History Is Indispensable to Journalism

It’s missing from corporate journalism for a reason and for the same reason is a big part of Consortium News. 

Israeli army in Gaza in 1956. (National Library of Israel/Wikimedia Commons)

You cannot understand a conflict without understanding its history. That’s why historical context is routinely suppressed by corporate media, such as in the Palestinian-Israel conflict and the war between Russia and Ukraine. They don’t want you to understand.

For establishment journalists, the violence in Gaza began on Oct. 7, 2023 and in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. 

Understanding the Palestinian conflict from 1948 forward, and the Ukraine war from the 2014 overthrow of the Ukrainian government and the start of the civil war completely changes one’s perception.

So establishment media suppresses this history because it’s a perception they don’t want you to have. It goes against its agenda to promote Western foreign policies, rather than reporting on them. 

In 1956, Moshe Dayan, then chief of the Israeli general staff, looked into both the recent past and to today to warn:

“What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived. … We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”

Dayan understood the indispensability of historical context, even when it pointed to his own side’s guilt.

It’s a history of the still ongoing process of the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Arabs by Israel, in the face of the foundational myth of a land without people for a people without a land. It’s a history understood by student protestors across the U.S., which is why the state and the media want them silenced. 

We have published numerous articles on the history of the Palestinian conflict and last year we ran a timeline that explained the war in Ukraine in a completely different way from what Western governments and media are telling us.  

History is an invaluable part of Consortium News‘ reporting. Please contribute today to CN‘s Spring Fund Drive to help us to continue providing rare but essential historical context.    

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13 comments for “History Is Indispensable to Journalism

  1. Serenicus
    May 9, 2024 at 13:29

    Happy V-E Day Everyone, well, at least those who acknowledge history. But, be careful about acknowledging history in the Democracy and Freedom of NATO, as in some NATO countries openly celebrating the defeat of Genocide Adolf is an illegal offense. Last year, at least one country had their state police looking for people who sent messages of happiness at the anniversary of the defeat of Genocide Adolf, and issued fines to the offenders. All in the name of Democracy and Freedom.

    Of course, here in America, we have a grand national holiday to celebrate our Greatest Generation who defeated the fascists of Italy, the Nazis of Germany, and the Japanese militarists. Genocide Joe will stand on the reviewing platform of a grand national parade, and all the workers have a holiday in celebration of the defeat of Genocide Adolf. It is always such an important national celebration, here in the land of Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker and of course Lucky Lindy.

  2. Les Gillot
    May 7, 2024 at 13:01

    George Orwell said it all.
    He who controls the present controls the past. And he who controls the past controls the future.

    • Deborah Howland
      May 7, 2024 at 16:42

      Also. History is written by the winners.

    • Em
      May 8, 2024 at 09:08

      Perhaps the interpretation today, more aptly, would read as: he who controls the media controls the present, and the present is an indication of where humanity is headed in its self-pollution of the future.
      As someone else in history once stated: morality is a good idea!

      • LarcoMarco
        May 9, 2024 at 13:37

        The Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi was asked what he thought about western civilization. His answer? “I think it is a good idea”.

  3. vinnieoh
    May 7, 2024 at 10:39

    I missed the last fund drive – so sorry. I wish I could do more than what I have, but times are what they are.

    This short piece is spot on. Perhaps CN could re-post both the Gaza and Ukraine histories/timelines during this fund drive?

    The media responsible for the maintenance of the official narrative is now repeating – without challenge – that Russia cut off the supply of gas to Europe as retaliation for the war in Ukraine. This unchallenged “truth” is being embedded in articles discussing LNG and “how important it is in countering Russian aggression.” It is just now being understood what I’ve said all along how important the Ukraine/US/NATO gambit against Russia is to the US LNG industry, or more precisely, the investor class that has made it possible.

    Forget ideology, ethnicity, and religious horseshit: the only thing necessary to understand the US empire is to follow the money.

    The official narrative is a fiction that is manufactured on the fly almost hourly of every day.

  4. Em
    May 7, 2024 at 09:50

    Any “informed choices” based on the false history of how the tyrannical, ultra Zionist, nationalist, theocratic, supremacist state of Israel came about, is still truth “aborted”.
    Ergo, Journalism, as we are only nowadays beginning to witness firsthand, through, as of this moment, still freely expressed words and pictures on the subject, is not necessarily based on the reporting of actual, factual history.

  5. Dfnslblty
    May 6, 2024 at 18:23

    Journalism is history!

    Every written & recorded word, every photograph is historical and important.
    Without a record of events, history is aborted.

    Tell your family, your friends, your community about the happenings so that all are able to make informed choices about life.

  6. Ray Peterson
    May 6, 2024 at 18:02

    Wonderful! And not just because I’m a retired high school history teacher.
    Historical context in analogy brings up the name Hugh Thompson.
    He was the helicopter pilot who stopped the US My Lai massacre
    of Vietnamese in 1968.
    Like Israel’s claim against Hamas now, American soldiers then were murdering
    all in the village for National Liberation Forces. Some similar action is sorely
    needed now to stop our US/Israeli massacre in Gaza.

    • CaseyG
      May 6, 2024 at 20:13

      Oh, yes, I remember reading about that. Hugh Thompson and 2 other soldiers in the helicopter stopped that awful soldier who was murdering adults, grandparents and children . I think to was a LT Calley that started murdering all those civilians. I read later that the President let the awful man off.
      It was wonderful to read about Hugh Thompson, and without him— I often think that the military does not care, but even more people would have been murdered without Hugh Thompson.

    • John K. Leslie
      May 6, 2024 at 21:16

      I often wonder why most Americans stay in school beyond the sixth grade. They claim to be “educated” yet have an astonishing lack of knowledge of those with whom they war. Since they freed themselves from the British they have seldom been at peace. Now, the country is in serious decline and despised by others almost universally. The world is no longer unipolar with the US solely in control. Get used to it, Americans, it’s now multipolar and there’s naught you can do about it. Live and let live!

    • Randal Marlin
      May 7, 2024 at 05:00

      We should also bear in mind Sy Hersh, the journalist who brought the My Lai massacre to public attention through diligent investigative reporting, when the Pentagon was working to keep it secret. I subscribe to his weekly newsletter, well worth it.

    • Joe Moffa
      May 7, 2024 at 11:07

      In the Vietnam operation one must look at history that preceded the war. The standard narrative from the US was there will be a “domino effect” in the region if something is not done to stop the communists. In fact, when I was being processed by the Army it was a constant reminder why we need to enter Vietnam.

      What one needs to understand that all of history concerning the event needs to be read and analyzed. A quick read of history will clearly show the propensity for the US to create coup d’ tats around the world. In the case of Vietnam president Lyndon Johnson was presented with a lie about the Gulf of Tonkin, and which created the escalation of war. After decades of public skepticism and government secrecy, the truth finally came out: In the early 2000s, nearly 200 documents were declassified and released by the National Security Agency (NSA). They showed that there was no attack on August 4.

      The same is the case now with the Ukraine and Israel conflicts. Ukraine in particular is very sad because the overthrow of a democratic elected president in 2014 has created 500k deaths of courageous Ukranian soldiers and all the devastation in their country.

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