US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has infuriated Palestinians who see the eastern part of the Holy City as their rightful, independent capital.

The move, which US officials claimed would be a contribution to peace , has no doubt exacerbated tensions in the region significantly. Palestinians see the US decision as a clear indication that the US backs Israel in the conflict.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said the US move was a “slap in the face” and that Washington can now no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace process.