“Armenian Media Presents The Multifaceted Tragedy Of Gaza”

Marianna Danielyan


The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been making headlines in both international and local news outlets in recent months. The military operations and their impact have been a topic of discussion in the context of changing geopolitical situations. We had a conversation with Sago Arean, the founder of the “Arevelq” news site, about the coverage of the war by the international and Armenian media.

What is the current status of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Arean?

This is the fifth war that is taking place in Gaza. I have been following all the previous four rounds of wars that took place in the region. I have also read about the 1967 and 1972 wars, lived through the 1982 Israeli invasion of Beirut, and later witnessed the 2006 Beirut 33-Day War. However, what is happening today has become the cruelest and most terrible of all the wars that I have seen so far.

Israel has never before declared its readiness to go to such extremes before. What does this mean? It implies more than just the destruction of Gaza; it signifies a deliberate intent to roll back the quality and standard of life in the region by at least 50 years. The objective is to reduce Gaza to a state devoid of essential living conditions – a place without electricity, without opportunities to secure daily sustenance, and lacking even the most basic healthcare. Consequently, those individuals hoping to return to Gaza will find it impossible due to the lack of those primary living conditions.

During these days, Israel has launched thousands of tons of rockets.

During these days, Israel has launched thousands of tons of rockets. What aggravates the situation is the carte blanche granted by the West, enabling Israel to persist in these actions. Notably, the Gaza existing before October 7 no longer exists today. The underlying cause for this is the profound power imbalance between the two sides. Despite the presence of Hamas squads residing in basements and their capacity to launch attacks on Israeli citizens, this does not shift the overall power dynamics. Despite this reality, some analysts attempt to distort the narrative by suggesting that Hamas emerged victorious.

Why, what was the reason for bringing that narrative forward?  

The assertion that Hamas “won” in the current Israeli-Arab conflict is based on unprecedented actions, such as the group’s ability to exit Gaza, capture prisoners, and infiltrate Israeli military bases using what are considered “primitive” means. These events have captured global attention.

One of the most worrying aspects of the current situation is that Hamas seems to be unaware of the fact that the Resistance Front has abandoned it. Both Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have distanced themselves from Hamas. I remember very well that on the 15th day of the war, an official from Hamas made a significant statement, acknowledging that Iran had abandoned them. Later on, Iran explicitly stated that it never supported or sponsored Hamas.

There have been many announcements and expressions of support from Iran and other parts of the world, but these do not change the general situation. Currently, Hamas is fighting the war alone, and it is becoming increasingly clear that it made a big mistake by launching a surprise attack. Politically speaking, Hamas will likely be sidelined in the near future. This was a reckless move and a disservice to the Palestinian people. Israel saw this as an opportunity to strike back, as Hamas had begun posing a threat to Israel’s internal peace and stability. This war also provided Israel with an opportunity to address internal issues.

How impartial and fair is the global media’s coverage of current events?

On the second day of the war, Israel seemed to gain an advantage in the media. The footage shown portrayed an unsettling reality even for supporters of Palestine. The actions of Hamas, including shooting at unarmed civilians and capturing children and the elderly, were prominently displayed. Instances of misinformation and fake news further complicate the narrative.

The Arab press attempted to convey the pain experienced in the Arab world. Even international journalists lost their lives. However, it appears that in the political centers of the West, a prevailing denial policy toward Hamas dominates despite the evident popular support for Palestine.

The issue runs more profoundly in Palestine, with the media playing a crucial role. The country’s ideology is rooted in the slogan “Death to Israel,” rejecting Israel’s existence as a state. Even their media consistently refers to it as “occupied Palestine.” Hamas explicitly states that Israel will cease to exist, drawing parallels with the sentiments of Armenian nationalists who seek the eradication of Turkey.

This is where the media plays a crucial role in helping people understand the reality of their surroundings. The media must present a sober and accurate account of events happening worldwide. Compared with Armenia, we need to understand the environment in which we live if we have chosen to continue our lives in the South Caucasus region. We should try to learn more about our neighbors, including Turkey; this doesn’t mean ignoring the past, but we need to acknowledge the reality of the situation. We are the weaker party, and we should avoid becoming victims of greater powers, just like Hamas. I’m not trying to preach, but simply present the facts so readers can analyze and understand them.

How did the Armenian press cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and continues to cover it today?

As part of the world, we must stay informed about current events. Fortunately, we can access expert analysis and trustworthy media outlets that provide comprehensive information about what’s happening worldwide.

One such example is the coverage of the Gaza tragedy, which is presented moderately and unbiasedly on various news websites. It is crucial that we educate ourselves about these issues, and our media plays a vital role in that process.

“Arevelq” news agency, which was founded in 2015, is currently very active. What sources does it work with, and how does it obtain the necessary information?

We are currently working at a fast pace to deliver the latest news to our readers. Our approach involves gathering first-hand information from various sources, including the channels of Hamas and Hezbollah. We are fortunate to have many friends who provide us with valuable insights.

One issue that I have noticed with the Armenian media is their heavy reliance on Russian sources for news about the Arab world. Armenia should establish its connections and sources to cover events in the Arab world. Additionally, it is essential to keep in mind that Russian sources may present news in a biased or distorted manner.

Recently, we have observed that many of our partner news outlets are utilizing our website and citing us as a reference. Additionally, our number of followers has increased significantly, with Telegram showing the highest levels of engagement. We have noticed that for important news, the number of views often reaches 5,000, a substantial figure for “Arevelq.”

You mentioned that Armenian mass media should directly engage with the Arab world. What gaps or shortcomings in the coverage of the war have you noticed?

The media industry in Armenia lacks a sense of purpose and ambition. Allow me to provide a simple example: while the conflict in Ukraine was of great importance to us, we only dispatched a single journalist to cover it. The same issue persists till today. Why don’t we send journalists to Lebanon? As a nation, we must obtain first-hand information rather than relying on secondhand sources. We possess the potential to get a closer look at the situation on the ground to inform our fellow citizens about what we’ve seen and heard. Furthermore, given that we have compatriots in Jerusalem and Lebanon, our interest and willingness to understand the situation should be even greater.

Interview: Marianna Danielyan

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