Erasing the Nakba, Upholding Apartheid: Atrocity Denial in the U.S. Media
Institute for Palestine Studies
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In this installment of the Institute for Palestine Studies’ Current Issues in Depth series, Greg Shupak brings to light a fundamental problem in the misrepresentation of Palestine in U.S. media; the systemic denial of a seminal event: the Nakba. The Nakba, or “the catastrophe,” was the forceful expulsion of at least 750 thousand native Palestinians from their lands in 1948, and the theft of their property, which enabled the violent founding of the State of Israel. Shupak illustrates here how media coverage is almost devoid of historical context for the Palestinian situation as it stands today and demonstrates how this atrocity denial and lack of historical context uphold racist structures of apartheid in occupied Palestine. This monograph is also a part of our collaborative series with Against Apartheid and Racial Discrimination (AARDi) in which we aim to further uncover the systemic racism of the Israeli apartheid state. It analyzes one of the foundational problems of media representations of Palestine, and, in doing so, helps chart a path forward for more fair and balanced coverage.


Greg Shupak teaches English and media studies at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. His book, The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel and the Media, is published by OR Books. He is an academic and fiction writer whose political analysis frequently appears in outlets such as Canadian Dimension, Electronic Intifada, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and Jacobin.

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Erasing the Nakba, Upholding Apartheid: Atrocity Denial in the U.S. Media