In America’s news headlines, Palestinians die mysterious deaths

I wrote this essay for The Guardian.

It is the peculiar fate of oppressed people everywhere that when they are killed, they are killed twice: first by bullet or bomb, and next by the language used to describe their deaths. A common condition of oppression, after all, is to be blamed for being the victim, and that blame gets meted out in language designed to rob the oppressed of their very struggle.

Such a situation has for decades been the tragic destiny of the Palestinians, who are themselves so routinely assigned the blame when they are killed by Israel – and not just by the Israeli government but by the American media and political establishment – that we have now basically come to expect it.

But we don’t have to accept it. By paying close attention to the language of the media, we can see how this double death of the oppressed occurs, and we can learn how to resist such an insidious way of framing the Palestinian struggle.

Read the rest here.

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