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May 17, 2021

Studying Israel-Palestine conflict through media literacy lens

Cover photo: Rescuers carry a girl as they search for victims amid rubble at the site of Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on May 16, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video above, click here.

Note: Prior knowledge of the subject is expected on the part of the teacher. If you’re not sure, you may want to start with this A Guide to the Current Crisis in Israel/Palestine by Jewish Currents and More than a century on: The Balfour Declaration explained. You may also want to view NewsHour EXTRA’s lesson on the core issues involved.

Summary:

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza leveled three buildings and killed dozens of people on Sunday, including children. Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel also continued with reports of over 2,500 rockets fired since the start of the conflict, with up to 90% intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defenses. International allies, including members of the U.N. Security Council, are calling for a ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled the conflict with Palestine will continue “full force” until its military objectives in Gaza are met.

On Saturday, Israeli forces targeted Gaza, striking down a tower housing offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press as well as residences. Hamas militia continued to attack Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, damaging several homes and buildings. Israel has reported at least 7 deaths since the start of this conflict; the toll in Gaza is reported to be nearly 200 Palestinians.

Discussion: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is interviewed for this piece?
  • Why did Israel say they leveled the high rise building containing people’s homes and news outlets including the AP and Al Jazeera? Who else did Israel say had offices in the building? What did the AP say in response?
  • What are the goals of those involved in fighting?
  • How does the reporter describe how people feel about going out for groceries in Gaza?
  • Where is Gaza? Where is Tel Aviv? Take a moment to find these places on a map.

Focus question: Through regular television or social media, you are bound to come across graphic images of events taking place in Palestine-Israel right now. What questions do you have? What would you like to say to leaders if you had the chance to talk with them? 

Rescuers carry a girl as they search for victims amid rubble at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City May 16, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed SalemRockets are launched by Palestinian militants into Israel, in Gaza May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

 

Media literacy: There’s been a surge of opinion pieces or op-eds written about the current situation in recent days. How are opinion pieces different from news articles? Do you think it’s important to read a variety of perspectives on this topic? Why or why not?

Additional resources: It can be difficult to understand the current conflict in Israel and Palestine from just a single news story.


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