Dorgham Abusalim

New York Times headquarters

A study of 100,000 headlines in the five leading US newspapers in the last 50 years shows that mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by 93%, Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians; and the number of headlines centering Israel were published four times more than those centering Palestine. Edward Said was right, Palestinians lack the permission to narrate.

The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

On the heels of the Israeli government announcing 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, that said in part, “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”

Jordana Cutler, who is currently the Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, and a longtime advisor to Netanyahu, has been named as head of policy and communications at Facebook’s Israel office. The appointment comes as the Israeli government has put pressure on the social network to monitor “incitement” and material critical of the country. Cutler’s position as a diplomatic government official suggests that her role will be to bring Facebook and the Israeli government closer together.

Over the past 48 hours, we’ve been inundated by the news that Hillary Clinton would give a “major” foreign policy speech in California where, according to the latest polls, the Democratic primary race is running neck-and-neck. The truth is, despite a strong and well-carried-out performance, you could only look at her speech in two ways: It was an exemplary exercise of circumlocution, delivering vague and not-so-major remarks; or it was a major speech because of the things downplayed. Palestine was nonexistent in the address, but Israel’s place in the speech was pretty narrow, in a possible acknowledgement that the Israel brand isn’t one anyone wants to be associated with these days.

New York Times headquarters

A study released in November 2015 by 416 Labs, a Toronto-based consulting firm, reveals that the New York Times portrays Islam and Muslims more negatively than alcohol, cancer, and cocaine. Based on a sentiment analysis of online and print headlines spanning 25 years and 2,667,700 articles, the study found “strong evidence that Islam/Muslims are consistently associated with negative terms in NYT headlines.”

Palestinian director Basil Khalil, whose short film Ave Maria is nominated for an Oscar this year, cautioned that the Academy’s effort to diversify its membership could fall short of achieving the intended goals, “As a Palestinian who was brought up in Israel, I know all too well about discrimination. The solution starts from the bottom. Producers, agents, film executives need to hire a diverse range of actors in their films, production staff in their companies, and finance diverse films.”