Two Pools, Two Worlds of News Coverage regarding Police Violence in America

by Beirut Report

By now much of the world has seen the brutal image of a Texas police officer literally sitting on top of a young African American girl wearing nothing but a swimsuit–after having tossed her around and shoved her head into the grass.

The news of what happened at a pool in McKinney went absolutely viral and has rightly sparked outrage. A google news search brings up over 6 million results:

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But an act of violent discrimination against young brown people at another pool got almost no coverage by comparison. Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem revealed that a large crowd of Israeli settlers accompanied by dozens well armed police and military troops expelled Palestinians from a public pool near Hebron. And this wasn’t some lone crazy/racist cop, it was a whole brigade of machine-gun toting military officers that carried out the ethnic expulsion under the cover of martial law harking back to America’s Jim Crow south.

15-year-old Ibrahim Abu Tabikh told B’Tselem:

“…one of the soldiers ordered us to get out of the water. I refused and stood by the edge of the pool. Another soldier came up to me, pointed his gun at me, and shouted at me to get out of the water quickly. Muhammad and I got out of the water because I was afraid of the soldiers.”

The news coverage? A search for “Palestinians” and “Pool” brought back only 1 relevant result, the very same B’Tselem report from its own website:

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In fact I could not find one news organization that covered this, at least in English. A far cry from the soul-searching that went on in the US, with in-depth pieces looking at how this pool incident reflects a wider historical context of inequality.

Yet when it comes to Palestine, there has barely been a chronicling of the event, let alone any type of social or historical analysis.

No wonder the decades of discrimination and brutal daily violence against Palestinians is so invisible to Americans. In the mainstream media, it largely doesn’t exist.



Cleared of Palestinians, Israeli settlers swim in pool. Photo: Nasser Nawajah/B’Tselem

Copyright  Beirut Report 2015

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