Statement from the Leadership of the National Writers Union on the War in Gaza

Since Hamas’s unconscionable attack on Israeli civilians, the Israeli military has killed more than fourteen hundred people in Gaza and cut off food, water, and electricity to more than two million people. As of this writing, in a massive ethnic cleansing, Israel is forcibly displacing more than a million people as it prepares a ground invasion. All of this violates international law, which the Israeli government has done with impunity for decades and with the material and political support of the U.S. 

Those killed in Gaza include at least nine Palestinian journalists. Some fifty media offices in Gaza have been destroyed. The National Writers Union—in solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists—condemns the actions of the Israeli military and its specific assault on the press, which has further undermined the already tenuous transmission of news from the Gaza Strip to the rest of the world. 

NWU calls on Western media outlets, especially those based in North America, to cover this war in a factual, unbiased way, and with proper historical context. Too much of the mainstream press has leaned on unconfirmed information and the representations of Israeli military and government officials, to the exclusion of other sources. We know from past experience, including the mistakes of the post-9/11 period, the role that the media can play in manufacturing consent for unjust war.

NWU cautions all journalistic organizations not to repeat those mistakes. We condemn the silencing of and retaliation against Muslim and Arab media workers and those who express critical and dissenting views. No one should feel compelled to justify crimes of war.