Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian civilians – The Dehumanising coverage by the Swiss media

Alaa Qadoum (5), Mohammed Hassouna (14), Ahmad Al-Nairab (11), Momen Al-Nairab (5), Hazem Salem (9), Ahmed Al-Farram (16), Jamil Al-Deen Naijm (4), Nazmy Karsh (16), Hamed Najim (16), Mohammed Naijm (17), Jamil Ihab Najim (13), Muhammad Al-Nabahin (13), Ahmed Al-Nabahin (9), Dalia Al-Nabahin (13), Haneen Abu Qaida (10)

These are the names of the Palestinian children killed by the Israeli military in the recent airstrikes in Gaza. They are just a few of the many innocent civilians who have lost their lives in the past few days as a result of Israel’s brutal and inhumane attacks.

When covering wars and occupations, human rights violations and war crimes, especially the cold-blooded murder of civilians, must be at the centre. And yet the double standards of Western mass media could not be greater. As soon as attention turns to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Israeli war crimes against Palestinian civilians fade into the background. Moreover, the media often adopts a biased stance that welcomes the Israeli view.

Using the examples of the online media, and, this article will show how Swiss mass media have failed miserably to present the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian civilian population in a factual manner over the past few days. The three news portals mentioned were chosen for analysis because, according to the Yearbook Quality of the Media 21, they have the largest reach among online media in Switzerland. The analysis integrates articles published or updated from the beginning of the Israeli attacks on 5 August 2022 until the ceasefire on 7 August at 22:00. 

Irrelevant headlines

Headlines from, and are meant to give Swiss readers a picture of the situation on the ground. Watson and 20minuten write the same thing in terms of content: “After killing of jihad chief: Several rockets fired at Israel” (; “After killing of jihad chief: Israel reports rocket fire from Gaza Strip” ( Both headlines reveal a biased stance of the media portals, which clearly side with Israel by using this wording. They imply, namely, that the Israelis carried out a lawful act (execution of the jihadi leader) and that the Palestinians reacted to it with an unlawful act (firing rockets at Israel). They also display Israelis as the victims and Palestinians as the perpetrators. However, the two headlines ignore that there was more than a precise military operation behind the killing of the jihadi chief. It involved several Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which at the time of publication of the articles included the bombing of a residential building, the killing of ten Palestinians, including a five-year-old (Alaa Qadoum) and 23-year-old girl (Duniana Adnan Al-Amour), and the injury of 55 civilians. 

SRF described the Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian civilians the next day as follows: “Violence in Gaza continues for second day”. This is outrageous on two counts. First, the headline’s use of the term “violence” trivialises the brutal and bloody conditions in Gaza. This is evident from pictures and videos of bleeding and lifeless children and adults, which circulated on social media. Secondly, the headline avoids holding Israel responsible for this atrocity. In another headline, SRF wrote “Islamist chief killed: Israel attacks more Gaza targets”. This wording gives the reader the impression that the “further targets” refer to terrorists and that the attacks are therefore legitimate. In reality, numerous homes were bombed and completely destroyed. Watson mentioned in the headline of 07.08.2022 the “hail of rockets on Israel” – which incidentally did not result in any serious casualties on the Israeli side – but excluded the Israeli hail of rockets on Palestine, which by that time had already resulted in 31 deaths, including six children, four women, and 265 wounded. 

Glancing over Table 1, one immediately notices that none of the headlines mention the killing or wounding of Palestinian civilians. This is worrying and confirms that Palestinian civilian casualties are not a priority in the reporting of the Swiss online media.
Nach Tötung von Dschihad-Chef: Mehrere Raketen auf Israel abgefeuert (published on 05.08.2022, 22:14, updated at 23:04)Nach Tötung von Jihad-Chef: Israel meldet Raketenbeschuss aus dem Gazastreifen (published on 06.08.2022, 02:52)Nach Tötung von Dschihad-Chef: Gewalt im Gazastreifen hält zweiten Tag an (updated on 06.08.2022, 10:29am)
«Katastrophale Situation» in Gaza – einziges Kraftwerk vorĂĽbergehend abgeschaltet(published on 06.08.2022, 14:44, updated at 17:05)Naher Osten: Israelischer Luftangriff tötet Dschihad-Kommandeur Chaled Mansour(updated on 07.08.2022, 11:44am)Islamisten-Chef getötet: Israel greift weitere Ziele im Gazastreifen an (published on 06.08.2022, 16:23, updated at 21:24)
Tötung von Dschihad-Militärchefs und Raketenhagel auf Israel – das Wichtigste in 8 Punkten (published on 07.08.2022, 04:47am, updated at 17:05) Gazastreifen: Wieso eskaliert die Gewalt ausgerechnet jetzt?(published on 06.08.2022, 20:35)
  Gewalt im Nahostkonflikt: Gaza: Ab heute Abend soll offenbar ein Waffenstillstand gelten (published on 07.08.2022, 10:29, updated at 17:26)
Table 1: Headlines of the three online media outlets concerning the situation on the ground

Biased reactions of the Swiss media

Not only the headlines, but the articles themselves put the Israeli attack on the Palestinian civilian population in the background, despite the fact that such actions violate the principles of international humanitarian law. Moreover, the articles are filled with biased and out-of-context formulations. This is illustrated by the three original reactions from, and 


In the first article published by Watson, the opening paragraphs are devoted to the situation in Israeli cities (based on Israeli media reports), the threats of the “Palestinian organisation Islamic Jihad” (PIJ) and the Israeli assassination of its leader in a “military operation in the Gaza Strip” in response to “planned attacks on [Israeli] civilians”. As a crowning conclusion – before the Palestinian civilian victims are even mentioned – it is emphasised once again that Islamic Jihad is “classified as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the USA”. At this point, the average reader is already influenced and has formed an opinion: The Israeli attack on Gaza is legitimate because they are taking out terrorists in Gaza as a preventive measure against attacks on their own civilian population. Israelis are the good guys, Palestinians the bad guys.

Then finally, after nine pro-Israeli phrased sentences, a misleading headline and a photo showing Palestinian rockets “heading towards Israel”, Palestinian civilian casualties are mentioned for the first time: “According to Palestinian sources, at least ten people were killed in the Israeli airstrikes, including a five-year-old child and other PIJ members, in addition to al-Jabari [jihadi leader].” This sentence is abysmal for several reasons. First, the “five-year-old child” has a name: Alaa Qadoum, a young girl still in kindergarten and ripped from life in the worst possible way. Secondly, Alaa is only mentioned in a subordinate sentence. The article consists of 32 sentences in total, and yet Watson does not dedicate a single sentence to her. Finally, Alaa is placed between “al-Jabari” and “other PIJ members”. By placing Alaa between two descriptions of “terrorists”, Watson is deliberately trying to trivialise her death and legitimise the Israeli attack. This once again highlights the neglect in reporting of Palestinian “collateral damage”, as the Israeli military often legitimises attacks on innocent civilians. 


The 20minuten article on the Israeli air strike in Gaza is basically identical to the Watson article. It is slightly shorter and some sentences have been changed, but the biased wording and the neglect of the Palestinian civilian population remain. Under the title, the news portal added a photo of an explosion in the Gaza Strip and commented as follows: “Fire and smoke in Gaza: Israel reports targeted killing of Palestinian militant leader.” This description overlooks the devastating impact of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians. Below the photo, 20minuten also included an information box to inform readers about the main  events. Again, the attack on Palestinian civilians was not reported. Even more unsettling: the Israeli airstrikes were not even mentioned, but only that the Israeli military “killed the military chief of the militant Palestinian organisation Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip (…)”. 


SRF’s original reaction – here we have an updated version of the article on 06.08.2022 at 10:29 – to the events on the ground is equally worrying. As in the case of 20minuten, many distorted and biased formulations are repeated in line with the Watson article. Moreover, once again the summary of key events at the beginning of the article does not even mention Palestinian civilian casualties. When this issue is finally mentioned, the figures are again played down: “Among the dead are at least four members of Islamic Jihad and one child. Rephrased, this means: Among the dead are up to five civilians, including one child. SRF could have opted for the latter formulation, but instead decided to place the killing of the child in the context of killed PIJ members. 

Regarding the beginning of the article, two formulations are misleading. “Targets in Gaza” implies a feigned legitimacy, since the airstrikes had already hit several residential buildings at the time this article was published. There is no trace of this in the SRF article.Additionally, the sentence “the Palestinians continue to fire rockets into Israeli territory” is a misplaced generalisation, implying that Palestinians in general, and not PIJ, are responsible for the rockets fired. This once again illustrates how the Swiss online media fail to differentiate between civilians and PIJ members. 

SRF’s reporting also lacks context, as do the other two articles. It writes “Israelis and Palestinians in fear – Many Israelis in the south of the country spent the night in shelters. In the Gaza Strip, on the other hand, people fear the Israeli air strikes that began Friday afternoon and continued.” To the reader, it appears that both civilian populations were equally affected by the events. Omitted is the fact that Palestinians in Gaza have been living in an “open-air” prison for 15 years due to the Israeli land, sea and air blockade. There are no shelters in the Gaza Strip, and no Iron Dome to intercept Israeli rockets. The approximately two million inhabitants, trapped in one of the most densely populated regions in the world, are defenceless against Israeli airstrikes. SRF briefly addresses this at the end of the article, but only selectively. “In the Gaza Strip, some two million inhabitants live in very poor conditions.” Instead of addressing how the Israeli blockade massively restricts access to electricity, clean drinking water and life-saving medical treatment, any responsibility is shifted away from Israel. The blame is placed on the Palestinians by emphasising that Hamas is a terrorist organisation and implying that the ongoing Israeli blockade was a legitimate response: “Hamas, classified by the EU as a terrorist organisation, had violently seized power in 2007. Israel then tightened a blockade of the area, (…)” Watson uses the same reasoning, while 20minuten completely ignores the context of the blockade. 

Finally, it should be pointed out that a 37-second video entitled “Many dead and injured in Gaza” appears at the top of the SRF article. The clips are apparently intended to give readers an understanding of the situation in Gaza. One can see a group of Palestinians filming rubble with their mobile phones; smoke coming out of a building; and a close-up of three apartment blocks that appear to still be standing. The choice is surprising, considering the videos that have been circulating on social media. Why weren’t Swiss readers shown one of the many videos available of Israeli rockets hitting Gaza? Or the video in which a group of Palestinian children with bloodied faces fearfully stare into the void? Or the video in which a distraught young man carries the lifeless body of Alaa in his arms?


The examples of these three media portals highlight several problematic issues in the coverage of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in general and the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza specifically:

  • The coverage downplays the drastic situation in Gaza. The attacks on the Palestinian civilian population are for the most part blanked out or pushed to the background. In the few cases where they are mentioned, their killing is legitimised as collateral damage, thus degrading and erasing their existence. 
  • The coverage implies a biased attitude on the part of the media portals, which clearly side with Israel through their writing and wording. The actions of the Israelis are erroneously presented as lawful and legitimate, those of the opposing side as unlawful and illegitimate. Readers are given the impression of who are the “good guys” (Israelis) and who are the “bad guys” (Palestinians). Accordingly, the victim/perpetrator role is also clearly assigned. In some cases, Palestinians are generalised as terrorists by the online media. 
  • The coverage refuses to hold Israel responsible for their human rights violations and war crimes. Instead, readers are given the impression that Palestinians themselves are the ones to blame for their plight. 
  • The coverage fails to present the events within an adequate context – the inhumane, illegal and ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza. 

The online media portals, and reach a wide readership. Swiss readers form their opinions on certain topics based on their headlines and formulations. Therefore, balanced and contextual reporting that focuses on the suffering of civilians, defines war crimes as such and holds its perpetrators accountable is all the more important. In this respect, the three media portals analysed failed miserably. 

Reporting that does not lead with the attack on the Palestinian civilian population and the serious extent of war crimes on the part of the Israelis is irresponsible and dehumanising. Moreover, it contributes to the legitimisation of the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Israelische Luftangriffe auf Palästinensische Zivilisten – Entmenschlichende Berichterstattung der Schweizer Medien

Alaa Qadoum (5), Mohammed Hassouna (14), Ahmad Al-Nairab (11), Momen Al-Nairab (5), Hazem Salem (9), Ahmed Al-Farram (16), Jamil Al-Deen Naijm (4), Nazmy Karsh (16), Hamed Najim (16), Mohammed Naijm (17), Jamil Ihab Najim (13), Muhammad Al-Nabahin (13), Ahmed Al-Nabahin (9), Dalia Al-Nabahin (13), Haneen Abu Qaida (10)

Das sind die Namen der palästinensischen Kinder, die in den jüngsten Luftangriffen im Gazastreifen vom israelischen Militär getötet wurden. Es sind nur einige der zahlreichen unschuldigen Zivilisten, die in den vergangenen Tagen durch die brutalen und menschenrechtsverachtenden Angriffe Israels ihr Leben verloren haben.

In der Berichterstattung von Kriegen und Besatzungen mĂĽssen Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Kriegsverbrechen, insbesondere der kaltblĂĽtige Mord von Zivilisten, im Zentrum stehen – das hat die journalistische Arbeit während dem Ukraine-Russland-Krieg verdeutlicht. Und trotzdem könnte die Doppelmoral von westlichen Massenmedien nicht grösser sein. Sobald sich die Aufmerksamkeit auf die israelische Besatzung Palästinas richtet, rĂĽcken die israelischen Kriegsverbrechen an die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung in den Hintergrund der Berichterstattung. Zudem nehmen diese Massenmedien oftmals eine voreingenommene Haltung ein, die die israelische Sichtweise begrĂĽssen.

Am Beispiel der Online-Medien und soll im Folgenden aufgezeigt werden, wie Schweizer Massenmedien kläglich gescheitert sind, die israelischen Angriffe auf die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung in den vergangenen Tagen sachgerecht darzustellen. Die drei genannten Nachrichtenportale wurden deshalb zur Analyse ausgewählt, weil sie gemäss dem Jahrbuch Qualität der Medien 21 unter den Online-Medien die grösste Reichweite in der Schweiz erreichen. Die Analyse integriert jene Artikel, die seit Beginn der israelischen Angriffe am 5. August 2022 bis zum Waffenstillstand am 7. August um 22:00 Uhr publiziert oder aktualisiert wurden. ist auf Rang 4 hinsichtlich der Zahl der erreichten Leser in der Schweiz, hat jedoch innerhalb der analysierten Zeitperiode keinen Artikel zum Thema veröffentlicht und wird daher nicht berĂĽcksichtigt.

Irrelevante Schlagzeilen

In Tabelle 1 sind die Schlagzeilen von, und aufgelistet, die ausgewählt wurden, um den Schweizer Lesern ein Bild der Lage vor Ort zu verschaffen. Watson und 20minuten schreiben inhaltlich dasselbe: Â«Nach Tötung von Dschihad-Chef: Mehrere Raketen auf Israel abgefeuert» (; Â«Nach Tötung von Jihad-Chef: Israel meldet Raketenbeschuss aus dem Gazastreifen» ( Beide Schlagzeilen implizieren eine voreingenommene Haltung der Medienportale, die durch diese Formulierung eindeutig Partei fĂĽr Israel ergreifen. Sie implizieren nämlich, dass die Israelis eine rechtmässige Handlung (Hinrichtung des Dschihad-AnfĂĽhrers) durchgefĂĽhrt haben und die Palästinenser mit einer unrechtmässigen Handlung (Abfeuern von Raketen auf Israel) darauf reagiert haben. Sie implizieren ebenfalls, dass die Israelis Opfer (werden mit Raketen befeuert) und die Palästinenser Täter (Dschihadisten, die Israel mit Raketen befeuern) sind. Die beiden Schlagzeilen lassen allerdings ausser Acht, dass hinter der Tötung des Dschihad-Chefs mehr als eine präzise Militäroperation steckte. Es handelte sich dabei um mehrere israelische Luftangriffe auf den Gaza-Streifen, bei welchen zum Zeitpunkt der Publikation der Artikel unter anderem ein Wohnhaus bombardiert, zehn Palästinenser/innen, darunter ein fĂĽnf-jähriges (Alaa Qadoum) und ein 23-jähriges Mädchen (Duniana Adnan Al-Amour) getötet und 55 Zivilisten verletzt wurden

SRF beschrieb die israelischen Luftangriffe auf die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung am Folgetag wie folgt: Â«Gewalt im Gazastreifen hält zweiten Tag an». Dies ist zweierlei empörend. Erstens verharmlost die Schlagzeile mit dem Gebrauch des Begriffs Â«Gewalt» die brutalen und blutigen Zustände in Gaza. Das zeigten Bilder und Videos von zugeschĂĽtteten, blutenden und leblosen Kindern und Erwachsenen, die in den Sozialen Medien die Runde machten. Zweitens geht die Schlagzeile durch ihre Formulierung einer israelischen Schuldzuweisung fĂĽr diese grausamen Lage aus dem Weg. In einer anderen Schlagzeile schrieb SRF Â«Islamisten-Chef getötet: Israel greift weitere Ziele im Gazastreifen an». Diese Formulierung gibt dem Leser den Eindruck, dass sich die Â«weiteren Ziele» auf Terroristen beziehen und die Angriffe daher legitim sind. In Wirklichkeit wurden zahlreiche Wohnhäuser bombardiert und komplett zerstört. Watson erwähnte in der Schlagzeile vom 07.08.2022 den Â«Raketenhagel auf Israel» – der im Ăśbrigen zu keinen Schwerverwundeten auf israelischer Seite fĂĽhrte – klammerte jedoch den israelischen Raketenhagel auf Palästina aus, welcher zu diesem Zeitpunkt bereits zu 31 Todesopfer, darunter sechs Kinder und vier Frauen, und 265 Verwundeten gefĂĽhrt hatte. 

Ăśberfliegt man Tabelle 1, fällt sofort auf, dass in keinem der Schlagzeilen das Töten oder Verwunden der palästinensischen Zivilbevölkerung erwähnt wird. Dies ist besorgniserregend und bestätigt, dass palästinensische zivile Opfer in der Berichterstattung der Schweizer Online-Medien keine Priorität haben.
Nach Tötung von Dschihad-Chef: Mehrere Raketen auf Israel abgefeuert (publiziert am 05.08.2022, 22:14 Uhr, aktualisiert um 23:04 Uhr)Nach Tötung von Jihad-Chef: Israel meldet Raketenbeschuss aus dem Gazastreifen (publiziert am 06.08.2022, 02:52 Uhr)Nach Tötung von Dschihad-Chef: Gewalt im Gazastreifen hält zweiten Tag an (aktualisiert am 06.08.2022, 10:29 Uhr)
«Katastrophale Situation» in Gaza – einziges Kraftwerk vorĂĽbergehend abgeschaltet(publiziert am 06.08.2022, 14:44 Uhr, aktualisiert um 17:05 Uhr)Naher Osten: Israelischer Luftangriff tötet Dschihad-Kommandeur Chaled Mansour(aktualisiert am 07.08.2022, 11:44 Uhr)Islamisten-Chef getötet: Israel greift weitere Ziele im Gazastreifen an (publiziert am 06.08.2022, 16:23 Uhr, aktualisiert um 21:24 Uhr)
Tötung von Dschihad-Militärchefs und Raketenhagel auf Israel – das Wichtigste in 8 Punkten (publiziert am 07.08.2022, 04:47 Uhr, aktualisiert um 17:05 Uhr) Gazastreifen: Wieso eskaliert die Gewalt ausgerechnet jetzt?(publiziert am 06.08.2022, 20:35 Uhr)
  Gewalt im Nahostkonflikt: Gaza: Ab heute Abend soll offenbar ein Waffenstillstand gelten (publiziert am 07.08.2022, 10:29 Uhr, aktualisiert um 17:26 Uhr)
Tabelle 1: Schlagzeilen der drei Online-Medien betreffend die Lage vor Ort

Voreingenommene Reaktionen der Schweizer Medien

Nicht nur die Schlagzeilen, sondern die Artikel an sich stellen den israelischen Angriff auf die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung in den Hintergrund. Dies obwohl solche Handlungen gegen die Grundsätze des humanitären Völkerrechts verstossen. Zudem sind die Artikel geprägt ĂĽbersät von voreingenommenen und kontextlosen Formulierungen. Im Folgenden wird dies anhand der drei ursprĂĽnglichen Reaktionen von, und aufgezeigt. 


Im ersten veröffentlichten Artikel von Watson widmen sich die ersten drei Absätze der Lage in den israelischen Städten (basierend auf israelischen Medienberichten), den Drohungen der Â«Palästinenserorganisation Islamischer Dschihad» (PIJ) und der israelischen Ermordung deren AnfĂĽhrers in einer Â«Militäroperation im Gazastreifen» als Reaktion auf Â«geplante Angriffe auf [israelische] Zivilisten». Als krönender Abschluss – bevor im Folgesatz die palästinensischen Zivilopfer erstmals erwähnt werden – wird noch einmal betont, dass der Islamische Dschihad Â«von der EU und den USA als Terrororganisation eingestuft» wird. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt ist der durchschnittliche Leser bereits beeinflusst und hat sich eine Meinung gebildet: Der israelische Angriff auf den Gazastreifen ist legitim, weil sie als Präventionsmassnahme vor Terroranschlägen auf die eigene Zivilbevölkerung Terroristen im Gazastreifen ausschalten. Israelis sind die Guten, Palästinenser die Bösen.

Dann endlich, nach neun pro-israelisch formulierten Sätzen, einer irrefĂĽhrenden Schlagzeile und eines Fotos, das palästinensische Raketen Â«in Richtung Israel» zeigt, werden die palästinensischen Zivilopfer erstmals erwähnt: Â«Nach palästinensischen Angaben kamen bei den israelischen Luftangriffen mindestens zehn Menschen ums Leben, darunter neben Al-Dschabari [Dschihad-AnfĂĽhrer] ein fĂĽnfjähriges Kind und weitere PIJ-Mitglieder.» Dieser Satz ist aus mehreren GrĂĽnden abgrundtief. Erstens hat das Â«fĂĽnfjährige Kind» einen Namen: Alaa Qadoum, ein junges Mädchen, das noch im Kindergarten und in schlimmster Art und Weise aus dem Leben gerissen wurde. Zweitens wird Alaa nur in einem Nebensatz erwähnt. Der Artikel besteht aus insgesamt 32 Sätzen, und trotzdem ist sie Watson keine Widmung in einem eigenstehenden Satz wert. Letztens wird Alaa zwischen Â«Al-Dschabari» und Â«weitere PIJ-Mitglieder» platziert. Indem Watson Alaa zwischen zwei Beschreibungen von «Terroristen» stellt, wird bewusst versucht, ihren Tod zu verharmlosen und den israelischen Angriff zu legitimieren. Dies verdeutlicht einmal mehr die Vernachlässigung in der Berichterstattung von palästinensischen «Kollateralschäden», wie das israelische Militär häufig die Angriffe auf unschuldige Zivilisten legitimiert.

20 Minuten

Der Artikel von 20minuten zum israelischen Luftangriff in Gaza ist im Grunde genommen deckungsgleich mit jenem von Watson. Er wurde etwas gekĂĽrzt und einige Sätze leicht verändert, die voreingenommenen Formulierungen und die Vernachlässigung der palästinensischen Zivilbevölkerung blieben jedoch bestehen. Unter dem Titel fĂĽgte das Nachrichtenportal das Foto einer Explosion im Gazastreifen ein und kommentierte dies wie folgt: Â«Feuer und Rauch im Gazastreifen: Israel vermeldet die gezielte Tötung eines militanten PalästinenserfĂĽhrers.» Diese Beschreibung sieht ĂĽber die verheerenden Auswirkungen der israelischen Angriffe auf die palästinensischen Zivilisten hinweg. Unter dem Foto baute 20minuten zusätzlich eine Informationsbox Â«Darum gehts» ein, die die Leser ĂĽber die wichtigsten Marksteine der Ereignisse informieren soll. Auch hier wurde nicht ĂĽber den Angriff auf die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung berichtet. Es kommt noch verstörender: die israelischen Luftangriffe wurde nicht einmal erwähnt, sondern nur das das israelische Militär Â«den Militärchef der militanten Palästinenserorganisation Islamischer Jihad (PIJ) im Gazastreifen (…) getötet»hat. 


Die ursprĂĽngliche Reaktion von SRF – hier liegt nur eine aktualisierte Version des Artikels am 06.08.2022 um 10:29 Uhr vor – auf die Ereignisse vor Ort ist ähnlich besorgniserregend. Wie im Falle von 20minuten, wiederholen sich viele verzerrte und voreingenommene Formulierungen in Kohärenz zum Watson-Artikel. Zudem: In der Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten Ereignisse zu Beginn des Artikels wird die andauernde Gewalteskalation, der erneute Angriff der israelischen Luftwaffe auf Â«Ziele im Gazastreifen», die anhaltenden RaketenbeschĂĽsse der Â«Palästinenser» und die Tötung von Al-Dschabari aufgelistet. Die palästinensischen Zivilopfer schaffen es auch hier nicht auf die Prioritätenliste. Gleich im Anschluss ist dann zwar von neun getöteten und 79 verletzten Palästinenser die Rede, im Folgesatz werden diese Zahlen aber erneut heruntergespielt: Â«Unter den Toten seien mindestens vier Angehörige des Islamischen Dschihads und ein Kind.» Umformuliert bedeutet das: Unter den Toten sind bis zu fĂĽnf Zivilisten, darunter ein Kind. SRF hätte sich fĂĽr letztere Formulierung entscheiden können, sah es allerdings fĂĽr notwendig, die Tötung des Kindes in den Kontext von getöteten PIJ-Mitgliedern zu setzen. 

Um nochmals zu den aufgezählten Punkten am Anfang des Artikels zurĂĽckzukehren: Hier sind zwei Formulierungen irrefĂĽhrend und realitätsverzerrend. Â«Ziele im Gazastreifen» impliziert wie bereits erwähnt eine vorgetäuschte Legitimität, da die Luftangriffe zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung dieses Artikels bereits mehrere Wohnhäuser getroffen hatten. Von diesen fehlt im SRF-Artikel jede Spur. Zusätzlich ist die Formulierung Â«die Palästinenser feuern weiter Raketen auf israelisches Gebiet» eine unangebrachte Generalisierung, die impliziert, dass Palästinenser im Allgemeinen und nicht PIJ fĂĽr die gefeuerten Raketen verantwortlich sind. Dies ist ein weiteres Beispiel, das veranschaulicht, wie den Schweizer Online-Medien die Differenzierung zwischen Zivilisten und PIJ-Mitgliedern misslingt. 

In der Berichterstattung von SRF, sowie von den anderen beiden Portalen, fehlt es ausserdem an Kontext. Weiter unten im Artikel schreibt SRF Â«Israelis und Palästinenser in Angst – Viele Israelis im SĂĽden des Landes verbrachten die Nacht auf Samstag in Schutzräumen. Im Gazastreifen wiederum fĂĽrchten die Menschen die israelischen Luftangriffe, die Freitagnachmittag begannen und andauerten.» Dem Leser erscheint es, als wären beide Zivilbevölkerungen gleich betroffen von den Ereignissen. Ausgelassen wird, dass die Palästinenser im Gaza-Streifen seit 15 Jahren aufgrund der israelischen Land-, See- und Luftblockade wortwörtlich in einem «open-air»-Gefängnis leben. Schutzräume gibt es im Gazastreifen nicht, und auch keinen Iron Dome, der die israelischen Raketen abfängt. Die rund zwei Millionen Einwohner, in einer der am dichtesten besiedelten Region der Welt gefangen, sind den israelischen Luftangriffen wehrlos ausgesetzt. Tatsächlich geht SRF am Ende des Artikels kurz darauf ein, allerdings nur punktuell. Â«Im Gazastreifen leben rund zwei Millionen Einwohner unter sehr schlechten Bedingungen.» Anstelle darauf einzugehen, wie die israelische Blockade den Zugang zu Elektrizität, sauberem Trinkwasser und lebensrettenden medizinischen Behandlungen massiv einschränkt, wird jegliche Verantwortung von den Israelis weggeschoben. Stattdessen wird die Schuld den Palästinensern zugewiesen, indem hervorgehoben wird, dass die dort regierende Hamas eine Terrororganisation sei und impliziert wird, dass die anhaltende israelische Blockade eine legitime Reaktion darauf war: Â«Die von der EU als Terrororganisation eingestufte Hamas hatte 2007 gewaltsam die Macht an sich gerissen. Israel verschärfte daraufhin eine Blockade des Gebiets, (…)» Watson benutzt dieselbe Argumentation, während 20minuten den Kontext der Blockade komplett ausser Acht lässt. 

Zuletzt soll noch hervorgehoben werden, dass beim SRF-Artikel zuoberst ein 37-sekundiges Video mit dem Titel Â«Viele Tote und Verletzte in Gaza» erscheint. Die Zusammenschnitte von einzelnen Clips sollen scheinbar den Lesern die Lage in Gaza näherbringen. Zu sehen sind eine Gruppe von Palästinensern, die mit ihren Handys TrĂĽmmer filmen; Rauch, der aus einem Gebäude kommt; und eine Nahaufnahme von drei Wohnblöcken, die offenbar noch stehen. Die Auswahl ist verwunderlich, wenn man die Videos berĂĽcksichtigt, die in den Sozialen Medien verbreitet wurden. Weshalb wurde den Schweizer Lesern nicht eines der zahlreichen verfĂĽgbaren Videos gezeigt, die zeigen, wie die israelischen Raketen in Gaza einschlagen? Oder das Video, in welchem eine Gruppe von palästinensischen Kindern mit blutvergossenen Gesichtern angsterfĂĽllt in die Leere starren? Oder das Video, in welchem ein seufzender junger Mann den leblosen Körper von Alaa in den Armen trägt? 


Die Beispiele der drei Medienportale verdeutlichen mehrere Problematiken in der Berichterstattung der israelischen Besatzung von Palästina im Allgemeinen und der jüngsten israelischen Angriffe auf Gaza spezifisch:

  • Die Berichterstattung verharmlost die drastische Situation im Gazastreifen. Die Angriffe auf die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung werden grösstenteils ausgeblendet oder in den Hintergrund gestellt. In den wenigen Fällen, in denen sie erwähnt werden, wird deren Tötung als Kollateralschaden legitimiert und ihre Existenz dadurch degradiert und ausgelöscht. 
  • Die Berichterstattung impliziert eine voreingenommene Haltung der Medienportale, die sich durch ihre Schreibweise und Formulierungen eindeutig auf die Seite Israels stellen. Die Handlungen der Israelis werden irrtĂĽmlich als rechtmässig und legitim, jene der Gegenseite als unrechtmässig und illegitim dargestellt. Die Leser erhalten den Eindruck, wer die «Guten» (Israelis) und wer die «Bösen» (Palästinenser) sind. Dementsprechend wird auch die Opfer-/Täterrolle klar zugeteilt. In einigen Fällen werden Palästinenser von den Online-Medien als Terroristen generalisiert. 
  • Die Berichterstattung weigert sich, Israel fĂĽr ihre Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Kriegsverbrechen verantwortlich zu machen. Stattdessen wird den Lesern der Eindruck vermittelt, dass die Palästinenser selbst die Schuldtragenden fĂĽr deren Misere sind. 
  • Die Berichterstattung versäumt es, die Ereignisse innerhalb eines adäquaten Kontexts – die menschenverachtende, rechtswidrige und anhaltende israelische Blockade des Gazastreifens – darzustellen.

Die Online-Medienportale, und erreichen eine breite Leserschaft. Basierend auf deren Schlagzeilen und Formulierungen bilden sich die Schweizer Leser ihre Meinung zu bestimmten Themen. Deshalb ist eine ausgewogene und kontextbezogene Berichterstattung, welche die Ăśbel der Zivilbevölkerungen ins Zentrum stellt, Kriegsverbrechen als solche definiert und die dahintersteckenden Parteien verantwortlich macht, umso wichtiger. DiesbezĂĽglich haben die drei analysierten Medienportale kläglich versagt. 

Eine Berichterstattung, die nicht mit dem Angriff auf die palästinensische Zivilbevölkerung und dem schwerwiegenden Ausmass der Kriegsverbrechen vonseiten der Israelis leitet, ist unverantwortlich und entmenschlichend. Zudem trägt sie dadurch zur Legitimierung der illegalen israelischen Besatzung der palästinensischen Gebiete bei. 

The Qatar disaster: What hideous actions a country is willing to undertake for profit

Qatar, a tiny country located at the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, is hosting the 2022 World Cup. The gas- and oil-rich emirate is around one third the size of Switzerland and has more or less the same population as the city of Manchester. How is it possible that a small-scale country was awarded the responsibility of hosting the biggest sporting event in the world? What are the dark sides of a World Cup in Qatar and what has been done to shed light on this darkness?  

How to get away with vote buying

In 2010 the Executive Committee of the governing global football federation FIFA, today known as the FIFA Council, elected Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022. The votes were cast in secret; thus, it is not officially disclosed who voted for whom. Following the vote, the Sunday Times launched a thorough investigation inspecting allegations of vote buying in the 2022 as well as in the 2018 World Cup bidding process. The investigation was based on intelligence that had been confidentially gathered from seven people involved in the England 2018 bid. Additionally, over a span of four years the Sunday Times investigated and later published information and millions of documents gathered from a whistle-blower inside FIFA, known as the FIFA files. The investigations found evidence that Qatari officials, in particular then FIFA vice president Mohamed Bin Hamman, had bribed FIFA Council members in return for their votes for the 2022 Qatar bid. According to the Sunday Times, Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma for example, two former African FIFA Council members, were paid $1.5 million by the Qatar 2022 bid in exchange for their vote. Also, the information gathered by the Sunday Times included different vote trading deals between bidding countries, among them a deal between Qatar 2022 and Spain-Portugal 2018. This was only possible due to FIFA’s decision to conduct the vote for the 2018 and the 2022 World Cup host simultaneously, for whatever reason. Even though the practice of vote trading was strictly banned according to FIFA regulations, it was practically an invitation for FIFA Council members to exchange their votes. 

One day after the first Sunday Times publication in June 2014, US attorney Michael Garcia, who was appointed by FIFA to investigate earlier allegations concerning vote buying, announced that the evidence-gathering phase of his inspection would shortly come to an end. A couple of weeks later, Garcia submitted his final report, without having investigated the evidence by the Sunday Times. FIFA then published a summary (!) of Garcia’s results, which exonerated the Qatar 2022 (and also the Russia 2018) bid of all wrongdoing. Case closed. Interestingly, in response to the Sunday Times reports the organizing committee claimed that Bin Hammam had not been involved in the Qatar 2022 bid team. FIFA, who had already banned the Qatari for another corruption scandal, supported the claim. That is how to get away with vote buying. 

Human rights only secondary

After the successful World Cup bid, Qatar began with its megaproject, which included among other things the construction of seven new stadiums, a new airport, a new public transport system and a new city, where the World Cup final is set to take place. In the past few years, Qatar’s excessive construction has been under intense scrutiny. Several reports have claimed that the construction workers – mostly migrant workers from South Asian countries such as Nepal or Bangladesh – have been exposed to dreadful labor conditions. In February 2021, The Guardian revealed that more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the emirate won the hosting rights for the World Cup in 2010, the number likely to being an underestimate. 

An earlier report from the Guardian in 2019 addressed the causes of migrant workers’ deaths. According to the official Qatari death toll, most migrant workers had died because of “natural deaths” such as heart or respiratory failure. The investigations, however, show that many of the deceased were in their twenties and thirties, and had arrived in Qatar in good and healthy shape. This leads to the suspicion that their deaths may not have been as “natural” as stated by the Qataris. For its research, the Guardian collaborated with an experienced clinical cardiologist. He found that hundreds of young men, who rarely suffer heart attacks, died in Qatar due to heart strokes, which in turn were caused by the immense heat stress that they were exposed to. This is not surprising, given the fact that these migrants were forced to work in temperatures as high as 45 degrees for up to ten hours a day. 

The deaths of these migrant workers caused by the exposure to such heat is certainly tragic. However, these are not the only human rights violations that the organizers of the 2022 World Cup are responsible for. In 2016, Amnesty International published a report based on interviews with over 200 migrant workers. Some of them worked on a stadium construction site, others as landscapers for a sports complex, where teams such as Paris Saint-Germain have carried out training camps regularly. The findings were shocking. Many migrant workers claimed to not have been paid for months. Besides not being able to pay for basic needs such as food, this impeded them from paying recruitment-related debts or sending money back home to their families, the latter initially being the reason for the migrants leaving home. Another example was the confiscation of migrant workers’ passports by their employers that prohibited the workers from leaving the country. Some of the interviewed Nepali workers claimed that they were not allowed to visit their families in 2015 after a disastrous earthquake struck the country, killing almost 10,000 people. These are only some of the examples of human rights abuses migrant workers had to go through. Dirty and cramped accommodations, lies about the salary and threats for complaining about the terrible conditions are some of the others. Clearly, the organizers of Qatar 2022 do not view the adherence to human rights as a top priority.

Lucrative football industry

Of course, hosting the 2022 World Cup – the biggest sporting event in the world – will greatly benefit Qatar in economic terms. Foreign investments will significantly increase, since such huge events are very lucrative for foreign businesses. Also, the tourism industry is likely to gain a notable economic boost. In particular, the luxury packages offered by MATCH Hospitality AG – FIFA’s official hospitality programme for the Qatar World Cup – will bring in an incredible amount of money. To illustrate, a private lounge ticket for the semi-final match in the newly built Lusail stadium can be purchased for a bargain of $1,760,800. Just to be clear: This doesn’t include neither travelling nor accommodation costs, it is just the price tag for watching one single game of football from a VIP lounge. Fortunately, caviar and a glass of champagne are likely to be included. 

However, it is not only the World Cup that will be beneficious to Qatar economically. In fact, the emirate’s World Cup bid should be seen as part of a broader strategy to maintain Qatar’s wealth once it runs out of its oil and gas reserves. Football has in this regard been viewed by powerful Qataris as a lucrative investment opportunity. Besides the bid, Qatar has tried to invest in the football industry for example by sponsoring Bayern Munich through the state-owned airline Qatar Airways or, more importantly, by taking over the French side Paris St. Germain (PSG) in 2011. Qatar Sports Investment, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, which is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, has pumped hundreds of millions into the club, transforming it from a struggling side to one of the best football teams in the world instantly. In 2017, for example, PSG (de facto the state Qatar) shocked the world when they paid the â‚¬222 million release clause to bring in star-player Neymar from FC Barcelona – the highest amount ever paid for a football transfer. As leaked documents from whistleblower Rui Pinto demonstrate, PSG have repeatedly violated Financial Fairplay regulations, but the Qatari bosses have managed to arrange settlement agreements and get away with ridiculous fines. 

As described, in a long-term attempt to make money, Qatar is investing in the profitable football industry with all necessary measures. Moral convictions such as a fair election or human rights do not seem to be of interest. 

Tick tock

On November 21st, 2021 the final countdown started: 365 days until the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar. While FIFA president Gianni Infantino travelled to Qatar to celebrate the beginning of the one-year countdown by unveiling the fancy Hublot countdown clock, Amnesty International published â€śReality Check 2021: A year to the 2022 World Cup”. The report describes how Qatar had made an agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO) back in 2017 in an effort to ”end labour abuse and exploitation of its more than two million migrant workers” by introducing several potentially effective legal reforms. More importantly, however, the report demonstrates how the Qatari government has failed to actually implement these reforms that are supposed to tackle abusive practices such as wage theft or unsafe working conditions. Also, the kafala system, which binds migrant workers to their employers, often preventing them from changing jobs or leaving the country, is still intact. Amnesty International highlights that employers who are abusing their migrant employees are not effectively sanctioned by the government, and are therefore still incentivized to violate human rights. Based on its investigation, the NGO concludes that – in practice – concerning human rights not much has changed since the reforms. 

In its report, Amnesty International do not call for a boycott. Instead, in a highly optimistic statement they urge Qatar, FIFA and corporate actors involved in the 2022 World Cup to immediately take further actions. In addition, they encourage football associations to “actively and publicly take action to ensure that the rights of migrant workers are respected in the run up and during the 2022 World Cup”. However, for that it is too late. Too many workers and their families have suffered. Too many workers have died, no, killed! And realistically, what will some pre-match jerseys with the inscriptions “HUMAN RIGHTS” or “FOOTBALL SUPPORTS CHANGE” worn by national teams – such as Norway, Germany and the Netherlands during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers – achieve? It is more likely that such actions will benefit these associations from a PR perspective – regardless of whether intended or not – than actually lead to change. 

Change is certainly needed, and football must support it. But as for right now, it does not. If football really does want to support change, as the Netherlands jerseys claimed, then particularly associations and players need to show courage and take real actions. The most effective way to bring about change would be to boycott the World Cup. Imagine the uproar it would cause if a leading football nation such as France or England, or a player like Lionel Messi – the idol of so many people around the world – would refuse to travel to Qatar. Football fans would stand up in support, other players and associations would follow, causing an unstoppable domino effect. In the end, it would be clear to everyone that it is unacceptable for bidding countries to buy votes and to violate human rights in an effort to exploit the lucrative football industry. Only a boycott will guarantee that the Qatar disaster would never be allowed to be repeated. 

So far, none of the 211 FIFA member associations and no prominent football player has spoken out in favor of a boycott. One brave player, or one brave nation â€“ that is all that is required to bring about significant change. And no, it is not “10 years too late” for a boycott, as German international Joshua Kimmich stated in an interview. There still is time, but the clock is ticking. 

US meddling in Africa and the Middle East: Does foreign intervention make sense?

It has gone down in history as the most rapid mass slaughter ever recorded: The genocide in the African state of Rwanda in 1994, where up to a million people were slaughtered by ethnic Hutu extremists while the outside world watched what was going on – and did almost nothing to stop it. And yet out of that catastrophe, impetus arose for a new concept called „R2P“ – the “responsibility to protect”. The principle states that, when a state is failing to protect its own people from crimes against humanity, other states have a moral responsibility to protect the vulnerable and use military force if necessary.

The United States have a striking record when it comes to foreign interventions – especially in Africa and the Middle East. But is it sensible to intervene in foreign political affairs? Or does it only add fuel to the fire?

A long history of US interventions in foreign political affairs

Somalia 1992, Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011: Just to name a few events in Africa and the Middle East that show how the US has fiddled with foreign political affairs for years. Even though the reasons for these interventions were not always the same – the conclusion one can draw from all of these interventions, definitely is: Wiping away pre-existing governing structures has always set off civil conflict and the detrimental impact of these interventions is still visible in every single one of these countries today. 

Why? Because the attempt to forcibly democratise a society with military means almost always created a power vacuum which was then filled by violent groups. The result: state decay and militia rule. 

US intervention in Libya: More Harm Than Good?

Let’s take America’s intervention in Libya as an example for the R2P concept: In 2011, Libyan rebels (propped up by a multi-state NATO coalition including the US) toppled their head of state Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled the country for more than 40 years. In the US, he was considered a very controversial leader under whom freedom of speech was said to have been “severely curtailed” and cases of abuse, torture, and killings by the state were also reported.

But just because Gaddafi was out of the picture, things didn’t get better. Now, almost 10 years after the intervention, Libya is still mired in a violent, domestic conflict: The country finds itself faced with a catch-22 as it is left with warring militias, an economy in tatters, and an infrastructure torn asunder. The icing on the cake: In the wake of the chaos that ensued after 2011, two rivalling administrations emerged in Libya. Khalifa Haftar, warlord and commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) backs one of them: The House of Representatives. The other administration is known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and is internationally recognised.

The US had been silent about the subsequent chaos for years. But then, at the end of his term, former President Barack Obama finally admitted that the US intervention in Libya had not really been as successful as he thought it would be and that he simply underestimated the sweeping scope of unintended consequences that had flowed from the intervention. When asked about his worst mistake, Obama replied with „probably failing to plan for the day after, what I think was the right thing to do, intervening in Libya.”

What the Libyan tragedy has explicitly shown is that acting within the framework of the “responsibility to protect” concept is not always the right way to go. Critics have come up with the principle of the “responsibility to rebuild” – which should definitely be taken into consideration if the US should decide to conduct a regime change in a foreign country again.

Because yes, wanting to protect citizens from atrocities is commendable and yes, humanitarian intervention has the potential to help meet global problems. But the US government’s expectations should be realistic, and ambitions should be bounded – because history has clearly shown that foreign-imposed regime change rarely leads to democratisation. The US should abandon its persistent fantasy of reordering the world – America should not be the world’s police.

Israel’s illegal settlement-expansion

In 1967, the Israeli army defeated its Arab neighbors in a bloodshed combat that is widely known as the Six-Day War. Suddenly, Israel’s territory had significantly expanded, capturing territories such as the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights as well as the territories that today make up the occupied Palestinian territories, namely the Gaza strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the latter having been (illegally) annexed in 1980. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been under Israeli occupation ever since, despite being governed by the Palestinian authorities. 

One would imagine that the Israeli government would be satisfied with this development and that it would settle on these new-drawn boundaries. However, history has shown this interpretation to be an illusion. Israel continues to enforce its expansion policy by setting up one Israeli settlement after the other. As of 2019, around 650’000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Some of these settlers are known to be extremely radical, which results in a widespread phenomenon called “settler violence” towards Palestinian residents nearby. Especially in recent months, settler attacks against Palestinians have been increasing rapidly.

Undermining international law

In order to build these settlements, Israel continuously relies on methods such as the demolition and confiscation of Palestinian homes, and therefore also on the forced transfer or eviction of Palestinian residents. These actions clearly violate international law, as the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly states that â€śIndividual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory” are illegal.

However, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not seem to respect these international norms. In fact, he went one step further in breaking international law by proposing his own annexation plans for the Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory that make up around 30% of the West Bank. The implementation of the project was supposed to begin in July 2020, but Netanyahu’s coalition partner Benny Gantz demanded to postpone the annexation due to the government’s responsibility to set its focus on combatting Covid-19. Though fading into the background, it is plausible that Netanyahu will resume his annexation plans once the pandemic is under control. 

Netanyahu has benefited from a Trump Administration that does not criticize Israel’s illegal settlement-expansion. On the contrary, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared in November 2019 that the United States do not consider Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory to be violations of international law. The administration’s Middle East Peace Plan also pushed for the illegal annexation of these settlements as well as that of the Jordan Valley, an important economic area for Palestinians. The plan also stated that the remaining 70% of the Palestinian territory would be subject for discussion to form a future Palestinian state. This is an unrealistic promise that would, if indeed implemented, be tied to strict constraints. Handing over the Jordan Valley to Israel or giving up the dream of having East Jerusalem as their capital city are only a few of the sacrifices Palestinians would have to make if they were to accept the US plan. It is to no surprise that this peace proposal, which clearly aims to justify the illegal annexation of Israeli settlements, does not include a plan for the return of the 300’000 Palestinian refugees that were forced to leave the Palestinian territory in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War. 

US elections as a driver of change?

Israel’s Prime Minister cannot expect the same amount of support for his illegal activities from the next US Administration – Joe Biden has stated that he does not approve of Netanyahu’s annexation plans. Not surprisingly, Israel accelerated the construction of settlements after it was clear that Trump would be leaving office in the beginning of 2021. It remains to be seen whether the Biden Administration will oppose the Israeli settlement expansion, but at least it can be expected that the annexation of the existing settlements will be met with resistance by the Oval Office. 

A Palestinian-Israeli two-state solution is far from reachable. A first step in the right direction, however, is to put an end to the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, which does not conform with international law and leads to a severe fragmentation of the Palestinian territory. Without this necessary condition the hopes for a peaceful settlement of the conflict will remain an illusion. 

The European Union has taken a leading role in opposing Israel’s settlement politics, but its influence on Israeli politics remains limited. The United States, however, have had close political and economic ties to Israel for decades and are most likely Israel’s closest ally. It is, therefore, of great importance that the Biden Administration “exploits” this privilege and pushes Netanyahu to finally abandon the illegal settlements. This is the only way to create the foundation for a peaceful two-state solution.