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Geopolitical hell: Israel-Hamas war and balanced journalism

The international community has largely abandoned efforts to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why? Yet, who assumed the solution was political?

Suppose the root issue is not political, but spiritual, what then? After spending time online correcting media houses about truth-telling in the face of boiling emotions, I wanted to use this platform to help communicators and journalists give a more balanced approach to conceptualizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

All responsible media houses and the global community should first condemn Hamas’ attack on Israel. What happened? Early Saturday October 09, 2023, Hamas, which some labeled as a terrorist entity – the armed wing of the Palestinian group – launched a ‘massive, complex, and well-coordinated attack from the territory it controls in Gaza. Militants killed over 900 Israelis, including 11 US citizens, and over a dozen other nationalities. They kidnapped civilians and IDF soldiers and fired rockets at Israeli civilians.

All responsible political and religious entities should encourage Israel to exercise caution and restraint. This being the case, His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu,

Prime Minister of Israel, said that the response to Hamas’ attack on Israel will be ‘unprecedented.’ We do not know what that means, but we are seeing what it means. The IDF is turning Gaza into an uninhabitable place, literally.

Good journalism demands at this point that reporters and news anchors put context into their communication and reporting. This means this context must have correct historical bearings and considerations. Let me use a Grenada situation. Slave owners in twenty-seven (27) Caribbean islands including Grenada introduced the small Indian mongoose in the 1870s to control rats and snakes in sugar cane. Yet up to as late as 2014 rabies was endemic and was thought to be maintained mostly in the wildlife host, the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus). Any irresponsible reporter or media practitioner can blame former slave owners for introducing rabies to Caribbean islands; but as you see it is not so simple.

Likewise, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is complexities drunk with ideological blood, distorted with religious fruits, poisoned with political cacophony, and pregnant with corruption and ‘unreasonability.’

Anyone listening to Venezuela’s President, His Excellency Nicolas Maduro, who accused Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, could think that the IDF simply decided to get up and bomb Gaza. Anyone listening to the US President, His Excellency Joe Biden, may think that only Israeli lives matter. Anyone listening to many Arab leaders may conclude it was Israel who gave Hamas a surprise attack and not the other way around.

Having shared the aforementioned, any responsible media and the global community should call for calm and compromise for the sake of innocent civilians.

Unfortunately, from a Biblical and theological perspective, more wars are coming against Israel. Mostly all major powers of the world would come against Israel as the Biblical Prophet foretells in the battle of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.  And it might be a gift for many of us to die before these wars happen.

By Rev Vonnie E James, Grenada Baptist Association

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